hauptsache man hat arbeit
With a member of staff from the advertising department I go through the production area and visit the walls deemed suitable for murals. Their suitability largely depends on whether or not they line the way customers use when they are shown through the factory. "What are we going to paint here?" asks Ms Jäkel.
For one of these production walls, the deputy supervisor asks for a painting that portrays the multicultural nature of the company's workforce. Greeks and Turks work here, and so do Poles. I nod bravely at the difficult topic and feel very like a Socialist state artist. In one of the halls, I hear the music switch between Turkish and German tunes. This is where air springs are produced for lorries. They recorded the tapes for work, said the men and - by the way - they each lift 18 tons a day. I ask the male and female colleagues what kind of sayings on work and working together they have in their languages. "Working together connects people," is a Russian phrase. Then there's "no work no cake" in Polish and something like "one hand can't clap - two can," in Turkish. Ruza Pavic from the canteen writes down her favourite saying for me: vuci vole kada nemas skole. This means "Pull, ox, if you don't have any education," which is what she always says to herself as she pushes the tray of dishes into the kitchen.