A love story between the bus stop and the loading ramp

We spend more time with our colleagues than we do with our best friends and even with our families. So it’s no surprise that fleeting contacts in the hallway or stealthy glances behind the computer display can sometimes lead to love in the workplace.

Some 40 percent of the people working in Germany have at some point been in love with one of their colleagues. My husband Klaus and I are among them. We got to know each other and fell in love during our shared trips in a Daimler shuttlebus between the assembly halls and the loading ramps.

A red cap and a racing heart

Ever since I finished my training in 2011, I’ve worked, together with Klaus, at the vehicle provision department in Sindelfingen. I became a certified foreperson in logistics services almost two years ago. Our department has a total of four shuttle buses for transporting the colleagues who bring the cars to the loading ramp. For the past 15 years, Klaus has been a bus driver bringing his colleagues back to their various workplaces at the plant. I was often the helper at his side.

We got along very well from the start, and my heart would make a little jump every time I saw his red cap coming around the Corner.

After a few weeks, Klaus finally made the next step and asked me out for our first date. It was very traditional. We went to the movies. And that’s how we went from romantic shuttlebus trips to romantic evenings at the movies and ultimately to a romantic kiss.

Two years of a secret love

We decided that our work unit, which consisted of almost 45 employees, should not find out about our Daimler love story for the time being. But it was hard for us to hide our feelings. It goes without saying that our colleagues eventually suspected something. But it wasn’t until two years later — in 2013 — that we officially declared that we belonged together and were going to move in together.

The fact that we are 13 years apart in age and that Klaus was bringing three children along into the relationship only strengthened our bond — in spite of all the critics.

Our patchwork family has in fact increased to six since the birth of our son. Our family is now complete — and we are really a well-coordinated team. Klaus is my oasis of peace, and I, the little Wonder Woman, always bring a breath of fresh air into the relationship.

A dream wedding in the Mercedes-Benz S-Class

In 2017 the wedding bells rang and my dream came true: a ride with Klaus in a S-Class convertible. My father works as a foreman in the body-in-white unit in Hall 5 at the Sindelfingen plant. There he is responsible for the S-Class Coupe and convertible, and he has passed on to me his fascination with this model. Fortunately, Daimler makes its most beautiful cars available for such events. And of course some of our colleagues also sat with us at the wedding table.

In addition to our Daimler love story, we also represent a small Daimler family that goes back for several generations. My great-grandfather helped with the rebuilding of the Sindelfingen plant, and my grandfather worked on the production line. Both of my uncles work at Daimler, one in the paint shop and the other railroad production unit, and my father is still working for the company as a master craftsman. Klaus’ mother was also a Daimler employee until three years ago, also in a production unit.

This year we will even celebrate Klaus’ 25th anniversary as a Daimler employee.

Of course we try to keep our professional and private lives separate. Nonetheless, at the supper table we do talk sometimes about Daimler and our daily work. After all, that’s one of the bonds between us. And without Daimler we might never have met each other.

This text was written by Elena Thut. She completed a training program between 2008 and 2011 at the plant in Sindelfingen and has been a certified logistics foreperson since 2016. After the training program, she worked at the vehicle provision department, where she met Klaus, who is now her husband. Both of them come from genuine Daimler families. Elena’s great-grandfather helped with the rebuilding of the Sindelfingen plant. Her grandfather worked at the plant, as did four more uncles and Klaus’ mother, and her father is still working there.