Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Volkswagen Autostadt

He straightened his green and navy tie as he waited in line to receive his assignment for the day. His mother was so proud of him. Her thirty year old son, fresh out of university, and already he has a good suit-and-tie job at Volkswagen.

He picked up his assignment from the employee entrance front desk. “So what did you get, Fritz?”

“I’m assisting Herr Schmidt again today. We should be finishing the model for the new prototype today. What do you have, Michael?”

He opened his envelope. It couldn’t be! “Oh, heh heh, you know, the same ol’ same o’. Hey, I’ll see you later, okay?”

Michael tried to retain as much composure as he could. What had happened? Why was he being punished? He headed for the men’s room and splashed cold water on his face. He then looked in the mirror at the young professional who was assigned to monitor a kindergarten class from Adelheidsdorf all day. Why me? But then he remembered the company party that weekend. He had drunk a little too much schnapps. He vaguely recalled flirting with the boss’s wife. Oh no.

So there he was, dressed for success in the company uniform, holding blond-headed 5 year olds by the hand. At lunch he ushered them through the line as they made their own hotdog, corn, carrot, and peas pizzas. While they sat at their little table he stood at the end armed with a bottle of apple juice prepared to refill the cups of these little brats. He rolled his eyes when they asked him to take them to the bathroom. Yes, wouldn’t mother be proud?!

Michael is only one of many young professionals with university degrees who work at the Volkswagen plant. There’s Diar who has been assigned to man the swing set allowing only 4 children to be on at a time. And Karl and Fernando who stand outside at the gate welcoming visitors. The entire time they’re wondering how Pieter lucked out and got assigned to be the instructor at the Tuareg test drive course.

Pieter was wondering that himself as he flirted with the young American woman. While she concentrated on driving up a flight of stairs, down a 45 degree decline, through a river bed and sand pit, over a see saw bridge, over logs, etc., he was pestering her with questions like what kind of music she likes, does she like parties, does she like Germany, blah blah blah. The entire time she was wondering what kind of maniac flirts with a girl when her parents are sitting in the backseat?!

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