I had the pleasure of shadowing Peter Jackson, Portering Manager based in the Estates Department. At the time of the exchange the porters were preparing for degree ceremonies and were extremely busy. Peter’s role included assigning jobs to the porters and prioritising logged helpdesk work and job requests by phone and email, according to the needs of the customer and the safety of the campus. I was amazed at Peter’s organisational skills and his breadth of knowledge of the layout of the University’s buildings; without which I am certain the University’s small and large scale events would not run half as smoothly as they do.
Peter took great pride in his responsibilities and dedicated a great deal of his own time to getting the job done well. Exemplary stuff.
It was then my turn to reciprocate and give Peter an account of what the Insurance Officer’s role was. Peter got a good idea of my kind of day and said he was surprised at the varied and complex aspects of the role. He said he found the experience enjoyable, and, I think he realized that insurance wasn’t as ‘grey’ as it would first seem!
All in all I think we both found the experience an eye opener, and really interesting.
For me, the leadership exchange created a small bond between 2 people in 2 separate areas of the University. It provided each of us with real understanding of our respective roles and how we both contribute to the bigger picture. It also made me appreciate that it might not be the best time to ask your porter to collect confidential waste during degree ceremonies!