Eddie’s job puts on the shine
Eddie Kiri’s face breaks out into a bright smile when you ask him about his job.
‘‘I love it. I’ve got my own car and I keep that clean and tidy, so I can appreciate how people want theirs to look good.’’
Mr Kiri, 63, is eight weeks into his new job with Porirua Autocrash Repairs on Kenepuru Dr.
He is starting again, after being made redundant 14 months ago by Spicers Paper in Petone, where he worked for more than 20 years.
It’s the first time he’s worked in Porirua, his hometown, which he says makes it ‘‘extra special’’.
The fact he is a car groomer, an entry-level position usually given to young people starting out in the industry, does not faze him.
He hopes he can inspire older people to not be afraid to apply for work usually suited to younger jobseekers.
As he is the last person to touch the repaired cars before they are picked up by customers, cleaning them inside and outside immaculately, he takes immense pride in his work.
‘‘If I didn’t have pride in doing the best I can, you would be able to tell.’’
Mr Kiri found out about the job following a seminar in Porirua hosted by Work and Income.
The great-grandfather was the oldest in the room by some years.
‘‘They said there was a job going and those who wanted more information about it were told to turn right when you went outside; everyone else should turn left.
‘‘I was the only one that went right – I couldn’t understand it.’’
Porirua Autocrash co-owner Sue Buttersfield says they had four applicants for the car groomer’s role, but Mr Kiri impressed them with his sunny outlook and solid work principles. They had no problem taking on someone in his 60s.
‘‘We decided to take someone who really wanted the job. Eddie has enthusiasm and we haven’t looked back,’’ says Ms Butterfield.
‘‘He has life experience and absolutely the right attitude.
‘‘I can remember offering him the job on the Thursday night and asked if he could be in at 7am the next morning. He walked in like he was six foot and bulletproof. It’s a great feeling to know you’ve made a difference in someone’s life and he’s just a great employee, gets on and does the work.’’
Work and Income regional director Blair McKenzie says Porirua Autocrash’s willingness to take on an older employee is commendable. Mr Kiri was hired with the help of a Work and Income Skills Investment subsidy.
Mr McKenzie says Work and Income have 30 vacancies for work on any given day.
Right attitude: Car groomer Eddie Kiri has the attitude that any job, big or small, should be done properly and he strives to make the five or six cars he cleans every day spotless for Porirua Autocrash customers.