Dries Blokland: AB for Evides (click here for the Dutch translation)
‘In my early years, I was always out on the water. When I turned 14, I became an AB in the fishing industry. My whole family also worked in the fishing industry and I did this for about 8 years. After this, I went into inland shipping and sailed on a towed tanker. My wife joined me on board for 1,5 years, but after having an accident, she didn’t want to sail any longer. That’s when I began looking at other job possibilities. I have worked for many different companies, such as Roteb. Sometime later, I applied for a job on shore. For 30 years, I was the manager of a sports venue in Rozenburg. After an early retirement, I soon began sailing again. So, since 2005, I have been working as an AB for Evides. I began here as a temporary worker through a different temp agency, until we were acquired by TOS. That is how I came in contact with TOS, and it has been 7 years now that I am working through TOS! The best thing about my work? I get to meet many different people. We supply water to many different ships in the Rotterdam harbour. You get to build a network of interesting people and experience fun things.’ explains Dries.
A little inside joke
Dries: ‘We also have a lot of fun with colleagues. For example, a colleague skipper needed a ‘stick’. Back then, the internet was not yet available everywhere and, on ships, you could only go online if you had a stick [mobile broadband dongle via USB]. So, this was of course something to be handled with great care. Then one day … upset colleague … he had forgotten the stick. He asked if I could come out with another colleague to bring it to him. We then found a small piece of white wood, made a fake stick, and put it in a clear, plastic sandwich bag. As we approached the ship, our colleague was very happy to see us. When, I tossed over the sandwich bag, it fell ‘accidentally’ in the water! You should have seen his face! We had a really good laugh and finally handed over the real stick.’