25 Year Milestone at aZtec – Sonya’s Story
Sonya Perkins (previously Sonya Christy) is now the longest standing continually employed aZtec employee, other than Geoff (Founder & MD) himself.
“aZtec has made me feel valued through the support and progression, and I believe in the people I work with.”
Sonya ‘briefly’ shares her 25+ year story…
I started working for aZtec on my 24th birthday (July 1993) as an evening Office Cleaner at BSI, when my first baby was only 3 months old.
BSI were relocating to London later that year so I left aZtec, wrongly assuming that I wouldn’t be offered a role at another site.
I started with another cleaning company, but hated it and came back to work for aZtec 3 months later (25 years ago), cleaning at Mercedes’ head office in Linford Wood.
After a few months, I was approached by my manager to train as a Supervisor, followed by yet another promotion to Area Manager not long after.
I was an Area Manager for 8 years in Milton Keynes. This was still part time at about 4 hours per night plus an additional cleaning role.
In 1996 I had my 2nd child, and chose to return to work mere weeks later, to carry on as an Area Manager.
5 years later I went through a messy divorce, resulting in some financial difficulties. Being a single mum, money was so tight that I couldn’t afford a plumber to fix my toilet so I used a bucket to flush it for 2 years. I’ve always been proud woman, wanting to stand on my own two feet, so I struggled to ask for help.
Despite this, I approached Geoff Furber, aZtec’s Founder and Managing Director, because I needed to buy the house from my ex-husband and didn’t know how to do it on my own. Geoff spent time helping me get my finances in order, by setting up budgeting spreadsheets, and helping me prepare forecasts for the solicitors. I really needed a full time position, but there wasn’t one available.
Geoff offered me the chance to prove myself and created a role in sales. This meant working during the day selling cleaning contracts, whilst still managing cleaners in the evenings. After 3 months, I went full time in sales and I moved on from cleaning management. Once I was working full time, I was able to remortgage and buy my ex-husband out of the house.
After a year of sales training, aZtec provided me with a company car and a permanent Sales Executive position. That was 15 years ago.
What is Sonya doing now?
Since then, Sonya has become Regional Sales Manager and covers Milton Keynes and the 9 surrounding postcodes, utilising her wealth of commercial cleaning experience and knowledge, as well as her incredible skill of remembering people she has quoted for years before. Anyone who knows Sonya will know of her utter passion for what she does. On top of this Sonya is happily remarried. She lives in the same house with a fully working toilet and has eventually had a new dream kitchen fitted.
“I don’t know where I would be without the support of Geoff and my other colleagues over the years. There has always been understanding and flexibility at aZtec regarding children and other family issues.”
Within 1 month of Sonya reaching her 25 year milestone, Debbie Flack, Regional Manager, will also reach her 25 year milestone in January 2020. Debbie Flack was the person who recommended Sonya to work at aZtec in the first place. They were friends having worked elsewhere together. Both left aZtec briefly in their early days but they both came back.