My IKEA Journey Until Now - Les Plumb

In my own words

In 2003 I was in a state of limbo after my marriage had fallen apart. Reading the local paper I saw an advert where IKEA were looking for staff. I thought I had nothing to lose, so I applied . I was surprised that I was offered an interview as I was 65 at that time. I was interviewed along with a group of others of all ages and was astounded when I was subsequently offered a job. I was put to work in the Recovery department building flat pack furniture for sale in Bargain Corner. This to me was a dream job as I had always had an interest in D I Y.

I have had different contracts over the past 15 years but have flexed up as needs demand. At the start of my career I probably averaged 20 hours per week .

I now also work in Bargain Corner when required but my main function remains building stock for Bargain Corner.

Liaising with my manager I am able to work to fit business needs, sometimes at short notice. I consider this is a "win - win" situation. I try to do a fair proportion of weekends and Bank Holidays as this is the nature of "retail".

Last October I had a hip replacement operation and the consideration from IKEA was exemplary. I was told I could return when I felt able and work what hours I liked. I was very fortunate how the operation went and was back after 3 months on 4 hour shifts initially.

I have twice been voted " Co-worker of the Month", and also partaken in company competitions ( with the odd success ). I have also spent a day with colleagues, planting trees under the auspices of the Woodland Trust.** After the flood disaster in the local area I was part of a small team of co-workers that volunteered to build furniture donated by IKEA, for the victims. People find it weird that I am still working at 79 but I say "why not?" . I am blessed with good health. I have a reason to get up in a morning. I put something into life. It gives me exercise. I am in a diverse and energetic environment. All these seem to be a defence against dementia.