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Stepping outside of your comfort zone
On Tuesday 28th March, Service Co-ordinator Danielle Brown asked to step outside her comfort zone and take a trip into London to visit our site office within Guys Hospital. An excellent opportunity to chat face to face with the Drax Engineers and gain a better understanding of what their day job involves:

Drax Service Co-Ordinator Danielle BrownSo, Danielle how did your day begin?

Really, early! I was surprised how quick it took to get into London from Baldock then round to Guys on the Northern line. I arrived at the office just before 8am and grabbed a drink while I waited for our Engineers to turn up for work.

Once Jake, Jack and Barry arrived they showed me their office located on the 8th floor. I already know the Engineers, we meet up throughout the year at staff parties, service meetings and training but it was great to see them at work and understand how their day operates.

And how does their day operate?

On Tuesday’s they carry out the bell testing in the Cancer Centre and I accompanied Jake while he tested each call point. Jack was in security monitoring and writing up the bell test sheets.

The Cancer Centre has amazing views and despite being such a busy place, everyone has time for each other. When I chat with the engineers on the phones we build up a great rapport with a lot of banter, as you can imagine. It was nice to see their sensitive side in action.

I was then shown around the rest of the hospital. Looking at maps from my desk it’s often hard to grasp how big the site is and how long it takes for the guys to get from one place to the next.

After lunch the Engineers showed me Nimbus, I was surprised how quick and simple everything felt, or they made it look that way at least! Then Jack and Jake demonstrated how they check the smoke detectors. I didn’t really know what this entailed so it was a great learning curve for me to watch.

What does testing a smoke detector involve?

They use a long pole and reach up to the device to make sure the light flashes red and they know it works ok. I’m sure they would have a more technical way to describe this procedure though.

What would you say were the highlights of the day?

Seeing what the engineers do. Reading from logs and seeing data on our computer system doesn’t show you what really takes place on site.

What was the most important thing you took from the day?

How much walking the engineers do! Guys is such a big site – though not our largest by far, and Jack said on a Wednesday bell test they once walked over ten miles in a day!

Any amusing episodes?

I was mistaken for Jake’s girlfriend by a lady in a lift? (Jake can be seen showing off their site office to the left)

Lasting impressions?

It was a long day, my journey back was delayed and after leaving site around 3.15pm I didn’t reach home until nearly 6 O’Clock. The location of Guys is stunning as it sits right next to the Shard. It must be lovely to work in central London but tiring at the same time.

What's next?

Now I’d like to see the guys spend a day at my desk so they realise my job doesn’t just involve sitting around waiting for them to call all day with nothing better to do. Chance would be a fine thing!
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