Future in Action

Future in Action

Jas’ last post….

You may remember reading that Jas Mundy, Commercial and Logistics Support Manager for Cement, was taking a sabatical – a kind of lend a hand on steroids- to work at a school in India set up in memeory of his brother.  Jas’s time has almost come to an end and he posted this great blog on SHIFT to keep everyone updated.  It is quite a long story, but I think you will agree an interesting one and gives us all food for thought!  Over to Jas.

“39 degrees … it’s a dry heat and feels like someone has a hair dryer and is blowing it in your face. We leave school at 2pm every day and return to the farmhouse. Whilst everyone else sleeps for a couple of hours, I surf the net, make an effort to read until I too, eventually nod off. Around 5pm people begin to stir from their daily siesta and life returns to the village.

Summertime temperatures here hover around 45 degrees, I am certainly glad that I will be leaving before then and actually looking forward to returning to the predictably cooler weather we have in England (never thought I would say that).

Back in February the green fields I was welcomed by have now ripened and are light brown in colour. Combine Harvesters are everywhere and the stress levels amongst the farming community have gone up a couple of notches.

We have spent the last few weeks reorganising the administration back office in the school. There is a newly appointed Communications Officer, Mr Lucky, with whom I have been working closely in respect of reporting and management information. In addition we have also planned the use of a small portion of our family land adjacent to the school to build a plant nursery.

The school gate has been repainted and looks great. It was always unlikely that William and Kate would drop into the school whilst on their visit to India however had they come, I am sure they would have been impressed by the greenery at the school.

I have been reflecting on my time here ..

Back in the UK my role at CEMEX is pretty much ‘full on’ most of the time, I like to be busy and thankfully my workload has always met that requirement. Once my sabbatical request was confirmed I spent a lot of time and effort in getting my team ready so that I could go away with full confidence that workloads would be covered and the team would be empowered with the necessary skills and contacts to do so. This was a challenging process and looking back now I learned some valuable lessons.

This ‘extended lend a hand day’ has been enormously rewarding, fulfilled something that I have been yearning to do for a long time. I would recommend doing a sabbatical to anyone, of course there are risks and there is a great deal of planning involved however as the old adage goes ‘If you do not go after what you want, you’ll never have it’.

At many times it has felt like a ‘busman’s holiday’, applying existing skills in similar scenarios albeit in a different environment and setting. The school back office reorganisation was a good example of this. At the same time though, I think I have also have learned a great deal as well.

As with most things, establishing good working relationships has been critical. I am now a working member of the Gilly Mundy Memorial Community School and will continue to be involved for as long as I am able to.

Thank you to Clare Pickering and Matthew Wild for agreeing and supporting my sabbatical request. Also to my awesome team particularly Celaine Cave and Scott Price for stepping up and covering for me whilst I have been on sabbatical leave.

I feel energised and recharged and am looking forward to returning to work, moving forward and facing new challenges (as we all do in CEMEX every day).

See you in May (with my pedometer on).”