Happy Father's Day, at Parcelforce

Parcelforce van driving along country road
17 Jun 2019

Father’s Day is always a big event in the Parcelforce calendar, and not just because the mountain of parcels in our depots goes through the roof: a fair few dads here can call their children ‘colleagues’ too. We caught up with two of those family couples, to see how they balance work and family relationships on such a special day – and throughout the year.

 

The Hughes Family
Dad Peter Hughes, Operations Manager at our Coventry Depot; and Kieran Hughes, Section Manager at Coventry International Hub.

Peter: “I’ve been at Parcelforce for 28 years, this September. I started as a Driver in Birmingham, and was Ops Manager in Birmingham for five years. And I’ve been Coventry Ops Manager now for six years.

“It’s on a par with Rotherham as the biggest Parcelforce depot. We have 140 people, plus 29 Drivers and six managers.”

Taking the initiative

Kieran: “I’ve been here five years now – a lot less than dad! I joined out of school: back when Dad was in Birmingham. There were a couple of part-time jobs going, and I wanted something to do while I was at college. Next thing I knew, I was loading trailers from 4-9pm.

Peter: “I didn’t push Kieran to apply, though I knew he’d enjoy getting into work as soon as possible. His interviewer asked, “Are you Peter’s son”. When he said “yes”, they said they wouldn’t hold it against him!

“It was great timing – I left the Birmingham depot on the Friday, and he started on the Monday!”

Kieran: “I’ve been through a few promotions. I started as Sections Manager for International Exports, and I’m now in charge of General Logistics Systems.

“A lot of people I work with are older than me. But it’s down to your mindset… I’ve worked my way from the loading bays – and I probably get a little respect for that.

“My job involves looking for operational issues and finding ways to overcome them, or improve our processes.

“There’s a lot of collaboration. I recently went over to GLS’s Germany hub. It was great – meeting new people, seeing how they operate and offering suggestions. They were so efficient, but more laid back than I expected. They were all wearing jeans and trainers.

Family reunions

Kieran: “Usually, I see dad once every couple of months at work. But in my new role, we have to review depots. Coventry – his depot – was one of the first ones I had to monitor!

“To be fair to him, he really helped our changes bed in. I also ask him for lots of advice. And since a lot of people move around the business, I always get asked what he’s like to work for as well – ‘firm but fair’, I usually say.”

Friends and rivals

Peter: “It’s probably true. We’re a bit old school. If something’s not right, we’ll face the issue, come up with a solution and sort it out. He looks like me, so I expect he’ll be going grey soon too!”

Kieran: “I live at home with dad. But we’re on different shifts. So we only have a few hours together during the day.

“In fact, I’ve actually sent him a work email while we’re both working at home. I didn’t call him Dad, but I was tempted to!”

Peter: “It’s not always plain sailing around the house: he’s a Birmingham City fan, I’m Villa.

“It’s my fault in a round-about way. I once had the keys to his Brummy uncle’s house – went there and stuck up pictures of Villa players everywhere.

“His revenge was to take Kieran to a Blues game without telling me.”

The perfect Father’s Day?

Kieran: “He’s lucky if he gets a card. I’d like to think his first Father’s Day was the best – all the photos I’ve seen of myself as a baby – he’s there too – fast asleep!”

Peter: “Well. My children don’t do much for Father’s Day as a rule. But Kieran did take me out for a pint once. I’m hoping for a holiday to Spain this year to make up for all the barren years!”

Kieran: “One thing’s for sure, I’ll be addressing my card ‘Happy Father’s Day, grumpy!’

 

The McKean Family

Dad Danny McKean, Regional Manager Scotland and Northern Ireland, and daughter Samantha McKean, Debrief Support Glasgow Depot.

Samantha: “I’ve been here five years now. I started part-time on the phones and now I’m full-time Debrief Support.

Danny: “She actually did some peak work for us when she was younger. And before she joined, she was doing three jobs – in a care home, at Primark and here. She’s a real grafter; a lot like myself when I was younger.

“When she applied for the Debrief job, I had to get a manager from outside the depot to do the interviews. That way, no one could say that – if she got the job – it was because she was my daughter. She’s really flying now.”

A wide-ranging career

Danny: “It’s certainly different to when I joined. As a Driver 30 years ago, a two-day ‘Super Service’ was seen as quick!

“I’ve gone through different management roles ­– I was the Operations Manager who opened up the Glasgow site 11 years ago. And about 18 months ago, I was promoted to Regional Operations Manager.

“The job’s really varied. I have a lot of meetings. Sometimes about strategy, sometimes with depot managers about KPIs, improvements and operational things.

“There’s a lot of travelling and overnight hotels too. Plus, I have national meetings in places like Milton Keynes. Trains, planes, ferries, my car – I use them all, regularly.

Debriefing the team

Samantha: “I used to see him all the time when he was Operations Manager here. But I probably only see him once a week these days.

“There’s a lot else to focus on anyway: like my drivers. As part of Debrief, I find out how their days were – the deliveries they made, timings, how the vans were filled up and what we can do to make things even smoother.

“I do think people saw me as ‘Danny’s daughter’ at first. But as time’s gone on, people just see me as me.

Danny: “She probably doesn’t realise it, but she’s got a lot of the traits I have – especially when it comes to doing things right.”

Samantha: “Parcelforce has been good to both of us. You see, he and my mum split up when I was nine. So I only got to see Dad at the weekends. Getting the job here meant I saw him a lot more.

“Parcelforce also introduced me to my boyfriend – who’s a driver here.

Danny: “It is nice seeing Samantha around the depot. We don’t lunch. But we do make time pretty much every weekend. And on the occasions I don’t see her, I see her blue Staffy – my ‘grandpuppy’, as we call her.

One special day

Samantha: “Last year, for Father’s Day, we went to the Butchershop over in the West End of Glasgow for dinner. It was lovely; just the two of us.

Danny: “I love Father’s Day. Samantha actually insists on it just being the two of us. One year she made an album with pictures from when she was born – I always say she could bring tears to a glass eye.

“I guess, with two older brothers ­– they don’t do too much, they’re boys – everything she does make her look good. But I don’t think she realises just how thoughtful she is.

Samantha: “I haven’t planned this year yet. I might get my dog involved – they’re thick as thieves the two of them. And food. It’ll have to include food.”

Danny: “Just spending time together is always fun. We’re busy people. She’s full time. Got a house. I’m busy too. I’d be happy sat somewhere nice putting the world to rights.”

And the card?

Samantha: “It’ll say something like, ‘You’re my best friend’. I always make him a personalised one with pictures of us. I know he likes to keep them.”

 

We’re really proud to have a working environment here that helps families as well as colleagues to get along so well.

Think that’s something you’d like to be enjoying when next Father’s Day rolls around? Visit our careers section to find out more.

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