I returned from my most recent trip to the Brooks works at Smethwick last week having had all sorts of news- as well as some fascinating arcana pertaining to venerable English leather saddles- kindly imparted to me. In due course, we’ll be sharing all of it here.
First up on the Order of Business is the result of this year’s Employee Of The Year. Normally reported on in our annual paper, The Brooks Bugle, it appears that at the time the Bugle was going to the printers it wasn’t immediately clear which of the nominees had in fact been awarded the title.
Production Supervisor Barbara Lawrence was kind enough to introduce me to the winner on my visit. And Barbara’s a good judge. She has been a cornerstone at Brooks for over thirty years, as was her mother before her.
Office Manager Steve Green has been around at Brooks a while too. We let him take up the story…
A Blossoming Corn Poppy Flower – Malgorzata Krawczyk
When Goisa first began to work for Brooks in August 2005, she was really quite a timid and shy young girl, with a very pale complexion and maybe even a little underweight. Some of her new Brooks colleagues were somewhat surprised and taken aback by her, as only 6 months prior, we had employed her younger, and somewhat more outgoing sister, Agneska.
Unperturbed, Goisa set about her assigned tasks diligently, with a refreshing air of gusto and never a word of discontent or disinterest from her lips. It very soon became apparent to her colleagues and supervisors that she was actually “as sharp as a button”, picking up those essential age-old Brooks skills quickly and with relative ease; sometimes at the first time of asking and trying.
Goisa possesses two further, quite rare qualities. She has gained an awareness of things that are happening around her and seems to notice for herself when items are running low and need to be restocked. She will, therefore, immediately move herself onto her next job without waiting around aimlessly for instructions from her supervisor.
Goisa is proficient in the final preparation of leather tops. Polishing, packing, and riveting Brooks saddles are among the host of other tasks to which she can turn her hand.
And perhaps most crucially, hers are often the last pair of critical eyes that examine the quality of a finished Brooks saddle before it leaves our factory.
She has made friends, grown in confidence, gotten some colour into her cheeks, gained an extra pound or two (!) and her persona has blossomed. She has established herself as firm favourite within the company. Everybody here loves her and she has definitely joined our “Brooks Family”.
Like many Brooks workers, Goisa does have a nickname. She is known as “Mini-Barbara”, which is a reference to our Production Supervisor Barbara Lawrence and a fitting testimony to the potential that we all see in her for the future at Brooks.
From Steve Green, Brooks Office Manager at Smethwick.
Congratulations and well done, Goisa!