Tea and a chat - Osman Ghaffar, Stock Condition Surveyor
Category: testimonial, Flexible Working, Working from Home, What Our People Say, Staff Testimonial, Supported Housing, PA Housing, home working, COVID-19, flexibility, covid, social care
Today, Osman joins us via Zoom to talk about starting his new job just three days before lockdown, and how he plans his days – always starting with feeding the birds in his garden.
What is your average day usually like?
I started working at PA Housing in March, and I only had three days in the office before lockdown, so I didn't have chance to get into a routine – I didn't even manage to meet everyone in my team in-person.
Generally, my job involves spending a lot more time out on-site than in the office – I'd have only ever been in Case Housing two or three days a week, but that time sitting next to people, and being physically around them, is always beneficial, especially when you're new to a job – it helps you to pick things up a lot more quickly.
What has your average day been like during the Covid-19 crisis?
I always spend time first thing planning my day and deciding exactly where I need to go, and then I just go for it. At the moment, all of my work is in London and is focused on externals, so I'll arrive on-site and go about identifying any defects or problems with the outside of buildings – the roof coverings, windows, driveways – I take photos and record elevations, vigilantly recording everything I see.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned during this unusual time?
I may not have been around them much, but I've learned just how nice everyone in my team is. They've been so supportive. Everyone seems very level-headed.
Being new to the organisation, I've been pleasantly surprised by how quickly PA was able to run things around at the beginning of lockdown, getting everything together and ensuring people were productive.
What is your favourite part of your job?
I’ve been a Stock Condition Surveyor for eight years, most recently working on a self-employed basis for a contractor, and the thing I like most about my job has always been the same: being out and about.
I like working with tenants and doing my best to resolve issues for them. People can get very frustrated, and I think it's important that we, as surveyors, give them our full attention and really listen to what they're saying.
What would you say makes you unique?
I don't know how unique it is, but I always start my day by feeding the birds in my garden. I love nature and animal, and I like to sure my garden is a friendly place for them – the feeders are always full.
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