Career & Education

The 'Rosalee' among thorns

Female RUBiS service station operator succeeds in male-dominated field

Sunday, April 14, 2019

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ST ANN, Jamaica — Growing up in the idyllic parish of St Ann, Rosalee Arscott always pictured herself as a woman on top in her career. Little did she know, however, that this long-held dream would come to fruition by chance in what is still a male-dominated industry in Jamaica today.

Arscott boasts the rare accomplishment of being one of the few females in the island who manages a service station. In her role, which sometimes demands a 15-hour work day, she oversees the daily operations of RUBiS Energy Jamaica's St Ann's Bay site.

With a background in hospitality, which is typical of many who reside in the highly touristic parish, one would wonder how Arscott ended up in such an unlikely field. She simply says “it was by fate”.

She explained:“I knew a gentleman through a friend who worked for him. He asked me what I wanted to do professionally. This is when he told me his sister manages a gas station in Ocho Rios and said they were looking for a supervisor. I was apprehensive, but I wasn't doing anything at the time. So, I figured ... why not give it a try?”

The Ferncourt High School graduate, former entertainment coordinator at St Ann's Franklyn D Resort and Spa and front office representative at White Elephant Resort in Nantucket, Massachusetts then began her 12-year career in the petroleum industry and would make a transition in 2018 that would see her leading a staff complement of 15 at the only RUBiS service station currently operating in her native parish's capital.

“I stuck with RUBiS when they entered the local petroleum market in 2013. It was a major investment and provided opportunities for a lot of Jamaicans,” she continued.

Happy to be part of such a prestigious international company, Arscott uses the skills gained from the customer-service training she had in the hospitality industry as her strength in connecting with customers and making them feel welcome. When it comes to running the business, she said, “You have to put out your best at all times. You can't say 'you can't' or 'it's not something for a woman to do'. You have to come to work and put in your best no matter what the circumstances are.”

She admits, however, that putting out her best requires a great deal of sacrifice.

“I am here seven days out of the week sometimes, to make sure it is running the way I want it to be run,” the mother of two said. This includes handling all the associated paperwork, fulfilling client orders, supervising staff, and maintaining the on-site convenience store.

Thankfully, the sacrifices have begun to pay off.

“I'm most proud of surpassing the odds outside of promotional periods, too,” she said.

The St Ann's Bay site, which recently underwent major remodelling, was recognised as the international fuel marketer's best-performing site in its category during the RUBiS Fuel Up and Cruise Promotion. And the location was among the five outlets where a customer was awarded an all-expense paid cruise for two around the Caribbean.

Arscott believes RUBiS' superior Ultra Tec Fuel and the excellent service she and her team offer at the popular full service centre may very well have led to the success.

“I really have a lot of credit to give to RUBiS for its investment in the operational procedures, which stabilised sales at the St Ann's Bay site before I took over in 2017. All that was left for me to do was maintain and improve upon the solid customer base that was built by the company,” shared Arscott.

In addition to taking available opportunities, Arscott firmly believes that tenacity and drive will always pay off and advises young women who aspire to be at the forefront of their industry to work hard. She said, “I'm a fighter, and even if I can't do something, I won't stop until I figure out how to do it. You need to know that there's nothing out there that you can't do.”

Always touting the message of girl power, the 36-year-old advises, “It's better if you try and fail, but don't say you can't do it because it's a man's job.”

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