07:00 – Alarm goes. Shower, dress and pack bag.
08:30 – Leave for work. If it’s raining, take the bus (gets me in a little early). If it’s sunny, walk. If going over to Vines at Redhill or Gatwick, this is usually when I get picked up.
09:00 – Start work. Settle down with a cup of tea, and switch on the PC. Open CloseIt (in-office messaging system) and Microsoft Outlook to check the marketing email account. Deal with any incoming email enquiries, mostly by forwarding them onto the relevant department – sales, parts, customer service…
09:30 – Check through to-do list. There is something different to do everyday. First, deal with any urgent matters. On one day, I had just an hour to design a poster in Word to Corporate Identity. If I have an event the next day, check what needs to be done to get it 100% ready and do that as a priority, such as mountains of printing or sending a reminder text to customers. Sometimes I have meetings with other staff members, potential suppliers or thebestofguildford.
13:00 – Take lunch break. This is more than halfway through the day so I know when I get back I’d have less time to go than I had in the morning. Lunch was eaten in the staff kitchen, where we had an opportunity to hear about how business was going in the other parts of the company (and watch the Olympics!).
14:00 – Return to work. This is the time when all the standard daily tasks were done, although if there were few emails and little urgent tasks I would get started on them in the morning. Common tasks include:
- emailing or phoning customers about our upcoming events that they have expressed an interest in
- researching social media usage by other BMW and MINI dealers
- researching product placement locations for cars or advertising materials, such as the Belfry in Redhill
- contacting suppliers regarding upcoming events – everything from catering to magicians, soft play areas and grand pianos
- creating promotional material for advertising both in-store and externally, and direct mail
- stuffing ALL the envelopes
16:00 – Quarantined emails come through. This last hour of work is incredibly busy, because a lot of emails with attachments (and therefore often fairly important) get quarantined.
16:55 – Start finishing up. Tidy up desk and rewrite to-do list for tomorrow.
17:15 – Leave for bus. I usually get the bus home because work can be pretty tiring.
17:45 – Get home and switch off. The advantage of being low-level in a company means you really can leave work at work. Make the most of the evening: meeting friends, watching TV, reading a book; and try to get to bed by midnight to make sure I get seven hours of sleep before tomorrow.
However, many things threw this rough schedule completely out the window. If I went over to the other sites, I couldn’t access my computer files at all. And naturally, in the run-up to My Top Secret Event, there was far more focus on getting customers booked and suppliers sorted than making sure that marketing enquiries were forward first thing in the morning or leaving on time.