Four decades of loyalty to Zagreb roads

(Published on March 8, 2021)

Anđa Zirdum, Head of Material Accounting, is celebrating 42 years of work in Zagreb Roads this year. They were marked by various moments, but guided by the principle: No one can take your knowledge, and everyone needs a good worker - she overcame even the most difficult challenges.

We spoke with Anđa Zirdum, Head of Material Accounting at the Zagreb Roads subsidiary, in her office in Donje Svetice. The office has a little old-fashioned flair - wooden shelves with files, among which take place a photo of Anđa with colleagues from her youth, striped curtains on the windows, a desk that has faded from years of use and a new computer. But, as it turned out in the end, these are only less important details, because the serenity with which Anđa radiates infected us right from the door, while the work ethic is to be highlighted as an example.

- Anđa is our good spirit - tells us Gordana Krajina, Anđa's boss.

Anđa has been faithful to the Zagreb Roads for more than four decades. At the age of 61 and after 42 years of working period, she is planning a well-deserved pension. The husband also earned a pension in Zagreb Roads, where they met.

Her work opus abounds with rich experience. It has everything - from beautiful moments filled with pride, a great working atmosphere and colleagues, to the less beautiful ones. This is Anđa's story.

- I came to the former “Cestogradnja” on November 14, 1979, through a competition as an intern. The offices were in Lenjingradska street near the Sport Hall. After three years of working, former boss, suggested that of us 14 in the office, I should take over the material accounting from the manager who was preparing to retire. And no one complained - she adds with pride. After that, the offices were moved to Rapska street, where she was the Head of Material Accounting until the 90s.

The challenging nineties

To those war nineties is she connected by double feelings. In addition to the joy of motherhood, she also experienced the fear of being fired. Namely, during maternity leave, she received news from colleagues that she was on the dismissal list. She returned in November 1992 ...

- ... I didn't get fired, but they transferred me to Signaling to cut foil as a construction worker, of course for a lower salary. I graduated from high school in economics and studied accounting for four years. But I persisted. I am an optimist by nature, and I was guided by the thought that the sun must come after the rain.

Three years later, she was transferred to a warehouse in Žitnjak. Someone needed to sort out the bookkeeping, which, she says, was in disorder. At that time, Žitnjak was the main base of the Winter Service, but not even the shadow of this present today.

- When I remember the former Winter Service ... It snowed for three days and three nights, we only had two bases, and in ours on Žitnjak there were 2 telephones that kept ringing. There were interesting calls, they even called us to get their horses stuck on Sljeme - she tells us with a smile. She says there was no alarm system like today, but teams were touring the bridges and checking the condition of the pavement. Drivers came home to pick up the workers, because, she says, not everyone had phones back then. Only the drivers had Motorola and were connected by radio.

But over the years, conditions and standards have changed. Today, the winter service consists of 292 teams deployed in 17 places of readiness. Citizens have learned a completely different service, so, as Anđa says, they are often spoiled. The same second the snowflakes fall on the asphalt, they call immediately. And road maintenance costs in winter 40 to 50 million kuna. This is the money that in the end goes down the drain, she notes, and continues her story.

After four years in Žitnjak, she returned to Svetice and stayed. Today, Anđa monitors 58 warehouses every day with 13 500 active items and more than HRK 50 million in value. These are warehouses on four basic and specialized operational units, the work unit Signalization and traffic lights, the Asphalt base Rakitje, the work units Installation of asphalt and Recycling of construction waste. And for all that, she follows the analytics.

- In five minutes, she gives you what you need - says Ana Kasal, Anđa's colleague in the office. She says that Anđa is the best possible person in this profession from whom she could learn during six years and work with. She appreciates her personally and professionally. She is as caring as mother - she says with a smile.

- I created a database with important data for everyone who stays or will come one day. It is exactly known when which license was issued or expires, when the Construction waste recycling unit started working ... When the audit comes, they ask all kinds of questions, and we have the answers, properly arranged in the database.

At the end of the conversation, she points out:

It has always been important for me to work conscientiously, because this is our company, where I earn my salary. I act in it like I’m in my own house. To see a mistake, there’s no way I wouldn’t fix it, no matter who made it, or turned off the light that was burning unnecessarily or shut off the leaking water.

Throughout her life, she was guided by the principle: No one can take your knowledge, and everyone needs a good worker. And that ultimately proved to be the only right combination for success, but also personal satisfaction.

Now, at the end of her working life, she has a message for the younger ones who are staying or will come - Let them learn and listen older and experienced colleagues. And while they are there, let them love their job and their company, because that’s the way they send a positive image of their colleagues and themselves.