2 January 2019 Nathalie Joosten reports to the counter at Vetipak, about to begin her first day of work. The only problem is, the colleague who was going to show her the ropes is on vacation.
Partying into the festive season, thanks to Germie!
There is still plenty of chatter in the office about Vetipak's Christmas activities. What exactly was Germie de Graaff doing during the raffle? Did she just swap one winning ticket for another? One staff member wonders about this out loud... with a wink. Of course, it is just possible that this piece of paper had his number on it, which is why he missed out on a prize...
Germie vigorously parries the “criticism”, cracking a few jokes and having a laugh with him before getting back to work as if nothing had happened. In the meantime, she’s already achieved what she wanted: happy faces at work. "That's what I'm all about", she says. “I also think it's important for us as a company to demonstrate our employees that we value them.”
Germie has been working for Vetipak herself for more than sixteen years. She started out in production at our facility at Landweerstraat-Zuid in Oss, and now works there as a logistics administrative officer. She has held various positions at other locations in between. As a result, she knows the company like the back of her hand... and the people too!
Pieten on Tour and a drive-through
In addition to her daily duties, Germie organizes Vetipak’s Sinterklaas and Christmas activities. She doesn’t do this alone, however. She has been ably assisted by Angélique Nooijen, Pleunie Smolders, Maartje van Haren and Nathalie Joosten this year, among others. Because Sinterklaas – played for years by CEO Arno van de Ven – could not come on site for the second year in a row, they worked hard to create an adapted program. The usual Christmas drinks party was also canceled.
"We even had a traffic jam at one point!"
Fortunately, the restrictive measures didn’t get in the way of Germie and her colleagues turning the holidays into a celebration after all. "We had Pieten on Tour again", said the merrymaker. “Staff dressed up as Piet to deliver presents to the homes of around 60 children. A couple of weeks later we organized a Christmassy drive-through with all kinds of treats on site and to enjoy at home as well. It was incredibly busy: we even had a traffic jam at one point!”
During the drive-through, Vetipak staff received a number of tickets for the Christmas lottery, with the results following later in a video. “Santa asked me if I’d like to be his Christmas elf for the filming of the video. I said: ‘Christmas elf? Why not just say tw-elf, haha!’” As you can see, Germie’s always in for a joke. And so she just happened to be at Santa's side, not dressed as an angel but in a home-made Christmas sweater. “We had so much fun. Also with some risqué humor: we had to cut quite a bit out of the video...”
"An event can be considered truly successful if colleagues are still talking about it long afterwards"
Organizer by nature
Organizing and arranging things are part of Germie’s nature, and to no small extent. In addition to her extra ‘duties’ at Vetipak, she is also very active at her children’s primary school, not only on the parents’ council and the Carnival committee, but also as a ‘decorating mom’. Germie also rolls up her sleeves when it comes to local activities in her town Megen. “This year, I’m helping to organize ‘Kerst op de Keien’ (Christmas on the Cobbles) for the first time. It’s busy, but it’s absolutely no trouble to me at all, because it’s so much fun.”
Germie even gets energy out of these activities, especially when she’s been able to put a smile on the faces of a whole lot of people. “An event can be considered truly successful if colleagues are still talking about it long afterwards. Like the men in the office earlier this morning. Great, right?!”
Merci Germie, for all your efforts! We really appreciate everything you do. Naturally, we’d also like to thank all of our other staff members who celebrated the holiday season with us. We wish you happy holidays and a wonderful 2022!
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