1. PHIL DIXON has turned his schoolboy window-cleaning round into a business employing 800 people, with an annual turnover of £11 million. He has climbed the ladder by doing all the dirty jobs nobody else wants to do.
2. Phil runs New Cleaning Systems, a company based in South Shields with offices in Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester. The 43-year-old,married with two children, has come a long way since starting his weekend job back in 1971. Phil, the son of a factory worker, was one of 10 brothers and sisters raised in a three-bedroom council house in the village of Marsden. "We lived three miles out of South Shields and I would walk into town, carrying my stepladder and bucket" he recalls. "I used to charge 25 pence a house and I could do 30 ina day. £7.50 a day was a lot of money for a 15-year-old in those days".
3. Despite working weekends, Phil studied hard at school. "I wanted to go to university to be a geography teacher. It was 1975, I was only 18 and I was earning £5,000 a year. I realised I could earn more doing the windows than I would earn as a teacher."
4. Phil progressed to cleaning shop windows and offices. He startedemploying people to help him out. Next step was working for builders, cleaning the inside of new houses. Then he started cleaning big offices and factories.
5. The secret to his success has been expanding into high-tech cleaning areas, such as keeping computer factories free from dust. But there are other jobs too. "We’re often called in to do the jobs that nobody else wants, such as dirtypolice cells or homes where people have lived - and often died - among huge piles of rubbish." Phil’s company also clears up the scenes of tragedies such as explosions and workplace accidents.
6. Despite his success, Phil does not live a flamboyant lifestyle. He lives with his wife Val, a language teacher, and their children Patrick (8) and Esther (4) in a four-bedroom house in the village ofHarton. He drives a Mercedes, but it’s 10 years old and has 250,000 miles on the clock. "The company has a turnover of £11 million but we plough most of the profits back in," he says. Phil starts his day at 6 am, when he goes out for a four-mile jog. He then drives to the office, where he often works late into the evening. And before you ask, the answer is no - he doesn’t do any cleaning around thehouse !
Source : The Sunday Post, August 29, 1999 (adapted)
to turn something into... = transformer quelque chose en ...
a round = une tournée
the turnover = le chiffre d’affaires
a council house = une maison à loyer modéré
a stepladder = un escabeau
a bucket = un seau
despite = bien que
to plaugh the profits back in = réinvestir les bénéfices
TRAVAIL A FAIRE PAR LE CANDIDATA- Renseignements concernant Phil Dixon et son entreprise. Après avoir lu tout le texte, recopiez les deux tableaux ci-dessous sur votre copie et complétez-les en francais. (3 points: 0,25 point par bonne réponse)
|Age | |
|Age de fin de scolarité | |
|Situation familiale | |
|Profession de l’épouse | |
|Lieu du domicile familial| |
|Automobile personnelle | |
|Activité de l’entreprise | |