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Retired and working with passion

Jacques Cijntje | Intercel

A close-knit team or a family to put it in a better way

An interview with Jacques Cijntje, electromechanic at Intercel

68 and retired, but you still work 3 days a week. Tell us how that works.
“I just love my work and enjoy seeing my colleagues 3 days a week. I do lots of projects completely on my own and at my own speed. I do have deadlines but I organise my own time. It’s a luxury and I love working together with my Intercel family.”

Something about your background, underwater I heard?
“I was born on Curaçao and moved to the Netherlands with the whole family when I was young. I started technical studies, and I continued to learn my entire life. We went to live in Den Helder, where my family had strong ties with the navy. I quickly became a weapons technician on a submarine. I worked for the navy for 31 years and I saw the whole world. On the water and definitely underwater. In the navy I really managed to develop in wide-ranging fields: electrician, precision mechanics, and hydraulics.”

What did you learn on a submarine that you still apply at Intercel?
“Particularly being able to work and conclude projects completely on your own. You should always be able to get the job done there on your own too, naturally supported by your team of specialists. That is something I recognise in my work for Intercel. A close-knit team, or a family to put it in a better way, that picks things up and finishes them together. The broad knowledge of areas outside electromechanics is also useful in my work for Intercel. My colleagues sometimes say I can do anything. That’s far from true, but it’s fantastic to have work with so many different types of challenges.”

How did you get started with Intercel?
“About 15 years ago, an Intercel vacancy fell on his doormat and he quickly applied for it. That start was great fun and I remember how I was made to feel really welcome. The work changed rapidly. After a week of working in the warehouse, I moved to the technical service.”

You have an enormous knowledge of UPS systems. How did that come about?
“I grew into a role with Intercel. Clients had questions and I started working on those. That’s how we moved on to ever larger projects. To enormous ones in the end. Every project is totally different, they are never the same.

A UPS is an emergency power supply. They are huge systems that are mainly used in data centres. They help to keep IT systems available at all times where there are power cuts. A recent UPS system consisted of a high-tech BAE with a UPS and a total dimension of 4 m3. That is attached to a string of 40 batteries.” 

What was your most challenging project?
“The one in Frankfurt for a data centre, beyond a shadow of a doubt. We were able to produce high-tech, wonderful cabinets for a BAE and a UPS. That was a project I worked on for two months together with another colleague. That project meant that other data centres and banks wanted to have a similar type of solution.”

To what extent does sustainability play a role in your work and at home?
“We have to! We need to work together on a better world. I try to do that at work and at home. I have three grandchildren and that provides an extra dimension. They need to have a good future and with Intercel we make an active contribution.”

15 years of Intercel, what stands out most?
“There have been countless outings. The one that really stood out was skiing. Not just with colleagues, but our partners could come to. It was my first time on the planks, and I loved it. The atmosphere was fantastic, and it turned into a major event. That first time skiing is something I will always remember.”

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