20 Years, 20 Stories: 2005 – London Calling


Debbie Kealey

Debbie Kealey

Author Bio

Debbie Kealey, Office Manager and Information Technology Specialist


Author Bio

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I didn’t have the most auspicious start to my career at Confirmit. In fact, a month into my job I resigned. Obviously with little effect as I’m still here over a decade later! It’s not dissimilar to my colleague David’s start, though.

To backtrack a bit, I joined the London office as Office Manager on the first day in  what was then our fancy new office in the city. It was the first time the London team had had an Office Manager and I think it’s fair to say that the job description provided was a bit on the vague side. The upside of this was that I was effectively able to create the role I wanted to perform, which included the usual tasks of keeping an office running smoothly, along with a strong element of IT. The downside was that within a month, I also had a number of duties that I didn’t really feel were a good fit for my skills. So I tried to quit. Fortunately, Tim Hannington who headed up the EMEA sales team (and still does), was able to rejig the position to better fit my plan and we were back on track.

When I joined the Martin Lane office, there were 12 of us and we shared the office space with another company. As the team grew rapidly, we took over the whole space and I ran a big refit to accommodate twice as many people. This led to a rather cozy couple of weeks where people were practically sat on each other’s laps until we were finished. Luckily one thing that defines the London team (and Confirmites in general) is a sense of humor so we got though it with very few arguments and a relatively limited amount of bad language!

The wide range of my role is one of the things I really enjoy. Like Bjorn in the Oslo office, I get involved in a lot of very different things from arranging office parties to making sure the lights stay on. I still love the IT side of things, though now we’re over 60 people, I certainly don’t look after that by myself. I’ve been able to work on several pretty big IT projects though, which often means working with team members from other offices as well which is great. I’ve worked on updates to our intranet, the launch of a new project management system, and my personal favorite, our holiday booking system which I built the prototype for using our own technology. It was really good to be able to have a play with Confirmit Horizons and get a sense of what our customers experience. It’s really pretty good stuff, I recommend it!

The biggest change for me is the number of people in the London office and of course that impacts everything I do. The office I moved into back in 2005 seemed pretty fancy at the time, but looking back, it was a somewhat poky and airless space. It served us very well though, until the day we merged our London and Guildford offices and moved to the Blue Fin Building by the Thames. Now we have over 60 people and we’re adding to that all the time.

For me, the best way to summarize the change is through our summer parties. 10 years ago, 16 of us clambered into a stretch Hummer for a day out at the races. This year, nearly 70 people headed off to an afternoon of archery, human table football and clay pigeon shooting. Funnily enough, although the scale has changed, the atmosphere hasn’t. We all still had a brilliant time, enjoyed each other’s company and shared a few post-archery drinks. Better still, of those 12 people who were there on my first day – half of them were at the bar with me. Again.

I - 2007 Summer party - all 4 team members still here (though usually more appropriately dressed!)

 

II - The entire 2007 London team

 

III - Just some of the London team at the 2016 summer party

 

 

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