And the winner is...
Thank you to everyone who submitted a story about how you’ve kept the nation safe. We had a fantastic response and we are pleased to announce the winner of the flue gas analyser kit is James Mallett with his story 'Going beyond the call of duty'.
Going Beyond the Call of Duty
I'm just a sole trader and being self employed, I find I end up working in lots of different environments. I carry out landlord certificates for an association that houses vulnerable tenants. It amazes me that nobody has shown them where the ECV is and what to do if they smell gas, or what to do if the CO alarm goes off - so I make sure everybody knows before I leave each property. I also hand out the leaflets on how to stay gas safe - they have proved invaluable.
I do private work and find that many elderly people get frustrated that they can't do the things they used to do. It doesn't cost anything while we are in the property to ask if there is anything else we can help with while we are there. I have fixed shelves, sorted out phone lines, re-tuned the TV, made a phone call to help to pay a bill, or just made them a cup of tea and had a ten minute chat. It's all part of the service and it's a privilege to spend time with these people that have lived full lives, had careers and raised families, and now have no one but the TV to keep them company.
Often I sub contract to social housing contracts. I meet so many elderly people that are lonely. When I was trained up 12 years ago, I was told not to talk to the customers, that time is money and every minute wasted talking is one or two jobs less done each day, which adds up to less in the bank each Friday. I don't have to do that now. I choose to take my time, do the job right, and if they look like they could do with some company, I sit and chat and hear their stories. The money I lose each week is compensated by the fact that I have enjoyed their company and hopefully provided them with someone to talk to for a change. Carers rush in and out, and often workmen do the same. If we all took just a few minutes extra to see the person and spend a little time to hear them, I honestly think the nation would be better for it. I know many of us already do this: so - come on Gas Engineers - let's lead the way! Let's not just make 'em safe - let's brighten up their day for the short time we are there and put their faith back in the human race.