Welcome to HSSCU’s Staff Focus!
We are delighted to introduce you to our James’s St. Branch Manager – Ruth! Our James’s St. branch takes care of the Dublin 8 community and Ruth is the powerhouse behind it all. A working mom with 3 daughters, Ruth balances a busy home and work-life and is an inspiration to us all! Below she tells us about managing her life, the ongoings of our Dublin 8 branch and how she has taught herself how to crochet to relax and unwind 🙂
Hi Ruth, firstly tell us a little bit about yourself!
I’m from Dublin and live with my husband of 20 years, Cathal, and our 2 daughters, Caitlin and Aisling.
What led you to working in the Credit Union Movement?
I started working for the HSSCU back in 1990, not long after I finished secondary school. My original position was Clerical Officer and we were based in St Brendan’s’ Hospital in Grangegorman.
You work in our James’s St. office, but you used to be based in High St. – How are the branches different?
I’ve been based in the James’s Street Branch since March 2019. The work ethic is the same in all of our branches, but we get more members in James’s Street from the local community and many members from St. James’s Hospital. We’re a much smaller team than High Street, there’s 6 of us in the branch. The branch here reminds me of our days in Grangegorman, I love it.
What is an example of a general day in your role?
There are no 2 days the same. I’m here as a support to the staff in branch, we have a great Team-Coordinator, Johanne, who looks after the day to day office workload for the team. I’m usually in my office, helping out with queries that come in and looking after the back-office operations. I also report to our Branch Liaison Manager, and the Senior Management Team.
Our James’s branch is in one of our 2 community common bonds. How is it serving the community of Dublin 8?
Our members from the local area are so lovely. We have regular members who come in for a chat every week and we look forward to seeing them. During lockdown, we really missed our members who were cocooning, so we phoned as many of them as we could to see how they were managing, and to see if they needed anything.
How have things changed since COVID-19?
We have had to make some changes to our working environment and also changes to the member area at reception to ensure social distancing. This keeps all members and staff safe. The member area looks a bit strange at the moment, but the members are getting used to our “New Normal”.
You are one of our fantastic mothers in HSSCU! What tips do you have for balancing work and family at this time?
Even though my girls are teenagers, we try to sit at the table every evening for dinner as a family, it gives us the opportunity to catch up with each other without distractions such as tv or our phones. The girls have been at home since March and didn’t get to sit their exams (Junior & Leaving Cert) and they’re bored at home so it’s important to catch up with them in the evenings and spend some time together.
How do you keep sane at this time?
I’ve taken up crochet again after a break of about 7 years, it’s a really relaxing way of switching off.
What are your guilty pleasures to help you through the pandemic?
Online shopping (I really need to stop) and watching cheesy comedy programmes, for example “Benidorm” on Netflix 😊
What is your favourite thing about working in HSSCU?
I love the camaraderie amongst the staff and the relationship that we have with our members. I’m very proud of the great service we give to our members.
The Galways office loves red velvet cake – what is the snack of the moment in James’s St. have any favourite treats?
Honestly, we’re not fussy at all, but crisps and chocolate would be our favourites 😊
Do you have any shows or movies you’d recommend we watch to brighten up our days – or anything else that’s getting you through COVID?
It’s a running joke in our house that I can’t stay awake long enough to watch a whole movie, but I’ve been re-watching the comedy series “Scrubs” online for the last few weeks.
Lastly, what, in your opinion, makes credit unions different to other places you’ve worked?
I don’t have much to compare to as I’ve worked here all my adult life, but I love that the Credit Union invests in its staff. HSSCU has given me many opportunities over the years and I still love coming to work every day.