My name is Mark Wren. I’m a customer delivery driver for the John Lewis Partnership. I work at Theale just outside Reading. Our job is to deliver goods that people buy from the John Lewis shop in Reading as well as off of the John Lewis website.
I’ve been with the Partnership since March of last year, which is now 16 months. Before that I spent just under six years from a sort of manual background. I used to do a lot of carpentry, painting and decorating. Before that I came from the Royal Mail. I spent a few years on there straight from school.
I joined the Partnership because I always knew it was a very good firm to work for. I’ve got family that are members of the Partnership, both from the John Lewis and the Waitrose side of things. I saw the job advertised, and just went for it, and I really, really enjoy it. It’s a good place to work.
The best part of my job is working outside in the fresh air and actually going to the customers’ houses. Quite often we are the last part of the link, as they call it. You get people that are buying goods online, and they never ever see anyone associated with the Partnership. So, yeah, when we do that it’s quite nice, and it’s a one to one basis. The odd cup of tea is quite nice as well.
Working in the Partnership is very different from working in other jobs. Basically we are all individual co-owners of the business. So everybody’s entitled to their say, everybody’s got different opinions. And at the end of the day if we don’t look after the business we’re in it is us that loses out, people will just shop elsewhere, in which case we’ll lose out.
My proudest moment at the Partnership really is as customer delivery drivers. We do a thing where we get, or we can hopefully get, a lot of customer recommendations. It’s always nice when a customer either takes time out to pick up the phone, write an email, even write a letter in just to say, thanks for doing a good job.
The most challenging aspect of the job is first of all probably delivering in dark evenings, the winter time when the hours draw in. As drivers we’re just out in a vehicle following a sat nav, which most of the time is pretty good, but you do have to a bit of common sense. The only other aspect would probably be large bulky items. End of the day we always come across problems, but there’s always a way around it, and we work as part of a team.
If I go out and do a really bad job, then somebody’s going to remember it, and they’re going to talk to other people about it. The fact that I’m an individual Partner, so therefore I am an individual co-owner of the business means that I don’t really want that to happen so I need to perform a good job and do a good service and then people will remember what I’ve done for the right reasons.
Personal qualities in this business: first of all I think you need to be honest, I think you need to be a reliable person, a good communicator, never be afraid to express your opinions and your views but most of all just be yourself.