At her job as a customer service agent at ScotRail, Lorna Duthie starts assisting passengers as early as 6:15 am and customer satisfaction is at the heart of everything she does. Lorna also tells us how she inspired by her daughter and how she copes with her illness and all about her run-in with legendary British funnyman Norman Wisdom. She even fills us in on her worst job ever as an au-pair which is turning out to be a surprisingly common least favourite job amongst our Workdays and Weekends interviewees!
What does a typical day at work look like for you?
On a morning shift, I start at 6:15 am and on a late, I start at 2:30 pm, my job is customer service which involves assisting passengers with luggage etc. on and off of trains. Assisting passengers to obtain the correct information regarding train times, cancellations, assistance when customers need it at the TVM. Ensuring the safety of all passengers and staff is maintained at all times by liaising with British transport police. When trains are delayed/cancelled I am responsible for organising other transport and ensuring all customers are happy and satisfied with the change of circumstances. I am responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of the front of the station and ensuring passengers safety when operating the gates.
What signals the start of your weekend/days off?
I usually go to my friend's house for a cuppa and a catch up to plan my days off. You will usually find us in one of Perth's many cafes having lunch, or if the weather is nice ill have friends over, sitting in my garden with a pot of coffee putting the worlds to rights.
What might people be surprised to know about you?
I once met Norman Wisdom... and never realised it was indeed Norman wisdom. I was drinking in his company for some hours, as the night was getting on and I was getting rather squiffy I kept saying u remind me of Norman Wisdom, everyone kept laughing and I wondered what was so funny. After many more hours, he put me out of my misery and told me he was, in fact, Norman Wisdom, gave me his autograph and did a cracking impression of Mr Grimsdale. I must add I was only 18 at the time and he was up visiting Pitlochry theatre at the time, he was lovely.
Top of your bucket list?
I would like to go to New York.
Worst job you've ever had?
I was an au-pair in London at the age of 23 and hated every minute of it, I missed my small country life and friends. London can be a very lonely place.
Who or what inspires you?
My daughter Hannah inspires me. At the age of 15 she left school and filled
my house full of certificates, she had her career and life planned out. Due to illness, she had to give up on her dreams and slow down a bit. After a 2 year break, she is now starting small and working towards new dreams and aspirations. For such a young age Hannah teaches me something new every day, she has taught me that even when our life doesn't go to plan or the way we want it to not to let it burden our lives. Hannah always says we have 2 choices in life, 1 we control our lives or 2 we let life control us! When she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia she said 'ill control it, it won't control me' I have watched her struggle with her illness and also trying to control it. But she is always so positive and looking forward to the next day, which she says 'Tomorrow hasn't happened yet, don't stress about what could happen tomorrow! Because I might just jump out of bed.... or not) but don't worry. I always try and keep Hannah's positive energy in mind when I go into a slump.
Tell us about the weekend you'd love to live again?
The weekend I'd most love to live again would be doing the 26-mile Moonwalk in aid of breast cancer. I walked to support my friend Tracey who was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. The walk was so inspiring with woman/men/kids from all walks of life with their own individual story in why they were doing it. I walked the 26 miles on my own with just my thoughts, I had plenty of time to reflect on life. This was both very rewarding and satisfying for me. I will definitely be up next year!
What's the best part of your job?
In truth? The people I work with, I couldn't ask for a better team to work with. Every day is a fun day and we all keep each other going.
What's the perfect day-off breakfast?
I'm not going to lie, I go to work every morning pop into the station costa and get a coffee and almond croissant..... this is heaven every morning.
Complete the sentence; the best things in life are...
Peace, quiet and tranquillity. the simple things in life are best.... walking my dogs in a remote place for hours on end is my idea of heaven.