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Gael Nicholls of IDS answers Barker's Dozen

Date: 26 October 2012

BusinessCar's Paul Barker puts 13 testing questions to another victim

1. What was your first job? I worked in a men's outfitters from the age of 15 in my home town of Port Elizabeth, South Africa. It felt great to be earning the equivalent of £1.20 for a Saturday morning's work and I still find I have a penchant for lovely ties, shirts and cufflinks!

2. What was your first company car? I drove a factory minibus through army-patrolled streets in an undeveloped and very volatile part of the Eastern Cape. I had a good view of road blocks when I was being stopped and searched for weapons!

3. What did you listen to on your last car journey? Radio 2, Chris Evans. I love his energy and enthusiasm for life - and his cars.

4. What one thing do you wish you could do better? Have more patience. I don't 'wait well' and have a keen interest and eagerness to see a result.

5. What's your biggest achievement? Happiness! I am so proud of everything I do and have achieved. A few highlights must be moving to the UK, as well as having the most wonderful husband and marriage for which I am so grateful and proud of.

6. Who are your role models? My mum - she is the most amazing role model, and everyone looks to her for advice and guidance. She always gets it right.

7. What's the stupidest thing you've done? I love this question! There are so many stupid things I've done. I drove our family car when I was six! How's that for stupid?

8. What was the most hotly debated topic at your last meeting? An expansion we are working on. It was a great debate, which I encourage, and I enjoy the way the management team all respect each other's opinions.

9. What's in your garage? I drive a Honda CRV - I adore the way it suits our life style, right down to the built-in picnic table in the boot!

10. What's the worst thing about your job? Trying to fit everything into my day - I wear so many hats, which demands a lot of planning and being organised, but I am so lucky that IDS is such a great place to work and the team are fantastic, so I cannot complain at all.

11. What one law would you make or change? I am constantly amazed at the amount of health and safety regulations and how they translate to 'anti-work' and a 'no-can-do' attitude. I am not keen on obstacles.

12. What keeps you awake at night? Not a lot - I sleep very well. I do worry about family, friends and colleagues keeping safe and I like to know everyone is OK.

13. Who is your ideal celebrity date? Winnie the Pooh! Oh bother