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"Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy"

CEO Ernst Prost explains why the company acts anti-cyclically just now and invests in "in markets, people and our brand"

Dear co-entrepreneurs, dear employees, dear fellow enjoyers !

I'm old school, almost a fossil or at least threatened to become extinct. I started with my apprenticeship as a car mechanic with a 45 hour week and 80 Deutsch Mark per month. In the following years I earned more money, but the work hours increased rather than decreased. If you wanted to have a better life later... you worked until midday on New Year's Eve and even on Christmas Eve, that was completely normal. 
Wishing everybody Christmas greetings in the middle of November, wishing everyone a Merry Christmas or a Happy New Year was unheard of. Friday's was a full working day and 21 days of vacation where the norm. To young ears this may sound like exploitation or at least like a tremendous imbalance quoting the proverbial work-life balance. Enjoying, relaxing, resting, unwinding, taking a break from work, finding yourself at the same time, long weekends and short working weeks and then complaining about the stressful four and a half day week. Is work really so terrible that you have to shorten it even more? That would be sad and a mistake. What do you want to relax from and what are you supposed to enjoy? Work brings satisfaction, recognition, self-affirmation and the good feeling of achievement. 

I believe that work is an essential part of a fulfilled life. Just ask an unemployed person - regardless of the money and social contacts you experience through work. If only free time is holy and the opposite is considered something bad, then something is terribly wrong. Does boredom with no purpose make sense? I do not like the proverbial work-life balance. It is misleading as if life and work are opposites, work is part of life and an important one too. I wish every person a job that provides fulfillment, pleasure and fun. Work makes sense for people and the population in general, just think of nursing jobs. Of course the balance needs to be appropriate, therefore I have strictly forbidden any overtime.

During my wild years I always waited for our competitors to enjoy a long weekend, take a company holiday or otherwise be absent, leaving their "castle" unguarded and abandoned. We always knew how to make best use of these situations. When our competitors were on company holidays, we would approach all customers with best offers. During some holidays we would surprise our customers with special offers & activities and were able to use these to our advantage. By the time the others went back to work we already had achieved our goals, I still love the tactic of surprising moves "to create an advantage during the absence of a competitor". 

This is our game plan even in times of crisis, It's crazy: other companies take cover, cut their budgets, put all kinds of activities on hold or wait at home until it's all over. WE do the opposite, We use the opportunity that every crisis presents and follow an anti-cyclical approach and invest in markets, people and our brand. 200 TV spots in addition... this element of surprise is worth a lot ! Now friends! Let us use the field advantage - the time advantage - and the element of surprise. Let's make the best out of what we are doing right now, we still can enjoy it later - when we have won the game.

I greet you with energy and enthusiasm. 

Yours

Ernst Prost 


New Zealand