In a previous blog I was talking about how old cynical me was still quite pleased when I received two reward & recognition vouchers towards the end of my time at Tata Steel. Something like this happened to me once before, but this time the thank you did not come from someone in a middle management position, but from the top.
This is how it happened : I was back in the UK, looking for jobs, and thought it would be nice if I could get some recommendation from my job in South Africa, just in case it was required. So write a little note to my boss there, and received the following letter:
To whom it may concern :Mr Roels was employed from mid 1984 to mid 1989 at the Iscor Works, Vanderbijlpark, in the division Product Technology.
Until March 1988 he worked in the section Steelmaking Technology, for the most part as Engineer on special projects, including hydrogen embrittlement in plate steel and cooling schedules for slabs. The last six months in this section he acted as Superintendent, with responsibility for BOF and Caster Technology and a workforce of three graduated people and fifteen Quality Controllers. Mr Roels was on the verge of being permanently appointed in this position, when a critical vacancy in the section Hot Mills Technology led to his appointment as Superintendent, Plate Mill Technology.
In his fifteen months in this section, he was primarily responsible for the development of new Plate Mill products (as rolled and heat treated). Here he was supported by five graduates and functioned well under extreme pressure resulting from expansion in the petrochemical industry with the emphasis on local supply of sophisticated pressure vessel steel qualities which had previously been imported.
All facets of Mr Roels’ work were characterised by a systematic approach which yielded meaningful, lucid results to the benefit of his employer and peers.
In the end I never had to use this letter. I did, however, keep it, because here was a clear acknowledgement from people I had worked for that what I had achieved was a job well done. That’s more than I ever got from my days anywhere else. I don’t know if these people are still around to receive my thanks, but here it is anyway.
Thank you Bart Lodewijks, Derrick Stevens and George Kleinsmit.