Work besties pull pin

Lost without each other: SkyCity casino’s ex-HR manager Chris Jackson, left, and ex-admin manager Shirl Glass

Having been close workmates for 21 years, it’s fitting two SkyCity Queenstown Casino managers retired this year within about a month of each other.

As HR manager, Chris Jackson started at the casino in November, 2000, three weeks before it opened.

One of her first hires was Shirl Glass, who was initially a team assistant before becoming admin manager.

Subsequently, the pair admit they became ‘‘like two peas in a pod’’.

‘‘We’ve been each other’s sanity, I think, throughout the 21 years,’’ Jackson says.

‘‘Having worked together for so long, we knew each other so well, so we’ve been good support for each other.

‘‘As a sole HR person, one of the things I often needed was someone I could vent to, and talk to, and I was always 100% confident I could talk to Shirl with confidence it wasn’t going to go any further.’’

Jackson, who calculates they worked under eight GMs, calls Glass ‘‘the glue that held the business together’’.

The pair would also lend a helpful ear to many staff members.

Glass: ‘‘I think the fact we’re both locals and had lived here before we took on the roles meant we had an understanding of how the town worked.’’

Jackson admits her last two years were ‘‘an incredibly tough time, and particularly the last six months’’.

‘‘I mean, we resized the business during the first lockdown, and then spent the next year trying to get enough staff to run the business and retain the staff you did have.’’

Glass says she decided a year ago to pull pin when she reached 65.

Jackson, who’s a bit younger, left earlier, however.

‘‘By going a bit earlier than Shirl, it evened up our length of service.’’

Jackson adds: ‘‘I wouldn’t have been happy there without Shirl.’’

Glass, for her part, says at the end ‘‘I was lost without her, ’cos we talked every day’’.

In their retirement, the pair arrange weekly catch-ups.

‘‘We have an awful lot of recipes and knitting patterns to discuss,’’ Jackson says.

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