A model professional
After hitting the half-century mark with Royal Mail, you’d expect Brenda Lamond to be ready for retirement, writes Zoe Walker.
But Brenda, a work area manager at Stansted Airport Hub with 50 years of knowledge and experience under her belt, is just hitting her stride.
‘I left school at the age of 15. I didn’t go to college or university – it wasn’t something that everyday people did in those days. I worked in a shop first and then started out in the Post Office when I was 17 years old.
‘My dad was a BT engineer – which was called the GPO in those days – and he said: “Why don’t you try to get into the Post Office?”
‘I joined Royal Mail in 1971 working in basic admin. There were no computers in those days and the most technical thing we had was a calculator,’ Brenda explains.
‘At first, I was dealing with workshop managers and then I was promoted to a PO/CO – the next level up – and I went to work in the Eastern Postal Region HQ in Colchester, which provided support to the whole of the Anglia region.
‘Most of my career was in customer services – from about 1987-2007. Some of the main changes I have seen are that if we had to send a letter to a customer, we used to have to send it to the typing pool. We didn’t have computers. And we even had a lady doing all the photocopying for the whole building.
‘Eventually we got one computer between two of us; then a computer each. The technology has changed so much over the years.
‘For a time, I managed a team of 16 staff dealing with complaints on the phone in customer services. It was difficult – but we had a lot of fun too.’
Brenda’s career with Royal Mail has certainly been varied and she has even modelled for the company – promoting postcodes (see picture, taken in 1978).
‘Public relations manager, Paul Diggens, used to use my pictures in some publications and he has even used that one in a book he has written,’ says Brenda.
‘I have been at Stansted Airport since 2009 – more than 10 years now - and I love it. You can see the airplanes out the back and the terminal nearby.
‘It’s nice to sit outside in the summer and watch the planes take off. I deal with many HR-related issues such as pay, agency rotas and the sickness absence among many other things. I am also the point of contact for any contractors coming to site.
‘I have enjoyed my time in other jobs, but I love being here to help people.
‘It was horrendous when coronavirus kicked off last year and there were loads of people calling in sick initially. However, I am quite resilient and rose to the challenge.
‘I am definitely glad I stayed with Royal Mail when customer services moved to Stoke on Trent back in 2007. I really enjoy my job and have remained very positive over the years.
‘I have worked full time throughout my 50 years. I have also brought up two children and went back to work when they were only six months old.
‘My husband keeps on at me about retiring as he is semi-retired. I am coming up for 68 years old this year, but I am still not ready for retirement yet!’
Congratulations to all our long-serving colleagues who reach their 40 and 50-year milestones with the business this April. You can find all of our 2021 long-servers by clicking here.
Graham David Brear
Paul A Chilton