Meet the much-loved postmistress who goes above and beyond for her customers in local Enniskillen shop.
Christine Warnock, originally from Trillick, has become a popular face behind the Post Office counter in the Chanterhill Spar where she has worked for the past six years.
Speaking to MyFermanagh, Christine told of how she came to be in the job she loves so much,
She said: “I married a Fermanagh man, for my sins, called Sean and we’ll be married 31 years in September and we live now live in Tempo.
“My mother was a postmistress in Trillick in the Post Office at home and my father was a postman – that’s why it is in my blood, we grew up in it all the time and I just loved it.
“I branched out to other stores when I moved to Fermanagh. I’ve worked in the main post office in the centre of the town, I worked in Lisbaskee, Fivemiletown but I’m here now in Chanterhill.”
Having wanted to do no other job for the entirety of her life, Christine has been in the Enniskillen location since a fortnight after it opened almost seven years ago.
“My main role is the Post Office, even though I do stick my nose in the shop and try and tell them what I think they should do.
“It’s been amazing, the staff are second to none. They are so supportive to me and it’s all about teamwork and we have a busy post office and shop,” she explained.
Over the years, Christine’s warm spirit and enthusiasm for her work have made her a well-respected member of the community which is reflected in the feedback she receives from customers.
She continued: “The people are absolutely lovely. Some days I would need to take a trailer with me for what people give me – today I got two packets of fadge bread, a packet of scones and I often get a homemade apple tart or a box of chocolates.
“I do give everyone the same treatment and go the extra mile with everyone so I can hold my hands up high at the end of the day.
“They are always happy and it’s a great atmosphere when they are content in their surroundings.”
The 58-year-old explained that the past year had been a tough one for the Chanterhill Spar and post office as added pressures of the pandemic could be felt by customers and staff.
“We were frontline all the time – it was very trying and we weren’t furloughed at any time and worked full time during it.
A review from a satisfied customer served by Chirstine
“We had to go that wee extra bit with customers to try and make them feel at ease,” she said.
Christine is known for her unmatched Christmas spirit and for going the extra mile to make sure local children’s Santa lists make it to the North Pole in a special way.
“My mummy always did it, god rest her, when she was in the Post Office and would always give the kids sweets at Christmas when they came up to post their Santa letters so I’ve been carrying that on for years – I’ve maybe even gone a bit nutty on it.”
Christine added: “One year, I wrote a story and made them follow me around the shop and had them stop at the fruit and veg for the carrots and then to the turkey and the ham for the big dinner and wee things like that.
“I also had a mini post office and I asked the school if they wanted to bring them in to post their Santa letters, about 200 came and they would have come in busloads and I asked some of the kids to serve behind it which they thought was so cool.”
She was disappointed that she was unable to carry on her festive traditions due to the pandemic but ensured that the Christmas magic could still be felt, even at the height of the uncertainty.
Christine said: “I love Christmas so I wrote the schools and told them that if the children wanted to come in individually with their parents they were welcome and I made up a smaller system for them.
“I put up a few prizes and everyone that came in with their Santa letter got a free ticket to win one of the prizes – the parents were delighted.
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“It’s amazing the wee things that you can do to keep customers happy.”
She continued: “I’m happy at my work, I love my job and Peter McBride is a lovely fella to work for and he spoils me rotten.
“Hopefully we’re on the right side of this pandemic now and things will continue to keep getting better and more relaxed.
“The people make your day and I love just going the extra mile with people and satisfying customers – they keep coming to me because they are happy with the service they get and that makes me feel good, when they’re happy I just love my work.”