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A career ladder interview with one of our longest standing Drainage Technicians
David Nicholson, (52) who lives in Kendal, is a drainage service technician for the well-known company Drain Doctor where he has been providing excellent service here in the north west of England.
He has a strong work ethic which he is pleased to have passed onto his two children. David is also an avid Blackburn Rovers fan and proudly holds a season ticket.
When he is not spending time with his family, David can be found indulging in his other favourite hobby of gardening.
What school did you go to?
I attended Longlands Boys School in Kendal.
What was your favourite subject?
My favourite subject had to be the film making course. I did thoroughly enjoy woodwork, however I wasn’t very good at it.
What qualifications did you leave with?
Most surprising one which has stuck in my mind was a Grade C in metalwork – which bizarrely was a subject that I didn’t like at all, but it obviously highlighted that I was good with my hands which of course still holds true now with my job with Drain Doctor.
Did you go onto further/higher education - if so, where and what to study?
It wasn’t for me, I really wanted to get into the workplace where my strengths are. In my first week after leaving school I applied for a job at Quiggins Kendal Mint Cake Company, the day after the boss came to my house and said ‘can you start tomorrow!’
The next morning I proudly took up my role as a sugar boiler and confectioner, I had my first job with a company who are still famous to this day for their fantastic Kendal mint cake.
What was the best advice/learning you got at school or college?
When I was at school there was a huge pressure on young boys to steer towards a career in the army. I always knew that I wanted to work and even when a number of my friends joined the army, I stuck to my guns and started to look for a job. If I could give one piece of advice now it would be to focus on what you want to do and something that you will enjoy.
What was your ambition before you got your first job?
I did fancy working as an electrician, but my path took me another route in those early days. But here I am now working in a trade as a plumber, so I think I was on the right track back then.
What jobs had your family done in the past?
My father was an electrician and my family seem to have the hands on skills required by people in the trades, so I think it was in my genes!
What has been your career path between your first job and the one you do today?
After working at Quiggins for a number of years, I worked with Nick Birtles, (who now owns Drain Doctor north west) and we set up a window cleaning business, we have worked really well together for many years. Eventually Nick decided to look into another business opportunity and he decided to buy the very successful Drain Doctor franchise which of course I now work for, as a qualified drainage & plumbing technician.
What's the best thing about your job?
I don’t think there is just one thing, I really enjoy my job, I have increased my skills set by attaining qualifications including NVQs and City and Guilds and doing a number of courses which are required to do my job. We use a lot of technical equipment such as CCTV for drain surveys, but we also are trained in customer service, we are known as the best in our business so we want to keep it that way!
We provide a 24 hour service and our work is guaranteed, every day is different, no two jobs are the same. The best feeling is coming away with complete satisfaction, knowing that the job is done and we have a very happy customer. We are often called out in an emergency with jobs such as blocked drains, leaks, flooding etc. so we really make a difference to our customers’ day, literally!
As Drain Doctor covers a wide area including Lancaster, Manchester and Cumbria, I do travel around the area a lot which is another perk of the job, as the scenery can be so lovely.
What advice would you give someone starting out today?
I often hear that young people won’t always take some jobs, but my advice would be to take a job and give it a go, absorb all of the knowledge and the experience. You may only be there for a short period of time, but it will expand your skill set and increase your learning and your suitability for other jobs. Take each day as an opportunity to learn and grow.
Drain Doctor North West, Plumbing & Drainage
Telephone: 0333 3233978