Roberto Cambeses began his LDC career in Argentina in 1976 working in communications, sending and receiving telex messages to LDC offices around the world. In the intervening 46 years, he has seen many changes – not least in communication technology!
Now aged 67, it’s time for new adventures, and we caught up with him in his home city of Buenos Aires, to discuss his lifetime of work at LDC, and his plans for the future…
46 years is a long time! How do people react when you tell them how long you have worked at LDC?
“To be honest, they’re usually surprised! I suppose it’s unusual, these days, for anyone to spend so much time at the same company – but it always felt natural for me.”
Why do you think that is?
“Commitment has always been important to me – a value my parents instilled in me from an early age, and one I’ve always emphasized to my own son. I’ve been married to Graciela for 38 years, the last 33 of which we have lived in the same house. So I guess you could also say that once I find something I like, I tend to stick with it!”
I imagine you’ve seen many changes at LDC over the years?
“Yes, that’s the other thing. Although I’ve been at the same company for many years, I have had many different jobs. Communications have changed more than almost anything else I can think of over the last few decades, and so of course my role was also constantly changing. By the time I left, I was the front desk receptionist at the Buenos Aires office.
That’s something I always appreciated at LDC – the company allows you to grow and encourages you to take on new challenges.”
People say there’s no such thing as ‘a job for life’ anymore – what would you answer to that?
“I would ask them how they explain me, then! Seriously though, my time at LDC was far more than spending eight hours a day doing a job. For me, it wasn’t just ‘a job for life’ and rather a very important part of my life, where I made friends and forged special bonds with people. And, as I say, my role kept changing over the years, which made it more than just ‘a’ job.”
Can you describe some of those bonds you forged?
“Well, for example, I saw many ladies become mothers, and their tiny babies are now over 30 years old! As colleagues, we shared our days and were part of each other’s lives, in both happy and sad moments. One year, I was best man at the wedding of one of my managers at the time. I also loved playing for the office football team – we were all proud of being part of something together and wearing the same shirt. Even when we lost!”
Do you have a special memory from your time at LDC that you would like to share?
“Of course, there are so many memories after 46 years, but something that always makes me smile happened while I was working at the reception of our former building. One day, three German tourists walked in off the street, asking for something – but I had no idea what! None of us could speak the same language, but thanks to some highly inventive sign language, they eventually explained what they wanted, and I eventually explained what they had to do. It was extremely funny – we were all in fits of laughter – and thinking about it always reminds me of the importance of good communication!”
Have you achieved something you are particularly proud of, personally or professionally, that you would like to add?
“Not one thing, as such, but over the 46 years I hope to have honored the job as a whole. It was extremely fulfilling being committed not only to my responsibilities, but to the people alongside me – many of whom, as I said, are now part of my life as friends. I also want to mention a very special person, Adriana Vazquez – Adri as I called her. We were colleagues for over 30 years, and I want to remark on her empathy. Her ability to listen and understand. She was very important during my years at LDC, and I just want to recognize that here.”
How was your first day after retiring from LDC?
“I have to admit that throughout the whole of my last day at work, I had a huge lump in my throat! When I left, it took me a few days to get used to not having to set alarms or follow the same routine. I can say, though, that now I really enjoy having so much more free time to spend with the people who matter most and do other things I love.”
And what are those things?
“Well, apart from watching football, especially River Plate, I have a couple of unusual hobbies. Believe it or not, I enjoy engraving knives and restoring old technology, such as lamps, stoves and electric appliances. Maybe I should revisit that old telex machine from 1976… [chuckles].”
Roberto, thank you for your time today and for your lifetime of service to LDC. Enjoy your retirement!