One of the most valuable colleagues we have - deaf data eraser Thomas Brocksch

Thomas Brocksch has been working as a data eraser at AfB's subsidiary in Berlin for around ten years. Here he has found a job with responsibility and a team he can rely on. Branch manager Jörg Franke confirms the good working relationship: "In human terms, Thomas is one of the most valuable colleagues we have here. Professionally, he has made great progress."

In this interview, Thomas Brocksch shares his thoughts on his work. The interview was conducted with the support of a sign language interpreter.

Bandgehäuse zur Datensicherung / lächelnder AfB Mitarbeiter am Arbeitsplatz

[Translate to English:] Foto: Thilo Schmülgen / Aktion Mensch

Photo: Thilo Schmülgen / Aktion Mensch

Datenträger Schredder / Person blickt auf die Maschine

[Translate to English:] Foto: AfB g GmbH

lächelnde AfB Berlin Mitarbeiter im Teambild

[Translate to English:] Foto: Thilo Schmülgen / Aktion Mensch

Who are you and what do you do at AfB

My name is Thomas Brocksch, I work at AfB in in the data erasure department and I am deaf. I started here in 2012 in monitor testing, but quickly realized that I was more interested in data erasure and have since become very familiar with it.

I love my job, especially when I can get creative and optimize work processes. Before AfB, I worked as a mechanic, kitchen planner and in road construction, and was even unemployed for a long time. I learned about AfB by chance and was immediately interested. The idea of inclusion appealed to me so much that I absolutely had to apply.

Were you familiar with computer data erasure?

Working with computers was a big challenge for me, I had to learn a lot and I wrote a lot of things down. So I am also very satisfied and proud of myself that the work in that data erasure department is going well. I think it's good that people with different disabilities and people without disabilities work together at AfB. The location in Berlin is family-like and I like it.

Working in the data erasure department comes with a lot of responsibility. I erase IT devices from companies, which we then refurbish and resell. I can't make any mistakes and sometimes have a lot of tasks which keep me busy. But at the same time I work very concentrated, I am creative and an active man. I always find a way out. If I have problems that I can't handle on my own, we look for a solution together.

How does communication with your team work?

Since I am deaf, there are sometimes difficulties with communication. A lot is explained by showing and some things are explained by writing. For team meetings, training sessions and other important things that cannot be clarified by showing or writing, we had a sign language interpreter on site every two weeks until recently. Now the sign language interpreter supports us weekly. Another challenge is when colleagues want to address me but haven't made their presence clear beforehand, I get startled. The best thing is for them to walk past me briefly and make themselves noticeable, for example, by waving.

Is your workplace specially furnished?

I can set up my workplace according to my wishes. Since I'm very determined and committed, I'm happy to take advantage of this and optimize work routes and processes for myself. My colleagues and my supervisor support me in all matters. For my safety, I wear a personal emergency call with a strong vibration alarm that is directly linked to the fire system and warns me in case of danger. In addition, I can rely on all my other senses and my colleagues.

Is there anything you would like to have in the future?

Despite the great responsibility, I really enjoy working in the data erasure department. I get along well with my colleagues and superiors. I also enjoy the development of technology. I like to tinker and think up new things. For the future, I would therefore like to continue to have a good working relationship, appreciation and exchange among colleagues, and to be able to work at AfB until I retire.


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