I was looking for a job so I picked up the phonebook and started writing enquiry letters to local companies in alphabetical order. I didn’t get very far, she laughs. I was also very much enamoured by a tv show called Dallas at the time, and thought it would be lovely to work in the glamorous world of an oil company!
I do! I remember feeling bad for Bob Wayne’s 16 year old son Mark, who opened the door for me that day. He had injured his foot falling off his moped that morning and was limping up the stairs behind me bless him!
Shortly after I was introduced to Bob Wayne. I started by apologising for being too early, he said to me: “Never apologise for being too early, it’s better than being late!”.
I started off as a Receptionist, but my Business qualification quickly led to my helping out the account’s lady at the time and when she eventually left, I took over her position. I remember at one point I was doing accounts for 7 different companies by hand! (Bob Wayne used to own a number of businesses).
BWOC has grown so much. I now deal solely with Credit Control and it keeps me very busy! Of course, the technology has changed massively over the years which has affected my job, all accounts used to be in a manual ledger, we were writing every single invoice down using cards and carbon paper before we started using computers and specialist software, can you believe that?!
Yes, the industry and the technology have changed, but on the whole most BWOC staff haven’t! It’s a family firm to the core, people matter at BWOC, they are not just a number. So people tend to come and stay!
It’s just a lovely company to work for. I feel that we matter as employees, I have felt supported over the years, in my career as well as personal life by the people in charge. It’s easy to feel loyalty to the company, because my employers have been loyal to me. And I feel very close to a lot of people here, we look out for each other.
There are so many that it’s so hard to pick just a couple out. Just thinking about it make me so emotional! For some reason the celebration of my 30 years working here stands out to me. I came in and my office was dressed up with 30s, Mark (the boy with the sore leg Deb met on her first day, and who later became the MD) made a touching speech, we toasted with Champagne and ate loads of cake. I received a personalised car registration: DG09 DEB (DG for Deb Griffiths, 09 for the year she became Griffiths and DEB for Deb). After work we went out to a restaurant to celebrate. It was just such a special time.
Who would have guessed how different things would be 5 years on? We couldn’t celebrate the same way of course, but Amy (the MD) made sure the occasion was marked in style. I received a beautiful necklace for 35 years of service, and a lush cake, made by our talented colleague and friend, Jan. I just wish we could have all celebrated together.
Although my 30th anniversary was a lovely day and night in particular, I have lots of special memories, as we have had so many celebrations during my many years here, way too many to mention, but all special because of the special people I have shared them with.
Although we couldn't celebrate this special anniversary as we all would have liked there was still time for a slice of cake.
Thank you so much Deb for being such an important part of BWOC over the past 35 years, we can't wait to see what the next ones bring!