Thinking outside the box means ‘night’ worker Sian Underwood is currently having an adventure in New Zealand while customers receive a better service.
Sian, 25, who originally hails from Malpas but usually lives in Saltney, works for Wrexham-based Moneypenny, which provides a 24-hour phone answering service for 6,000 clients from sole traders to multinationals.
But Moneypenny was concerned clients may not receive the same levels of service if jaded call centre staff had to work the nightshift in the UK, so offered employees the chance of a six-month secondment down under.
With New Zealand 12 hours ahead, Moneypenny receptionists normally based in Wrexham can still work day shifts but provide late-night cover when colleagues in Wales clock off.
Sian and colleague Alice Davies from Wrexham were chosen for the current six-month secondment and are enjoying their new lives based at Takapuna, on the outskirts of the capital city of Auckland.
Sian said: “I had to jump at the chance. It’s not every day your work offers to send you to such a beautiful country to live and work!
“It’s a great experience and I feel I have gained skills from doing so .”
Initially Sian, who says life in NZ is generally “more relaxed” than in the UK, had some feelings of sadness at leaving her family and boyfriend Mike Dunn, 26, from Upton, behind.
She said: “I was very excited but also sad to be leaving behind my life in Chester and Mike but I knew this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and that everyone would still be here when I got back.
“Mike decided just before we left that he was going to save to come out and see me here. Initially he was going to come for a nice three-week holiday but then he changed his mind and decided to stay for the duration. I think it’s safe to say that I am very happy he did.”
The former Bishop Heber High School pupil added: “Mike quickly found a place to live and a job working as a shift supervisor for one of New Zealand’s largest market research companies.
“Since then we have been on some adventures across New Zealand visiting lots of beautiful places. One of them was Queenstown, where Mike decided to propose to me – how could I say no!
“It was the most perfect day. My head was still rushing from the bungee we had just done when Mike asked me to marry him so I was in a daze for about the next three hours trying to figure out what had actually just happened!
“We are hoping to travel to Sydney before we return home in July.”