“I love it here in HELB, everything is just as it should be”

We were lucky to catch this busy guy for half an hour to tell us his story. Blaž Dobrotić is an electrical fitter, who came to HELB as a schoolboy, and his love for work and a great relationship with colleagues have kept him here for ten years. Colleagues describe him as a capable, self-confident guy who is very meticulous in his work, and outside of it he is fun, comical, and not at all boring. They are very happy when they have the opportunity to work with him.

He is at the company’s headquarters maybe one week a year, so we are very happy that he took some time off work and brought us a story from the field with all its good and bad sides.

What does your job at HELB include and what does your average day look like?

If I’m going to list everything we do, it could take a while 😊. Some of the jobs are a reconstruction of substations, installation of transformers, installation of low distribution cabinets, DC, AC, cabling, installation of ducts, working on outdoor plants at 35kV, 110kV, reconstruction of cells at the substation, wiring new equipment, wiring cabinets in production, installation of fuses and numerous other jobs. The new fitters, when they come to HELB, work in production for a while until they learn the job, and then they go to the field. In the field, they start with auxiliary work, they help when the cables are pulled, they do jobs that are not yet requiring special skills and knowledge. One of my favourite jobs is when all the cables are pulled into the new cabinetand everything is arranged nicely. That’s what I mostly do and that’s the most interesting job for me. The most beautiful feeling is when you work hard and it turns out well and looks nice 😊. Also, it’s great when we learn new things. We recently worked on windmills in wind farms, it was very interesting. Everything new is always interesting.

Working days differ from the type of plant, scope of work, location, and so on. There are at least five of us in the field at each construction site. We get up, have breakfast, and then start working around 7 or 8 am. The work takes about eight hours or more, with breaks. If we are in a city, then we go out after workand if we are somewhere outside the city, then we stay in the apartment and hang out. Every construction site hasdifferent scope of work, but on average we are on one construction site for a month. We work during the week and then come home on Fridays. If a construction site is an hourto hour and a half from Zagreb, then we go home every day after work.

How long have you been at HELB and did you work as a fitter right away?

I have been in HELB since 2011. I was an intern for three years and I’m an employee for 7 years. I have been working as an electrical fitter in HELB since the beginning. When I came to do an internship, we were still in the old facility. At that time, I was constantly in production, where I learned the job from more experienced colleagues. When I became an employee, I was still working in our production for a while, and since then I am constantly in the field. I’m here in the factory maybe one week a year. Fifty percent of the time we are on working sites all over Croatia and in the region, and the other fifty percent we are in locations near Zagreb. The fieldwork is quite demanding, and we are separated from the family for a long time, but I love my job very much, and fieldwork is an integral part of that job. 

What are your favourite things about HELB and where do you see room for improvement?

As I said, I really love this job. That’s what my dad did, and I learned a lot from him. I was interested in the trade, so I was guided by that when I enrolled in high school. When I came to HELB as an intern, I became friends with everyone, and after that I decided to stay. I love it here, everything is just as it should be. Good conditions, vacation, days off, accommodation, paid food, and drink. I don’t know what it’s like elsewhere, but I believe here is the best 😊. Besides that, people are great. There is never an argument or a bad atmosphere on construction sites. We live together while working on sites, and in addition to being work colleagues, we are also friends. Even managers, there is no difference. They are an authority, but they never treat us like they are superiors. The relationship with colleagues is very important and must be friendly so that we can do our job properly.

As for the improvements, there is nothing special to single out or change. The tools for the work are first class, the vans are all new and everything is as it should be to make us comfortable and to be able to do our job well. The only thing that can be improved is the accommodation on site. Sometimes it’s great, and sometimes the three of us are in a small room. But I can’t complain, every time we objected about accommodation or food, the managers responded immediately and found us a new one. The problem with booking online is that you never know what you’ll get until you get there, but it’s always resolved, it is important to communicate. Someone is always taking care of us.  

And free time?

I have some free time over the weekend and I usually spend it with family and friends and always do some work around the house.

May 19, 2021

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