They say every cloud has a silver lining, and that’s certainly how Col Arundell feels about his exit from the plastics industry late last year.
“The Auckland company I was working for restructured and, after nearly 40 years as a plastics engineer, I found myself redundant just two weeks before Christmas,” he says. “Needless to say, we had a pretty quiet Christmas.”
But, on his daughter’s suggestion that he do something he loved, he decided to turn his hand to ‘odd jobs’ and set-up the business Call on Col.
“In the last nine years, my wife Lisa and I have renovated five houses so I have the skills to tackle just about any small job, from general repairs and property maintenance to water-blasting, cleaning gutters and rubbish removal.”
While about half his customers so far have been women, he says he is also doing a lot of work for middle-aged professional men who are time-poor. Schools, day care centres and the Pioneer Village are also using his services.
“I love meeting new people and it’s giving me a real sense of community. The people I’m working for today could be the people I say ‘hello’ to when we’re walking the dog on the beach tomorrow.
“I pride myself on being honest and reliable and I have a transparent invoicing system so people can see exactly what they are paying for.”
Col offers a 50 per cent discount on the call-out rate for Rodney pensioners and hasn’t been slow to donate his time to some worthy causes. He has also had some interesting fee negotiations.
“One lady’s job came to $72, but she only had $70 so she made up the difference with a couple of peppers fresh out of her garden!”
When not on the end of a drill or a hammer, Col is an enthusiastic football fan and still plays for Albany’s over 35s. He is secretly supporting Australia in the World Cup, as well as barracking for England.
“But I’m realistic enough to know that England won’t win; they always fall apart in the end.”