Little cogs make big wheels turn

June 30, 2006

Name : Win Kelly

Job : Car-parking administrator at Leeds University.

Salary : Could be a bit more.

Age : 66, but forever young!

Training and experience : My children - four boys and a girl - went to university, but I have a degree from the university of life. I grew up on a council estate in Liverpool. I came to Leeds 13 years ago, having done clerical work for an architect and managed 30 cutters in a protective clothing company. I learnt always to ask for help and lead from behind! I retire in September.

Working hours : Nine to five, but I need to be flexible, especially in August when I have to hand write the car registrations on all 2,000 renewed permits.

How many people do you manage : I am the car-parking department.

Biggest bugbear : Permits, which are awarded on a points system. You qualify for more points if you live far from campus, car share or drop a child off at nursery. There is a long waiting list and applicants can come on to the list with more points than people already on it.

How you solved it : I plan ahead and try not to take things personally.

Worst moment : A professor parked across two spaces and I automatically assumed it was a man. When I called and asked to speak to "him", a woman said crossly: "What makes you think it's a man?" I said: "I just assumed a woman wouldn't do something so stupid." She laughed.

What is you office like : I like it because I can close the door and get on with work. I have a picture of George Clooney on the wall. I think he's lovely.

Do you socialise with people from work? Yes, with Maureen the admin supervisor and people from other departments. We all have a get-together at Christmas.

Who are the most difficult people you deal with and how do you cope? Some staff feel they are more important than the rest of us and should therefore be given a permit on the strength of their position. They don't always realise that it's the little cogs that make the big wheels turn.

Best excuse for bad behaviour : One woman gave me what for after arriving when the car park was full. She later apologised, saying she had been married six months and had her first row with her husband that morning; then she couldn't remember where she'd parked the car!

Your best memory of the university : The security lads have been fantastically supportive. I will really miss them.

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