Reasons to work

I’ve been made been made redundant three times in my career, so far, and the first two were from my first two jobs. Not a great start, you’d think.

The first time was from a small Scottish company called Crossaig (I built their website back in 1999, christ I’m old…) they were, in hindsight, just trying to survive as a business and my role wasn’t crucial so it made sense that I was let go. Yes I know, it’s the role that is redundant, not the person, blah blah blah.

The second time was about a year and a half later and was prompted by Dr.Solomons being bought by McAfee who promptly made the entire workforce redundant. A couple of months later they started re-hiring but I’d already moved on by then.

My third (Sage Tetra) and fourth (McLaren) jobs I left of my own volition.

And my fifth job at Verint made me redundant due to restructuring and was, at the time, the hardest one to take. I’d spent many years working my way up and buliding a career and it was a bit of a gut punch at the time. I enjoyed the people, the work, and I was in the middle of transitioning to a new role that I was very excited about. Just before I was due to start the new role I took a holiday, went to Glastonbury Festival, and the day I got back in the office I was told my new position (that was supposed to be starting that day) was being made redundant. Ugh.

My sixth job ended outwith my control as well, but not through redundancy. It was my first (and likely only) time as a Contractor. I started on a one year contract which then rolled on every 6 months and, after 7 years of that, they finally pulled the plug. C’est la vie. The fact it happened the day before I went on holiday to France for almost three weeks was just bad timing.

Looking back I think Dr.Solomons, and Verint are the two that hurt the most. But life goes on, as does the need to pay the bills!

I’m on my seventh job now, almost three months in, and currently reflecting why I chose this company over others.

When my contract was cancelled I decided to go back to the ‘security’ of a salaried position and after a couple of weeks of interviews I had four promising leads, no mean feat considering I’d done all the research and initial interviews whilst on holiday in France. One of the roles I kinda knew I’d turn down as it was working for an agency, a way of work I was keen to step away from, and whilst the other two were both interesting (and slightly higher paid) the company I ended up being lucky enough to join held a little more personal investment from the get go.

That company is Allied Vehicles, and their core business is “Allied Mobility™ ~ Europe’s leading manufacturer of wheelchair accessible cars, people carriers and minibuses. We’re also the number one supplier of wheelchair accessible vehicles to the highly successful UK Motability Scheme”.

So why did I chose Allied Vehicles? Well simply because of the massive difference I’ve seen in my Mum since she got Vera.

Ohhh I should point out that Vera is her power assisted wheelchair.

My Mum had a stroke several years ago and, before he passed, my Dad was her main carer. They still managed to get away on cruises, daily outings were common, and they had a wonderful retirement ahead of them. But after Dad suddenly passed my Mum not only lost her husband, but her independence. Dad died during the early lockdown days, so it wasn’t until the world emerged from that, a couple of years later, and we could start taking Mum out for coffees and little trips that I started to realise she just wasn’t getting out much on her own.

Stubbornly she was still walking to the supermarket to buy a paper, but that was the most she could manage, a chore that would take an able bodied person 15 minutes to do, could take my Mum almost an hour.

But it turns out that she had had the same realisation, so when she mentioned she’d been looking into getting a powered wheelchair I was more than happy to help out, did some research and ordered one. It arrived promptly and after a couple of test runs she managed to the local supermarket for a few things and back, all on her own and without the constant fear of failing over (my Mum doesn’t have the use of the right side of her body, she can walk with a stick but it’s always a bit fraught).

Vera arrived not long before I went to France so you can imagine my delight when, upon phoning Mum to see how she was, she happily informed me that she’d gone to the dentist on her own. 40 mins there, 40 mins back in her new wheelchair. AWESOME.

And that’s why I chose Allied Vehicles, because I’ve seen first-hand the difference mobility can make to my Mum’s quality of life.

I’ve never really thought of myself as altruistic, and of course I am getting paid to work, but it’s still refreshing to have these thoughts in my mind as I start work everyday, to have a meaningful reason to turn up and do my best.

When I’m in the office, from where I sit at my desk, I look up I see a large caption stencilled up near the ceiling. It reads WE MOVE PEOPLE AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO THEIR LIVES. It’s a core part of what Allied Vehicles do, and one that is a life changing as it is simple.

I’ve worked for a companies that provided indexing software for scientific journals that sold anti-virus software, that provided ERP/Accounting solutions, for a CAD Document Management company, for a Call Centre solution company and, most recently, for a large high street bank, and I can safely say that I have never sat in a meeting room in any of these places and discussed, in detail, WHY we do what we do; Just the other day I heard a story about one of our customers, who had just been moved into critical life care. We were about to provide a vehicle that was taking them on holiday but it didn’t get there in time. These things happen a lot, life inserts itself into our business processes and, invariably it means a customer has declined in their health, or passed away.

It’s sad, but just like my Mum and Vera, it gives real meaning to what we do. It gives me something to focus on when I’m in my 3rd straight meeting of the day, when I’m getting frustrated about something that is ultimately pretty trivial, and it especially helps when we are discussing improvements to our business processes; the customers we serve really do go through life-altering experiences, so the more we can do to help them the better.

Giving the disabled a form of mobility back give them much more than a vehicle. It gives the independence, it gives them a sense of control over that aspect of their life again, and just being able to leave your own house under your own steam, and go for a drive somewhere is something that so many of us take for granted that it’s easy to forget just how liberating it can feel if you’ve felt trapped inside your own home.

Yup, almost three months in and it’s safe to say this is already more than just a job.

Written By

Long time blogger, Father of Jack, geek of many things, random photographer and writer of nonsense.

Doing my best to find a balance.

More From Author

You May Also Like

Photo of me and quote from the article

Some more about me

1 year at Allied

Busy busy