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A day in the life of James

03 March 21

A day in the life of James

Preparing for the day ahead

Every morning my two children come into our room and wake my wife and I up at 6.30am before my alarm has a chance to go off. I look forward to the day when I might have a sleep in! We all get up and have our breakfast together and prepare for the day ahead. Family life can be chaotic at the best of times, so if I have time, I help prepare the children’s home school work with my wife, and encourage them to do their best every day. I also plan my working day, which I take pride in, as it keeps me organised and efficient, although this can all change with one phone call, as an Emergency can arise at any moment.

A role I am proud of as I wave to customers

I’ve been working at Affinity Water for nearly 14 years, and remember when it was called Three Valleys Water! My role within the company is a Customer Service Technician (C.S.T.). I have been in this role for the majority of this time. I like my role within affinity water, as it gives me the responsibilities of having my own area to take ownership of, which has been fantastic for me as well as for the company. I have built up a great knowledge, history and understanding of the water network in the area. There’s never a day when somebody doesn’t ask me for help, not only that but I have built up a good rapport within the community and the customers within the area who know me very well now. I always say hello when they see me or wave. I really value this because it makes me feel really established within the community and respected by the company.

Supporting colleagues during Covid19

In the current circumstances it’s extremely hard on everyone, so I make sure I keep in touch with my colleagues by calling them, making sure they’re OK and seeing how their day is going whenever I get the chance, as it can be quite isolating in the van on your own. I find its good to keep in touch and I feel that’s important. Although it’s not quite the same as the usual banter and face to face interaction, which can help perk you up a bit in the day.

Keeping customers informed

My role at Affinity water is extremely varied and very important as we provide a quality customer experience, meeting customers’ expectation on all enquires. I make decisions on repairing and the maintenance of our water network you drink from. We are involved in customer appointments to investigate, advise and report on any enquiries they have, whether it may be advice on network regulations, locating leaks or any issues regarding poor pressures or any water quality problems they may be experiencing. I like to keep customers informed throughout their time with me, which is why I’m probably well known within the local area. I also get involved with investigating reports of visible leakage, and thereby help save cubic metres of water on a daily basis. This can involve organising and performing network isolations to facilitate planned and reactive works to our network. Once the repair or issue is resolved, and the water is restored I complete our work by flushing the network. You may see me using a fire hydrant, this is so we can flush and clear the water main and take water quality samples from customers so as to assure the quality of the water we serve, as our water quality is considered at all times.

Checking in on family and friends

I try and stop for lunch, as I do enjoy a chicken George or two, and check in with my family and friends to see how everyone’s day is going. Some days it can be very busy and when the pressure is on with emergency work like burst water mains or no water in the area, it can be all hands on deck to repair the burst main or to restore the water to the customers’ homes. Therefore, sometimes I don’t even get the chance to have a bite to eat, but that’s the nature of the job some days.

Missing sport during Covid19 lockdown but it’s good to talk

Before COVID-19 I really enjoyed coming home and seeing the family. I would normally take my children to their after-school sports clubs, as well as weekend activities, which I would help out with as well. I would attend the gym myself, to blow off some steam, however that has all changed during this difficult time. I think it is hard on everyone at the moment, as I really believe sport is a great stress relief not just for me but for the children and everyone in general as well. I can see that they miss their friends, and the sport so much, which makes it even harder. It is such a difficult time for everybody which is why I feel it is good to also stay in contact with friends and family etc via phone and video calls. It’s good to talk.

It can vary what time I get home due to everyday being different, but when I do get home I’m always greeted by my youngest son shouting “Daddy!” and running and jumping on me - nearly knocking me over - and my eldest son and wife welcoming me home. I normally put the kettle on, have a cuppa tea, play with our children, and see how everybody’s day has gone, and help around the house. I try and switch off where I can, which can be hard sometimes, especially when I am on standby.

We’re always up to something as a family

I enjoy most sports really and keeping fit where and when I can, and socialising with my friends. I love watching my sons play for their teams and clubs and watch them develop, we all look forward to getting back to doing that. I also love spending time with the family as much as possible, we are always up to something, whether it be out with friends and family or at home. We also love our holidays and love to explore and experience as much as possible. But a lot of our hobbies are put on hold due to the current situation. I enjoy cooking too and our family always cook a dish together at the weekends, whether it be homemade pizza from scratch or a Mexican night, or even my favourite a Sunday roast. You can’t beat that!

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