HM CUSTOMS & EXCISE, SOUTHEAST BRIGADE, DOVER
Name Chris Wolley
When did you become a manager?
I first became a team leader 25 years ago. I am now operational manager in Detection - we detect the smuggling of prohibited items. There are 12 officers in each team, six teams altogether.
What does management mean to you?
It means being an active manager - I go out with one team a day a week to communicate overall strategies from higher managers to the troops. I have to be very supportive of my frontline troops, who often get a lot of abuse. Sometimes the pressures on them are phenomenal - for instance, a lorry driver who has been found smuggling and turns violent. You need to diffuse the situation, arbitrate, and deal with complaints.
What do you love/hate about it?
I love the variety - we're waterborne and landborne and cover a large area. I hate dealing with people who aren't performing too well. In the civil service nowadays, there aren't too many avenues to send them down.