Welcome to the fourth week of ‘Where Next: First Five Jobs’ where we find out a little more about where our friends came from pre-Mr B. Today, Simon Smart (AKA ‘The SS’) tells us of his journey from Butlins’ Magnum P.I. to the Operations Manager we know today. Buckle up your seatbelts… it’s a good one…
1. Security Officer
This was my first job in the summer holiday between school and university. I was based in Butlin’s Holiday Camp in Minehead and little did I know when I turned up on my first day that it was such a hotspot of crime. I was a bouncer, a security escort, an investigator and a security guard, all at the tender age of 18.
LESSON: That I definitely don’t want to have a holiday in Butlin’s.
2. Bank Clerk
My mum got me this job. Well actually she’d been banking with Lloyds for years and persuaded the manager to hire me. So I spent two years behind the desk in my local branch counting the money from the local shops and businesses but I also organised the staff parties – now that was the best bit.
LESSON: Customers are always right, except when they don’t add up their paying in slip correctly.
3. Nightclub Manager
So I’d had enough of the bank and, with my interest in parties, decided to join the nightclub industry as a manager. I was manager at Tiffany’s Nightclub in Gloucester where I looked after the security, the bars and the catering.
LESSON: If the till reading doesn’t match the cash in the till, then it’s time to get a new bar manager.
4. Casino Manager
So after a few years in nightclubs I decided I wanted to be another James Bond, so moved from nightclubs to casinos. Here my main responsibilities were finances, people and hospitality.
LESSON: When one of your high rollers wants onion rings, caviar and a spatchcock chicken ready for when he arrives on a Sunday morning you have to hunt the city to find it. The fact that he doesn’t actually turn up after you’ve managed to find everything he wants is another story.
5. Casino Operations Manager
The life in the UK became boring so then I decided to move to Texas and then on to Bosnia. In Texas we set up a 1-day casino cruise ship and in Bosnia, three casinos and numerous slot parlors. My role in both locations was to set up all systems relating to finance, local recruitment, public relations and all hospitality elements.
LESSON: If your gun-toting Bosnian Chief of Security is having a conversation, never ever interrupt him by tapping him on his shoulder.
Where next for our ‘finance by day, casino lover by night’ Simon?