The company housekeeper takes care of employees and well-being
“The company housekeeper is the best thing that ever happened to Kirami”
Kirami has been bold in hiring people of different ages. Two years ago, the company hired Pirjo, who was on the unemployment path to retirement and wanted to stay active on weekdays, to serve as the company housekeeper. In 2019, the company likewise hired the unemployed and soon-to-retire Matti, whose tasks include the transportation and maintenance of hot tubs. Both have made such a lasting impression that the company wouldn’t exchange its seniors for anything.
Company housekeeper Pirjo started her career at a zipper factory, from where she moved on to the Vammalan Siivoushuolto cleaning company in 2012. In 2014, Pirjo entered the unemployment path to retirement, but soon began to crave something to fill her days with. Kirami’s Managing Director Mika Rantanen knew Pirjo from before and decided to offer her a job as Kirami’s company housekeeper.
“Mika told me that he had long been dreaming of a company housekeeper who would look after the other employees. He had asked around at the factory and got some support for the idea. We scheduled an official job interview in January 2017, and I started work right then and there. I work 20 hours a week, which is the maximum amount that I am allowed to work while retired. Staying at home would have driven me crazy – since I’m healthy, I decided to continue working,” Pirjo says.
The sheriff makes meals and maintains order
Pirjo takes care of a wide range of different tasks.
“I start my day by checking the kitchen and the main entrance hall. They have to be kept in tiptop shape at all times. After that, I brew some coffee and bake an oven pancake, if there is any expired milk in the fridge. Sometimes I make some whipped lingonberry porridge or bake something. I also drop by the factory every day and clear away most of the rubbish while I walk around. I also immediately vacuum any sand so that nobody slips on it. In the winter, I clear away snow and grit the driveways, and in the summer I plant seasonal flowers,” Pirjo says.
“My duties also include taking care of corporate guests. I always try to make some food or coffee bread for meetings, depending on requests. In the autumn and winter season, I brew up some ginger drink for the employees so that everyone stays healthy. I also make soups, casseroles, bread, small pizzas and salads, and collect berries to make jam for all the sweet tooths at Kirami.”
Pirjo’s role is to also keep the men at the factory in line.
“I’ve even received a sheriff’s badge for maintaining order. I school the men on things like the proper way of opening a milk carton. I take the daily paper for the company CEO and put him on a nap after it, Pirjo laughs.
Matti, who now helps with transports and maintenance at Kirami, had a 39-year career at Vammas, which is nowadays known as Patria.
“When the work moved to Hämeenlinna, my employer gave me the option of stopping work before reaching retirement age. When the new activation model for unemployment security was implemented in autumn 2018, I visited Kirami to ask for a job, as a result of which Mika and I agreed that as long as I update my lorry licence, there will be a job for me here come spring. Now I work at Kirami whenever my help is needed,” says Matti.
“My tasks include driving the lorry and delivering hot tubs to retailers and sometimes to customers.”
For Matti, working is a way of passing the time.
“I’d get bored at home. I got everything done around the house, and so I thought that there might be use for a worker like me somewhere else.”
A unique work community
Neither Pirjo nor Matti consider their work to be hard.
“I like the fact that no two days are the same. I get to decide what to do and when to do it. The boys are ready to help at a moment’s notice if I need them to. You don’t need to do anything alone here, you can always ask others for help. At Kirami, we are united by a similar sense of humour and a good community spirit. This is a truly unique work community,” Pirjo says.
Matti enjoys his work as well.
“I have great co-workers here and no task is insurmountable.”
Pirjo and Matti have also taken care of a work task that is quite different from their usual duties.
“As a matter of course we’ve served as Father and Mother Christmas at the company Christmas photoshoot,” the two of them say, smiling contentedly.
Pirjo and Matti provide a sense of calm and experience to the company
Other employees at Kirami have only good things to say about Pirjo and Matti.
“They both bring joy, life, calm and experience to the workplace. I also believe that it is thanks to Pirjo’s cleaning efforts and potions that we only accumulated a total of 10 sickness absences in the last financial period,” says Kirami’s Managing Director Mika Rantanen.
The workers at the factory are grateful for the duo’s efforts.
“Pirjo starting work at Kirami was the best thing that ever happened here,” says Miro Männistö from Kirami’s exports department.
Meanwhile Matti has provided invaluable help with transports and maintenance work.
“I’d never give up Matti. He is easy to work with due to being so experienced. He’s a great help and an excellent co-worker,” says Sami Eskola, who is in charge of Kirami’s maintenance and technical support.
See more photos of Pirjo and Matti