Welcome to HSSCU’s Staff Focus!
We are delighted to introduce you to our Facilities and Health & Safety Assistant – Louise! Louise is based in our High St. branch, but travels around the country to our 7 branches keeping the show on the road for each office. Having lived in Australia for 3 years, Louise returned and joined HSSCU. She is full of energy, as seen between her busy role and her love for concerts – and her famous performances as a HSSCU Christmas Elf and Summer Sunflower! 🙂
Hi Louise, firstly tell us a little bit about yourself!
Hello 😊 – I’m Louise, from Dublin & have been working in HSSCU since Feb 2018! (Feels like longer, but in a good way!!)
What path led you to working in the Credit Union Movement and what has your time been like at HSSCU?
To be honest, it was a bit of random choice for me! I had just moved back from Australia after almost 3 years away. Before I left, I worked in Pharmacy since school! I wanted a change, but knew I wanted to work with people, on a team and in a role with variety, and that’s exactly what I got!!
What is an example of your general day in HSSCU?
How long do you have?! It may sound cliché, but no two days are ever the same! I work on the Facilities / Health & Safety team with my excellent (& very patient!!) manager, Dee. A typical day can go from ordering supplies, arranging contractors to service machines, liaising with the Board of Directors about up-coming meetings, arranging and booking meetings, travel and accommodation for staff coming to our head office for training, daily reports, minute taking and from May – July each year I look after the Betty Noone Memorial Bursary. I’m sure there’s heaps I’m missing, but that’s the general gist!!
How have things changed since COVID-19?
As I’m sure everyone will agree, quite a lot. I’ve been working from home since March and just getting my head around that was a struggle at the start, but there were plenty of people there to talk to! We use Microsoft Teams and it’s fantastic for keeping in touch with friends when you’re having a… moment… shall we say!! Things are slowly easing and being able to go back into the office 1 day a week is great!! I’m more than ready to get off this coronacoaster!! (sorry, a terrible pun, but I had to 😊!!)
We know you’ve lived in Australia before – what do you find is the biggest difference between Ireland and down under?
It’s an obvious one, and I wish I had a better answer, but… the weather!! It’s such a mood booster when you wake up and 90% of the time it’s sunny!!
You definitely have one of HSSCU’s busiest departments! What is your favourite way to relax and unwind at this time?
I’ve actually gotten back into reading during lockdown life! I recently read “Where the Crawdads Sing” and it’s brilliant. Couldn’t put it down, definitely recommend!!
What guilty pleasures do you have that keep the spirits up?
Online shopping! Myself & the DPD driver are BFF’s now!!
What is your favourite thing about working in HSSCU?
The people I work with! Everyone is so passionate and committed to their roles that it just rubs off on you!! Definitely a sense of community between staff and members! Also, as my role is so varied, I’m always chatting to different people daily. I’m in and out of each department for reports, minutes or orders. This goes for the other branches too. I’m always on the phone annoying the staff there too!! (of course it’s all for official business and not discussing Netflix 😉)
With such a varied role, what are your favourite things that you get to do?
Site visits! Pre-Covid, myself and Dee would do quarterly visits to the other branches around Ireland. This gives us the chance to go and not only do all relevant Health & Safety checks, but to go and see the guys from them offices. Stop and have a quick cuppa and catch up!
We’ve noticed you’re a bit of a concert expert. Who can you not wait to see live once the world is back to normal?
Well considering I missed Kings of Leon, Dermott Kennedy and Damien Dempsey this year already… anyone!! I just love going to gigs and festivals, love the atmosphere (do not love the portaloos!!) and craic!! I’d go see wee Daniel at this rate!!!
Lastly, what, in your opinion, makes credit unions different to other places you’ve worked?
The teamwork. Each department needs the other to thrive. It’s like a domino effect. Everyone has the same end goal, to look after the member!