Customer Service Representative Dealer Service
STARTED AT PATAGONIA
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Why do you work at Patagonia?
I work at Patagonia because I want to spend my working hours for a company that shares my values. It has become very important to me that the time and effort I put into work benefits what I consider to be the right thing for the planet. It makes no sense for me to live according to certain values and work according to opposite ones.
What was your path to working for Patagonia?
I quit my job (my entire career actually), and dedicated myself to writing a book that had been brewing for many years. It is still not published, but I am extremely happy I did it. Eventually, to pay the bills, I started working in customer service.
This job taught me the skills I needed to get hired at Patagonia.
What is the best thing about your job?
I like building relationships with people and providing high quality work makes me feel good.
What's your favourite environmental initiative?
There are many great initiatives in the history of the company – e.g. switching to organic cotton, using natural rubber for wetsuits, using recycled materials, reducing water use etc.
To pick one, though, I would have to say the regenerative agriculture initiative, which has resulted in Patagonia Provisions. Allowing the soil to restore itself, to care for it so that it may provide us with food rich in nutrients, which in turn benefits our entire well-being, that’s amazing, it represents a shift in consciousness to me.
It seems the planet can produce enough food, that’s not the problem, the problem is that we produce it in a very harsh way, and then throw away a terrible amount of it while people are starving. Although regenerative agriculture in a way means going back to the old ways of producing food, we can create a wonderful modern society by applying the same principles in combination with our increased technical understanding and modern tools. It brings hope for the future!
What are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about the evolution of human consciousness. I believe that our level of consciousness is reflected in how we treat ourselves, our surroundings and each other. These times of environmental crisis represent an opportunity to evolve to the next level. One learns and evolves in times of hardship.
What do you like doing outside of work?
I like writing, music (DJing) and different forms of exercise. My attention is not always evenly split between them. My favourite sport is snowboarding, but to be honest, living in Amsterdam makes backcountry snowboarding a rarer occurrence than I ideally would like!
What has been your biggest adventure so far?
I think it must be my solo rollerblade expedition, crossing the Netherlands from the north to the south.
I carried food, a tent and other necessary equipment, used no GPS, camping along the way, skating about 10 hours a day. I wanted to see what happened to my mental state when faced with complete physical exhaustion.
I remember asking people for directions, and I could not put together a proper sentence. The last 30 minutes, in the middle of the night, completely lost, focusing only on staying on my feet, knowing that if I fall, I might not be able to get up by myself, that was … magical.
When reaching my “finish line”, I didn’t celebrate my achievement like I thought I would. I turned around and bowed to the journey, completely humbled and grateful.
I really can’t explain it...
What is the biggest challenge of your job?
I think that the biggest challenge in my job is the multi-tasking, there is a lot to stay on top of! Whenever I feel on top of things, I experience a sense of achievement. Like doing this interview or the kitchen duties, when it feels like my inbox is in dire need of attention.
My best friend gave me a great advice, namely to compartmentalize everything. It is true. Although multi-tasking is a mantra of our time, I don’t believe it to be real. You can only focus on one thing at a time. Those who are good at multi-tasking are good at focusing on one thing, and then refocusing on something else very quickly.
What skills and traits do you need to succeed at Patagonia?
Being part of a growing company entails a steep learning curve. Learn what the requests are asking, assess the amount of work required, prioritise, find your way of working, speak up when you see something that may be improved upon, have a laugh with your colleagues.
It is very important not to forget the last point :-)