T hey say that only a minority of people are in the right job well I consider myself one of the fortunate few. Of course, it would be wrong to say that every day is perfect, but overall I enjoy my work and often describe it as an addiction in a good way, I hasten to add. I have a great love of variety and a restless nature so being out and about is what suits me best, and as anyone in field sales knows, variety and being out are among the few guarantees of the job.
I founded TLM Group Technology in 2011, having worked in the forecourt industry for nearly 20 years for various companies including LSL, Gilbarco and Torex. I started my career as a trainee and worked my way up to service engineer. I wanted to start my own company because I felt that there was a gap in the market for a pump maintenance business that focused on high quality service and expertise.
A 3.15am alarm signals the start of my day as I aim to be through the gates of the Grangemouth depot by 4am. To avoid the queues that build towards Ineos Grangemouth, all of us tanker drivers arrive before 4.45am and, as we start our day, one thing is guaranteed; no two days will ever be the same.
I know lots of people say no two days are the same for them but for me that really is true. And that's because I don't work nine-to-five. I live in Comrie in Perthshire and clock up about 45,000 miles a year working for Air-serv covering Scotland, the North East, the Channel Islands, Isle of Man and some of their National Accounts.
Like most of us, for me the typical day doesn't exist which is, I guess, why we are attracted to this industry, however one common component is an early start! Wherever I'm heading that day, I like to get on with it. This means dressing in the dark to avoid disturbing the family, which goes some way to explaining my dress sense.
Since leaving my 35-year career in the enforcement of petroleum legislation, just over a year ago, I don't have a typical day and I'm very happy with this situation. Gone are the frustrating car journeys into and around London, and not having the daily commute alone has given me an extra 10 hours a week and has certainly removed a large element of stress.
I start most days at 6.30am with a spinning class at my local gym. I often question why I allow myself to be screamed at by my spinning instructor but, by the end of the 45-minute class, the exhilarating feeling convinces me otherwise. Spinning is definitely the best way to start my day.
Just as no two Spar stores are the same, no two days in my job are the same, either! As head of retail at Spar, my role isn't office based. In any given week, I could have to travel from Manchester to Northern Ireland, to Scotland to Exeter, then a day in Harrow where Spar UK is based and then finally back home!
A fter 35 years in business, the one thing I can say with some certainty is that although no two days are the same, they are always interesting. I'll wake at 6am and spend 20 minutes doing some yoga, to set me up for the challenges ahead, before reviewing my emails and leaving home.
As a long-time reader of Forecourt Trader, I have read many descriptions of 'A day in the Life' of various oil industry executives. Most rise with the sun and endure a gruelling day before 'replacing the nozzle' late in the evening! I am not going to try and persuade you that my typical day is like that because, apart from anything else over the years, you master the art of knowing when to cut corners, when to let things go and when to delegate to younger and usually more skilful players.
Chris says: We formed the 'dream team' two years ago with me as territory manager and Niki as account co-ordinator, looking after our customers in the South. We catch up by phone first thing, when we share our plans for the day and talk about yesterday's activities as well as last night's football match.
My working day begins at 6.30am, with a shower, a bowl of trill (old age) and then I drop my youngest son at the school bus for 7.30am. My office is in Tebay Services (M6) in Cumbria so I might normally travel there, but we now have Gloucester Services (M5) and Cairn Lodge Services (M74) and advisers across the North West, so I could be heading in any direction.
My alarm on my i-watch goes off at 4.45am - technology has moved on a lot in the 25 years I have been working in retail. Breakfast is an almond milk and fruit smoothie, and then I'm ready for the day.
I am not a huge fan of early starts and am definitely one of those people who needs three cups of coffee before I feel ready to tackle the day. I live fairly close to our UK headquarters in Warwick but, thanks to the increasing traffic, what used to be a 20-minute commute now takes 40 minutes!
My day usually starts at 6.30am, when I get dressed then take our two spaniels for their morning workout. I live close to a country park which is a blessing as both dogs are young with plenty of energy to burn. I use the time to think through the day ahead.
I usually wake up just before 6am. My iPhone automatically receives financial reports each morning from the previous trading day, which I then usually go through in bed, much to the annoyance of my partner Claire. Then it's time to get up.
For 30 years of my working life I have worked in much larger corporate focused organisations which, in the main, were very much results driven. Over those 30 years, I have gained a wealth of knowledge, gathered buckets of skills and attended more class room workshops than I ever did at school.
I'm an early riser and set my alarm for 5.10am. I head off to the gym as soon as it opens for around an hour's work out. Over the past few years the gym has become part of my daily routine and I find it sets me up for the working day.
A typical working day starts at 6.30am with an espresso to kick start the day. This is followed by a brisk walk with the dog, making sure we avoid the postman! It's a great time to gather my thoughts for the day ahead.
The start of my working day varies depending on where I wake up! On Mondays I generally drive from my home in the south to the office in Doncaster, a journey of some three hours. The alarm wakes me at around 4.45am but I don't leave the house until an hour later, after I have read the news and sports headlines, and answered any overnight emails. The journey north is against the traffic for the most part and gives me plenty of time to plan the day and week ahead.
I wake up at six in the morning and go to the gym. This helps me maintain my jovial and proactive attitude to life. After an hour in the gym (some days with a personal trainer), I get to work for about eight o'clock.
My working day normally starts at the crack of dawn as my wife is an early riser and kicks me out of bed. If I have time it gives me an opportunity to get to the gym. With all the things we have to do during the working day, especially sitting down a lot, I think it's important to get exercise and it helps to clear my thoughts. I like to think I'm reasonably fit but my wife thinks I have too good a social life. My role as commercial manager for the Petrol Retailers' Association (PRA) probably has something to do with this.
After spending the best part of 17 years working in Chicago as an engineering director, stepping back into a UK business was a real eye-opener and I still find the odd wrench in the works, so to speak. One of the main problems I'm currently experiencing is my innate drive to quote prices in dollars I really MUST stop this!
My new role as area manager has given me more control and power to dedicate my time and effort to bring change to the company, with fresh ideas, thoughts and better plans for its future success. Having over 20 years' experience, I reformed and brought changes to the company from the office, to the shop, to he forecourt.
Ilove my job. I know that might be a cliché, but I'm part of a very dynamic and exciting industry. My role, UK dealer manager, was created two years ago with Shell's decision to split management of the company-owned sites from dealer sites; and with Shell's reinvigorated focus on the dealer world, life is only set to be more energised. With responsibility for all of Shell's UK dealers, I'm at the heart of the change as Shell plans to divest up to 250 company-owned sites.
The mayhem starts at 5.45am when I get up and try my best to walk our two dogs. Easier said than done, especially when they're having a 'diva day' and refusing to move from their beds. Then it's time to make sure that my son and my partner are all set for the day.
I aim to be up each working morning at 5.15am in readiness for Boot Camp at 6am. It's part of a new health regime there's also a personal trainer to keep the pressure on!
In 2011 we changed our organisation to better reflect the needs of our customers. Our main sales channels are now split between national customers (large group dealers and UK wholesale customers looked after by national account managers in head office) and regional customers (local retail and wholesale customers who want local field-based support). We believe that it focuses resources in the right areas and enables our sales teams to provide comprehensive fuel support.
I live about an hour's drive from the site, so an early start is always inevitable, particularly as I have my hair and make-up to do before leaving home. But to compensate, my drive to work is through the beautiful New Forest. However, I have to be alert to avoid the ponies and other animals that often wander about oblivious to all the traffic.
My alarm goes off at 4.28am and somehow myself and our two-year old whippet get up and into the lounge without waking my wife! Banana on toast, black coffee and a catch up with the news and social media follows.
Like all working mothers, I wake up in the morning with a whole list of things that I need to do before the day is over. I have twin girls, so mornings are usually a manic rush getting ready for school you can imagine three females in the house, all vying for the mirror!
My typical day as a retailer? Well, it starts at around 5.30am when I wake up, then check my emails and Twitter while I'm in the bathroom.
I would like to be able to say that my day starts with a five-mile run or a visit to the gym, but sadly it doesn't! When the alarm goes off at around 6.30am, breakfast consists of cereal or toast and a cup of tea always tea.
Woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head. and then wake the kids up and make them breakfast before heading off at around 7.45am to drive the 30 minutes from my home in Bedfordshire to
During a normal week, I spend at least one day on one-to-ones, focusing on operations, marketing, finance and our pharmacies this provides weekly focus on KPIs and 90-day plans to drive the important numbers and make sure all our great plans are being executed well.
My day can begin at 'silly o clock' if I have to be in our offices at Canary Wharf or visiting customers. I'm a Yorkshire girl born and bred and love living 'up North' although I do get my leg pulled for the way that I pronounce 'latte' and 'scone' and the fact that we have tea and not dinner. But I'm proud of my roots and the heritage of our 'straight talking no-nonsense approach'.
My day typically starts when the alarm goes off at 6am and I pull my dog-walking clothes on to take our dog, Otto, out for his morning constitutional. My enthusiasm at this time very much depends on the weather, but in any event I spend the time walking, thinking about what the day ahead is going to bring.
On a Monday, I typically get into work after I've dropped my youngest child off at school. A lot of the time we have someone who comes in at 6am to sort out the bread, milk and newspapers and then they open the shop at 7am.
It sounds like a cliché, but there really is no such thing as a typical day for me. That's just as well considering I've now been with Phillips 66 in its various forms for 44 years! I first joined the company (at that time Conoco) straight from grammar school in 1970, and have since held a number of roles in transport, terminals, supply, retail and wholesale in different locations throughout the UK and overseas. I think the variety of roles and the different challenges I've faced have kept me on my toes. There's certainly never been a dull moment!
My morning routine starts around 6.30am when I wake up for morning prayers and a brisk walk round the park but it's recently been too cold so I jump back into bed straight after prayers. However, when I do go for a walk it does mean I have an hour to reflect on personal progress and also plan the day ahead. I then get ready for work and another day brimming with challenges. At work I constantly get ribbed for wearing a suit and tie but I like to take care over what I wear. Having recently shed nearly three stone, I have enjoyed wearing some of my vintage attire from days gone by, as well as shopping for a new wardrobe. As the saying goes: 'People who feel good about themselves produce good results'.
It's been another sleepless night thanks to either me thinking about the business, or the two kids bed hopping or both. Then it's a 45-minute commute to work, which gives me time to come round and fine tune plans for the day. I also use this time to check and see whether anything needs my urgent attention.
My home is in the South West of England, but our customers, staff and operations are spread right across the country, so my working day is generally based around travel. I don't have a typical working routine, and neither do I have a room or a desk in any of the Greenergy offices. I use the offices as touch-down pads and I sit with my laptop at one of the open-plan desks, wherever the action is.
I am not an early morning person but will invariably be up by 6am. I have an arrangement with 'Mrs Mac' that in return for helping our boys get ready for school, she makes me a hearty bowl of porridge. Yes, I have porridge every morning!
My day invariably starts off with the Tarzan call of the Chris Evans' breakfast show at 6.30am (not everyone's cup of tea I know, but the show gets me off to a good start). The first and possibly most difficult task of the day is getting my teenage son out of bed to make sure he's on time for the school bus at 7.15am! If time permits (and just to keep up with my partner's daily gym visits!), I go for a swim a couple of mornings a week and find it sets me up well for the day ahead.
My alarm goes off on a week day at 4.45am yes am! Then the first job of the day is to motivate myself to get up while wiping the drool from my mouth (joke). Seriously though, my day starts by checking my emails and messages ensuring that I deal with anything that needs an urgent response (it's a 24-hour business!).
My alarm goes off at 6.10am but I'm not a great morning person so I will have another sneaky 10 minutes in bed.
I've always considered myself more of a night owl than an early bird but it's impossible to ignore the wife's 6.30am alarm. For her, living in Kent and working in London means an early train commute and for me, it's a grumpy start and taxi duty to the station before heading to the office for arrival between 8am and 8.30am.
The alarm goes off at 6.30am and Jess my four-year-old Labrador immediately comes bounding up the stairs and leaps on the bed. She knows it's time for her breakfast and that all-important morning walk across the fields. This is the best time of the day as it gives me time to focus on the day ahead. Breakfast is normally consumed while I check my emails on the iPhone and any Flow web reports. This system is a must as it constantly catches our sites' sales and tells me what time the first and last sale was at all the sites and important things like if there have been no coffee or car wash sales. A quick phone call to check that maintenance has been called to fix the problem can speed up downtime. More importantly, the manager knows that I know the machine is down!
It is fair to say that I am not a morning person. After hitting the alarm's snooze button several times, it is my husband's threats that I will be late and left behind that drag me from bed. We aim to get a 7.55am train to London together, but we seldom make it. To compensate I have to buy him coffee. I buy coffee quite a lot!
My day begins with the earth moving for me. Sadly, as I live near a railway line that just means the 6.40am train is passing by. At least it gets me out of bed in time to pick up my dog, Billy, from where he'll be sitting by the treat drawer and take him out for his daily walk. It has to be done, rain or shine, and if the train didn't wake me up he probably would.