Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

"Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz?"

©Brigitta Huegel

Today I have been - for the first time in my life - at a stockholders' meeting. Because: I found a new motto for 2015 in an interview with Juliette Greco, who explained something extraordinary she did by saying: "I don't want to die stupid". 
Nor do I.
So - normally abhorring and avoiding any meeting in my agency if ever I can find an excuse - I accepted my invitation by Daimler for their stockholders' meeting - in Berlin, served on a silver tablet, so to speak.
In the S-Bahn (parking places are rare) I looked around and spotted a couple that looked as if they were going to attend that meeting.
I was right. They were - and they looked like it.
I looked very posh, too, but as ever a bit - different - with black Lagerfeld half-finger kid-leather gloves (very sexy), a wonderful slim rasberry-red jackett, a huge black patent leather bag that Kate Moss had promoted, black denim jeans, and a lot of eye-make-up, as ever. (Come to think of it: THAT , Dating Agencies, is a market to chase potential husbands, much more promising than the macramé courses at adult education centers. Though sorry to say: most of those evidently rich blokes were not the type I prefer - I have a faible for - well: different men. And: I am happily married. AND earn my own money - such a luck).
(Feel forced by a rather previous incident to add a footnote: please: I don't want to have to despatch this post into oblivion too, just because one follower or another doesn't see my winking eye, so:
:-)  :-) :-)  = smiley, smiley, smiley!  
When I went into the big assembly hall, I had the feeling that thus might look the hall of Scientology - I mean: as I think it might look, I've never been there.
Big, big screens on the wall. Very uplifting music. Very beautiful people (in the film, not in the assembly hall - beside of me, of course, and a few young men who might be students of economics, and a few young girls who had to lead people to their seats. Having worked in my student days as translator on fairs and exhibitions, I know how much your face hurts in the evening because of the permanent smile one has to put on (and the hands of old man off), and I learned one very important thing: Never wear new shoes when you are working on a fair - they will kill you...)
In front of the huge screens sat tiny little men (the supervisory board).
7, I counted, but one of those little men was a woman, but I could not identify which... Later, when people - we were always addressed  as "owners" - were allowed to put questions, a female professor asked: "Why is only one women in your supervisory bord? Our aim is to have at least 50% women there". Though I agree with more women being there, I found "at least" a bit disturbing - and very optimistic. And girls, you have to prepare for a hard, tough fight to get there: when I heard what those board members earn in one year - I realized: "I'm in the wrrrong profession". This insight comes a bit late, but maybe they are searching for a woman to fulfill their "Frauenquote".  I will volunteer. And promise to attend to every meeting :-)
Till they ask me: I take the liberty to walk away after half the meeting (oh yes, I had a nice snack, and: oh yes, I voted).
Their new cars: absolutely beautiful. Never owned a Merc myself. (But a beautiful Lancia Beta 2000).
Humming:  Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz. Prefering Janis Joplin, but could only find this:



PS: Oh... I lost by accident all the interesting pictures I took today of the stockholder meeting - all the beautiful cars - from my smartphone - vanished into haze...



16 comments:

  1. And I must add how smart it was of you to partake of the refreshments and leave at half time.A Mercedes Benz is simply not small enough or sporty enough.

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    1. Dear Joanne, this is a very Smart comment :-) Though I have seen one car in their exhibition that could kindle my interest... A bit like the one above.

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  2. Mercedes Benz is my second favorite Janis song. (The first is Piece Of My Heart). I dislike quotas. If only companies could simply hire the best person for the job without looking at things like gender, ethnicity, or religion. They would be more successful and the world would be a better place.

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    1. Dear Emma, I also love "Me & Bobby McGee" and Janis version of "Summertime". Quotas are a very difficult thing - I have some very good highly qualified academic friends who are always on place two of a job-list, because they are men, and women in Germany have to be preferred at a university job - its law.

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  3. In many years as a shareholder I have never attended a shareholders meeting. It is only necessary to read the Chairman's Report and the dividend details in the Annual Report. It is also useful, if not necessary, to have the skill of reading between the lines and understanding what lurks there.

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    1. Dear Rachel, I wanted - for once - feel the atmosphere and see with my own eyes what I thought it would be like (and my imagined scenario was right - though I was astounded about the huge, huge screens). Of course I read their reports - and quite successfully :-)

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  4. Meetings are one of the main reasons I went outdoors in 1979 and remained outdoors until retiring in 2009. I don't think they are good for me. I do however admire other people's ability to learn from them.

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    1. Dear Geo., I admire your consequence in leaving meetings behind! When they asked me to become a lay judge here, son reminded me that I would sit all the time in a sort of meeting... so I declined gracefully.
      My problem is the high amount of time that is (in my eyes, I might be downright wrong) necessary (I call it: wasted) to discuss things that might have been DONE in the same time. Of course teamwork - and thus discussions - are necessary, but sometimes I have a feeling that discussions are used for not working. (All these introducing games, all these Metaplan activities: big felt pen, little notepad, one word to write down your splendid "solution" - hours, and hours, and hours...)
      "Life is too short to stuff a mushroom" - also a good motto.

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  5. You put me to shame! Every month I get those statements, and regularly I receive notices of meetings. I never go - ever. I may die stupid. (Insert a wink here!) I'd love to have seen a photo of your stockholder meeting ensemble.
    Now - I wondered what happened to that post. I couldn't do it justice on my smart phone but when I went back onmy notebook.....poof.......it was gone!
    So sad when people can't take a joke.

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    1. Dear Pondside, I always see that we are both working in a nearly same field of profession (listening and talking to many, many people): you always notice underlying - not clearly said - things. Thank you for that!
      Well - this one stockholder meeting will have to stand for all the others (if I had time and interest, I could easily race through our German landscape, from one meeting to another) - but lo and behold... not I.
      I still don't know why the photos weren't kept - I saw them on the computer screen - and when I took away the smartphone, they were vanished (together with a cute little video about a little bunny in our front garden).

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  6. I sold my Mercedes Benz last year and bought an antique French teaspoon with the proceeds. How cars depreciate. And 'Out, Out' is one of my top poems: it is so true that we humans turn to our affairs. I am catching up...

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    1. Dear Mise, glad you are catching up - and I will be even gladder to read your hilarious posts! As to cars: husband and I together (!) had at least three veteran Mercedes Benz - but I had never one for myself. I had the typical woman&car-relation: first sports cars, then, as a mother, some volvos - (one a huge station wagon. "Some" means only we never ever bought a new car, never, so after a few years another model followed). Now I have Knut, (a Fiat 500 is ideal for a big city) and Husband a BMW (for the time in the week working at Hildesheim's university) - in Berlin we almost ever use the underground.

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  7. Are you sure she didn't say, "I don't want to die, stupid"?

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    1. dear Tom, I love your question and grin - but I am absolutely sure this time: She spoke of making love with a woman.

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  8. No Mercedes, here. I gave up that dream when our son was born... Aspirations turned to a mini-van! The Janis version is a favorite. I found this on YouTube, but not sure it will link here... But we'll try!

    Video for oh lord won't you buy me a mercedes benz▶ 2:25
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tGuJ34062s

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    1. Dear Susan, a Mini-Van is great too!
      Thank you for the Janis-version - I tried to get it, but it is officially forbidden to see it in Germany because the GEMA couldn't come on terms about the money they should spend on it for uploading/viewing. But I have the song on a CD.

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