A first time for everything

Although I’ve been working for RED and with our client, Hitachi Construction Machinery (Europe), for 12 years, there’s always a chance to experience something new, and a recent trip to Greece resulted in a series of firsts for me – both personal and professional. 

Not only was it the first time I visited the Greek Hitachi dealer, Helma, but my first time in mainland Greece. We visited one of their customers in Patra, working on a new road construction project, and closer to Helma’s locations in Athens, we visited the early beginnings of Europe’s greatest urban regeneration project, The Ellinikon.

The team at Helma gave me my first experience of true Greek hospitality – a warm and friendly welcome, excellent cooperation – not to mention the delicious food, entertaining conversation, plenty of laughs and some inspiring life lessons… and tips on making the world’s best olive oil. 

It was also my first time travelling with our client, Ferry Biemans, from HCME – it was great to share the job-site experiences with him and get to know him better – the first time we’ve had an opportunity to do so away from a Teams call. I really appreciated his attention to detail (not least in planning the whole trip, but also spotting correct airport departure gates and machine sticker positioning!)

Then there was the operator strike – the first time all machine operators have downed tools (and excavator controls) for the day during one of our Hitachi trips. So we headed to the amazing Acropolis, followed by the beautiful Vouliagmeni beach. 

A special ‘efcharisto’ to Ferry, Iris, Dimitris and Fanis, and all their amazing colleagues at Helma – I sincerely hope my first trip to Greece is not the last.