Paul Versteegh has worked for Shell since he was 19. And still he loves going to work every day. Another employer? He doesn't want to even consider that. As a process manager there are still plenty projects on the horizon that he would love to sink his teeth into.
"My father has always worked in the oil industry. When I finished secondary school and didn't really know what I wanted to do, he left a newspaper on the table with an advertisement from Shell’s company school. 'Paul, this is what you are going to do', he said. That's how I ended up at Shell. Now, 33 years on, I am still working for Shell. The last few years as a Process Operator Turnarounds in Pernis.
Obviously, a lot has changed over the years. I can still clearly remember that on my second day at the refinery, I was introduced to the department manager who walked up to me in a two-piece suit. Obviously, that's difficult to imagine nowadays and you cannot enter the plant without a helmet, overalls and steel toe caps. From a safety point of view, we are much tighter on this. We also started working in a much more environmentally friendly way. In the old days, it didn't matter if oil ended up on the road, as long as you put down a sandbag. Now, it's unacceptable to lose a single drop of oil.
“I am not a job hopper and I expect to stay with Shell for the rest of my working days”
Consequently, what you used to do in five minutes now takes two weeks. I don't always stop and think about it, but those rules are essential. It only takes one mistake and things go out of hand. Not only with your own staff, but also with your neighbours. It is therefore extremely important to maintain good relations with local residents by involving them in the operations. So that they too can feel secure around the plants.
I am not a job hopper and I expect to stay with Shell for the rest of my working days. Also because Shell's future looks bright and we are going to make a lot of progress in the production of biodiesel in the run-up to the energy transition. There is a part for me to play there as well.
My pension? I'm not worried about that whatsoever. I trust Shell to have arranged things really well and I'll figure it out when the time comes. Until then, I know times won't be boring and there will be some really great projects coming up."