Continuing this month’s focus on the role of our contact centre, our latest My World article features call centre operator, Chris Whyte.
What attracted you to working in SEPA?
I’m from the Granite City and the son of a family that, at every step of the way, nudged and coaxed me away from a life in the North Sea. Having studied computing at university, I bounced through several countries and industries looking for a role fit to my early life choices and eventually trained in Newcastle to become a wind turbine technician. Though it was nice to be having my lunches at the top of a 100m wind turbine, it was there that I took the call that led me to a position at SEPA’s East Kilbride Office. Quite quickly I realised that SEPA was the place for me. I had never considered it as a career option before, and now take great pride in building a partnership with our customers and being able to play my part in protecting Scotland’s beautiful environment.
What work are you involved in?
In October 2013, I was delighted to secure a permanent role at SEPA’s Angus Smith Building as a member of the SCC night-shift team. My twilight hour colleagues and I complete the 24/7 cycle for the contact centre, working from 21:45 to 08:15 and 08:00 to 08:00 on a weekend. Starting out at the SCC, I provided the core functions of internal and external safety cover as well as being the team’s magnet for 8am pollution calls or emergency service events. As the job has progressed, the work is increasingly varied and I enjoy my involvement in both the Expenses Administration and Location Code teams.
One of the best parts the job is that I’m lucky enough to work back to back with all the SCC shift patterns. This has provided me with the opportunity to moonlight, or should I say ‘daylight’, alongside both the weekday and weekend staff, giving me a great insight into the variety of services that our department provides around the clock.
What are your green credentials?
Much like my colleagues before me it will be no great surprise that I wear my SEPA badges of honour proudly as I diligently recycle, eat consciously and take the opportunity to spend my weekends out and about soaking up everything Scotland has to offer. I’m also a massive fan of doing the charity shop run and never miss an opportunity to grab a bargain or a second hand project to upcycle.
What is your favourite Scottish environment?
My grandparents were from Strathdon, nestled not too far from the bottom of the Lecht, so I would have to say that my favourite Scottish environments are found sledging in the tyre indents left by tractors or cutting around what seems like endless unexplored fir tree forests. More recently though, since moving to Glasgow, I’ll take any opportunity to cycle out to Balloch, secure some fish ‘n’ chips, watch the sunset over Loch Lomond and catch the last train home.