Jörg Grad - 60 Years DKA
18.08.2022 — Extremely cool anniversary: Jörg Grad from Dresdner Kühlanlagenbau celebrates his 60th year of service
60 years of service are a very special event- our everyday professional Jörg Grad has been active at Dresdner Kühlanlagenbau GmbH since 1962!
DKA, which has been part of Dussmann since 2013, is one of the leading companies in the field of refrigeration and air conditioning systems and forms an important part of Technical Solutions.
In our interview, plant engineer Jörg Grad reports on the greatest challenge of his long professional career. And he has a few tips for his young colleagues.
Mr Grad, 60 years of Dresdner Kühlanlagenbau - that's a whole life in the service of the "DKA polar bear". How did you join the company in 1962? And why did you choose refrigeration and air conditioning technology in particular?
When I was a little boy, my mother worked as a sales point manager in the local grocery shop. There was a large cold store attached to it, which always fascinated me. Several times a week I would visit my mother and there were almost always fitters working in that cold store. I then applied for an apprenticeship at the refrigeration plant, but was rejected. I then completed my apprenticeship as a machinist - that's what it was called then - at another company. At the second attempt and with the journeyman's certificate in my pocket, it finally worked out at Kühlanlagenbau Dresden.
Your first wage was 1.53 marks per hour. What did you buy with your first money back then?
I can't remember exactly what I bought. But I think I gave most of my first wage to my parents as board money. At that time I didn't know my wife yet and I was still living at home.
What has been your greatest professional challenge in the past 60 years?
I don't have to think long: In 2006, I was able to travel to Moscow as a site manager to install and commission the refrigeration system in a huge GLOBUS store. It was bigger than any supermarket I have ever seen here in Germany. All in all, the construction took almost half a year.
What was your most exciting project or your best experience in Dresden's refrigeration plant construction?
Here, too, we went abroad. When we started up the first large food market in Poland, I was there as a young service technician. But only because I had a big mouth beforehand: we were sitting together at lunch on Fridays when my boss at the time came in the door. He told me that the construction site was not progressing at all and I countered that we just needed the right people. Well... the following Monday I was already in the car heading for Poland.
Since your retirement you have gained something precious: Time. What do you like to do with your free time?
My wife and I often go hiking. But above all, we love to travel. We are big fans of America. In recent years we have been to Peru, Canada and several times to the USA.
Why do you still enjoy working for Dresdner Kühlanlagenbau in retirement?
I still like to support my colleagues and appreciate the cooperation with my division manager. And working somewhere else would be nonsense.
Are there still one or more customers from the early days?
Unfortunately not. I worked as a service technician until the mid-nineties. All my customers from back then, especially the many bakers and butchers along the streets, no longer exist. That is very sad.
With your wealth of experience: what advice/tip would you give to the young colleagues of Dussmann Technical Solutions for starting a career?
For our job you have to be physically fit, as the work is often strenuous. I have taken care of my health and my body from the beginning. For example, I got my own knee pads and protective work equipment early on, when it didn't really exist yet.
For what reason have you remained loyal to our company for all these years?
On the one hand, it was and is the personal relationship with my colleagues, but on the other hand, I always wanted to stay in the region with my family. Besides: what you have, you know. What you get, you don't know.
Dear Mr Grad, we wish you all the best for the future and are very proud that you have remained loyal to "the polar bear" for so many years.
The interview was conducted by Isabel Liliensiek.
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