Thorsten Steensen has worked for Rapp Bomek for 47 years and in just a few days he will enjoy his retirement. He has been a part of our service team from the mid 80’s, installed and did maintenance on several fire doors. We are very proud to have an employee who has worked for the company during almost his whole working life and has contributed for all these years to Rapp Bomek’s success.
For this occasion, we decided to make an interview with him and ask him about his experiences.
Q: - What did you work with when you first started to work here?
Thorsten: - I started to work at Bodø Mekaniske Verksted (Bodø Mechanical Workshop) as lather operator. Bodø Mekaniske Verksted built hulls, repaired ships and produced boat equipment. The company changed name to Rapp Bomek in 1983, when the Rapp Fabrikker were merged with Bomek.
Q: - Which other positions did you have?
Thorsten: - I worked as a mechanic and repaired ships. In the mid 80’s I joined the service team where I has worked since as a service technician on different installation where Rapp Bomek doors were supplied.
Q: - What was it like when you were sent out to the world in the 80’s without mobile phone?
Thorsten: - We had to improvise a lot. We had access to phone usually at the hotels and we had to call our colleagues even if it was beyond normal working hours. We brought all the documentation with us in a so-called Service folder. But sometimes we needed new or updated drawings to be able to complete the job. Then we got these faxed to the hotel and the hotel crew stuck them under the door of the hotel room. Even though I travelled a lot alone, it went well most of the time.
Q: - How did you experience the technological developments during the last years?
Thorsten: - In the beginning the fire doors were very robust and heavy. With the new technology they are much lighter. I experience a change for example in the material; earlier it was very common with plain steel doors. Nowadays it’s significant more fire doors made of stainless steel. The reason is that stainless steel doors are much more resistant and they last longer. As for the design the doors have looked similar during the years.
I also experienced changes on the oil rigs where we worked. In the beginning it was very common that 2-4 people shared a cabin. Later, the privacy got much more focus and it became more common with single bed cabins. I noticed significant changes especially on the Norwegian platforms. Safety became more important and HSE claims got much stricter which resulted in safe and innovative work places.
Q: - What type of installations did you work on?
Thorsten: - I have worked mostly offshore, but I also visited some onshore installations like the oil refinery in Chicago.
Q: - Which continents and countries did you visit during working in Rapp Bomek?
Thorsten: - I have been to every continent and in approximately 20 countries, but I worked mostly in Norway. I have been to all platforms in the North Sea except Draugen.
Q: - What was challenging in working as a service technician?
Thorsten: - It is very interesting to meet different people from different cultures around the world. You learn a lot, but you also have to adjust both yourself and your working methods when working in different countries.