Brainfood: How does she manage? - Debt Collector - Heather Hutchins, Siemens Financial Services

When did you become a manager?

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

I came here as a supervisor 10 years ago. I moved up to management, and now head the team chasing late hire-purchase payments. This could be from an airline, a dental surgery or even a church paying for a photocopier.

What does management mean to you?

My role is peacemaker, negotiator and mother all in one, but it's different every day, depending on what comes in. We could have 100 deadlines one day, the next day only one. It's difficult to recruit the right people.

At the moment they are all girls, perhaps because they are better at getting what they want than men. Men analyse everything, women just want to get the money and move on. I tell them they'll get difficult calls, and that it's a case of keeping your voice level and not reacting.

What do you love/hate about your job?

I'm not keen on routine, and so the variety is great. I love the job - you have to, because you're the bearer of bad news and no-one wants to speak to you. You meet angry people and get called all the names under the sun. The most colourful language comes from places you wouldn't expect it - excluding the church with the photocopier. But you've still got a job to do. I take it personally if the levels of bad debt go up, and I'm harder on myself than anyone else would be. But the results are entirely visible and that makes it very satisfying.

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