Meet the crew: Trance Phillips, Water and Cooler Technician

Trance had just completed his first week of training at PASLR in April 2020 when the whole country went into Level 4 lockdown. After a month off work Trance says he felt very fortunate to have a secure job to return to – especially being a recent high school graduate and the youngest member of the PASLR team.

“It was a good thing I had a job and was looked after. When we came back there was a shortage of work due to access issues, so I helped out in the office for a bit and as soon as I could go out on jobs I continued training with one of the experience techs for a couple of weeks and then was able to go out on my own,” he says.

The role has seen Trance out on the road serving PASLR’s extensive range of customers – from residential to office buildings to construction sites – from the North Shore to the North West, upwards of Whangarei and as far South as Rotorua and Tauranga. “Everyone needs water!” he says.

“There are new challenges and learning every day – new places I haven’t been to, new filters, which is a really good thing,” he says. “I worked at a warehouse previously where I was going to the same building every day for nine hours. So I really enjoy getting out and being on the road. I also enjoy being able to offer healthy water to people and also understand the benefits myself.”

Trance’s warehouse experience has come in handy however, especially when servicing coolers in these environments. “It’s familiar territory and I know the H&S procedures,” he says.

And, his plans for the future – “I have a strong interest in water so might go for a plumbing apprenticeship – I’m learning about that type of thing right now so may as well make it official,” he says.

Tip from the field: “Before starting in this job, whenever I saw a water cooler I assumed the water was clean …. and I’ve come to realise a lot of the time it is not. People don’t always change filters or have them cleaned and I don’t think a lot of people understand how important regular servicing is. People (customers or visitors or employees) expect to get clean water from a cooler – you see it and expect it will be healthy … but you don’t actually know what’s going on with it.”