Christian Coates is a CTP (Computer to Plate) Operator at Dennis Maps and has worked for the business since it began. He’s kept busy in his role in the pre-press department and helping other departments across the business. And he’s just as busy outside of work too: cycling, swimming, and working as a Sports Performance Coach – phew!


My alarm goes off at 6.15am every morning. I’m good to go as soon as I get up. I wouldn’t say I’m a morning or an evening person; I’m an everything person. I seem to have energy throughout the day. I shower and get dressed. On a morning I always make a cup of tea (milk and no sugar).

Before I leave, I grab my bag, which I packed with my work uniform and lunch the night before. Then I’m out the door. I cycle to work – around a mile – on my road bike. I’m a keen cyclist and have three bikes but this is my go-to one.


I arrive at work for 7am. I recently changed my hours to 7am-3pm Monday to Thursday and 6am-11.30am on a Friday, to spend more time with my family, as a Sports Performance Coach and on my hobbies.


At this time of year I spend two days a week as a CTP Operator in pre-press and three days helping other departments across Dennis Maps. As a CTP Operator I check digital versions of maps prior to printing, making sure everything is as it should be. For example, I’ll make sure the dates for maps and their covers are the same and that the orientation of the maps is correct

Today I’m helping other parts of the business though, so I check which department I’m in. I’m helping out the Custom Made department, where they make Ordnance Survey Custom Made maps. Christmas is their busiest time. There’s a been a boom in these maps in the last two years, with people taking staycations and trying to find out more about their local area. We print about 600 Custom Made maps a day now, so it’s busy!


I get to Custom Made. Map covers are printed separately to maps, on a Ricoh digital printer. Then they’re laminated, die cut and brought to us in the Custom Made department. Three or four of us work there at the moment. We fold the maps using a semi-automatic folding machine. Then we match maps with their covers and package them ready to be posted. It’s a nice department to work in with a really good team atmosphere.


I have a quick breakfast about an hour into the day – a banana and cereal. Then it’s back to work preparing the maps. There is a pop quiz playing on the radio this morning while we work on the maps. Today I beat my manager in the quiz.


I stop for coffee and a bite to eat. I’ve got a chicken salad wrap I made at home, with cheese and onion crisps. I get back to folding more maps and matching them with their covers. Then it’s time to sort the post ready for the postman to collect. We have a discussion over who’s doing it and decide that a colleague Tom is doing this today.


Most people finish at 2pm but I work for another hour, getting a head start on the next day’s maps. I get them folded using the semi-automatic folding machine, ready to have the covers added the next morning.


I change back into my own clothes and I’m ready to go. I cycle the quickest route to work on a morning, but I often take the longer route home if the weather is nice. It’s a scenic 4-5 miles out into the countryside, round a lake on the edge of town, and back home. At my house I jump in the car to collect my twin boys from school. My eldest son is a bit older, so he makes his own way home.


When we get back, I go into my office, get on my time trial bike and do some training with Zwift. I train on Zwift every other day. It’s a virtual world for runners, cyclists and triathletes where you can train indoors. Today I go on a 15-mile cycle ride round France! Afterwards, my wife Beth makes the children dinner, then we all watch some TV together.


I also run a business as a Sports Performance Coach, training athletes for different events. This evening I’m coaching The Bath Amphibians, a triathlon club, at Bath Uni’s Sports Training Village. I’m a swimmer myself and particularly love open water swimming.


I arrive home and have dinner, halloumi and salad. We all tend to eat separately in the week but together on weekends. Then I make my lunch for tomorrow and pack my bag for work.


The children go to bed and I catch up with my wife. We chat with some background TV on – First Dates, which is always amusing!


It’s bedtime after a busy day.

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