Medical device operator
He is one of OPHTEC’s ‘longest-serving’ employees. The company had been around for only five years when Eli Nahumury started working there in 1988. “A rookie, barely twenty years old”, Eli laughs. “Still wet behind the ears.” But Anneke Worst, the founder of OPHTEC, saw something in Eli. A young, decisive guy. Just finished his military service. Eager to learn. Over the years, that rookie has grown into an experienced production worker. He watched OPHTEC grow from a local family business into a global company. “And I’m really proud of that!”
“Looking back it’s incredible how much has changed over the past thirty-four years,” Eli says. “There were no machines. There were only a few of us and we did everything by hand. But we were a team.” When it was busy, Anneke Worst would jump in to help out in the production room. “We’d sit there until late at night applying labels,” Eli recalls. “It was a team effort. Everyone worked together to get things done.”
According to Eli, that is still true today. “Even though we’ve grown a lot, it still feels like a family. We all know each other and are there for each other.” Most of the processes have been automated in recent years. The job is more mental than physical these days. “That took some getting used to,” Eli admits. “You can’t learn what I do in school. All the machines have been developed especially for OPHTEC. The only way to learn is by doing. We support each other in that too.”
These days, Eli mainly ensures that the first part of the production process runs smoothly. At any given time you may find him processing new orders, calibrating lenses, or fixing malfunctions – he is busy non-stop. “I have to be; if I hold things up on my end, the rest of the production schedule gets off-track as well.” A responsible position. And quite stressful too. “Yes, you have to be able to handle pressure”, Eli nods. “But after so many years it doesn’t feel stressful to me. I’ve been through a lot and don’t get worked up that easily anymore.”
Does he still enjoy his work after more than thirty years? “Yes, I really do!” Eli laughs. “Sure, you can have a bad day sometimes. But I still enjoy going to work. I am still being challenged and still learning new things.” The variety in the work, the opportunities for further development and the freedom to plan the day yourself are important factors for his job satisfaction, according to Eli. But far more important are the people. “ Our team works in pretty close quarters all day long. If we don’t get along, things don’t work. Literally and figuratively. Great colleagues make for a great workplace.”
Whether you’re dealing with a canteen employee or the CEO, the lines of communication are equally short. And to the point. “Everyone supports each other”, Eli nods. “We all know that life doesn’t always go as planned. But if something is going on in your life, people understand. The CEO will even come up to you personally to ask how you’re doing.” Eli worked full-time for OPHTEC for thirty-four years. But when his first grandchild was born, he wanted to have one day off for a ‘grandpa day’. “They supported me completely.” According to Eli, health and happiness have always been a priority at OPHTEC. “That is certainly not the case everywhere.”
After thirty-four years, Eli isn’t done yet. “There is a reason I have been working at OPHTEC for so long,” he laughs. “If a company is good to you, you are good to the company too. On to forty!”
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