40 years’ service
Gatwick Mail Centre’s Gurpreet Kang started his career with Royal Mail on Monday 11 May 1981, writes Zoe Walker.
On the same day that Gurpreet began work with the business, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, Cats, was performed for the first time.
May 11 was also the day that reggae music legend, Bob Marley, died.
Gurpreet – now 64 – was in his early 20s when he started with the business. A lot has happened in the intervening 40 years. And he has seen a lot of changes in that time.
‘I was a welder in a company in 1981, and in those days the country had hit recession,’ he says.
‘I was a young man, I was made redundant and I needed a job.
‘The Post Office was a good job and recommended to me by many of my relatives – my uncle was at the Post Office.’
Gurpreet started work in Redhill, in the days before Gatwick Mail Centre even existed.
‘The business has come a long way since I joined,’ he says. ‘It used to be like the military in the way it was run. In those days, you could not approach a manager or speak to him. Nowadays you can have a good chat with your manager.
‘The business has come into the modern age a lot – you can tell your managers your problems and they will be helpful.’
Forty years on and Gurpreet says: ‘I love coming to work – I enjoy coming to work.
‘I have moved into transport – issuing log books and I have my own desk and my own computer.
‘I like what I do, and I take pride in what I do.
‘I give keys out and drivers come to me to give their name, duty number and the time out. Then afterwards I take the time in and the mileage and fill in any forms.’
Forty years is a long time. So much so that Gurpreet’s been with the business longer than some of his colleagues have been alive.
So I ask Gurpreet if he is the longest-serving colleague at Gatwick.
‘No. Compared to some of the guys here, I am a junior boy!’ he laughs.
‘My colleagues and I have a good laugh and we have known each other for many years. When we talk to each other we have a banter between us, because we have been working with each other for 40/45 years. We have a laugh and a joke.
‘To newcomers I say: “this is a place where you can come in, earn a decent living and get looked after. A place that is even stronger in these hard times.”’
- Congratulations to all our long-serving colleagues who reach their 40 and 50-year milestones with the business in May 2021 - see below. You can find all of our 2021 long-servers by clicking here.
Gurpreet Singh Kang