Meet the OTTO family

Interview with Agnieszka and Mariusz Kulinski

  • Children: Karol (8) and Oskar (6)
  • At OTTO: since 2007

Agnieszka and Mariusz come from Lubin, a town with 70,000 inhabitants in Lower Silesia in Poland. The original meaning of the town’s name was “Place of Love”. Although Agnieszka and Mariusz used to live in the same street, they got to know each other only in high school. “Mariusz had to grow a bit first for me to notice him, as till the third grade of the high school he was only 156 cm long" - laughs Agnieszka.

In August 2007, after their studies, they left for the Netherlands. Though they spoke absolutely no Dutch, they found work in a supermarket. They were even more surprised when they were asked to serve the customers at the cashier desk. The first sentence they learnt in Dutch was: “"Have you returned empty bottles?"

They resigned and looked for another job. That's how they ended up at OTTO Work Force to work on the preparations for the famous Domino Day. “There were five teams; we lived and worked together for almost three weeks. It was a fantastic time” - Mariusz recalls with satisfaction. “When I saw what we had built on TV, I was as proud as a peacock” - adds Agnieszka.

The end of holidays was approaching, and all the students were going back to Poland. Agnieszka and Mariusz wanted to stay in the Netherlands a half year longer. As both spoke English, Karolina offered them positions in the office. Mariusz landed a job in the Employee Transport Department, and Agnieszka – in Planning and Administration.

After three years at OTTO, Mariusz got a job at another company, and he worked as an engineer in the following years. In the meantime, Agnieszka made a career at OTTO. It was not easy with two small children and the work of Mariusz affecting their family life more and more. After 6 years Mariusz returned to OTTO as Business Consultant, and he is never going to leave – as he claims himself.

Agnieszka Kulinski:

"It is great to see the development of our employees” - she explains with a smile. She hopes that in the next 20 years OTTO will continue to invest in its people as well as it has done so far.

The Icing on the Cake

Agnieszka and Mariusz are a very kind and humble couple who value eating together with the family and their daily routines. Despite the happiness that surrounded them, Agnieszka had the big dream of climbing Kilimanjaro for years. "When you have children, you get new priorities in your life, you settle into a new rhythm, but my dream of Kilimanjaro was always somewhere at the back of my mind" - she says.

In 2017, Frank van Gool devised the “Christmas Wishes” for the company’s Christmas party - Christmas baubles to put your wish in. Agnieszka did not have to think much which wish she was going to write down and Mariusz used his bauble for a wish for his wife. Half a year later, during the official opening of the LH Waalwijk, the management announced the winners of the Christmas Wishes.

"I was on-duty then and there were some problems with the system” - says Mariusz excitedly. "On my way to Waalwijk, I drove to a parking lot and tried to solve the problem on my laptop. I really wanted to be there on time, because my presence was required: only this way Agnieszka could win." And it worked! And the best part was that Agnieszka won and could make her dream climb together with her husband. So, in 2019, the couple flew to Tanzania for the phenomenal trip of a lifetime.

What makes OTTO so special?

There is no such an entry as “monotony” in the dictionary of OTTO Work Force. "Something is always going on here, we are never bored, because there is no time to be bored” - they laugh. They say there are really great people working at OTTO but, unfortunately, it has become impossible to get to know all the staff personally in recent years.

Agnieszka works now in the HR Department and watches with interest how her colleagues climb the career ladder. "It is great to see the development of our employees” - she explains with a smile. She hopes that in the next 20 years OTTO will continue to invest in its people as well as it has done so far.

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