Next up in our ‘Meet the Team’ series is the Regional Manager for the North, Jon Scales. Looking after the event crew in Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds, Jon has had many years’ experience with Gallowglass and is here to share a snippet of his life and wisdom with you all today!
Tell us a little about how you came to work for Gallowglass:
I had just returned from France after playing a season of Rugby in Paris and was playing a bit of part-time at Sedgley Park; this was at the same time as Gallowglass were recruiting for the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, so that’s where it all started.
How long have you worked for Gallowglass?
16 years +
Describe a typical day in your job:
A typical day will start with all the backroom stuff; transfers and dealing with whatever needs to be dealt with from the day(s) before. It’s then on to the next day or so of allocation.
Our Northern office is based at MediaCityUK in Salford and studio services supplier, dock10 use us a lot from a crewing point of view, so we’re very much focused on getting the right crewman on to the right shift, something we also apply as much as possible in our day-to-day crewing-up.
During your time working in the events industry, what are the most notable changes that have taken place?
I think one of the big things is the amount of people that have set themselves up in crewing in the last 16 years. The market is saturated with so-called ‘top’ crewing companies when, in all honesty, there are some very poor examples now in the industry and they keep costs down by cutting corners. Thankfully, there are still plenty of clients that recognize what it takes to put out well-trained crew from both a time and financial point of view. There has been a marked increase in Health and Safety awareness - something we as a company have embraced but not something all can say!
What do you love most about being in this role?
The day-to-day challenges of crewing; it has always been enjoyable to get the right guys out there and there is no better feeling than when it all goes to plan!
How do you find the work-life balance in your current role?
It can be a struggle, although I have been doing this 16+ years, so shouldn’t really be surprised when it spills into the evenings and weekends!
Tell us the best story of an experience you’ve had with Gallowglass:
Commonwealth Games - the build and break down were really good fun, hard work, but fun. It just showed what Gallowglass could do, and for a first real experience of crewing, it was spot on.
What I should also mention is the 2008 FINA World Swimming Championships at the Manchester Arena, again hard work but great fun. I’ll never forget the casual approach of the Spanish company that owned the pool: when it came to empty it, one of the Spaniards simply took a hand saw, cut through one of the main filtration/drainage pipes and just let the whole lot flood out and wash down Deansgate.
As a manager for a large area, what is the most challenging aspect of your role?
Transport and moving the crew around, in general, can pose a problem from time to time. Although we have numbers in Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool at some stage we are guaranteed to have to move them around. So, logistics can cause problems, certainly when you factor in travel time and work. From a studio point of view, we have to deal with sourcing the right technical crew, something that has its own issues. Although ability plays a big part, relationships within the studios and with the Heads of Department can also cause problems usually because everybody wants the same guys!
If you could give one piece of advice to someone thinking of applying for a job with Gallowglass, what would it be?
Make sure you know what you are getting into, the job can be very hard physically, but we pride ourselves on teamwork and providing you like to work hard and get stuck in you’ll love it. if not, it’s not for you!
Do you have any future career plans?
I’m quite happy where I am at the minute. I don’t think the North has yet reached its maximum capacity, I would like to see what we can achieve; year-on-year our shift numbers are on the up, so we are going in the right direction.
Do you want to know more about the Gallowglass team? Send over your questions via our social media channels!