Noordenvelder – Harm Jan Danker | The newspaper’s news

PEIZE – Harm Jan Danker is a satisfied person, and he exudes that. The now 68-year-old Westerwoldse Peizenaar is still working, is chairman of VV Peize and Klaverjast are the stars of the sky during the winter months. Although he really wanted to be a farmer, his career took a completely different turn. But one that suited him where he interacted a lot with people. And that’s what he still likes to do
Harm Jan was born as the youngest in a family of five children in Sellingerbeetse. His father had a mixed farm and Harm Jan liked that too. That party was canceled, his eldest brother became a farmer. Fortunately, he did not give up, he decided at the age of 17 to apply for a job with the police. He was hired and continued to work there for 16 years. ‘Among other things, I worked as a local police officer, which I thought was a fantastic job. Trading with people is something I really enjoy doing. Later, I worked in the fraud investigation, which I really liked to do. At one point, they got a leadership position, and I ended up with the traffic police. That was not quite it for me. In the evening, I took my VWO diploma and enrolled in the police academy. Then I could move on to officer rank, chief inspector or commissioner. I was unlucky, there was room for 5 people and 120 people had signed up. So I was rejected ‘.
It was not quite the task to lead the police, and certainly not in the traffic department, so Harm Jan thought it was time to explore other horizons. ‘Of course I had a lot of experience in fraud, which brought me to GAK as an investigation officer. I did that for five years, but then I remembered that I had been catching villains for 20 years. So time to do something else. I became a field service inspector, also at GAK. I arranged everything within the work area that takes place at an employer. I had my own district, which is why I visited these employers. I felt like a fish in water because, like when I was a local police officer, I was in contact with people.
Meanwhile, the occupational health and safety service was established, giving employers different responsibilities with regard to the health expenses of their employees. I visited the companies to explain how the new rules worked. Until the government suddenly realized that the field service inspectors were no longer allowed to perform that work. The work fell away, also because a number of public services were merged and we became UWV. ‘
Harm Jan realized that he now knew a lot about absence in all its facets, so he applied for a job at Icare Thuiszorg. ‘I started working in the Emmen department. It was very different than I was used to. First of all, I worked almost exclusively with women. By the way, it went well. It also managed to reduce sick leave. I did this mainly by getting leaders to think differently. One has to imagine that there are about 900 people working there and that it is a huge wage. If you already reduce absenteeism there by 1%, you are talking about a large sum of money. At one point I thought, ‘Why not start my own business?’
In 2005, Harm Jan founded his company OptimAd, Optimaal Advies. ‘I advise on, among other things, absence management, social security and conflict mediation. And I still really enjoy that job. It still feels a bit like when I was a police officer; the good contact with people. ‘
Peize was a bit of a fluke. ‘I sold our house in Groningen to a colleague without already having another house. At that time there was no internet yet, a colleague pointed me to an ad in the newspaper where this house was offered for sale. I went to look and I did not like it. But my wife also wanted to go out and look and she immediately said ‘yes’. She has the ability to see through something. Fortunately, because we live here beautifully. Our kids were still small when we moved and I remember my son asking where the sandbox had gone. Then I thought for a moment: what have I started on, can I make this move for them? But he is now an adult and had a wonderful childhood here. Like my daughter.
Despite the fact that we have lived in Peize for 38 years now, you will never be completely Peizenaar. It is reserved for people born here. But that applies to every village you come to live in, I think.

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