Getting to know…Chris Broome: Over 25 years at Total Hire and Sales

Many of the team here at Total Hire have launched their careers with us, often building their way up through the ranks to take on senior positions. Chris Broome, Operations Manager, is a great example of someone who’s done just that. We talked to him about working his way up, his respect for the business and the strong connection he has with customers. 

Tell us about your experience of joining the business…

I started at Total more than 20 years ago as an apprentice, when I was only 16. I was easily distracted as a youngster but joining the firm made me want to get ahead and take on responsibilities, it really gave me a focus. I was an apprentice for three years before becoming a hire controller, where I was responsible for serving customers, checking equipment and cleaning kit.

What was your big break? 

I remember when I was promoted to assistant manager when I was 19 years old. The boss gave me a set of keys and that was a huge turning point in my life. I went from being a lad with no cares to having responsibilities and becoming a grafter who just wanted to get my head down and prove myself.

Has anyone played a key role in your development? 

When the manager at Huthwaite left, I went to cover the depot. Dave Wickes was looking for a replacement and suggested I applied, which I did. I was assistant manager there for two years, before returning to Somercotes for a brief spell and then heading to Victory Road for four or five years. I learned a lot from Dal Sangha and Pete Varney at the time; they were real mentors for me.

What’s been a career highlight for you?

I helped to set up the Ripley depot, which was a really rewarding experience. When we took it over we completely ripped it out and started from scratch. I was there for seven years, right up to March 2020. 

How has the pandemic affected your career?

I’ve been pretty okay. I spent a month on furlough in April 2020, but that gave me the chance to do up my house, sort out the garden and get around to a few jobs. Afterwards, I was back to Somercotes, which was closed for periods due to the pandemic. The other depots have covered the workload, servicing the large customer base and keeping in touch with local contacts. 

What do you do in your downtime?

Out of work I’m a total football nut, whether I’m playing or watching from the side lines. I’m a Derby County fan, which is great for socialising with friends and family and I love the banter with Forest fans! I also have my Staffy, Cooper, who’s a real softie. 

What do you enjoy most about working at Total?

Many of the customers are now my friends who I socialise with, going skiing and taking holidays together. I’ve made some really strong connections on the job and have a lot of respect for the management team too. At work, everyone looks out for each other which breeds loyalty and mutual respect. 

I have a genuine loyalty to the business and those working there. I class the team as my friends and extended family and we have a good, strong work ethos – working together for a common goal.