GT – What’s the most exciting thing about your job?

Pauline-Warren---head-shotThere are so many dimensions; I get to work with every function in the company and lots of different agencies and there are so many projects to get stuck into. I love being busy and the diversity of the role is perfect for me – although time does fly!

GT – Who’s inspired you most in your career?

It would be the charismatic Carlos Criado-Perez at Safeway. He came in as CEO and transformed our approach to Marketing and Customer Service and restructured the business to being customer centric.

GT – If you were an item in a supermarket, what would you be?

It would have to be a bottle of wine – either a mature Italian Brunello or a bottle of fizz (energy and enthusiasm ie bubbly!).

GT – If you had to do it all over again, what would you do different?

I was lucky enough to get my grounding at Walkers Smiths Crisps. Since then I’ve worked supplier side and in retail, so have seen the best (and worst) of both worlds. In retrospect I wouldn’t do anything different.

GT -What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you at work?

After an agency Christmas party in London, a colleague / friend and I were put in a taxi to Reading and we both fell asleep – only to be woken up by the driver shouting, as he’d got fed up of driving around Reading as he didn’t know where to go next!

GT -Who or what makes you laugh?

I love going to comedy gigs and most enjoy ‘clever, observational humour’. My favourite comedian is Ed Byrne GT – Do you have any hidden talents?

My favourite ways to relax are gardening and cooking. I make a mean Chilli con Carne which brings together these hobbies as I use home grown Apache chillies to spice up the food!

GT -Who would be your favourite party guest?

stephen_fry_70_colour1Stephen Fry, an amazingly clever man whose talents are endless. He has experienced so much and is so versatile. If I was allowed to include people no longer with us, I’d invite Nelson Mandela, Audrey Hepburn and Alan Rickman!

GT -What is the greatest luxury in your life?

Having a loving husband, a wonderfully supportive circle of family and friends and 2 gorgeous cats – and being able to spend quality time with them all.

GT -What is your favourite guilty pleasure?

Singing my heart out to Les Miserables 25th anniversary concert DVD.

GT – Do you have any secret ambitions?

Running a B&B in Italy with my husband and 2 friends. With my commercial experience, the sales expertise of my husband and friend, DIY skills of my friend’s husband and our food and wine knowledge – not to mention the fun we have together – it’s something we’ve always talked about and would love to do.

GT -What’s your dream holiday destination?

St Lucia or Antigua – the people are wonderful, the weather in our springtime is perfect, the cocktails and food are fabulous and ultimately they are the best places to recuperate, before returning to work and ‘real life’.

GT – What are your three favourite movies of all time?

This is difficult as I love movies! However… Some Like it Hot is my favourite. 2) Would be something like Blood Diamond – a gritty, civil war thriller set in Sierra Leone and 3) Only You, which is ‘nice’ and uplifting.

GT -What is your favourite book of all time?

If I had to name one book though which stands out, purely for entertainment and ‘laugh out loud’ value then it would be Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson.

GT -What’s your favourite pastime?

It would have to be watching cricket on a beautiful sunny day down at Hove with friends – the ultimate in relaxation for me. The day would also involve reading the paper, having a delicious picnic and enjoying a glass or two of wine.

GT – If you won the Lottery, what would you do?

Follow the England Cricket Team on tour – a combination of wonderful locations, passionate fans and great party atmosphere – what not to like!

GT – What would be your advice to someone thinking about coming into this industry?

If you love a challenge, lots of variety and an exceptionally fast moving environment then UK retail is for you. The UK grocery market is ever evolving, increasingly sophisticated and very resilient during times of economic downturn so is a good place to develop a career.

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