As a crewing company, many of our workforce operate remotely and only very occasionally pay us a visit at Gallow HQ. This means that almost every day of the year, we have teams of people working hard, up and down the country, to deliver some of the nation’s biggest and best events. As you can imagine, coordinating this is no mean feat, and takes lots of planning hard work.
One of the essential figures here at the Gallowglass office is Darren Thorley, the Head of I.T. Darren and his team work not only to ensure the office staff are always up and running but to ensure that our web apps are serving our field teams the best they can. In this article, we speak to Darren to get to know him a little bit better.
What was your experience before joining the Gallowglass team?
I was running the Support Department for an I.T. Services company and Gallowglass were one of my clients for a few years before I joined them full time in 2006.
Before that I was a funeral director and embalmer. Quite a career change! I.T. was a hobby that got out of control – the things I was wanting to do were too expensive to acquire and I didn’t have the room to set them up so I decided I needed to get a job where I got to experiment with things I wouldn’t otherwise have had access to.
What do you find most challenging about your role?
Managing people’s expectations especially if the project involves working with an external contractor.
Working as a one man I.T. department can be challenging at times.
Dealing with this situation:
End user: “There was an error message on my computer”
Me: “What did it say?”
End user: “I don’t know, I just closed it – just fix the problem, I’m in a hurry”
Or this one just as I am about to go home at the end of a long day (usually Friday):
End user: “I’ve been having this problem for the last couple of days. Could you look at it now and fix it?”
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Seeing colleagues using solutions I have delivered and getting the benefits from it.
If your colleagues could describe you in three words, what would they be?
See Brick Top’s definition of Nemesis in Snatch – an ‘orrible ****!!! 😊
If you want a clean answer – Reliable, hard-working, fat!
Have you undertaken any training since joining the team?
Nothing formal for a while but as I.T. is continually evolving you could say I am always learning something.
How has your career progressed during your time at Gallowglass?
It hasn’t really changed much other than supporting more people and providing more I.T. services to the various teams in the Gallowglass Group.
What was the most exciting event or project that you have been part of while working at Gallowglass?
The obvious answer was working with everyone to help deliver our services for London 2012 – the massive ramp up to deliver for our clients was very challenging and I was really happy with the way our systems coped plus I was exceptionally proud of my colleagues for the way they all rose to the challenge.
Our web apps are also something I am particularly proud of – they have significantly improved the flow of information ensuring our crew and clients have access to the shift information they need onsite.
The recent upgrade of our back office systems at the beginning of this year was a really interesting project for me.
Describe an average day in your position?
There is no such thing!
Tell us the funniest story you’ve experienced during your time at Gallowglass?
When someone leaves Gallowglass we check their company phone and files to make sure that there aren’t any outstanding text messages or files that need passing on to the next person from clients or crew that might need to be dealt with before wiping it to give to the next person.
Turns out a certain individual who shall remain nameless had been sending rather intimate photos of himself to his girlfriend on his work phone and hadn’t deleted them! Sometimes you really wish you could unsee something! Needless to say I erased the phone and files and then soaked in bleach.
Thanks to Darren for taking the time to give us an insight into the world of I.T! Our team here at Gallowglass is constantly growing, both in the office and the crewing team. If you are interested in joining our crew and building a career in the events industry, why not check out our event crew jobs in Edinburgh, Birmingham and Leeds?