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A Day in the Life of Seamus Burns - Maintenance Account Manager

Posted: 01st November 2021

We caught up with Seamus Burns to see what a Day in the Life as a Maintenance Account Manager in Obelisk is like.

I started in Obelisk in August 2006. So, I’ve been working with Obelisk for 15 years.

I started out as a young gossoon installing fibre trunking and racking in data centres, then moved to a rigging role, progressing to PICW, site testing, integration, and commissioning. After many years travelling the country I became a field engineer working on faults and build task mainly in the Eastern region. After 10 years on the road, I took the big step to a more office-based role and became a Deployment Manager on transmission links and passive work projects, eventually ending up in my current role as Maintenance Account Manager.

I start my day with a cup of tayyy. Lyons to be precise. Usually, an early start around 6 AM, when it’s nice and quiet. I catch up on emails and a few bits on the ‘to do list’ before heading off to feed the cattle, back in for the breakfast and see the kids off to school.

With offices opening back up now, I will start travelling a few days a week and sample the breakfast rolls, the cattle can wait till the evening 😁

Next up is keeping on top of the day-to-day running’s of the account, overcoming any obstacles affecting the field guys as they go about their work, plan and schedule upcoming works, chasing GRNs, invoicing and all that good stuff, always with one eye on the weather!

My main priority in my current position is to make sure that everything is running smoothly on the operations side throughout each day and that all our clients’ needs are being met. Obviously while doing that it’s important that the 50 plus staff that work on this account go to work and get home safely. They work days, nights, early mornings and are met with harsh weather conditions throughout the year. I am on hand to deal with any escalation or issues the client may have and keep in touch with my PMO team through the week. I have a presentation with the client once a week for the Operation Review Meeting and attend the weekly financial meetings where the Account Manager presents their weekly figures.

Also making sure the account is in good shape and meeting its financial forecasts is a big part of my role and one that certainly keeps me on my toes..

I never once thought this role would be easy, and I was right. One of the biggest challenges on this account is the unknown, the curveball that is just around the corner. Storms and inclement weather for example would be a big challenge or major network outages that could occur any time of the week, day or night. However, we have built up a strong team and with a good process in place, we are in great shape to overcome most probabilities 24/7, 365. “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail”.

Like most, covid has been a big challenge. It was more important than ever for everyone to stay safe and healthy so we could continue on with our daily tasks. It took a huge effort from all involved to come out the other side relatively unscathed, mainly due to field staff diligence and with the help of Obelisk SHEQ and HR Departments.

Other challenges are keeping my very understanding wife and kids happy, which I think I’m achieving and keeping the grey hairs at bay which I am destined to fail!

I suppose my favourite part of the role is starting on a Monday knowing that this week is not going to be the same as the last. When you have pretty big goals to hit each week, I suppose there is a good sense of achievement when you get there.

And of course, I still like the off the cuff chat with the guys out on the field to keep me grounded and up to date on who said what 😁

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