Employee of the month March 2024

Claudiu Zamfir

Claudiu Zamfir's life is anything but average. He is 42 and has seen and experienced more than most people go through in 10 lifetimes. His life story resembles an exciting boy's book. As a child, he grew up in Romania under Ceaușescu's communist regime in a gypsy clan. 'It was a nasty time. I was part of a gang and I did a lot of things that can't bear the light of day. The only one I have good memories of is my grandmother,' Claudiu says. When he was 18, his grandmother died and he was on his own. "I had no education, because as a child I was left-handed and the communist regime didn't like that. They were afraid that people who were left-handed would later think differently. At school this was harshly corrected, so Claudiu experienced a traumatic school time. His father saw him as a disgrace to the family and relegated him to the gypsy side on his mother's side. This still hurts Claudiu to this day.

At 18, he went to work in military intelligence. Despite his lack of education, he managed to teach himself a lot about computers. His talent did not go unnoticed and he went to work for the U.S. Army in Afghanistan. There he was the IT man who repaired computers at various bases around the country IT systems. Every mission involved great danger, from roadside bombs to helicopter shelling. And every night the Taliban bombarded his base with mortar shells. 'You had to be constantly 'on'. It was one adrenaline-filled situation after another,' says Claudiu'.

After 10 years, he was done with this dangerous life and wanted to live a normal life. After some wandering, he ended up at BAM Works. 'I started at a plant nursery in the region,' Claudiu says. 'I was so happy to be able to work with my hands, to not have to think for a while and to be able to give back to the earth. With every plant I planted, I felt like I was building something instead of tearing it down.' Working at a plant nursery was only temporary and seasonal, so the move to administrator at BAM Works was a logical one.

'I've really found my niche here. BAM Works is a real family business and you notice that. I can be who I am here, including all the traumas from the war and from my youth. I feel accepted and that's important to me,' Claudiu says.  'We all have potential as people, but it's up to yourself to make the best of yourself. I may have a black past, not having studied and having the stigma of a gypsy attached to me, but I am positive in life and determined to make something beautiful out of it.



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