The most normal employee

Who is Michael Fuchs?

Michael Fuchs is the most normal employee at Gebrüder Weiss. He is 38.1 years old, comes from Austria, has been with the company for 6.9 years and his workplace is a warehouse. He differs from the norm in one respect only: he does not exist. Mr. Fuchs is a purely imaginary individual with a profile based exclusively on averages. But averages reveal little about reality, and almost nothing about the vast majority of people working at Gebrüder Weiss.

Herta Scherz
59 years old, including 30 years at Gebrüder Weiss,
Haulage Invoicing,
Vienna

My ex-brother-in-law helped get me a job handling imports from Italy at Gebrüder Weiss in 1990 – because I could speak Italian. In those days everything was done by phone so I used my language skills every day. That was a wonderful period because the team was so tight-knit. We all knew each other. It was a smaller operation back then with about 350 employees in St. Marx. We used to do everything ourselves, except the invoicing. That’s out of the question these days. Now I handle the domestic invoicing (incoming and outgoing), domestic clearing and the domestic monthly settlement control (incoming and outgoing) in the administration department. Good relations with my fellow employees are the most important thing for me in my work. We get along quite well, which keeps everything running smoothly. Nothing works like teamwork. Next year I have a hat trick coming up: 30 years at Gebrüder Weiss, my sixtieth birthday and retirement. Young people need the jobs. And there’s no progress without change. Change is always a good thing. It keeps you mentally fit.

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Josef Ehrenberger
33 years old, including twelve years at Gebrüder Weiss,
Facility Service,
Vienna

I work at Facility Service East where I’m responsible for site extensions and new construction in Austria and the Czech Republic. It’s my job to ensure that the companies and tradespeople carry out the instructions of the Gebrüder Weiss Management Board. I interact with lots of people in my job and always need to focus on finding solutions. I’m always performing a balancing act between keeping operations running and progressing the construction work. I like the variety. I don’t have a daily routine. Working in Maintenance alone didn’t suit me at all. I got that job through the former head of Construction Technology whom I knew quite well on a personal basis. The first three years were great for learning the ropes, but I was told at the outset that I would get the chance to change track at some stage. I find my current job really cool. It offers me a brand new perspective on the company.

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Markus Kruis
21 years old, including nine months at Gebrüder Weiss,
Trainee,
Vienna

Home delivery is booming at Gebrüder Weiss. Here in Vienna we’re building a new storage hall. I’ve been working at the home delivery center for three weeks. I spend most of my time at my computer, managing the various systems: the control system coordinating the trucks, and the orders from our customers etc. I enjoy being the link between the administrators and the warehouse staff. Sitting at a computer for nine hours a day is not for me. I prefer being on the move. Something happens in a truck and I get called into the hall. Or I need to locate freight that a driver can’t find in the warehouse. Or I have to go up to the office to discuss something. I’m also on good terms with the workers. Bodybuilding is what I do in my spare time. In 2018 I was the champion junior bodybuilder in Austria. And soon I’ll be flying off to the Mr. Universe contest – following in the footsteps of my compatriot Arnold Schwarzenegger, so to speak.

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Manuel Fink
32 years old, including nine years at Gebrüder Weiss,
Dispatcher,
Vienna

Groupage freight, partial loads, full loads – I’ve seen and done everything that has to do with land transport. In Graz I was mainly responsible for routes into Germany. Since coming to Vienna, I’ve been managing full and partial loads to Italy, Germany, Scandinavia and the Benelux countries. I arrive at the office between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. and begin by processing emails. After that, I see whether our own trucks are running on time and how the unloading bays are coping. Then I check how long our drivers have been on the road– I do all of this before the load planning even begins. How many loads do I have? Do I need third-party trucks, or can I get by with our own? I enjoy it when things get tight. If you have a tough deadline and you deliver on time because you’ve managed to find a spare truck somewhere: that’s a great feeling! Every day brings a new challenge. I started out at 15 training to be a dispatcher and have never felt the desire to do anything else.

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“Joe” Alfred Baborka
53 years old, including 30 years at Gebrüder Weiss,
Haulage,
Vienna

The great thing about haulage is the variety. Four or five trucks a day need loading. The reality is that I spend my whole time handling incoming deliveries. Then there’s the art of fitting it all in, or at least as much as possible. There’s a good chemistry between the staff, and we always touch base with the drivers. I like all that. I need to be active, in the mix. We know each other well in the haulage team, including our strengths and weaknesses. We understand the work and are willing to pull out all the stops when time is short. What’s the fastest route? How much can I take in one go? Where are the long items? They take up most space and need to be stowed first. At the moment we have a team that meshes well, and I find that reassuring. It puts you in a positive frame of mind every morning.

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Isabella Hirsch
24 years old, including 1.5 years at Gebrüder Weiss,
Transport Security,
Vienna

I’m currently studying for a Bachelor’s degree in Geography. A year and a half ago I applied to do an internship – a compulsory part of the program – at Gebrüder Weiss. And then I got stuck in the Transport Security department. There are four of us in our department, and I’ve been there from day one. It’s really exciting. Predictability and control are also important to me personally. I like knowing what to expect when I leave for work. That said, you can never be quite sure of anything in my department. We have a 40-hour week in the office but also provide on-call services for emergencies. And the burden of responsibility takes its toll. After a week of being on call you are absolutely wrung out and happy to get some sleep.

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Flora Leung
31 years old, including one year at Gebrüder Weiss,
Corporate Key Account,
Vienna

My husband is Austrian, so I moved here from Hong Kong 18 months ago. I’m a key account manager in Corporate Sales. My main focus is on China and Hong Kong, but I also liaise with European and Chinese companies and potential new customers. I’m free to allocate my time, but I do have to start early due to the time difference in Asia. What do I miss in Austria? The fact that the shops aren’t open on Sundays and even close early during the week. In Hong Kong I used to work until 9 p.m. and then do my shopping. And while I can place orders online after the shops close here in Vienna, delivery normally takes about two days. In Hong Kong, for example, I used to order fruit, even sliced fruit, and it would arrive within the hour. But I’ve adapted to the pace of life in Austria now. Maybe I was just a little complacent back then.

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Vlastimil Majtan
46 years old, including 8 years at Gebrüder Weiss,
Air & Sea Transhipment,
Vienna

I’m a ramp foreman for Air & Sea. Three ramps here at the warehouse are “mine,” so to speak. The airport shuttle moving the import and export goods runs four times a day. I have to unload and load it, prepare the merchandise and check the dimensions etc. In between, the sea freight containers get unloaded and loaded and are then sent on their way. We certainly aren’t short of goods in Import! On Mondays, Air Freight used to send us between two and four metal pallets – the type used on aircraft. Nowadays some arrive every day, including eleven just yesterday. It doesn’t matter to me what’s on them – the work involved is always the same. But the regulations for air freight are very strict. And with sea freight we always need to take care that the center of gravity is in the middle or it might tip over. So the goods need to be secured, too. Now and again, when all’s quiet on the ramps, I turn into an all-rounder and do whatever I can to help my colleagues.

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