Kari Tanskanen

The magician that solves any and all kinds of problems

The Manager of the Vatupassi Joensuu store, Kari Tanskanen, is known for the fact that whenever he’s around there is no need to google anything. No matter what the question is, Kari, also known as “the Magician”, has an answer. According to the jovial man himself, however, it is up to the listener what they do with the answer.

The nickname “Magician” dates back to the late 1980s and the early days of my career in the rental business. I was working as an installer, and whenever we didn’t have something we needed, it just had to be conjured up somehow. That’s where the name comes from. Another one of my nicknames is “Kirka”, but that’s just because of my hair, Kari reminisces. [Kirka was a popular Finnish singer.]

Kari has worked at a company owned by Jukka Törmälä even before Vatupassi, so he truly has plenty of experience in this field. Kari has been interested in engines and machines since his childhood, and says he is passionate about his work.

I’ve had a lifelong fascination for different gadgets. Jukka and I got to know each other when we were both avid motorsport fans, and that’s how we began working together. I even tend to spend my free-time around gadgets too. Every time I drive past a construction site, I have a look to see whose gear they’ve got, and at home I browse the internet. Just the other day, the doctor was checking my back and asked if I needed sick leave, and I said: No thank you! I don’t want to rest, I want to work, Kari chuckles.

One of the reasons people trust Kari is definitely his immense interest in tools and equipment. Another major factor is his service-mindedness. Kari knows how to keep the clients happy.

The most important thing is that we do what we’ve promised. And you always have to have an answer, no matter the question. Nowadays, you must have employees that have a wide range of experience and skills. Being able to tell the difference between a drill and a shovel just won’t cut it. We visit building sites with the masters and keep learning all the time. I always check out the new machines thoroughly, so that I know what I’m selling. If you ever start to think that you are “ready”, think again, Kari says.

Kari’s phone is always “on” for the clients, even on the weekends, and him being “available” like that just adds to the feeling of trust and reliability. Kari recalls how a client once called from a construction site being really apologetic about disrupting his weekend… But it didn’t take long for him to have three guys from Vatupassi there tackling the problem. That’s how you keep the customers happy – and coming back – à la Kari Tanskanen.

Kari, who also likes to go hunting and fishing, has a fatherly touch as a foreman. His vast experience in the business has given him plenty of knowledge and good judgement, but the most important quality at work is his wicked sense of humour.

Having a sense of humour is a must. We might disagree about something sometimes, but it’s never personal. We’ve never had a situation we weren’t able to resolve with a little bit of humour. It’s also important that nobody is perceived to be better than the others, there is no rigid hierarchy. I jump in a van myself in a flash, if need be. That’s good for the team spirit. And I guess it has worked out well so far, as we like to hang out together even in our free-time. Out in the forest, for example, Kari says with a smile.

Published 12.2.2020.

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