Interview with Moritz Baumann
A guest in São Paulo
Moritz Baumann works for IAV GmbH in Munich and was sent to support colleagues in São Paulo on an autonomous driving project. He took a few things with him, including what “sätschi – um” means, i.e. 7:1 for the Brazilians.
How were you selected for Brazil?
My team leader asked the team who would like to work abroad in Brazil, and I was the first to apply. The offer was a good fit because I had already worked on the autonomous driving project.
What did you experience? What was your highlight?
I actually experienced several highlights. For example, I went surfing on Brazilian beaches and I participated in Carnival. My colleagues spontaneously got me a costume without being asked. I was dressed as the God of Wrath – and was suddenly part of a samba school and was able to take part in the parade.
Were there any particular challenges to solve?
I personally didn’t have to solve any particularly big challenges, apart from the time difference, the high workload and the language barrier. It is perhaps worth mentioning that I had to deal with heavy rain and power outages every day. In a megacity like São Paulo, where there’s a lot going on in itself, it gets really chaotic due to such events.
What did your everyday life look like?
My day was structured by work. I really spent a lot of time in the office, but still had a relaxed time. Since tourists are discouraged from walking, my day started with leaving the skyscraper and taking an Uber or cab ride to the office. After work, I often went to a bar or to watch soccer with my colleagues. And on the weekends I chilled out and visited many beaches around São Paulo.
How do the Brazilians work? How is the togetherness? What was different from Germany?
The colleagues in Brazil are top, not only in terms of people, but also in terms of training. I particularly liked the fact that all colleagues greet each other with a handshake when they arrive at the office in the morning. Then you often go to the gas station and get breakfast. You also have to get along well with each other, because the working days in Brazil are sometimes much longer than in Germany.
Did you get to know nice colleagues?
Yes, definitely. I got along pretty well with my colleagues from day one. They always helped me when I had language problems. Everyone is very polite and cheerful, which makes the day very relaxed. I met a motley bunch from all over Brazil.
How did you handle the cultural differences?
Great, I couldn’t notice any big differences. It’s basically like here, everyone has their own character and looks different. I didn’t meet the classic Brazilian.
What do you take with you from Brazil?
Something funny. When Brazilians want to describe a suboptimal day or a defeat, they say “sätschi – um” (7:1). That has stuck with them. The saying goes back to the legendary soccer match when Germany won 7:1 against Brazil in 2014.