Today, we chat with two of our newer Field technicians – Robyn and Abi. Both have busy jobs in Bristol, supporting our customers and keeping them connected. As they both started in the midst of a pandemic, we wanted to learn more about what life’s like and what the challenges have been during these strange times.
How long have you been a part of the Virgin Media team?
Robyn: I’ve been with the business since November 2019. I joined and got trained up just before Covid 19 took hold. It was a baptism of fire!
Abi: I started in March 2020. I’d already resigned from my job in retail, but hadn’t started at Virgin Media, when the first lockdown happened. It was all a bit of a worry, but the team were amazing. They adapted their normal classroom based training so that we could be trained out in the field alongside our colleagues.
What’s the training to become a field technician then?
Abi: In more normal times, you’d have 2 weeks of dedicated classroom based training to learn the foundational stuff you need, and then you’d be assigned a mentor who’d take you out with them, to learn in a more practical way.
In my case, I jumped straight into the deep end. I spent the first 6 weeks being mentored by a ‘master technician’ who’s been in the business for 24 years. Then I was lucky enough to spend time under Robyn’s guidance, before being released into the real world, with real customers of my own.
What was it like starting a new job during a pandemic?
Robyn: It’s not for the faint hearted, but I feel so grateful for our amazing and supportive team. The Bristol field technician community are only ever a call away and they’re always happy to share great knowledge and encouragement.
Abi: I totally agree. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to ‘go it alone’ when I left Robyn’s side and started customer visits by myself. But she taught me well and I’ve learnt to trust my instincts, be brave enough to ask as many questions as I need to and use the abundance of knowledge around me. The support network really is incredible.
What was the biggest challenge that 2020 threw at you?
Robyn: With both Covid and Brexit happening at the same time, we experienced some supply chain issues with some of our customer equipment – like the boosters for example. If you’re in this job, you make it your mission to help as many customers as you can. The last thing that you want is to have to leave a job without resolving the problem – so it was hard that in some cases we had to do that.
Sometimes things don’t always go to plan, but it shows the way our team pulls together too. Whilst we were waiting on more stock, we were constantly phoning each other to see what everyone had on our vans, and sharing stuff out so that everyone could keep going.
Abi: Absolutely, team play is a big deal for us here. My biggest challenge was getting to grips with the unpredictability of the job. The weather, the customers, the faults, the environments – you never quite know exactly what to expect until you arrive. I honestly believe that this job’s open to everyone, but it’s a ‘hands on, roll your sleeves up’ kind of role, so you’ve got to be hardy.
What’s been your biggest highlight?
Robyn: It is genuinely the best feeling in the world when you visit a customer who’s on their own, and you’re able to get them back up and running. It’s a lifeline for them, especially right now, so you know you’re making a difference. It’s also amazing to surprise customers who are expecting to see a male technician arrive, only to find me on their doorstep. I’ve had a couple of times lately where kids have shown a real interest in what we do and I love that I might be part of inspiring the next generation of engineers and technicians.
Check out the latest Field Technician vacancies here!
We’ve got 10 vacancies