As a part of Steel-Line Garage Doors’ 40 years anniversary celebration, we are sharing stories about our staff members and their contributions to the company.
Let’s get to know one of our team members…
Name: Mark Pollard
Title: Branch Manager
Location: Coffs Harbour
Tell me a bit about your background and what made you join Steel-Line?
Well I was kicked out of reform school at 16 and got an apprenticeship as a Brickie, after that I had a few different jobs, working behind a bar and sales rep for building supplies companies.
There was an ad in local paper looking for a Manager of the Steel- Line Coffs Harbour branch and I thought what the heck, let’s give it ago. Had the interview with Margaret Simpson who later became Kurzok, she loved my shirt and good looks (I was only 32) and said, “yeah baby you got it” (the job that is).
How long have you been with Steel-Line? Any stories from back then you’d like to share with the team?
I have been here for over 26 years started in Jan 1993 on Australia Day moving from the old factory to the slightly better one around the corner.
Then five years later we had a new factory built which was about 20 times larger than the previous.
In the starting years, I used to unload the trucks with the driver (a bloke I called Spider), and it was usually around midnight and under one spot light on a make shift pole and using ropes to lower doors down to the ground then carry them in… no forklift till about 2 years later. The opening to this factory was only 3 meters wide anyway so we were never going to get more than one door at a time inside. Looking back at what I had to do to get these trucks unloaded would make the HR team today more than shudder.
In my first 6 months I had to go and install a few doors and on one job there were twelve 2800mm wide roller doors that all had to have the shafts cut. I had to install these on my own as the guy I had to help pull the pin and the builder needed all locked up pronto. I had to lift them up onto my shoulder and then stand on a milk crate and hopefully find the brackets to rest the door on… never forgot that site and yes, I did miss those brackets a couple of times.
The managers meetings in the early years were highlighted by certain activities that occurred after a few social drinks after dinner. One that come to mind were that you never let anyone know your room number around the bar area, otherwise you would end up with a sizable tab when you check out. One manager copped a $200 + bill and he didn’t drink or spend time with us.
There was also the incident where we knocked off all the grog out of someone’s bar fridge and took it back to our room and then invited them over for drinks. That was a mission as the fridge was not on ground level and some serious skills were required to make this happen.
What is the best thing that happened to you whilst working here?
Overseas trips courtesy of the original owners, making a lot of friends within the company, even though we only see each other 1-2 times a year and this includes the guys and girls that work behind the scenes in the factory, and it has also been a great learning experience for someone with no real academic background.
What motivates you to be successful your role?
Being part of a continually growing company that really comes up with some great ideas. This is a real motivation as you are not just looking at the same door, so to speak.
Looking around the area and seeing our products everywhere on old and new homes.
Going into estates and seeing every door in the street is a Steel-Line and we have quite a few of these.
Really making sure our clients are happy with our service and product.
What would be your advice to anyone starting with the company?
Look, listen, learn and then do, it really is a great company.
What motivates day to day?
I guess the unknown of what each day can bring. You have your daily plans, but some days there is something that makes you want to go that bit further, whether that is helping clients make a choice of what is going to be a feature on their first home or offering personal help to staff who needed it.
What do you do for fun / what are you passionate about?
Well, it is well known that I love the ocean, and surfing has been part of my life since I was 3. As age creeps up the boards are getting longer, and I am enjoying the longboard competitions that happen each year on a regular basis.
I also have just got into golf and started off with a handicap of 27 last year, and now down to 20… It is also the most frustrating game I have ever played but I am loving it.
I love the fact that all my four grandkids are here in Coffs Harbour. They keep me on the run, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Best holiday ever and why?
My wife Anne took me to Noosa on my 50th and got to surf all the main points that were on my bucket list. It just turned out the swell came in for that week only, so it was amazing to say the least. I also really enjoyed Hong Kong and Bali.
If we looked at your Google search history on your PC, what would we see?
No Comment… haha. You will find plenty on Rory Mcllroy. He has the best swing a golfer could produce. You will also find swell net and other surf related items plus a lot on golf ball choice now. I don’t think it makes any difference, but I like experiment. Just about to try the new TP5 and TP5x.
What is something no one at work would know about you?
Best advice anyone has given you?
Be yourself and family must always come first.
Last book you read?
The biography of Michael Peterson… great read on a great Aussie surf icon from the Goldie.
I also read a lot of magazines on golf, surfing and fishing.