Tuesday, 26 January 2016 12:56

Vigie arrives at 40 year milestone

Four decades, 40 years, 14 600 days…whichever way you view it, it’s a jolly long time…and that is how long our stalwart WearCheck lab supervisor, Vigie Manikum, has been with the company.

On reaching the big milestone in November 2015, Vigie received congratulations from colleagues and friends both locally and around the globe, in recognition of her dedication and outstanding service to the company.

Managing Director Neil Robinson summed it up in his note to all staff, ‘Vigie, it has been a pleasure working with you all these years. Your contribution to the ever-smooth running of the laboratory has been immeasurable and I know there are a significant number of current employees, including myself, whose careers started in the lab, who appreciate the support and guidance you offered during their time there.’

So how did it all start for WearCheck’s longest-serving employee?

“Well, says Vigie, ‘I finished matric at 16, and was one of eight siblings. At 17, I started helping my dad in the laboratory, where he worked at Natal Canvas. In 1975, my mom saw an ad in The Mercury one day. We called, I was interviewed by Gary Brown on the Thursday and by Friday, I had the job at WearCheck!’

Vigie’s career at WearCheck began as an office worker, back in the pre-computer days, where reports and test results were manually typed up on a typewriter. With only Vigie, Lesley Crawford and Gary Brown in the office, everyone had many tasks to do to keep the then McCraw Laboratories going.

1976 saw the company name change to WearCheck. Vigie has seen WearCheck grow from a one-room operation to the multi-national operation it has become today.

Rising through the ranks, Vigie became junior laboratory assistant (1978), a senior lab assistant (1982) then laboratory co-ordinator (1992) and finally laboratory supervisor (2000).

For the senior managers who mentored Vigie throughout her career, she has nothing but gratitude and respect. And this mentorship has filtered down to Vigie’s own subordinates, many of whom wrote notes of congratulations such as this particular one (who now works as a diagnostician at another company):

‘Congratulations on reaching this milestone, you have been the backbone of the lab over the years and for many more in the future.  You have inspired your staff and motivated them way beyond the working environment. You have been a marvellous mentor.’

Looking back over the decades, Vigie insists she has never once needed an alarm clock, as she is still excited to get to work. ‘Although not without its trials and tribulations, I have really and truly relished my career at WearCheck. My brain is on autopilot – when I wake up, it tells me “Go to WearCheck!”’ she laughs.

True to her generous spirit, Vigie organised commemorative chocolates to give to every staff member in celebration of reaching her 40 year milestone with the company recently.

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