Dmitry Plotnikov: Plotnikov’s philosophy

October 2011, the interview was taken by Vera Dolzhenkova
Prepared by Gazprom Website Editorial Board on the basis of the “Plotnikov’s Philosophy” interview published in the Gazovy Vektor (Gas Vector) newspaper of Gazprom Transgaz Tomsk

What is your greatest trophy?

A 4 kilo pike. But it didn’t stick to my mind as much as a cocky pike-perch I had to fish up with a dip net in the dead of night, and it was too big to fit.

It’s hard to believe but it is fishing that makes our team so solid and really tight-knit. On weekends we often meet to go fishing. Sometimes I hear: “You spend all working days together and even on weekends you do not leave each other alone.” But I’ll say it seriously: if you want to trust everyone in your team you have to know each other well, but you have no time for this during the working day.

Your philosophy is well-known in the branch company. The philosophy is simple but sincere and effective: while operating a gas pipeline, people understand perfectly that they are constantly exposed to danger, so it is essential to trust your coworkers.

Fishing for us is a test of character, not only it helps the collective be a team but also makes life more interesting. Sometimes, feelings run really high when we organize winter fishing tournaments. The winners are content. We have won a couple of times, and our emotions and impressions were enough for the whole week.

It seems to me that gas workers, and our company in particular, have a strong sense of responsibility. We do everything to provide heat, electricity and water to industries, social infrastructure facilities and houses. This has become possible thanks to gasification.

Volodino compressor station in Tomsk

Volodino compressor station in Tomsk

Dmitry Plotnikov has been working at the company for 15 years now. All this time the team was engaged into the Altai gas transmission system construction. Now, gas is a common thing not only for Barnaul but for Gorno-Altaisk as well.

We were doing everything for ourselves, we wanted the facilities to be reliable and failsafe. Sometimes you have to invent something after the equipment producers, sometimes you have to solder something…

Inventing, completing and remaking, digging in schemes and rivets is a special passion of mechanic Dmitry Plotnikov that peeped out in school years. As a child, Dmitry was always busy assembling and disassembling units, inventing fabulous structures, repairing radios that seemed to be dead forever. His classmates even had a joke: “Give Plotnikov a pan and a little time, and the pan will sing.” So, it was no surprise when Dmitry decided to become a television engineer. And then by a stroke of fate he passed the same way as most of his counterparts – army, radio manufacturing plant, vocational school, perestroika…

I always have luck for the enterprises that not only have a well-defined objective but a highly-demanded objective. I found a job at a plant producing prototypes in single quantities. It was very exciting there! You are assembling a unit and suddenly see a mismatch. The engineer and the constructor come to you, we consider the situation together, make modifications and the things get rolling. It is only now I understand that we were supplying the first innovative enterprises with the equipment that was unique then.

I had an experience of working for a private company, a joint Russian-Israeli venture focused on heat meters installation. It was an analog of what I am doing here today.

When the smudgy outline of the Altai Line Pipe Operation Center had just appeared on the horizon, Dmitry Plotnikov had a gut feeling about it. That’s where it is interesting, that’s where he can apply his knowledge and experience and the result will always be socially important.

Volodino compressor station in Tomsk

Volodino compressor station in Tomsk

I inculcated an inquisitive mind in my son, too. Alexey was at the age of ten when we bought a computer for him. For three months he did nothing but played. I tried to excite his curiosity, took a CD, put it into a CD drive, it started to whirr and launched the program. Alexey was intrigued – how did it work? There was a programmer, Alexander Kolbychev, who was employed at the branch company then, a very interesting man. He is retired now, finishing his own helicopter construction. He advised a book with all the programming basics. Later he dedicated a lot of his free time to the guy.

Alexey Plotnikov graduated with distinction from Barnaul Polytechnic University. Now he specializes in installing new generation meters at enterprises. He makes no secret that he wants to work at the same company with his farther, at such a company as Gazprom Transgaz Tomsk, all the more. There are so many ways to apply new ideas and new knowledge there.

Looking at the branch company from the outside, I’m very glad that we have found our company, our team, our cause.