|My Working Life|
|When I left school I commenced work at Gollin & Co. Ltd in Clarence St Sydney near Wynyard Railway Station. Gollin & Co. was a large Import /Export company who traded in Hardware, Textiles, Minerals etc & were agents for Fosters Larger & various Wine & Spirits makers.
Like many people my first job was in the mail Dept, but after 12 months I was transferred to the Hardware Division to do their Statictics which was peculiar as Maths was not my strongest subject.
After some months there was an opening in the Export Division for a Shipping Clerk as that division was expanding due to Gollins obtaining the first contract to ship Coal to Japan. I enjoyed this job a great deal & spent lots of time at the Wharfs at Darling Harbour & Circular Quay. I got to know all the Shipping Clerks at Royal Interocean Lines & was invited to lunches on some of the merchant ships we used for our exports. It was at this time that I developed a taste for Curries, Asian & Dutch/Indonesian foods!
Some 2 & a half years later I was promoted to an Export Salesman to be the Sydney contact for our New Guinea Office who had contracts to supply Rations for the Native Houseboys in Pt Morsby & other Centers. Gollins also shipped Wine & Spirits,Streets Icecream & other supplies to New Guinea.
One facinating item supplied was over issued Newspapers which were brought by the Natives to make "roll your own" cigarettes.
When our New Guinea resident rep was hospitalised with Hepatitus I was given the opportunity at 21 years of age to go to New Guinea for 3 months to run the Pt Morsby office. Shortly after my arrival Geoff Chadwick, the rep was discharged from hospital but was not well enough to do the regular sale trip around the territory so I was given the task. Over the next few weeks I went to Samuari, Lae, Rabaul, Madang & Manus Island . What a great adventure for a 21 year old! I reckon I grew up on that trip! This experience & the sales results launched me on what was to become my main occupation for virtually the rest of my working life.
When I returned to Sydney I continued to work as the Sydney contact for New Guinea untill a great Export recession hit the Export Trade in 1961 & 62 & our Export Dept. shrank from a Sales Manager & 5 salesmen, 4 shipping clerks & 6 secretaries to the Manager, 2 salesmen, 2 secretaries & 2 clerks. I was eventually retrenched at the end of 1962.
As I now was married with a young daughter it was vital that I got back into employment as soon as possible. I perused the Jobs Columns of the Sydney Morning Herald & saw an add for a Retail Salesman at the WALTONS Dept Store. I attended the interview & got the job. On my arrival home I was suprised to have a phone call from WALTONS asking me to return for another interview. I was told they were expanding their Home Credit Dept, & thought my people skills would be valuable as a Credit Interviewer. This was my second change in career direction. I enjoyed the interaction with people & eventually was promoted to assistant to the Credit Manager Cec Lowe.
When Cec had his leg broken by a Greyhound Dog in the catching pen after a race he was off work for over 6 months & I acted as the Credit Manager untill his return. I found it rather mundane to return to being a Credit Interviewer after this experience. I'd had the opportunity to go out with one of the Waltons Travellers on a Sale Day promotion & decided I would really like to become a Waltons Traveller. Subsequently I took over Run 23 which covered the Area from Kirribilli through to North Sydney & up around Grenwitch.
My earlier love of Sales came to the fore & I was able to win a number of Sales Competitions & was promoted to a Special Accounts Supervisor which entailed calling on customers who had got into financial difficulties & making arrangements to help rehabilitate their situation.
I was subsequently promoted to a Division Manager with a Sales Supervisor & 8 travellers under my control. Our Group won a State Sales Competition which was a great thrill for all involved.
I worked for WALTONS for 14 years but changing lifestyles ment there were fewer woman at home to sell product to & I could see an end to the Waltons way of business. They employed an advisor to recommend changes but when they received his report they said his recommendations were not within Co. Policy. He advised me to look for a better position & subsequently called me to say he had joined Simpson Pope in the Garden Division & that they were looking for a Salesman in their Whitegoods Division.
Well that change virtually shaped the rest of my working life!
After 6 months I was promoted to Sales Supervisor & had the chance to recruit 3 of the best Waltons travellers to the expanding Simpson Pope Sales force.
After about 5 years the popular Sales Manager left the Company to open his own Retail Store & Jim Baxter my Sales Supervisor from Waltons who had joined Simpson went with him to launch the Discount Inn group of stores.
I then helped indoctrinate the new Sales Manager who left after 2 years for a National position & I thought I would be promoted to the Management job, however they employed a person who had been unemployed for 2 years & I had to train him into the position which was frustrating to say the least.
One of the retailers I had called on for some years, John Finn the Discount King at Strathfield told me Draffin Everhot a company who manufactured Slow Combustion Stoves, Electric Ranges & Hot Water Systems at a factory in Victoria were looking for a State Sales Manager in New South Wales & he had recommended me for the job which I subsequently obtained. I remained with Everhot for 8 years eventually being promoted to State Manager. Everhot were taken over by VULCAN CHEF & I remained as the Everhot manager untill I was invited to join the main Vulcan team as a Major Accounts Executive by Ron Flack, a chap I had known from my Motor Racing. I was responsable over some years for the State A/Cs of David Jones, Grace Bros., Retravision, Betta Stores & the Combined County Council Buying Group.
I remained with Vulcan until I took an early retirement at age 59.