ROSEMARY ABBOTT | National
MAXIMISING THE LONG WEEKEND
Wellington customer services team leader Nicole Bennett had quite the increase in annual leave requests earlier this afternoon.
One of Bennett’s customer advisors Alice Wright, 22, said she immediately put in her request as soon as Cabinet hit the green light on the one-off holiday to mourn the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
“Ha, I got in straight away. Chucked in the notes that my family were massive fans of the Royals, and said I wanted to join my Mum in a day of mourning on the Friday. In reality, I’m hoping to get some cheap flights to Queenstown and make a long weekend of it with the girls,” explained Wright, who was flicking through flight prices on the Air NZ website.
Fellow colleague Josh Atikinson, 24, explained his reasons.
“Gee, I just want to get back up to Palmy to see the lads. The Turbos are playing over that weekend. Be good to get up and catch a game. I’ll tell my team lead I need the Friday off to help my family prepare for the state funeral or something.”
Bennett, who manages 15 customer services representatives at BNZ, had long been pestering her direct reports to take leave to get their balances down. “Very sad to lose such an inspirational woman, she’s been unshakeable for 70 years. But I am glad to get the leave balances down.
“I guess some of the team are taking the news of the Queen quite hard,” Bennett said with empathy to our reporters.
“All of my team have only ever known one Queen, and I expect some of them will be attending the service on that Monday. Be nice to give them time to prepare for that. I’ll happily approve their leave requests for Friday the 23rd.
Bennett, who had just ticked off Alice and Josh’s leave, did so in a heartfelt way.
“Oh bless, it’s just so nice to see some of my customer advisors going out of their way to pay their respects to our beloved Queen.”
More to come.
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