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Taking to the Hills

Image for article Taking to the Hills

George Fisher’s Retail Manager HELENA WHONE retires in August.

On my final day, it will be 24 years almost to the day since I arrived at George Fisher as Sales Manager. I had always been in retail, starting at the tender age of 12 in a fruit shop in my home town of Harrogate. It was hard, cold work, but such a lot of fun. I got paid £1 a day plus a bag of fruit to take home at the end of the day. How proud I was! Little did I know at that time that, almost 46 years on, I would still be working in retail…

My journey with George Fisher started in 1993. I had worked for Michael and Anita Standring (the George Fisher owners at the time) in their previous company. My reputation for being motivated and hard-working hadn’t gone unnoticed, and they offered me the role of sales manager. Nervous, anxious and excited, I knew that I was going to enjoy my life here. Walking into such a well- established business which had a great history and remarkable reputation was a privilege.

As many of our regular customers and readers will appreciate, like any business we have had our fair share of challenges. But all the staff here, in all departments, help us to manage our way through any difficulties. A business is all about its people, and it is people that can, and do, make the difference. And you have. Thank you to all the team, present and past; I will miss you all very much.

Over the years, we have built strong relationships with all our suppliers. Our working partnerships have been, and still are invaluable. They are supportive in so many ways, provide endless staff training which is motivating, interesting, fun and hugely important for the staff.

So now my retirement date is looming. I am delighted that we have found my replacement. I am totally confident that the new General Manager (who is younger and far better looking!), will be a real asset to the business and will help to drive George Fisher forward through the next 25 years. I wish him every success.

Finally, I would like to thank all our customers. It has been a pleasure serving you over the last 24 years. Without you, we wouldn’t be here. Just out of interest, a few years ago I had a trip to India and visited Varansi on the edge of the river Ganges, and above the reception desk I saw this:

A customer is a most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption on our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider on our business. He is a part of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him. He is doing us a favour by giving us an opportunity to do so.

This has been pinned up above my desk at work to remind me every day why we are here! I wish George Fisher continued success and thank everyone over the years for being such a huge part of my life.


Editors update: As Helena mentions, we welcome our new General Manager, Patrick Taylor-Bird to George Fisher. Passionate about the outdoors, Patrick’s impressive CV includes big wall climbs on ElCapitan, raft trips down the Grand Canyon, LEJOG by bike, cycling the Great Divide (2500miles) in the US, and lots of hiking.

20 June 2017 by George Fisher

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