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TWENTY-FIVE YEARS ago when

Veronica Josephine Lindo left

her St Mary abode to pursue

employment in Kingston, she

hadn’t quite imagined that her

journey would take her into a

male-dominated field where

she would eventually make her

mark, and then some.

The smiling staffer, known

fondly as ‘Josey’, is today a

senior warehouse clerk with

industry giants Bert’s Auto

Parts.

She said, “When I started (at

Bert’s), we just moved to the

Camp Road branch. I was a

sales rep, so I used to sell parts

at the time, moving between

the front and the

storeroom.”

She said about

her duties today,

“We get

containers from

the wharf, use the

forklift to empty

them, and we sort

out and distribute

to the other

branches.”

CHANGES AND

CHALLENGES

“New faces have

come, old faces have left,”

Lindo says, recalling what her

quarter-century stint with

Bert’s Auto Parts has been like.

“I stayed because

of the people I

work with,” she

declared. “At

Bert’s, there are

good people here,

friendly people. I

can learn from

them. They are

willing to teach

you, and I love

that.”

She said her

interest in auto

parts was so strong

that she was undaunted by

naysayers who would note her

24

More like family

ONCE THE top sales rep at Bert’s Auto Parts, Lorna Alexander-

O’Rielly is today a supervisor at the company’s Molynes Road

branch. To her, Bert’s Auto Parts is the family she has been

part of for over 26 years and counting.

“I like the people I work with a lot; we are more like a

family,” she declared boldly. “It doesn’t matter the type of

day you’re having, once you’re at work, you’re alright.”

She started out as a counter clerk. Her growth to where

she is now is something that makes her beam with pride,

especially considering her past.

“I grew up in a very poor family so at the time, I was the

middle child and didn’t get much attention at home,” she said.

“At school, I did auto mechanics, and my teacher saw the

potential in me. I had two choices – work or go to JAGAS (The

Jamaican-German Automotive School).” She chose to work.

And, with this background, Alexander-O’Rielly is well

familiar with making her mark in

a male-dominated space such as

the automotives industry in

which she is currently serving.

“I’ve always been in a male-

dominated field,” she declared. “I

was the only female in my class

when I was studying automotives,

so from then, I learnt how to

handle myself, and I don’t find it

challenging. Automotives is still

something that I love, naturally.”

TO ENGAGE AND TO GROW

Alexander-O’Rielly is fond of the

Engage and Grow training

programme that the company

has invested in for all members of the supervisory and

management team. According to her, “I’ve learnt about

fellow co-workers and managers. I’ve learnt how to treat

persons as you would want to be treated and how to

become more sociable.”

Because of training sessions like these, the confident

supervisor has mastered the art of maintaining composure

in high-stress environments.

TREMENDOUS GROWTH

“There has been tremendous growth,” she said. “Now,

because of the wide range of cars that we deal with,

people from all different backgrounds come to Bert’s.”

She believes that her many years with the company have

positioned her to be better able to go off on her own and

become a better businesswoman based on the principles

and values she has learnt.

“I hope that Bert’s will still be around serving a wider

range of persons with the same excellent customer

service,” she envisioned. “The name ‘Bert’s’ has been such

a part of me that I wish that if my children or

grandchildren need employment, they can find it inviting

to come here and gain meaningful employment.”

S

ALES CLERK at Bert’s Auto Parts Sheldon

Thomas is proud of the clientele he

encounters in his daily operations as his 21

years with the company has allowed

him to master the art of customer

service, no matter the customer.

“Working with Bert’s has taught

me how to deal with different types

of people in spite of their

background,” he said. “It has shown

me that good customer service is

effective and things like teamwork

and good communication are very

instrumental in any line of business.”

NO PRESSURE

Describing the working

environment at Bert’s, Thomas

simply said, “It’s wonderful.”

According to him, “We work under no pressure

because everybody knows what they’re supposed

to do, and it’s actually like a family at Bert’s.”

He says that the changes have been many and

that the company’s growth has manifested itself in

a number of ways. “We have got more

technologically advanced and efficient. The

availability of parts has improved, and so, too, has

the customer service.”

About the relationship between management

and staff, he said, “Everybody is respectful and

the communication level is always high. They

(management) will inform us of changes within

the organisation.”

Over the years, the organisation

has had to respond to the changes

in the dynamics of the market, and

for Thomas, a most memorable

moment was the change from Lada

parts to Nissan and Toyota parts.

He is hopeful for the future of

Bert’s projecting continued

dominance where customer service is

concerned. “Bert’s is the number

one,” he said. “I wish that each and

every customer who comes into

Bert’s will leave satisfied, knowing

that they got the parts they wanted,

no matter what their request was –

from a pin to an anchor.”

As the company celebrates 30 years of doing

business, Thomas believes it is imperative that

he offers his gratitude to the individual at the

helm of the organisation, Bert Tomlinson, who

he describes as “one of us”.

“I would like to thank Tomlinson for giving me

this opportunity,” he said. “Maybe I could have

gone down the other road, but he gave me the

opportunity to have a skill and to be able to take

care of my family. Big up everybody at Bert’s,

and keep up the good teamwork!”

A diverse customer base

LONG-SERVICE TEAM MEMBERS

PLEASE SEE

WORK

, 25

BERT’S AUTO PARTS 30TH ANNIVERSARY FEATURE | SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2018

Sheldon Thomas

Master Salesman

Tenure: 21 years

Lorna O’Rielly

Storeroom Supervisor

Tenure: 21 years

Veronica Lindo

Warehouse Clerk

Tenure: 21 years

GOOD PEOPLE TO WORK WITH