This Sunday we catch up with the fabulous Claire McDiarmid. Claire's week involves such a great variety of jobs we just had to find out more; from Administration and Marketing Officer at St Johns Shopping Centre to Office Manager and Sheep Chaser on a farm!
1. What does a typical day at work look like for you?
My day starts at 6.30 am walking the dogs, mucking out horses, then scrubbing the mud and hay off in an attempt to make myself presentable for seeing actual people at work. My job is a pretty good mix of varied tasks, which really suits both the OCD and the chaotic aspects of my brain. As such there is no typical day!
On arrival at work I get a quick brief from Security about what’s been going on that morning then head to my PC to check emails: it’s amazing how many seem to appear overnight!
Mornings are normally for administration: processing and approving invoices; updating various spreadsheets with meter readings and waste or energy consumption, ordering hygiene or office supplies. I’m also involved in Health and Safety on site, so have to liaise with suppliers or contractors to get their documents and raise work permits.
There are a lot of phone calls, and a lot of reports to write on trade, commercialisation, local news, energy usage, and marketing.
I try to chat with retailers often and informally about any offers they have, how recent trade’s been, any operational issues that they’re having etc. We also exchange a good bit of local gossip and I seem to provide a surprising amount of counselling!
I try to keep marketing til the afternoon (as it’s a bit more interesting!) I’ll update our website with retailer offers or job vacancies, possibly some news articles, and will schedule a few Facebook posts. I love to find a good shopping meme! There might be a bit of event management for our next campaign too. A big part of my job is keeping the London-based management team up to date with what’s going on in Perth, so I have Google Alerts set up for just about everything and love an internet trawl for what’s happening locally.
My Wednesdays start with a slightly longer lie, PROPER COFFEE, a beasting from my personal trainer, then off to the farm to do some paperwork and book-keeping for Dad. This ranges from helping with the various forms and surveys that farmers have to complete, raising and processing invoices, chasing money, compiling quotations or dealing with suppliers.
They also regularly steal me for chasing and wrestling sheep, lambing, or clipping cows. There’s a lot of, “Could you just…” and “If you get a minute…”.
2. What signals the start of your weekend / days off?
Friday nights are my favourite! I pop in to Excel Wines on my way home to get weekend rations, pop them in the fridge to chill, then head down to the farm to play with the ponies.
3. What makes for a perfect night in?
My husband Doads, Highland Drovers Ribeye steak, fizz, dogs snoozing on my feet and a boxset or new film to watch.
4. What makes for a memorable day or night out?
Any night out with my friends are always memorable, whether we’re out for dinner, at a house for Cake Club, or even a day at the races. I’m really lucky that any night out I have with them is always a great laugh-til-you-cry affair, with opportunities for the occasional rant.
5. Tell us about the weekend you’d love to live again?
So many amazing weekends… When we get a rare weekend off together we really try to make the most of it. Probably one that stands out is when I’d just taken my IOSH (health and safety) exam (the day after Ladies Day! Ooft!) in Glasgow. Doads met me at the train station and whisked me off to a log cabin at Strathyre that had a private hot tub. He’d also booked Monachyle Mhor for dinner and arranged a taxi. It was all a top secret and I was very impressed! We had three days of just us and the dogs, a hot tub, fizz, and crap telly. I wanted to cry when it was time to leave as I felt so relaxed ☹
6. And now your best ever day at work?
My best EVER day at work was probably the 2012 Christmas Lights Switch On when Mark Wright came to Perth. It was incredibly manic and stressful for us all as we never dreamed that it would be that busy, but people were still in the shops buying things until closing time. It was the best day that any of my retailers had had and footfall was up over 30% with stores taking two and three times what they had taken the year before. That Sunday was also up massively in terms of both footfall and sales. That was a lovely report to send to the landlord!
7. Any workday or weekend rituals?
Most of my rituals seem to focus on coffee. Coffee for a lazy morning start. Coffee for a stressful work afternoon.
8. What’s in the perfect day off breakfast?
I love days off when I have time for a big pot of real coffee from ground beans (mum bought me a proper coffee machine to feed my coffee habit), then pancakes cooked by Doads (mine are rubbish!) with crispy bacon and maple syrup.
9. Any words of wisdom for us?
Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do.