Some of us always knew what we wanted to be when we grew up. Some of us figured it out at University. But most of us followed one thing to the next, like stepping stones in a pond, until we found ourselves in a field with experience we almost weren’t even aware we were accumulating.
Clair Watts, an Operations Administrator at VTSL, hasn’t just experienced this with her professional career, but with her hobby—taking it from a sporadic social interest to the heights of its professional limits. Clair is one of the leading pool referees in the UK having just spent two weeks refereeing the World 8 Ball Pool Championships in Blackpool. Her refereeing career started with playing for fun. Then one night one of her friends on the local pool team suggested that she would make a good ref. This resonated with Clair and she went on to take and pass her pool refereeing exam. The rest is history, with countless hours and weekends spent refereeing games all over the UK, culminating in the recent world championships.
But pool refereeing isn’t Clair’s day job. She is a valued Operations Administrator at VTSL, a role she similarly came into by chance. If you had asked Clair when she was 21 if she would ever work for one of the UK’s leading VoIP providers and be and expert in business telephone systems, she would have undoubtedly said no. But here she is, reminding us that sometimes life takes us down paths that we didn’t see coming—but were nonetheless the right paths to take.
How long have you worked at VTSL?
A year and a half.
What is your job title?
Operations Administrator, I think!
What is your favourite part about your job?
No two hours is the same. I do a variety of things in any given day, and I really enjoy the diversity of responsibilities and tasks.
What do you do in your spare time?
This may surprise you (smiles), but most of my spare time is spent referring pool, or playing pool. I also like to go scuba diving when I can, and spend time with my family and friends.
Where is the coolest place you’ve ever been?
(Without hesitating) Egypt. The diving out there is beautiful. Much better than other places I’ve been diving. It is like being in a fish bowl, and I have friends out there, which makes it more fun.
What is your favourite album?
I’m not sure! Rod Steward – I think it is called The Story So Far.
What is your favourite food?
Pancakes. Dutch pancakes. If you haven’t been, you need to go to Holborn to My Old Dutch. They have the most delicious pancakes—and you can have any type you want, sweet or savoury. I think there may be one on the Kings Road as well.
How many hours do you sleep a night?
About 4 or 5. I am not a very good sleeper. But that said I’ve got by this far in life on that, so maybe that is all I need. I don’t wake up when I sleep. I’m out, no movement or anything (she demonstrates).
How did you get into business VoIP?
I worked in accounts at one of the other London-based VoIP providers... so I had some knowledge... and fancied a change in career to operations. I’m glad I made the switch.
What makes you laugh?
(Laughs) Nerves? I don’t know. My nephew makes me laugh. Mitchell. He is a big joker, a family clown. He makes me laugh and has his whole life.
If you were given £10,000 right now, what would you spend it on?
Holiday! Somewhere nice to dive. I would like to the Galapagos Islands. My friends have just come back from there with pictures that are truly amazing.
What does VTSL stand for?
I should know that, shouldn’t I? Hmmmm. Victor Tango Sierra Lima? (Laughs). No no, my best guess is VoIP Telephony Systems Limited.