SINCE 1978, Les Dingfelder has clocked on every morning as part of the Hume & Iser team – something he says, with a chuckle, makes him feel old.
The hardware stalwart first started with the local business 40 years ago, in a career that’s taken him from working in the timber mill, the truss plant, to then becoming a sales rep, timber-yard office manager, to now taking orders in the timber-yard office.
It’s a love for what he does, he says, which has kept him on the job for so long.
“I love meeting people, the people who I work with are good friends,” he said.
“It’s like every job, you have moments where you think why am I doing this, but it’s just really good to get up and come to work.”
Mr Dingfelder has strong memories of the customers he’s served throughout the years, building up strong relationships with them.
“Some of them from 40 years ago still come in, they’re all retired now … and they always want to have a chat to you,” he said.
That rapport is something managing director Stephen Iser said customers noticed, with many phoning up and asking to deal directly with Mr Dingfelder.
“He’s been doing it for so long, he just about knows everything that you have to know about timber, hardware and deliveries.”
He said it takes a special type of person to do what he does for so long.
“I suppose it could be a bit mundane,” Mr Iser said.
“But that’s what he knows, that’s what he loves, and that’s what he does.
“He puts in, he does a full days work every day, and as an employer, you can’t ask much more than that.”
And for Mr Dingfelder, he’s got no plans of stopping anytime soon.
“As long as they’ll have me is as long as I’ll stay,” he said.
– Sam Kane