How and when did you start working for Oxden Floors?
I met Lee on a suppliers golfing day, (how did we find the time?) in about 2006, when I had my own little company going on. On the odd occasion when I was slack and Oxden were busy I used to work for them. One Sunday night at about 11 o.clock, doing a tender, I threw my pen across the room, told my wife I couldn’t carry on working 18 hours a day and the following day I went to Oxden Floors, asked if they, (Chris and Lee,as it was then), wanted a fitter and his lad, they said yes. A couple of years after that, just after Chris retired, Lee asked me to join himself and Steve in the office. A year after that, Lee approached me again about it , I said yes, that was in November 2010, and I officially joined as Contracts Manager on 4th Jan 2011. So there you have my history with Oxden floors.
If you weren’t working for the successful Flooring Contractor Oxden Floors, what do you think you would be doing now?
After school I spent a year full time at college on a Construction Technicians Course, which would of taken me onto just about anything within the construction industry, I may even of turned out to be a QS, God help us, no offence Lee / Steve. But when I left college looking for employment the country was in recession, and the construction industry was laying people off, not taking them on. So had that not of been the case, I would probably be on building sites somewhere, just like I am now.
What are the main changes you have seen in the flooring industry over recent years?
Sorry to be boring, but I can only echo Lee Fox and Steve Hobb’s comments . It has got to be the totally ridiculous short programs. I’m from a time before ‘Fast Track’ came along, and things actually got done quicker and properly !!! Whatever happened to sequencing???. And, whatever happened to ‘safe access’???
What do you look for when you recruit someone?
Attitude. Either they have it or they don’t.
What is your greatest achievement to date?
Apart from being very happily married for …Blimey, 34 years, having a great daughter. and apart from somehow managing to survive the flooring industry for 42 years. My achievement, if you can call it that, so far, is definitely taking on a young lad, teaching him the basics of floor laying, and watching him develop his skill and become a well respected fitter. The Apprentice is now the Master. I wish I could take the credit, but he had the right attitude.
Who is or has been a role model to you?
Obviously my Mum And Dad. Beyond that, I was fortunate enough to have a Big Brother (1 of 4 others), who let me work with him on a Saturday and during school holidays. He taught me Carpet Fitting. His ambition in life was to be the quickest, the best, and never go back. (do it nice or do it twice, as you say Lee).
What 5 things would you put in room 101?
1. Babies. 2. Pretty on paper but unrealistic programmes. 3. All drivers who throw rubbish out onto the roads. 4 Audi’s and their drivers ( someone tell them there are other people on the road, coz they are obviously blind) 5. Winter
How do you relax?
I don’t really, I always like to have ‘something on the go’ . I’m currently learning the art of film editing, and just entered the massive world of learning special effects. Still trying to learn French, and if I’m not doing that I’ve usually got a project going on in the garage.
Where is your favourite place?
That’s an easy one. On a hot beach with my wife, or secondly, on my motorbike, touring Europe with my closest mates, which I do every year, roll on June!
Wine or Beer / Tea or Coffee?
Strong coffee, white 2 sugars please. Red Red Wine in the evening.
What film, book, play or album has impressed you recently?
Really not into films (I prefer to make my own) I haven’t watched TV for about 5 years. I enjoy reading travel journals and autobiographies.
What sports, if any are you interested in?
I was a really keen football fan, but then Sky got involved, and I stopped watching once players wages got to over £200k a week.
Tell us something that might surprise those reading this!
Sorry to disappoint, What you see is what you get!
What is your motto in life?
I don’t think there is such a thing, but little sayings that I relate to are; Worry about it when it happens…… The best things in life are free, but the best thing in life is being Free. And Obviously…. Adventure before Dementia.