In July 2017 I became a Firefighter. A 6 month recruitment process followed by 6 months of intensive training culminated in me becoming a fully fledged On Call Firefighter in the place that I live.
Being a Firefighter is intense, exhilarating, exciting, frightening, fun. Not words I usually use about my 20 years working in Oracle HCM and Payroll, leading and delivering Managed Service and Support services. But after 12 months “on the run” (Firefighter speak for being available to respond to emergencies) I realise there are a number of similarities between these two really diverse parts of my life.
They both have a whole, unique language associated with them.
“Just run a QP”, “rollback”, “Make pumps 4”, “SQL”, “PDA” , “BA”, “Alpha Entry Control”, “RTC” and whole raft of overt three letter acronyms.
There is much more to the job than meets the eye.
Check out #notjustfires on Twitter to see the diverse range of incidents that Fire fighters respond to. Fires, RTCs (road traffic collisions), floodings, assisting the ambulance service, animal rescues, water-based incidents, people trapped, working at height. Firefighters need to be equipped and prepared to turn their hand to almost anything.
This is the same of the Claremont Managed Service consultants, you have no idea what the next client request will be. Payroll, Recruitment, Compensation Workbench, Self Service, Workflow, Technical, Functional, Legislative, Recruitment, Time and Labour… If it’s part of the Oracle suite, we need to cover it.
Dropping everything to help someone.
The response time and SLAs offered to our customers are not quite as stringent as the 4 minute turnout time (The time I have from my alerter going to being on the Fire engine and good to go) I have as a fire fighter. But, fundamentally, if a client has a major issue we drop everything, we help them and we keep helping them until the issue is resolved.
A “watch” on a Firestation is a team of Firefighters who eat, sleep, train and work together.
Their lives depend upon each other, they have varying levels of experience, specialist areas of expertise; but are all pulling in the same direction; all trust each other and know that they can rely on their colleagues.
Some of these traits are also similar in the Oracle Support Teams (we don’t quite eat and sleep together) that I have been a part of. Everyone in our team has a solid grounding in Oracle HCM and Payroll but we have our CWB specialist (Ed), our tech specialist (Mark), our legislation specialist (Geoff). We watch out for each other, we teach each other, we help each other, we support each other. We work together closely every day to try and help our clients.
Being proactive and ensuring that the people in my community are safe.
As a Fire fighter I spend a significant amount of time supporting community fire safety events, visiting local schools to talk to the children, attending village fetes and performing home fire safety checks. While there I ensure that you have a smoke alarm on each floor of your house, that you test them frequently (#testittuesday), have an escape plan and talk to your kids about it, that you think about when you use your Dishwasher, Tumble dryer and Washing Machine.
Equally within Claremont we spend our time doing proactive activities with our clients, it’s much easier to prevent an issue rather than try and fix an issue under pressure. Patch analysis, TYE preparation.
Thanks to Claremont
Obviously, Oracle HCM and Payroll will never be life or death (I hope) but as an Oracle Managed Service / Support partner we are committed to our clients for the long term. These two diverse bits of my life boil down to the same thing. Wanting to help people, support and provide a service, but most importantly doing it well. A special thank you to Claremont for being a great employer and giving me the flexibility and time to be an On Call Fire Fighter.