Network April 2019

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A DAY IN THE LIFE OF Highland village, connecting new houses in Inverness or working on a windfarm in some of the most picturesque scenery around. There's a lot of travel to and from jobs, but our workplans are designed so that we get back to our own beds every night when possible. There are times when we need to do a couple of overnighters due to the location, for example if we need to be away on one of the islands and there's limited ferries back and forward. The trip from Inver - ness to Stornoway, including the ferry, is nearly five hours one way! The good thing is that there's no pressure to stay away, if I've had a prior arrangement and need to be at home, one of my other teammates will do it, no questions asked. Q What's the secret to the great team spirit you've referred to? A Beyond the laughs and chat, I think it's down to the fact that we all care about our job and looking a€er our custom - ers, making sure they've got their connection on time, or we repair a fault that lets them heat their baby's milk or powers their stairli€. When we're working on a power cut, we keep our customers updated as to what we're doing, especially the ones on our Priority Service Register, as they're the ones who need that little bit of extra support when the power is off. Q What do you enjoy most about your work? A While the meat and bones of the actual jointing tasks are the same wherever we go, it's the variety of sites I work at and the people I get to meet that makes it such an enjoyable job. Connect- ing people to the network and getting their power on is a really satisfying way to spend your working day, using my skills to make a difference. And even a€er all these years, the scenery up here really is something else. Q What would you say to someone consider- ing a job as a jointer? A As well as the obvious things like having an interest in how things work and learning about the electricity network, you need to like meeting people; that last one may sound odd, but it's really important as you're very much the public face of the com - pany, working close to houses, outside shops or alongside other trades on a new development. Q Any final thoughts? A I've been with SSEN for 13 years now, and one of things I really like here is that we're encouraged to always be thinking about developing ourselves and progressing our careers. I'm re - ally enjoying being a jointer, but it's reassuring to know that SSEN will support me if I want to get more training and move on to a different role. Connecting people to the network Lee Major: jointer, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), Highlands and Islands region – tells Network about his role. GET IN TOUCH If you're interested in being featured in this section, or know of someone who might be, please get in touch with the editor at alecpeachey@fav- "There's a real mix of built-up areas, towns and cities across the patch as well as the amazing scenery most people associate with the Highlands." Q Tell us a little bit about yourself and your job: A I've been with SSEN for over 13 years, and the last four have seen me working as a jointer in the Highlands and Islands region. As a jointer I work on the underground cables, getting cus - tomers connected to the network, working on new connections or repairing faults during a power cut. Q Where are you based? A My base is SSEN's Highlands and Islands Depot in Inver- ness, but as our overall region covers the northernmost corners of the country, including the Western Isles, I'm easily covering hundreds of miles some weeks travelling to jobs. There's a real mix of built-up areas, towns and cities across the patch as well as the amazing scenery most people associate with the Highlands. Q Do you work in a team or on your own? A I'm part of a team of 12, and we work in pairs, which is great not only for someone to chat to during the day, it's also much safer to have a colleague with you at all times on the job, and it's reassuring to know you've always got someone on hand who you can ask for advice or a second opinion. Q Describe your typical working week: A On any given day I could be working on low volt- age, 11kV, 33kV cables, getting the lights on for a cottage in a NETWORK / 34 / APRIL 2019

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