Text: Maryla Adamčíková, Richard Lamacz | Photo: Lukáš Duspiva
Although he has been working at FINIDR for a year and a half only, I think Richard Lamacz needs no long introduction. An active and friendly person who is everywhere, literally.
Richard, no one calls you anything but “Richie”,how did that come about?
I got this nickname when I was 15 years old at the English camp in Malenovice. These are camps where Americans from Chicago come, in the morning there are lessons in English for Czech children and in the afternoon, they play American sports. Together with a regular group of friends I went to English camp four times, they started calling me Richie (“Riči”) and it stayed with me until I was an adult.
Not many people know that you originally applied to FINIDR as a recruiter with English for communication with Filipinos.
Yes, it is true, as from my previous job, I had the experience of working as a recruiter, where I approached employment agencies, advertised on relevant job portals, and then interviewed the candidates. However, during the interview process at FINIDR, we came to the conclusion that the job of a Facilities Management Technician would be closer to me, so I was glad that you offered me this position.
Where were you working at that time?
My job was a manager of the Skalka Family Park in Ostrava. It was a great job with nice facilities. With great people there. We were basically a family. The daily commute to Ostrava became more and more difficult for me as time went on, especially when my second son was born. Then, after almost three years of working together, I reconsidered, given that I was at work a lot even on weekends, when most events were organized. If I lived in Ostrava, 10 minutes from the campus, I would not have changed my job.
What were you responsible for at Skalka?
The daily operation of the complex in terms of the technical background of the attractions, the economics of the complex, selecting and securing new attractions, communication with suppliers and partners. As a substantial part of my work was in covid, I also secured the necessary subsidies for the operation. The season was classically the summer, when the resort is open to the public, but it also hosts children’s and suburban camps, weddings, parties, corporate parties, and then the winter season, when the resort turns into a ski resort and ski schools and kindergartens start coming.
We already know where you worked and what it was like to join our printing company. What does a facilities management technician do?
I joined FINIDR a year and a half ago as a Facilities Management Technician, responsible for providing property management, i.e. all repairs, renovations, equipment inspections, elevator inspections, waste removal and janitorial issues. Keeping the vending machines running, humidifying the production hall, HVAC, energy transcriptions, summer and winter maintenance of outdoor areas and more. It’s a wide range. This includes communication with tenants or apartment management.
We can say that some of the activities are similar to Skalka, but you are also in charge of a lot of new ones?
Yes, activities such as revisions, repairs, cooperation with external companies or communication across departments within the company are similar. However, here it’s across multiple buildings, and there are also leases, energy suppliers, various production improvements, HVAC and many other things. The technical background of a manufacturing company is different than an entertainment venue. It’s also a little different in terms of managing people. I’m in charge of a total of twenty-five people from housekeeping, reception, waste export, some maintenance, or temps that we use mainly on weekends.
What is it like working with people?
Working with people is diverse. Every day brings something new, whether in a positive or negative sense. Communication, empathy and maintaining good relationships are important to me. You should enjoy your work, so it’s important to find compromises.
You come across as approachable and friendly, what helps you in working with people and how can you maintain respect?
I try to be friendly but at the same time keep a natural distance. Being empathetic, getting along with people and expecting them to do the same. It’s such a business and it should always be a win-win.
Can you tell us what you dealt with last time?
Last time we dealt with space for new machines. We had about 10 days to prepare, which involved new lighting, electrics, waste, window shading, partitioning the space with a plasterboard wall and painting everywhere, fitting new barriers, and cleaning and securing the whole area to make it dust free. It was a struggle against time, but it was eventually done.
Richard, do you have to be manually skilled as a facilities management technician?
I don’t have to, but it’s definitely a value-add. Sometimes there are situations where you have to put your hand to work. I’ve gained a lot of experience in the total renovation of our family home. For example, I’ve laid tiles, plastered walls, built a woodshed, a playground and a lot of other things. I’m a bit of a do-it-yourselfer.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I always have something to improve both on the house and in the garden. My wife and I have two boys, Riíša and Šimon, who like to get involved, mostly in landscaping when there are piles of dirt, rocks and big puddles everywhere. Otherwise, we ride bikes together, paddleboard and go for walks with our dog Max. I regularly play tennis with my friends.
You’re a great dancer, do you and your wife like to dance?
Yes, sometimes we go to a party or a ball.
I thought you took pro dance lessons.
That was a long time ago. It started in high school when we were such a group, all my friends except me took dance classes, I wasn’t supposed to go until a year later. Halfway through the course, I was annoyed that I was just sitting at a table. I arranged lessons with a friend, and she taught me basic standard dancing in the gym within a week. Then went on to take advanced classes together and we got pretty good at it, so the dance teachers entered us in the National E Championships. We started regular training with the Elan dance club, and we placed in the top ten at the competition in Prague.
It’s Advent time, what Christmas traditions your family keeps?
We stay at my parents’ house on Christmas Eve. My mom is Slovak, so we have a Czechoslovak one. We all gather around the festive table, traditionally toasting to the good health and putting fish scales under the tablecloth. We start Christmas Eve dinner with a wafer with honey and garlic for sweet life and health. Then nuts are thrown in every corner, called “corners rejoice”, may every season be healthy. Classically, we cut an apple into halves, looking for a star, and share that apple. Sharing the apple and nut with everyone means you know how to share what you have and will share honestly with others throughout the year. Then you just start eating Christmas dinner.
We have pea and mushroom soups, everyone can have what they want. Then there’s boiled sweet cabbage, but I don’t eat it at Christmas. Carp and potato salad is traditional here. Then we sing carols, ring the bell and follow to open presents. On that day, we also go out in the morning to light candles and pay our respects to our deceased loved ones.
You’re a sporty family, do you enjoy winter fun?
Yes, in winter I like skiing, snowboarding and cross-country skiing. I used to do everything together with my wife, but then when the house and children came along, the time for all the sports activities mentioned above became less. Now we build snowmen with the kids, go sledding, bobsledding and of course we go to Skalka, where we skate and teach the boys to ski.
What would you like to wish to our employees for Christmas?
Let people relax and recharge their batteries. May all their wishes come true and may they enjoy their time with family or friends, maybe in front of the TV with their feet on the table and a belly full of Christmas cookies. I wish everyone good health for the New Year.
I join to this happy wish and thank you for the interview.
What I appreciate most by my co-workers
Team spirit and reliability
The best sports experience
I don’t have a top one, but maybe the Ferrata to Triglav
What I don’t remember, this haven’t happen
The hardest question I ask myself
What did we do to whom?
The gift that surprised me the most