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At the controls: Wim Noltes

Third edition of website column "At the Buttons. Wim Noltes (Powerspex's oldest employee) pushes the buttons on the switchboard today and answers the questions that appear.

Name: Wim Noltes
Age: 78
Residence: Hengelo
Marital status: Married to Jeanette, father of Kiki, Pepijn and Pelle, grandfather of Rao, Anne-Roos, Leonne and Ella.
Function at Powerspex: sales support & contract manager, via ZZP construction.

At the controls Wim Noltes

Since when have you been working for Powerspex and how did you get there?

"At the time Powerspex started, I worked at Stork and joined Stork in the NEM. In 2003 there was reorganization at the NEM and I was given early retirement. I was too young to retire and besides, you were allowed to keep working in this scheme. Jan Wilmink asked if I wanted to come and help Powerspex. I was also a city councilor in Hengelo and that was just ending. So I had even more time to work.

I knew Jan well. We always like to tell our story: I hired Jan at Stork at the time and later he got me involved in Powerspex. There are more I used to hire at Stork who are now working at Powerspex."

Would you recommend working at Powerspex to others?

"Yes, if you love the trade and have - mostly - an engineering background, this is a nice company to work for. A kind of family business. It's very easy to work here. And everyone can let their hair down: you can do the work you like here and work towards goals you would like to achieve in your career."

Who is your favorite colleague?

"Actually an impossible question, but at the moment I choose my newest colleague Karin Kroeze. After all, I get to supervise her and I enjoy doing that. Breaking in colleagues and supervising trainees is an essential part of my job and I really enjoy doing it. I am of course of an age when it is time to pass on my profession. At 78, it's realistic to expect that I won't last another 10 years."

Do you have an end date in terms of career?

"No, I don't want to think about when I stop. As long as I like the work, I will continue. Unless there would be something with my health, of course. Then the story becomes different."

And who is your favorite customer?

"At the moment I am inclined to say Standardkessel Baumgarte. A new client and a big one besides. Correspondence is in German and I like that. I master German better than English, unlike many others. It clicks well with Standardkessel."

If you didn't have your current profession, what profession would you have wanted to be in?

"Then I retire, haha. Although I've also had quite a few board positions. I could still perform such a function, but a Board of Supervisors does not allow people over 70. So that is no longer possible."

Do you take your work home with you? Be honest: what is controlled by a PLC in your home?

"Nothing at all! I'm not into that either. I do take my work home with me. That's part of the job; sometimes you have to push through and you're still figuring things out in the evening. It doesn't bother me. Fortunately, I don't experience that as stressful."

We do now work with the switchboard as a symbol of work at Powerspex, but how often do you actually work with it?

"Never. You especially shouldn't let me build those either because it certainly won't go well. I do have every respect for people who can do that."

How do you feel about being retired?

"Let me put it this way: I have a nice house with a big garden. I want to sit in it but not work in it. So I work on while others do my garden.

It helps that I have traveled a lot in my life, mostly business, but also personal. So I no longer tend to travel often. Traveling is exhausting and you have to wait a long time at airports these days. I don't have that anymore."

What do you do in your spare time?

"I exercise a lot to stay in shape. I used to play handball and gym, nowadays exercise at a sports center and yoga.
I also like to watch soccer. I have an annual pass for FC Twente. They are doing well. I expect them to become champions."

What do you wish for Powerspex in the future?

"The way Jan outlined the future for the company in his New Year's address, I think that would be fantastic. I really hope Powerspex develops like that."

Glad you wanted to be the third one to take a seat behind this switchboard. You may now think of one question for the person whose turn it is next.

"I would like to ask Powerspex's youngest employee a question that is important for the future of the company: how do you think we can get even more young people involved in Powerspex?"

Then, of course, you now have to answer the question Lars Arens came up with for you in the previous edition of this column, "What other position at Powerspex do you think would be interesting to fill?

"I'd love to work in the workshop sometime but I don't think they'll let me, haha. I can't do it, but it seems like a really nice thing to be able to do."


At the controls

At the Buttons is Powerspex's website column. Each month, a Powerspex employee takes a seat behind the specially built switchboard. With each push of a button, a question appears on the screen for him to answer honestly. Pressed the buttons, interview posted? Then the interviewee's name is immortalized on the switch box. When all the workers have been, the cabinet is full. But that will take some time...
Werner Heβ had the scoop: he was the first to press the buttons on the Powerspex switch box. You can read his story here. This was followed by Lars Arens. Click here for his story.