Looking forward to "no shoes, no socks, no shave", Phil says farewell

Phil Jones (centre) with colleagues Heidi Hoy and Annemarie McCardle.
Phil Jones (centre) with colleagues Heidi Hoy and Annemarie McCardle.

He's been a familiar face at Service NSW since 2004 but Phil Jones has decided to take a step back from being behind the wheel.

The well-known driving instructor will mark his last day with the company on Friday, after working in government jobs for more than 49 years.

Phil said he started working at 16 years of age with Postmaster-General's Department (PMG), which later split to become what is known as Australia Post and Telstra today.

"I was 16 peddling around town on a push bike delivering people's mail," he said.

He then joined the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) in 2004, before it renamed as the Roads and Maritime Service before becoming Service NSW a little more than four years ago.

During his time, Phil said he has conducted between 8000 and 9000 driving tests for cars, heavy vehicles and motorbikes.

He said he's seen just about everything one can see on the road.

"It's an interesting job, I've always said I'd write a book but I would have to change the names to protect the guilty," he said.

"I've been on top of roundabouts and up on footpaths and in people's front yards but never hit another car or person, I've managed to stop it many times.

"Nerves can do funny things to people and you'll get the odd one who just can't drive, simple as that, for some reason, they just can't do it.

"You know, I've had three 99-year-olds [undertake driving tests] and they were all brilliant."

Phil said he's also enjoyed seeing the changes made to the company throughout the years.

"Remember we used to work behind perspex screens? And it was sort of "us and them", I like the open way it is," he said.

"The staff that's here, they're all great. We get along... makes the atmosphere good."

As for retirement plans, Phil said he will like to go travelling after the threat of coronavirus has lifted.

"At the moment we've got plenty of things to do at home," he said.

"After the madness goes out of the world, we might do a bit travelling but more in Australia... I've never been to the top end of Queensland, I've never been to the Territory, I'd like to go and have a look at them."

He said Friday will be bittersweet for him.

"I know I'll be sad on Friday because I still enjoy the job, and enjoy my workmates and all the general public, I've had a great time but I've had enough," he said.

"I don't know whether I'm going to live for another 20 years or another fives years... I'll hopefully lap it up... just relax.

"No shoes, no socks, no shave."