They are indispensable on the campus: the cleaners, caretakers, caterers, gardeners, receptionists – the list is long. Resource seeks out these key people. This time, meet Jeroen Schipper (40), a courier for the whole campus.
‘As the only courier on the campus, I pick up the post and deliver it. I take anything that can be transported in a normal bus without ventilation, and that’s not too heavy – like letters and boxes of test tubes. My duties are the same every day: sorting post, making a round of all the university buildings at set times, seeing the same people. I don’t find that boring in itself.’
Driving the van is the best part of the day
‘I got this job through the Wajong scheme which requires the university to employ people with a disability. I have ADD, which means I find it hard to concentrate on something unless I really like it. Since I love driving, I can keep it up very easily – I’ve been working here for six years now.
Driving the van is the best part of the day. I switch on the radio and the aircon and go for a nice relaxed drive. I like working alone. I don’t see myself as very good at socializing, but I have learned a lot. Now I actually enjoy the chats I have on my rounds. During the lockdown I really missed the friendly company in the post room. I got stressed partly because there weren’t as many colleagues around to help me. Normally, someone drives around to see how much post there is, and whether it’s too much for me to cope with. And it was busier during the lockdown because everyone needed post delivered to their homes, and departments treated each other to boxes full of junk. It all got too much. I developed chest pains, and they didn’t go away again. Now I start work earlier so I’ve got some extra time in case something goes wrong. Like that time the wind at the Forum blew all the letters all over the campus. It’s a pity I was only diagnosed with ADD when I was 24. Otherwise, I might have been able to go to university with special guidance. Then I might have been able to become an astronomer or an astronaut, like I wanted to when I was a kid. But you’ve got to make the best of it. And that’s what I do.’