What is your usual job title?
I am a Project Manager and I am usually based at the Ann Court development.
What’s your role on the Nightingale Hospital?
At the moment I am more of a Site Manager. I’m overseeing all of the external works and the structural frame of the building.
What is your typical working day like at the moment?
Very busy. I generally go straight out on site as soon as I arrive in the morning. Geomarine are doing the bulk of the external works including drainage and all the ground works, so I meet with their supervisors, set up the works for the day and make sure everyone is happy. We’ve been doing 12-13 hour shifts, getting in around 7am and leaving around 7-7:30pm unless there is something that goes on a bit longer. You do what you need to do to get the job done.
How has life changed for you over the past couple of weeks as a result of this?
There’s much less social interaction, it’s very work heavy, but it is good to be a part of it. It’s a bit like Groundhog Day right now, I get into work, get home, have a bite to eat, watch a bit of telly, off to bed and then I’m off again. Even though the hours are long everyone is in good spirits and pulling in the same direction, which you don’t always get on projects. There’s a common driver that we’re all working for a good cause. It’s nice to have that.
Is there anything you will take from this experience which will change the way you approach things in the future?
Yes, for sure. The speed that this has gone at has opened my eyes as to how quickly things can actually be done. Jersey is historically more relaxed in its construction pace, not because of the work ethic, but to do with it being a small island and everything being shipped in. But this project shows what can be done if you put the effort in.
Being part of the J3 team here has given me exposure to how they operate on projects of this size. My own project for Camerons is quite large. I am part of the Ann Court development, which is a 165 apartment, five block residential project in the centre of town in St Helier, so it will be good to take all of the things that I have learnt here and apply them to my own project.
You have mentioned speed but is there anything else that has impressed you with the Nightingale project?
The pace is impressive, but the excellent coordination is worth highlighting. We have such a short time frame to get such a lot of work done and there are so many contractors. For instance, when we were doing the ply flooring there were 5 different carpentry firms working at the same time, but they worked like one team. They knew what they were doing and no one was panicking. It was all organised as everyone had the same instructions and they just got on with it. So, the organisation is a lot more structured than I would have expected from something that had so little time for mobilisation and planning.
What aspect of life on Jersey are you missing the most in lockdown?
I’m a big football fan, but obviously there is no football on at the moment. Football for me generally means a few drinks with mates too, so I’m missing that.
If you had exemption from lockdown for one day, what would you do and who would you do it with?
I would have to choose my girlfriend otherwise I will be in trouble, even though we are locked in a house together! I just love going out for a nice three course meal, and we haven’t done that since lockdown came in. There are so many nice restaurants here. We are lucky to have such a variety to choose from.
Which restaurant, bar or café will be the first on your list after lockdown?
If I’m going out for dinner, then I would say Cheffins at the bottom of Beaumont Hill. I’ve had some great meals there.