Returning to Wolfsburg for a visit

Do you know the feeling, when you visit a place you were very familiar with a long time ago? While your mind is redrawing the map and match it with your memories, you get surprised how much you actually forgot. Sometimes you say encouraging: "Oh, so many things changed here". But not much really changed. It is just that you forgot a lot and always told yourself (and others) the same stories.

You meet people which have stayed over all these years. Children have turned into adults. Young people have turned into middle aged ones. The former middle aged ones are now close to retirement. Some got old, some died. The pretty daughter of the baker is not pretty any more. The soccer player from the kicking ground is now the soccer coach at the kicking ground.

The first time I came to Wolfsburg was 14 years ago for an interview. When I asked in the office in Munich how to get there, I was told:"No clue. Fly to Warsaw and then take a taxi". When I then moved there, I arrived with all my belongings packed into a Daihatsu. This must have been the strangest car ever entering the territory of the Volkswagen City (it was actually the strangest car in the parking lot of the Munich BCG office also). I left the region again in 2003 for China and now returned after more than 8 years for a business trip.

It reminds me of the feeling going back to your old school and meeting the old teachers. The formerly young ones are now in the middle of accomplishing their career. And the professional authorities of the past are now spending their last few years before retirement. In a corporate environment, where leadership changes sometimes abruptly make losers out of winners and winners out of losers, these "dislocations" can be sometimes quite severe. Still the more professional merits people have, you can see that they are less dependent than the ones which have been purely counting on personal connections and "mentors". And also those who have to many Volkswagen branded bones in their skeleton, tend to suffer personally more when these bones are pulled out one day - specially when one of them was the spine.