Sunday, December 23, 2012


Steve, me (at the back) Dave Pete, Dave Becky, Colin
Note the company tie and shirts, I must admit that I hated the fact that everyone had to dress the same and I was a bit of a rebel. I always tried to make sure that I looked different, sometimes I even wore my old school tie!
In 1987 I found myself working for Serviscope which was the Visionhire equivalent to TAM Techserve that I had worked for before. TAM Techserve was part of Telefusion and one day we woke up to find that Visionhire had taken over the company! At the time I was based at Whitefield, Manchester. Many friends of mine became redundant or were moved to other service depots. I was moved to Serviscope at Bolton. The depot was modern and quite small, the staff were friendly and the Area Manager was also based there. Moving to Serviscope and Visionhire was a culture shock. It soon became obvious that the company was driven by paperwork of an enormous proportion. You couldn't breathe without consulting company policies and form filling in triplicate! Figures, targets...stock takes...the company was choking to death on its own paperwork. I remember that one girl in the office had to spend over two days each week counting resistors, capacitors and transistors in our component store, then spend another day filling in the forms. The next week the same was repeated again...unbelievable!

I had my own little room, where I worked on audio equipment and computers, it was quite nice really. Sometimes I went out on field service when it was busy, and I had my own little Serviscope Austin Metro. I stayed at Bolton for about a year, during that time I went to training courses at Burnley to learn about the Sinclair Spectrum computer and other machines around at the time. I also did training for installing the new computer EPOS systems that went into the Visionhire shops and service depots. That was quite enjoyable. After a year or so at Bolton along came another takeover...this time Granada! I have to say that I was not surprised at the takeover, Visionhire just didn't have it right, too much paperwork and not enough common sense! An example - Six new Hitachi colour televisions with the same fault - a 6.2volt zener diode short circuit. The central store had non in stock for months and our faulty televisions were needed for loan sets. I suggested going to a local shop to buy some. OMG! You can't do that! Not company policy!!  "Sod it!" I said. I went to Modern Radio in Bolton and had the televisions up and running in less than an hour! I payed for the zener dides myself, cost me 50 pence! Craaaaazy!

Again...another culture change, Bolton depot and lots of other small depots shut down and moved to one big depot at Salford. Serviscope kept it's name along with most of the staff. I ended up at Salford and I hated it! It was disoganised and too big and clumsy. I was lucky though, I only had a few months before getting my degree and having the option of leaving this rat race and doing something completely different. In August 1988 I left and went to university to complete a PGCE and become a teacher. I never looked back...but the year I had at Serviscope in Bolton and the friends I worked with was fun. I wonder where they are now?

A year later after I left Serviscope, the company was sold for £1 to some guy who specialised in disposing of 'poisonous' assets leaving the staff with no redundancy pay or compensation. Some of the staff had worked for the company for many was a horrible thing to do! I am so glad I got out of there!

No comments: