He has been associated with Bertrand for over twenty years. He started in the old production hall, going through various levels of initiation into carpentry, through assembly. Finally, one winter, he received an offer to become a salesman. And that's how it stayed. Sławek Lejk is a monumental figure who has completed many complex projects that are the pride of our company. This is a good moment for him to tell you a little about himself. We invite you!
Years ago, you worked at Bertrand two or three times, mostly for holidays. You have been permanently associated with our company since 2000. Do you still remember your first day at work?
Yes, I remember. In our company, I started working in the production hall. For a year, maybe a year and a half, I worked in production, and that was in the old hall, now closed. I went through various positions - PVC windows, the whole range, then the production and assembly of glass, because we had our own small glass workshop. What else? Later, it was the production and assembly of roller blinds, which turned into assembly trips - here I also went through the entire stage of assembly, both of the joinery and the roller blinds.
What happened next?
Winter came and I heard a question, which was also a proposition, whether I would like to become a trader. The proposal came from Mr. Bronisław and Mr. Henryk, because they were the bosses at that time - it was before the company's merger. I figured why not give it a try?
And how do you feel in this role that you have been performing for almost twenty-three years?
It's really OK. The work is, of course, hard and often stressful, because every now and then there are challenges that need to be overcome, especially since we handle very complex or unusual individual topics, which few people would undertake today, and no one would undertake them a dozen or so years ago. Then the topics - just because of the difficulty - "came in" on their own. But thanks to the constant challenges and realizations, I am satisfied with this work.
You've seen a lot of projects, and you've also left a big part of your heart. What are you most proud of about your work at Bertrand?
Oh, it's hard to say so quickly. This is because I don't have one or two special realizations or projects of which I would be particularly proud. If I were to look at it as a whole, satisfaction always comes when I manage to implement a really complicated project, which often includes solutions that even system providers do not have. And we managed to do them. When you see that not only did you manage to manage the project from the very beginning to the end, but also that the implementation looks really nice and the client is satisfied, then you definitely get both satisfaction and joy.
Speaking of customers. I know that you have recently been contacted by a former client from Sopot, for whom you implemented a project several years ago. Not only does he remember you, but he also invited you for coffee. What did you think after his call?
Of course, I get satisfaction from this when a client calls, asks how I'm doing, asks to greet my bosses, and invites me for coffee. Of course, times are changing. The Bertrand company used to be smaller, and the management's relationships with clients were also closer. But over the years the company has grown somewhat. The ambitions are huge when it comes to our development, so the Management Board focuses on management and cannot participate in every conversation with the client - today it already has the right people for that. Of course, there is also help from managers, I know I can count on them, although, of course, sometimes it is difficult to "break in" with them, as it is with bosses.
In addition to clients, I also have contact with several architects who cooperate with us and whenever they call me, I am able to advise them accordingly. This is all very nice and shows that my work is appreciated by others.
What has always been important to you in this job?
Team. For me, it has always been important that we, as a sales department, create one well-coordinated team where everyone can count on each other. The atmosphere is very important to me and, as the oldest employee, I have always strived to ensure that everyone in our team feels treated with respect and fairness. As in life, people change, some leave, others come, but regardless, I have always strived to make everyone feel that despite different topics and projects, we create one whole, where there is no division into better and worse.
What has working as a salesperson taught you? Has it changed you as a person?
Hard to say. In this everyday frenzy, it's hard to stop for a moment and analyze myself and how I have changed. I know where I am, what I have achieved, what projects I have completed and what clients I serve. On the one hand, people have dreams to improve their lives, but I also know how different things are. I think I know my place in the row, I can "turn off" certain issues that could cause frustration or complaining. And I know that it's not easy, that you can just as easily fall into the trap of living beyond your means because someone put unhealthy pressure on yourself. And this often leads to the breakdown of relationships and human drama. I have learned to accept where I am and what I have achieved.
I know my role and I try to fulfill it as professionally as possible. I am glad that my work is often appreciated by clients, such invitations for coffee after a dozen or so years, even courtesy ones, are very nice to me. However, I try not to combine professional and private life.
You have great knowledge about our products. How do they differ from others available on the market?
Bertrand has always been known for high-quality products and this opinion still persists on the market. Why? If only because when producing our windows and doors, we have never been guided only by economics. We selected top-shelf components. Moreover, the company has carpentry and craft roots and has always adhered to an approach in which exceptional importance was attached to quality, meticulousness and care in creating products. It was the so-called "old school", introduced by Mr. Bronisław and Henryk Bertrand, and this approach is still present today.
Another issue is the equally great care for production lines, which have always been the most accurate, and technological development in general. It has always been the apple of the Management Board's eye to take care of the machinery and invest in it. Therefore, if we combine the issue of a top-shelf product with modern machinery, and add to this the many years of experience of our employees, all this guarantees a premium brand product that you do not need to be ashamed of. Personally, I have Bertrand windows, and many people in my family also have our products.
What kind of windows do you have?
Currently Kombi System Plus, but until recently I had Gealan S-3000 double-glazed windows installed. And in fact, there was no need to replace them at all, because they served really well. And this has been the case for over twenty years.
So why did you decide to change?
At the time when I installed them, it was really a very good product. It's still there because I gave the windows to my friend - he installed them at his place and they still serve great. Two things made me decide. First, renovation of the house and the entire façade, secondly, the current windows are triple-glazed, and the rising heating costs mean that various solutions are being sought to reduce them. Windows such as Kombi System Plus can help you save money, hence my decision. But if it weren't for the renovation mentioned above, I probably wouldn't have decided to change it because... there was simply no need.