Q&A Hayley

Interview with Hayley - 'International Head Of Beverage Facilitation'

Interview with Hayley

What did you know about India before you went out there?

The thought of going to India never even occurred to me. I'm more of a party girl, so I would be more interested in Dubai, Marbella, places like that. And it didn't really interest me to go travelling. But when the offer came up, I was really interested and I knew it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I knew nothing about India. The things that came into my head when I thought of India was turbans and curry. I feel bad for saying that now that I've been, because it was ignorant. I went on a real journey out there. I loved it. I didn't even want to come home!

What did you think of the Indian people?

I made so many friends out there. I loved it, and I want to go again. Everyone was so loving and caring and nice. They're all religious and they really believe in love and peace. I still get texts every single day from this guy who sends me chapters of the Bible. When we left, they prayed to God that we would come and visit again. I was cut up to leave them. I feel like part of me belongs there now. I want to take my mother and father out there to meet everyone.

What did you learn about the Indian culture?

I found some of it a struggle, I'll be honest with you. I took three suitcases but I couldn't wear most of my clothes because they were too revealing. I was told I couldn't show too much skin, which was a bit of a shock. I didn't know India was that kind of country. They're not used to seeing legs on show and cleavage. I couldn't go anywhere on my own. The boys had to come everywhere with me. I never felt unsafe, but a big crowd would gather wherever I went because I looked so different and they weren't used to it. I ended up buying some beautiful saris, and I got my mum to send me some jeans! I don't suppose I'll wear the saris again, but they're good to have as souvenirs.

Did you teach them anything about your culture?

Obviously I have my extensions done every three months, so I told them about that. I needed to get them done while I was out there but none of the Indian salons even knew what extensions were, because they're naturally blessed with long, thick hair. So I told them about fake nails and eyelashes and fake tan as well, and they were quite fascinated. But honestly, I didn't have to teach them much because they were very intelligent. Some of them spoke five languages and they were only in their early 20s.

Did you find anything surprising?

I couldn't get over all the cows in the streets! I did not expect to see wild animals walking around like that. We were in KFC one day and a beast of a bull just strolled past the window, all casual, like a person. I couldn't get my head around it. The cars stop if there's a cow in the middle of the road. It was wild. Then there were monkeys and pigs everywhere. There were more cows in the road than cats and dogs. I don't think I even saw a cat, now that I think about it. Just cows.

What was your role out there?

Well obviously I'm the tea lady! So when we were going round looking at different call centres to rent, I was looking at the kitchens and making sure there was somewhere for me to set up and make my teas and coffees. But I was determined to learn to make a curry and become Hayley the curry lady, so I had a go at that as well. Once we found the call centre building, it turned out they already had tea boys, and we only had about ten staff at first, so there wasn't much for me to do.

India is home of tea. As the tea lady, that must have been heaven for you?

Well obviously I had to go and visit the tea plantations, being the tea lady! And it was the best day of my life. We'd been in Delhi with all the pollution for quite a long time, so it was lovely to get on a plane and go to south India with lots of lovely fresh air. The plantation was the most beautiful thing I've seen in my life, it was brilliant. The ladies picking the tea leaves couldn't speak English and I couldn't speak Indian but we sang together and we bonded and it was just lovely. Then we went to the factory where it's all processed. For a tea lady, it doesn't get much better. I'm thinking of importing the tea leaves and starting my own tea bag company in Swansea.

Was the tea good?

I actually don't drink tea myself, so I couldn't tell you!

How do you find Nev to work with?

I've worked for him for seven years. To be honest, his phrases go in one ear and out the other. I don't really listen any more. He's very motivational, and whether or not he's talking s&%^ or not, he makes you believe his s&%^. He is passionate. Some people think he's ridiculous but I think there's method in his madness. You can't be shy to work in a call centre. You have got to take banter, you are going to take abuse on the phones. So Nev is a bit crazy but the way he does things, it does work.