The difference is - German Engineering!

Audi
Mercedes
Siemens
BMW
Blaupunkt

See the trend? All the above mentioned companies apart from being among the best in the business are also German...

I have always had this fascination about German Engineering, so much so that I wanted to do my Masters(yeah in engg!!) from Germany! But that was long ago, just around the time I had entered engineering.. After 4 yrs of hardcore(and theres absolutely nothing sexual about tht) engineering, I was damn to tired to get involved in Automobile Engineering in an alien country... But the point is, Germany always amazed me..
I mean, imagine, a country with a population of 8 crore, being the third strongest economy in the world..The number of Scientist this country has produced..The fact that someone from this country actually thought that they can win over the world if they wanted to!!.... But most importantly, the engineering brains that this country has are what finite element analysis is made up of!!

There is this joke about German enggs tht I am fond of..
The Russians send the first man in space in April '61...
JFK, the US president at time was really miffed at this. He called his chief engineer and asked him, - "How in the world did the Russians get their man in space before we did!"
To this the chief engg replied - "I am sorry sir, but their German engineers are better than ours!!"
Hahahaha... wait till I tell this to my boss...

Talking bout my boss, hes the Head of Tech transfer, so effectively hes the one who's responsible for the entire factory. Now he is one of the representatives of his country for me.. So when I talk about Germans, a lot of my observations will be based on him... Ofcourse there are other Germans who come here in really good suits and really bad English.. Sometimes when they don't know a word, I suspect they throw in the the German equivalent.. Every other of their sentences starts with "nicht" or some word sounds like that... The shrug accompanied by-"I dont know!" is native to all Germans mrgreen ... And may I add, apart from the guys who are a part of management, the others have a terrible sense of fashion!! I mean, Paris is just a stones throw away ppl!!

*One of the things I have noticed bout these guys is that they are extremely polite.. And these guys are supposed to be gas-chamber-suffocating types!!
*They don't change jobs that often! The guy whom I am talking about has been working in the company from like ages!! He worked for Audi for a few years before moving to this company though...
*They are extremely patriotic .. They have a simple policy- everything German is quality! Everything German is good.. German cars, German electronics, German beer, German cellphones !! It took us a lot of cajoling to make them allow the usage of Indian spares in the factory...
*One more thing I admire about them is their dedication towards work.. So someone who works 36 hours a week(yeah! try believing that!!) back in Germany, does 48 hour weeks(Like the rest of us) here!
*Somehow quality inspection takes 3 hrs when our German boss does it.. Somehow 25 yrs of service for a transformer isn't good enough for him..
*Somehow he can run around the factory all day when there is a crisis(Hes 52!).. A bolt not fitting in? Crisis... Too much copper/iron dust on the shopfloor? Crisis..! Nut not tightened correctly?..You guessed it right! Crisis!!!

There are times when something gets messed up real bad and I look at him and he seems to say to himself - Why the f*** am I here!.... No, not angry, just despair..
Sometimes ..well, things don't get messed up and he seems to say to himself.. "Man! They did it, didn't they!"

There is this middle aged colleague whos really cool, and always positive, he has 10 years of work ex and we(the young ones) look up to him.Lets call him GS sir.
All the guys in my dept. have been to Germany..Sir has been there more than a couple of times..But he does not contribute much to the conversation, its only the new foreign-returns who do the talking... And most of them are starry eyed about the buildings, transport, the facilities, the engineering, the cars, the people... They talk about the places they have seen and the Mercedes and BMWs they travelled in... And how fast their trains are.. and how when a train is late by 3 mins its considered a breach of quality ...& How a crater on the road is a national crisis .. " All the young ones(like me) gather around them, listening to their stories and wondering why we cant have smooth roads and trains that are on time...
"Apne yahan sab chalta hai re",they say...Somehow "chalta hai" is our ideology. "We are like this only!!" Garib desh ki yehi problem hai...

Garib desh?

The young ones look at each other feeling bad, feeling helpless.. Garib desh?

Sir says nothing.. He just looks outside the window.. and keeps looking there...
Comeon say something...someone..anyone.. Comeon sir, say something to get our young, inexperienced spirits up!

"Aaayega", sir said....

"Aaayega... Apna bhi time aayega.. Abhi toh humne sirf shuruvat kiy hai....Kuch din theherjaao... Yeh Garib desh, ek din sab ko dikha dega...Apna bhi time aayega..."

Apna bhi time aayega.. Yeah..

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11 letters to the editor:

    I just want to say that I was really touched by the last little story about the people in your office talking about germany and your Sir's comment about "apna bhi waqt ayega".

    As much as I complained about everything when I was in Bombay in december-jan, I totally agree with your Sir. People somehow fail to realize that India has barely been an independent consolidated country for 60 years (I am sure people will argue that germany hasn't had it easy either (at least not in the past 50 yrs or so).......with the iron curtain and the Berlin Wall and everything)and it is only fair to give India some time. I am sure a day will come when hum bhi kisi se kam nahin honge :)

    On March 21, 2008 at 3:16 PM     
    S4n705h said...

    you forgot "bosch" the engineering geeks. the people behind TATA NANO?

    BTW again you have beaten me round and square. great post thought you will keep on blabring about the germans and than came the last line. purrfect timing mate!!

    On March 23, 2008 at 12:06 PM     
    sirpy said...

    Hmmm.. I think its all genetic.. Hitler had it all planned out.. His perfect Aryan race and his persecution made sure that atleast 85% of the population were more or less more perfect than the rest of the world.. And then its plain mating two brains and begetting another brain...

    Of course there are exceptions.. Your Sir is one of them.. The last part was very sweet and honest... :)

    On March 24, 2008 at 8:36 PM     
    aroop said...

    well the age of the golden sparrow was over by the time britishers flexed their muscles, so has our time come and gone?

    have had my chats with the brits, german, spanish, italians, francais, danes, israelis(worst of the lot)and they all seem extremely polite, may be the bad ones just dont end up in india :P

    PS:- sir for President

    @purnima
    As much as I enjoyed defending mulund(and mumbai in general) when you were here, I accept that we are far from perfect.. But give us some time and some good people to work with, and we ll do good..

    @santosh
    Oh, yeah.. I forgot to add the Bosch guys..
    Thanks for the kind word mate.. :)

    @sirpy
    yeah.. I guess i wont argue against the perfect genes thingy.. I believe they are better genetically..Atleast tht wht it looks like.. :P

    Btw, nice to see u here.. its been ages..

    @Aroop
    I just hope we get a second chance(i am pretty sure we will)
    You sure have something against the Israelis :P

    PS:- sure,I ll let him know :)

    On March 28, 2008 at 8:47 AM     
    Chriz said...

    are you dedicating this post to your boss.. well loved every single line of it.. lot of details about germany.. have nt seen you in my blog lately

    On March 28, 2008 at 6:57 PM     
    The Shrew said...

    Nice. Remind me of horrible engineering college. You're a mechie yeah?

    On April 1, 2008 at 8:37 AM     
    Chriz said...

    ANYTHING ON GERMAN MOVIES?