Beate Gieswinkel
Cold Store Operative

Cold Storage Warehousing

Beate feels perfectly at home among all her male colleagues at our Venlo cold store. Still, she would like it if more women joined the team. There is a good spirit and, thanks to modern tools, the work is not hard.

I have been working in this cold store for a long time. I started as a cleaner. When the cleaning work was moved to the evening, I quit and started working as a packer on the cookie line. That no longer exists. In 2014 I became a Cold Store Operative, as my job is officially called within Thermotraffic.

Fun and varied work

I started on the pump truck and subsequently trained for my forklift certificate here. Using the pump truck or forklift, I help load and unload the trucks, pick up and unload pallets, and raise pallets. My colleague prepares the pallets and then I place two layers on top of them. Clamping is what we call it. I really enjoy that work. And I am also a perfectionist. The neater I stack the pallets, the easier it is for my colleague to load them into the container.

I enjoy helping people anyway. With the pump truck I can easily move things. So why shouldn’t I put things in the freezer beforehand? Then a colleague won’t have to.

A pleasant and collegial working atmosphere

The atmosphere on the shop floor is very pleasant. There is always someone to talk to. Sometimes I take a speaker so there is music while we work. That makes it even better to be here.

Right now I am the only woman on the team. The men are always ready to help me, but I do a lot myself. For example, if a pallet is broken and needs to be repaired, they are quick to want to take over that work from me. But they don’t have to. I know how to use a hammer and nails. I could work as a carpenter.

I feel very supported by the team leader. Your personal circumstances are taken into account. That is nice. You can always learn things, as I did when I got my forklift certificate.

Crocheting presents for colleagues

In my spare time I like to crochet, especially little dolls. There’s a name for that: amigurumi. I have already crocheted dolls or a Christmas tree for several colleagues, which they can then hang in their reach truck. And I made a spiderman bib for a colleague who became a father. That’s what you do when you have nice colleagues.

I like it here but I would really like it if there were more women. Then you could talk about something else. The work is not physically demanding. You rarely have to lift anything yourself. So that’s fine.

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