English Version: Amsterdam Day 1 – a weekend with BROOKS Running

Last weekend BROOKS invited us to Amsterdam for a gathering of the German BROOKS Ambassadors – the very first time for me, as I hadn’t been able to join the kickoff in summer this year.

Our plan for the first day was a guided tour of the EMEA headquarter, some presentations and discussions concerning our cooperation and – finally – a sight running tour of the City of Amsterdam. Yes, this all may sound a bit too formal – but in the end it was the direct opposite and so much fun!

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Part I: The morning at the BROOKS HQ

As customers, we – most of the time – do not know too much about what’s happening behind a certain brand. We usually imagine huge tower buildings with hectic trading, where busy marketing departments are working on the development of their campaigns and on selling their products. In the sports industry, such brands seem to be quite inaccessible – I guess no one might have had the chance yet to visit Nike, Adidas or Reebok and see how they work. This is why it was a great pleasure to see what happens at BROOKS – want some examples?

The (Dutch) BROOKS employee

Let’s start with religion. The (Dutch) BROOKS employee has ONE god: Chuck Norris. Of course this may be a problem for his/her everyday work: I do not think it’s too easy to become a better or more successful co-worker, as long as you are ALWAYS aware of the fact that your ideal will remain unreachable. Unfortunately I forgot if it was the wall of the marketing department or the IT – but their god is overlooking EVERYTHING:

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Motivation of employees: Chuck and his killing glance.

Oh, and it’s not only their work which is being monitored: even the employee’s health seems to be very important for the company. They explained us that some members of the hard-working teams are using their lunch breaks for doing some extra sports (some more, some less), and so have the chance to „live“ their jobs even in their free time. Seems they are working in heaven, uh? Yes, we begrudge it to them. Really. Yes. We do. …

Nevertheless, I am sure that THESE objects have only been placed on the table because they knew we were coming: they obviously REALLY want to impress us!

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A healthy meal at BROOKS. Poser!!

To be honest: obviously not every employee can stand this enormous pressure – and I really do understand. If I got it right, team-mate Niek didn’t make it any longer (maybe he enjoyed a good piece of chocolate or just took the bus instead of running to work), so he spontaneously had to flee from his working space. The only thing he left behind was a short message to his colleague Laura:

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Good bye, Niek! We miss you too!

All other team members – as far as we could see – seem to have come to an arrangement with the very exhausting circumstances at work. Although they tried to hide it, I managed to witness areas in the company where employees are obviously being forced to have fun!! Have a look:

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Maybe Niek just freaked out when he lost the game against Laura.

Oh, by the way: this is what happens to those at BROOKS whose will has not yet been broken by having meetings about running shoes, exhausting hours with table tennis or by having to run: they obviously are being forced to take their midday breaks in a small, shabby and uncomfortable kitchenette, far away from enjoying concepts, presentations or new apparel!!

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Close-packed, Dutch employees have to stand their free time in the office. Poor guys.

Now the worst part: how can a single person stand the situation of working in dark rooms with only small windows, without seeing sunlight or the skies? The view from the entry hall is so depressive, so very sad, so nearly disturbing:

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Even Mordor from „Lord of the Rings“ would be heaven – compared to this.

The Sanctum: the showroom

Imagine: while having a meeting you a) always have to see the products you b) personally like, while c) knowing that no one else is allowed to do so (you would have to kill him/her, if he/she did). EVERY DAY you are forced to sit in a meeting room, where all innovative products of your company are being exhibited…

Yes – WE (!) were allowed to visit this room and to see ALL the nice shoes that are planned for the 2016 season!!

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… oh, unfortunately it was not allowed to take pictures :-)

Part II: Afternoon in Amsterdam

After having recovered from the shock about the hard working conditions at BROOKS, we met again for running the guided city tour through Amsterdam. We ran between 7 and 8 kilometers and so were able to see some really interesting sights – and as far as I can remember these are the most important facts about Amsterdam: there are beautiful canals (of course), very narrow houses (so cute!), draw-brigdes made of wood (historically interesting!) and 3 crosses (signs of Amsterdam).

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Team-member Sascha from lä nearly got married. But then he only took a photo.

While running through the city, it is impossible not to meet the „party animals of Amsterdam“ (they ALWAYS are in very good temper!), smell the huge clouds of „special herbs“ or to run away from very fast bikers (while I am used to the last two things here in Berlin, I can say that the inhabitants of the Dutch capital are much more friendly).

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While others listened, BROOKS-employee Bengü does not know how to behave.
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On the right: Axel from is SO MUCH looking forward to his first half-marathon on the next day! (You can see it in his eyes.)
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Autumn is really nice in Amsterdam!
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There is lots of water. And lots of boats.

End of the first day…

We all were happy to take a warm shower in the evening, right before heading to our evening location – everyone was hungry like a grizzly bear. The loud rumbling of our stomachs obviously puzzled the young waitress in the restaurant, as she just forgot to log our orderings (Nooooooo!!!) – an we all had to wait, wait and wait, watching everyone else in there enjoying his/her dinner. (There still might be a huge puddle of slobber in the restaurant, behind on the right side, first chair).

Finally our 2 BROOKS-girls Bengü and Nicole threatened the waitress with something only hungry girls understand, so we all could enjoy a great dinner – one half was quite happy about a VERY good Steak (they said), while the other half (including me) had an amazing Vegetarian Burger (all without discussions about meat, we are SO lovely!)

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That’s it. End. Cast:

Day 2 – the MARATHON – will follow soon. 

End-Dreißiger, mäßig talentierter Läufer (nicht schnell, dafür aber wirklich leidenschaftlich) und jederzeit gern auch auf zwei Rädern unterwegs. Vegetarier mit veganen Tendenzen, liebt den Schwarzwald, läuft durch Berlin.

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