koos-speed-queen-technician

We have amongst our family, an exemplary man, Koos van Staden, respected for his skill and knowledge as master technician as well as for the candor and warm sincerity that he shares wherever he goes.

koos-van-staden-speedqueen-technician

Top Technician

Koos has delivered 32 years of loyal service to Lead. We feel very honoured to have somebody of his calibre be with us for so very long. It is humbling and a true tribute to our company.

Top Technician

Koos has delivered 32 years of loyal service to Lead. We feel very honoured to have somebody of his calibre be with us for so very long. It is humbling and a true tribute to our company.

We asked him to share a few anecdotes about his experiences…

Congratulations on reaching the incredible milestone of 32 years of loyal service to Lead. How do you feel about this?

“I feel old.”

Can you tell me a bit about what your life was like before you joined the Lead family – like where you grew up and your work experience before working at Lead?

“In 1983-1991 I worked at the post office as a technician. We worked shifts (night and day shift) and we worked an average of 130 hours overtime a month.

I grew up in Primrose and still reside there today. Primrose has the infamous claim-to-fame as the town where the first informal settlement was established in South Africa in July 1994, when the MEC of housing, Tokyo Sexwale, instructed the authorities not to remove illegal occupants off private property.”

Can you remember how you felt on your first few days working for Lead in 1991?

“Stressed.

At the time, the biggest complaints from customers were ‘What causes this white fluff on my clothing?’

The market in those days was not the same as it is today. Top loader washing machines were not as prominent as they are today.

In the early 80’s, the Fuges washing machine was removed from the market. This front-loading washing machine spoilt many customers, as you could wash everything in it and all the synthetic clothing came out black/blue without fluff. This was because the machine had three rinse cycles and used a lot of water.

This washing machine was very popular, especially in the Afrikaans speaking domestic market.

When the machine was suddenly removed from the market and the spares were no longer available in South Africa, customers that needed the washing machine repaired or had to replace it.

The best choice was to purchase a Speed Queen® top loader, as it was about the same size.

However, being a top loader, the operating system was totally different to the front loader. The stress for me then became how to explain this to the housewives of Germiston and beyond.”

What do you enjoy most about your job?

“The absolute satisfaction when a washing machine is ‘kaput’ and I am able to resurrect it from death, whereafter the washing machine washes and sounds like a cat wearing slippers.”

Describe one of your favourite work memories?

“Looking back at year-end functions.

The first year-end function I attended, Lead sat around 1 table (8 people), and I was the only technician attending. I was a ‘junior technician’ at the time.”

What are the things you’ve done at this company that you’re the proudest of?

“Training Devon and seeing him grow into a confident technician, as well as one that is able to perform his duties properly.”

Who are your role models in life?

“I don’t have role models in life.”

Do you have any hobbies or passions outside of work, favourite places to visit or ways in which you like to relax when you are not at work?

“I started working with the SAPS Primrose Police as a reservist in 1988. I am still active in this – I will retire when I turn 60.

My passion and hobby is sport shooting. I can talk about this for hours.

I don’t have a favourite place to visit, as everywhere I go to is a new place.

I don’t think my generation ever really learned to relax. We grew up in a society where we had to get up, go and work. Take into consideration that I am a member of the BBC (Born Before Computers) generation.”

One belief: That we are all created equal, by one living God. No person is more important than another person, regardless of wealth, status and education.

The motto that I live by is honesty. No matter the situation, always be honest when trying to resolve, or work through it.

It’s not uncommon to receive feedback like this:

“I believe that [Speed Queen] has one technician that is worth his weight in gold to the company, if his servicing of my machines is any recommendation. For many, many years I have always asked for Koos and he is the Technician that has continuously serviced my machines. He has always been courteous and patient with my trying to explain the ‘noise’ that has me concerned and with a gentle ‘let-me-come-through-and-see-what-may-be-the-problem’ attitude, has not delayed in setting up an appointment within a day.

Over the years, besides the replacement of parts necessary in the full service of the machines, which he does each time he comes through. The only ‘problems’ I have had with my washing machine has been the odd button that has come off the clothing, a safety pin and a missed pin from the packaging of my husband’s newly bought collared workshirts. He is polite, punctual and efficient. During the time he is working on the machine we enjoy a cup of coffee together and a good conversation. He explains exactly what is needing to be done, fixes any problems, tests the running of the machine, and wipes any area he has worked on, clean before leaving.”

Dale Gauldie, Bedfordview

We are extremely fortunate to have Koos on our team and would like publicly to thank him for his tremendous service loyalty and commitment to the industry, and for inspiring us all to be better people.

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