Eating out and other 24/7 jobs

January 12, 2007

Name - Brian John Schofield. Age: 56. Job: Head of security services, Bath University. Salary: AR 3. Background: A career police officer of 30 years involved in many major public order and firearms incidents throughout my time with the Avon and Somerset Constabulary. Regretting the lack of opportunity to attend university in my youth, I started a five-year Open University BSc in my mid-thirties, fitting study around shift work, overtime and family life.

Anyone who has taken such a course will know how rewarding it is when you get to the end of the long slog. Since leaving the force six years ago I have worked in retail security, set up my own security consultancy and co-ordinated security at many major events including the Glastonbury, Leeds and Reading festivals. I also sit on the Bristol Bench as a magistrate.

Working hours and conditions: I will work whatever shift is required to carry out the role of manager, trainer, invigilator, co-ordinator, facilitator, office worker, counsellor and so on.

Number of staff you manage: A team of just under 40 security staff. They provide not only 24/7 security but a variety of roles including welfare, transport, discipline, first aid, fire marshalling and reception.

Biggest challenge this year: To understand the complexities of the university tendering processes.

What university facilities do you use: We are spoilt with the choice in eateries, and I was delighted when my deputy introduced me to the various venues: breakfast one day, brunch another and then lunch the next. I am still waiting for dinner.

Do you socialise with people at the university? As I live in Bristol, I generally socialise with family and friends. I also spend some time socialising with my BMW 1150cc motorcycle!

Who are the most difficult people you deal with? Managing a diverse group of individuals and teams all with different desires and agendas is tricky.

Communication, communication, communication is the only way to solve these issues.

Best excuses for bad behaviour: "I'm not to blame, it was an initiation ceremony"; "I'm an international athlete"; "Parking should be free"; "The parking permit is in the post".

Do you interact much with other parts of the university? The service operates campus-wide and incorporates elements of CCTV and access control that impact on many of the schools and departments. Regular consultation is essential.

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