A DUO JOB WITH A LONG HISTORY
A DUO JOB WITH A LONG HISTORY
Karin van Drunen and Corine van der Wulp have been colleagues at ELCEE for more than three decades. Karin will have been with ELCEE for 33 years in December and Corine will have been with ELCEE for 35 years in August. They have been through a lot together, from the growth of the company to changes in the product range. They now work as a duo job in the purchasing department, where they are responsible for purchasing standard products such as bearings, lifting and hoisting materials and fasteners. How did their collaboration come about and what makes it so much fun to work together? We asked Karin and Corine.
HOW IT started
“I started at ELCEE in December 1990, as a receptionist,” says Karin. “I am from the old generation. We started with a telex machine to send orders to Belgian suppliers. That was a machine with a keyboard and a roll of paper in which you had to tap holes. You also had a thick book where you had to look up customer ratings. That was very different from now with the internet and computers.” Corine adds: “We also didn’t have a fax back then. If you wanted to send something, you first had to type it on a typewriter and then take it to the post. The counter was also very different. It was a wall with a bench and a sliding window that you had to talk through.” Corine: I joined ELCEE in August 1988, through a job application. On Friday afternoon I was allowed to come for an interview; incredibly nervous of course! I had a super nice interview with the director and when I walked away, he called after me “if I could start on Monday”.
HOW IT WENT
Karin: Then Corine got pregnant in 1996, back then part-time work was not as common as it is today. Fortunately, our colleagues fought hard for her because they didn’t want to lose her. Then they created a job for her in the purchasing department, which didn’t exist back then. The sales then also did purchasing on top of it, but this position relieved the sales so they could focus better on their core task. Corine: Yes, that was very nice that they did that for me. I was only going to buy fasteners at the time, later other standard product groups were added. Karin: And then I got pregnant in 1999 and part-time work was still an exception. Then they thought: don’t you want to have a duo job together with Corine? That seemed like a good idea, because we already knew each other well and we had the same working style. Corine: We both started working 2.5 days, and now we both work together on Thursdays. That’s very nice, because then you can consult each other and catch up.
HOW THERE IS LAUGHTER
Karin: We have also experienced many fun things at ELCEE. When ELCEE turned 75, we all wore the same tracksuit and in the evening we had a party in Tropicana. The day after, we went sailing on an old-fashioned sailing ship. That was a really fun weekend with our partners there. Corine: We also liked having a laugh with our colleagues. For instance, we sometimes sent someone to the warehouse to look for the air hooks. Actually, every day at ELCEE is hilarious. We have a lot of fun together, but we also work hard and seriously.
HOW IT IS NOW
“We are responsible for three main groups: standard products, specials and projects,” Karin explains. “We buy from suppliers all over the world. Corine says the work has become much faster and more dynamic. “It’s a new challenge every day. The system is adapted and constantly changing. That takes some getting used to and it’s fast acting, but that’s fun, really a challenge.”
HOW IT WORKS
Karin and Corine work together as a duo job. They know each other inside out and complement each other well. They also have a good relationship with their manager Ted, who gives them a lot of freedom and trust. “We share a lot with each other,” says Corine. “We laugh a lot, but we are also serious when we have to be. We don’t like to beat around the bush. We say what we think and we solve problems together.”
HOW IT CONTINUES
Karin and Corine are proud of their work and of ELCEE. They see themselves continuing with their duo job for a long time to come. “We have learnt a lot and experienced a lot,” says Karin. “We have a lot of contact with people from inside and outside the company. That makes the work fun and varied. Corine concludes: “We are happy that we have been able to work together for so long and that we complement each other so well. We hope to work at ELCEE for a long time to come.”