It’s Spring...its official!

With Good Friday, the changing of the clocks, Easter Sunday, daffodils and the familiar Katie Sweep‘SCWAR’ of the chattering Jackdaws down the chimney… there is no doubt whatsoever Spring is here.

I for one am certainly glad of a little sunshine to follow on from what has been a fairly reasonable winter, apart from the flooding that is, and a few friendly named storms, my favorite recent one being called storm Katie. But at least we did have an odd flurry of snow so people feel we have actually had a winter.

Much like spring there is never a dull moment for myself and the Katie Sweep team here in Yorkshire. We have very exciting, very top secret developments under way, happening in the not too distant future. Sadly, I cannot reveal much more at the moment so I will have to leave you in suspense until next month’s diary.  But just a little mention and a big thank you to all at HETAS for all your help and advice over the last few weeks, I was most impressed with how helpful and friendly everyone I have spoken to has been.

Amongst other seasonal changes for us this month our lovely receptionist lady, Danielle is sadly leaving us but for very good reason that she is going on to pursue her career in nursing in which we fully support her and I am very pleased that her caring nature will be getting put to good use in such an admirable profession.Its Spring its Official.

So after a very successful Facebook campaign that amazingly spread the word across the entire country about our upcoming vacancy, we had a brilliant response and so it has been all go for me sorting through all the application and CV’s I had received, interviewing some very nice ladies and I am now very pleased to confirm we have filled our vacancy and will be welcoming Jessica to our sweep team towards the end of April. We look forward to her getting started and showing her the ropes, undoubtedly with a few learning curves along the way.

It was not until I started to write up the requirements needed for our vacancy before the search began that I realized what a truly important role it is that we were looking to fill, in the job advertisement I said amongst other things ‘’This vacancy is for a key member of our team who will be the first person our customers deal with when booking their sweeping service so it is really important for us to find just the right person for the job.’’ - No pressure then Jessica!

There is another Yorkshire Sweep we know of … who I really hope does not happen to read my monthly diary … we have quite a few customers who have formally used or have attempted to use his service until they have had run-ins with his reportedly abrupt Mother who deals with his bookings in for him. The poor customer’s (again reportedly) has been grilled about the type of chimney they have and the type of access their appliance has and so on. Any sweep will tell you that their customers are more often than not fairly clueless about such things and just want to simply get their chimney booked for sweeping. So in the case of the other sweeps Mother if their answers were not satisfactory she refused to book them in!
We are secretly always quite amused when hearing these tales.

We always try our very best to make the whole sweeping process as straightforward, friendly and informative as possible for our customers, and our new receptionist Jessica will play a big part in making everything nice and straight forward for us all, a process we convey throughout the business. I believe people have enough stresses in life without there annual sweep turning in to one of them.

Its Spring it's OfficialSome things have remained the same as ever, over this last month such as the usual discovery of corroded stainless steel flexible liner (not helping that particular customers stress levels), customers not being in for their arranged appointments, sigh! (not helping our stress levels).

But we can’t complain too much as compared to our usual quieter spell we often have at this time of year, we thankfully seem to have maintained a steady flow of work, which I hasten to add we have worked hard over the years to set in place. But it is nice to see the hard work paying off.

But even in earlier spring in our steadier years we have always had our annual customers who ring in a panic as the jackdaws descend! it almost sounds a bit like a horror film with the dropping of stick after stick down their chimney’s, causing soot fall’s and filling their chimney with nesting material (a serious fire hazard) and even actually having the odd jackdaw visitor make a surprise appearance, usually in the best room. I suppose it is a bit like an invasion of the birds… not to mention they can actually kill you by completely blocking up your chimney causing poisonous and even deadly Carbon Monoxide to fill the room, so they are right to be most concerned.

Yet despite all this with the arrival of the Spring Jackdaws I find myself fondly reminiscing about Captain Jack, a baby jackdaw I rescued from a customer’s chimney years ago, who instead of flying the nest decided to stay and became our friend, I wrote all about him in March 2015 diary entry if you are interested to know a little more about his story.

Its Spring its Official 3.I have recently returned from another Biomass road trip, all the way to Coventry this time and it was all very successful and fascinating as ever. It was then homeward bound to complete the paperwork that goes along with it, which almost takes as long to complete as the actual sweeping itself.

With the end of the financial year just around the corner it is almost time to be getting all the books in order and sent off to the accountants, a dull yet essential job to add to the ‘to do’ list but I am one for getting it done and out of the way sooner rather than later, it can then be forgotten about for another year.

It is the eagerly anticipated NACS exhibition this month, (15th and 16th April) down at Stratford Upon Avon and it will actually be my first visit believe it or not. Last year I was 8 and a half months pregnant so thought I best not risk the trip, and now this year I will defiantly be attending and bringing along my 11-and-a-half-month old little boy. I look forward to seeing everyone there and discovering what’s on offer in terms of the seminars and trade stands. Hopefully see you there!

In other news before I go, I have just discovered Linked In! with being new to it I haven’t quite worked it out fully, but from what I have gathered so far it is a bit like Facebook for businesses. It allows individuals and businesses to showcase what they do and offers networking opportunities with other businesses in related fields, it seems rather good on first impressions. Please do look me up if you use it also. Any beginner’s tips are more than welcome. Another one to add to the social media collection!

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