Here is another interview in employee portrait series called “This is what I do” from Transdev Netherlands. The series highlights the work of our colleagues in different parts of Transdev Netherlands and reinforces our Group’s purpose in serving the common good. This time we are featuring Inge Geerling who works as driver at Transdev’s subsidiary, Connexxion Taxi Services in Gouda in the Netherlands.
What department do you work for and what is your role?
I am a student transportation driver and I bring children to special education five days a week in the morning and pick them up again in the afternoon as well. I do this in a safe, responsible and, above all, fun way.
What does your work week look like?
My electric bus is at my home nearby at the charging station. In the morning I get on the bus at 06.40 and am at the first child at 07.07. In the morning I transport 4 children and around 08.30 I am at the last school. Around 09.15 I am home again. In the afternoon I drive 2 children and am at the school at 15.15. I drive this route Monday through Friday. Should the need arise, the planning may call me for other routes.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The contact with the children, the parents and the school. I regularly chat with the parents and teachers so I know what’s going on and can be a link between a child and their parent. I am the first to hear everything from the children after a long day at school. Suppose someone got a good grade on a test, he is very happy and excited when he gets in the car. But after an hour-long drive, those emotions are toned down. When he gets home and the mother asks how the day was, she will get a less enthusiastic answer like the one I got, for example. I then try to help the child a little on his way. Homework on the bus is also sometimes done, I can then also help by rehearsing. But we also regularly swing along with the good morning jingle on Radio10. The other day I received a card from a girl I had on the bus last year. She thanked me for everything and for my uplifting words, that’s super, isn’t it!
What do you have to be good at to do this work?
Driving naturally, keeping your patience, communicating and above all, not stressing. Then we are only 5 minutes late at the destination, as long as it is done in a safe way. Finally: loving the children and not seeing them as work.
What are your goals?
To enjoy and participate in everything that comes your way for as long as possible. I am currently working on a 4-day cab instructor course. Once I complete this, I may train, supervise, and instruct colleagues. Conveying my enthusiasm of the profession to a colleague I will train is something I will be 100% committed to.
If you could change one thing about your job, what would it be?
For me, the European tendering can be improved so that people are valued more for what they do and that not everything depends on price. You are always dealing with special children and not everything can be made up with money.
What are you proud of?
Of myself. Because I still enjoy doing my job very much and because I get a lot of response from kids I once rode with: ‘Inge, it was so much fun with you in the bus’. That gives so much satisfaction and that’s what you do it all for.
Inge is 61 years old and lives with her husband in Lekkerkerk. Together they have 3 children who no longer live at home and she has 1 grandson. Her alarm clock rings at 6 a.m. and around 4:30 p.m. she finishes her workday. In her spare time, Inge and her husband enjoy going to the campsite at the Hoge Veluwe where they have a large touring caravan all year round. She also enjoys making her own clothes and keeps busy entertaining parents and parents-in-law.