Facilities manager, Katie Crosby, was the winner of this year’s Sewell Star awards Chairman’s award.

Katie left another job in 2009 to be able to attend her interview with Sewell FM, fortunately, she was successful and joined the business as our first Sewell FM help desk operator shortly after.

She progressed to a position leading the customer care team and was promoted to her current role as a facilities manager in 2019. Here she shares what a typical day in her job looks like:

My day starts at 6 am. I like to make sure I wake up before my little boy, Bobby, so that I have time to get showered and ready for the day. Bobby bursts into my morning around 7 am barking the word “DRINK!” at me, like a demand from a well-known alcoholic priest, from tv show Father Ted. The only difference being Bobby wants water, not whiskey.

A battle, a boxing fight and a minor meltdown later and Bobby is fed, dressed and ready for nursery, while I am bruised and building myself up for the next battle of getting him out the door and into nursery. (See photo to the left for Bobby’s recent tactic to delay leaving the house)

Toddlers definitely know how to tug on your heartstrings. I know he’ll have a riot as soon as I leave him but for the benefit of making me feel guilty, he’ll pull all the toddler tricks out of the book!

With my child safely deposited at nursery, I have to get to my first job of the day. It’s at Rossmore Nursing Home today, the start of a refurbishment that I quoted for previously. I need to get across the city so that I can meet each of the different trades at the start of their task to ensure they’re confident in what they’re doing on site but also to check they are adhering to their risk assessments. Before I leave I make sure I see the client and check they’re happy with all the works going on. I’ll be back to this job as it progresses for spot checks on the progression and safe working.

I start making my way into the office but not before visiting another of my sites en route to collect some measurements for a quotation they’ve requested. I probably price at least two jobs per day because I look after 37 properties and most of the requests that come through require a quotation of some sort.

When I arrive at the site I notice a couple of issues. The first is that the gullies are blocked in the car park and the second is a broken door closer arm. I make a note of these to discuss with the client who can authorise us attending these when I’m back in the office as he isn’t based on the site.

Once back in the office I update the jobs that I have been to ensure the team and clients know what is happening. Then I take a look for the materials needed for the task I have just visited since I am now armed with all of the measurements. Once I have a full shopping list, the costs are sent to Julie and she will share a formal quotation with the client.

I’ll be getting in touch with the client too to make them aware of the other issues I found while on-site to see if they would like us to arrange a repair or quotation for this issue as well. The gully clearance forms part of our planned maintenance but it isn’t due for another couple of months and is already an issue now. As such I offer that we can either bring the planned service forward or carrying out an additional clean. They may not want us to move it forward but we think it’s important to make our clients aware of anything that has the potential to cause the site any problems before those problems actually happen.

Next, it’s onto checking the temperatures of some outlets following yesterday’s water hygiene monthly inspections so that we can raise any remedial actions to our client. I’ve also got some risk assessments to look at for next week’s jobs. We always aim to do this well in advance of a task starting so that they can be properly reviewed and any issues tackled so that they don’t delay the start of the work.

While I’m still in the office I source and order some parts for a job next week, go through my new emails so I can get back to any client requests promptly and head to an internal meeting to discuss recruitment of a new team member as part of my role is to oversee this process along with on-boarding of new team members.

After this meeting, it’s back out on the road to meet a roofer. We need to inspect two roofs at two different sites and we’re taking the opportunity while it’s not raining. We find that both need some work addressing so we discuss the contractor’s input on-site so I can put together a quotation later.

And then it’s onto a quick spot check at another site. We have a four-week project going on and these spot checks help make sure we’re progressing to plan and working safely.

My last job of the day is a contract review meeting with one of our clients. We discuss each site in-depth, covering any outstanding requests and new actions. There’s some work to address on fire doors which will mean actions for multiple sites and I’ll update the client and the team of these when I’m next back in the office.

At 5:30 pm I have to make sure I’m on my way to collect Bobby. I arrive at nursery to a very excited little boy who runs to greet me with a big cuddle.

We head back home so that I can make some tea for us both, enjoy some playtime with Bobby and get him bathed and in bed. We read a story, or I try to while he tells me everything that he can see on each page and then it’s lights out.

Unfortunately, Bobby doesn’t understand yet that this means it’s time to sleep, so I likely have a couple more hours of negotiation on my hands before he will finally surrender to sleep between 9 and 10 pm.

I’m currently doing my IWFM Diploma so the last part of my day is reserved for 30 minutes to an hour of studying. It might not sound long but working full time as a single mum these little chunks of time each day are how I get through each assignment.

Finally, at around 11 pm I set my alarm for the next day ready to start it all over again from the top!

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