It’s important for customers to now also keep their distance

Bert Dinkelman is celebrating his 12.5 year anniversary at ForFarmers this year. He is a bagged goods driver in Lochem (NL) and really enjoys his job. Bert is certainly concerned about all the current corona perils - just like everyone else. Keeping an appropriate distance when delivering the bagged goods is one particular thing he’s constantly focussed on.

In need of a chat

Bert Dinkelman

Bert: “A bulk truck driver doesn’t normally have a great deal of contact with the farmer when delivering feed. But that’s different where bagged goods are concerned. I deliver bagged goods to around 20-25 addresses every day. This involves you entering the customer’s warehouse or shop. Customers are obviously happy to see someone and are usually in even more of a need of a nice chat than before. But instead of shaking hands and enjoying a chat for a while like we used to, we now need to keep an appropriate distance. Even if they assure you ‘there’s nothing with me’. I still really emphasise the importance of respecting that 2 meters distance. And I instantly disinfect my hands once I’ve unloaded.”

Contact with colleagues via the app

Other colleagues are responsible for loading the bagged goods, which is always done late in the afternoon. “I use that time to collect the loading slips from the office. We can’t all go into the office at the same time now, just one at a time. So yet another place to avoid contact with others”, Bert continues. “And we usually all enjoy a cup of coffee together in the mornings, but that’s simply something else I can’t do at the moment. So I start driving straight away. We have very little contact right now, it’s really limited to sending each other a text message every now and then.”

Close-knit team

So how do they keep everyone’s spirits up, now they barely see each other? Bert: “We have an incredibly close-knit team in Lochem and even though we see each other a great deal less right now, or in some cases not at all, that close-knit team is there to stay. We text each other a little more regularly at the moment. But to be honest, I’m really looking forward to heading out for a beer with some colleagues after work once all this is over.” 

Cycling and walking

“It’s becoming increasingly clear how serious the coronavirus is and that’s certainly very frightening. That’s exactly why keeping our distance is so important. And doing whatever we can to stay healthy ourselves. I cycle to work every day, so that’s 10 kilometres there and back. I watch what I eat and try not to snack in the evenings. And as all social obligations and activities in the evenings have now come to a complete standstill, my wife and I walk about 5 to 10 kilometres every day. Something nice we can do together.”