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40 year long service award - Gill Cowling

Gill Cowling, cash and payments supervisor, celebrates 40 years working for VolkerRail this month; becoming the companies longest serving staff member. We caught up with Gill to reflect on her time with the company.

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Do you remember your first day?
I can remember my first day yes, it was my neighbour actually that got me the job. Back then we were Grant Lyon Eagre and I worked on the great big NCR accounting machines that did everything. 

How has your job role changed between then and now?
I have always worked within finance but I have also done a bit of everything. So I started working on the accounting machines and I did everything from payroll to sales to accounts on those machines.

People may not believe this, but for a long time I was our IT department. We went from the big accounting machines onto floppy disks and I used to analyse everything on those when they came back from the bureau that we used to send all the data to. But really, it has always been finance based.

How does it feel to be reaching 40 years? How do you sum it up?
I can’t believe it really, because it has gone so quickly. It really is something to be with the same firm for such a long time, it’s like having a work family really.

To reach 40 years with the same company is a rare achievement. What would you say is the secret to maintaining a happy, positive approach to a job for so long?
The secret, in my opinion, is the people you work with. I have always worked with really nice, really positive people. I think I am the sort of person that can get on with most people and have always managed to work around any differences I might have had with anybody.

What are you proud of during your time working here?
It wouldn’t just be me personally, but our cash positions have been better than we could ever have expected. So it’s not down to me alone, but the finance team that I have been part of, we have produced yearend figures that were above any expectations. I am proud to have been a part of that.

What is the best thing about working for VolkerRail?
The people, definitely the people. When you look around, especially within my department, it really does feel like a work family to me. I’ve spent a lot of time with the people here and they have seen me through everything. They are always there for you and so is the company as well.