06 November 2019
From the government’s tank division site, via Philips, to foreman and shift manager at Polynorm. With my technical secondary school diploma in mechanical engineering as a foundation and plenty of experience after that, I had the opportunity to see and experience a lot. But then I wanted something new. The railway had attracted me for years and wasn’t unknown territory; I have family and friends working there. So Strukton Rail was a logical step.
An open application to Strukton Rail in 2010 landed me a job as a points heating supervisor at Strukton Rail West. I was then asked to join the Structural Works department: the movable bridges and viaducts. Now I manage 17 mechanics maintaining the points and structures. Most of the time I’m in Breukelen, where there are test burns for the points.
I’m not bored for a moment: appointments, e-mails, lots of meetings, reading reports, going through plans, phone calls with mechanics. I’ve taken to it like a fish to water, and my day is so full. What does make a difference is that we are digitising. No more paper workbooks, but all the points information in digital form. There are between 1,300 and 1,400, so that makes a big difference. And everyone has a laptop and can access everything.
I think pleasure is the most important motive in my work. I pass that on to my colleagues. I have a positive attitude to life, I’m enthusiastic and driven. Seven days a week. They always have to slow me down. Anyone can come and talk, I always say. Think in solutions, not in problems. If we all enjoy what we’re doing, we deliver top performances. I’m someone who coaches positively, and hands out compliments, because people are the most important part of the work, not the tools.
One day I want to be a production manager. But I haven’t completed the combination of points heating and structural work yet; I really enjoy it. But if I want to move on, Strukton has opportunities everywhere. I experience freedom, attention, time and respect for each other. Strukton is social. I feel totally at home here.