Memories of a Young STORAX Buck
When James suggested I write a few words about my experiences working with Barpro Storage SA I felt very honoured to be asked so many years after having left the UK HQ to work in the automotive industry.
So maybe I should start at the beginning. Gert Wolfson and Peter Spears were having great success in bringing the concept and benefits of mobile racking to the cold storage industry in South Africa, the number of installations was increasing fast & Peter needed to spread the load of the admin, costing estimation, quotations and project co-ordination side of things.
Luckily for me I was in the right place at the right time!
I was also very fortunate to be given the opportunity to come and visit your beautiful country on a number of occasions.
I worked with Peter, Gert, and later on with James on South African projects from 1994 until the time I left in Autumn 2000 and, as you can imagine, working with such great characters, there were many happy and fun times. Many of these stick in my mind and I often look back on them and smile.
A couple of examples spring to mind:-
- Hosting many visits to the UK from South African customers with myself acting as chauffeur and tour guide around the UK was really great, I got to meet so many lovely people, the several I&J minibus tours were particularly memorable!
- Arriving in Jo’burg for a 10 day visit to RSA, feeling not quite 100%, and then awaking the next morning with chicken pox – I was quarantined to my room for 10 days, being released just in time to get my flight back to the UK!
- A particular favourite of mine this one. Arriving in Joburg to the car rental office to collect the usual Toyota Corolla only to be told that I was being upgraded to a brand new Mercedes E Class Estate. Great you might think? Unfortunately I was due at a customer for a final delicate price discussion where either we could agree and the customer would place the order, or we would not agree and the customer would unfortunately go elsewhere…the customer saw me arrive and with a wry smile on his face asked whether this was the usual choice of STORAX hire car! Oh dear. We didn’t win that business, but hopefully 20 years later James tells me we may be lucky enough to supply that customer, eventually we may have been forgiven!
In summary, I have so many great memories of supporting the STORAX South Africa story, but I think above all, it is the warmth & kindness of all the people I met (colleagues, customers, suppliers, and friends) throughout my time that will stay with me, THANK YOU to all of you, I truly mean it.
– Chris Harris
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