A review of Olan Mills by Toni written on Friday 26th of October 2007
Answering an advert requiring staff for a new studio to be openened in Leicester... being interviewed by an American lady called Sue McDonnie...and the pleasure of being given a position as Sales Consultant for the new studio ... going to Aldridge studio for training, and meeting the photographer there called Steve Gray, we had a great social and working relationship, and working alongside Jackie who was employed the same week as TSA manager, they were good times for us all we were a team and Sue was our mentor, and to this day I still miss her friendship and leadership.
Sales grew and grew... so did our wage packets! then the meeting of both the Mr Mills from the USA when they came over to the UK.
as a team we all grew through the ranks within the Midlands and built up our teams of photographers consultants and tele sales operatives.
Yes we worked hard, with a hands on approach to building the business ... putting in the hours training, motivating and recognizing and rewarding the talent within each studio under our control.
Our rewards...seeing the Midlands growing stronger and competing with the southern region...receiving verbal recognition and respect from our superiors...yes life was good.
Frustrations...yes we had our share! as then all the film shot had to be taken to the airport and sent to the States for developing and didn't always come back on time or in the correct studio courier bag... which meant rescheduling customer viewing times and playing hunt the proofs around the differant studios... but we coped helped one another out and kept the customers happy.
We were all proud to be working for a large corporate company and as time went by, more studios opened ... the processing plant was developed ... new finishes were introduced to the collections, and stars emerged in each studio, where recognition was given at the Christmas AND Summer National Awards Dinner.
By then Olan Mills in the UK was working to be self sufficient, an exciting time as the american mentors started to filter back to the States and control of the UK operations was gradually handed to UK senior staff who were cherry picked to lead the company into its bright self controlling future.
Changes? of course! that's business, mistakes? of course...BUT...OLAN MILLS UK kept growing...
Me? I was never happier than when I worked for the cmpany, I loved my job, I was fortunate enough to have made a lot of friends , I got my visit to the States as a guest of Mr Mills, worked in a studio in Kansas, spent time at the plant in OHIO and even got to sit on the Chattanooga Choo-choo.
I still have a box and book of memories, some good and some not so good. but time DOES heal so I don't waste time dwelling on the sad times ... but smile to myself and remember Sue,Steve,Jackie,Jon,Paul,Keith and all the other people who helped create Olan Mills UK.
To all the staff who are starting again, Good Luck for the future, and if you are going forward in another direction, hold your head high and be positively successful...
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