MEA are distributors of UMS soil science equipment in Australia and New Zealand! Why? Because they’re world’s best I’m told and that’s what our scientists and researchers deserve!
I thought it might be a good idea to investigate the validity of this claim (as I am a scientist by training afterall and feel it is my duty to do so). Consequently, I recently spent 3 days on a training course at the headquarters of UMS in downtown Munich. After having my brain crammed full of soil science, hydrology and technical specs, I was determined to empty it again by spending 2 weeks zooming around Europe.
Day one of my adventure began with a 6:15am flight out of Munich. Daft I know but I was on a tight budget. Suddenly I was lamenting my scrooge decision as it dawned on me that I needed to be at the airport by 5:15am...how on earth was I going to do that without cabbing it and simultaneously breaking the bank??
“This is no problem.” stated my Germany hosts...Simply catch the 4:14am U3 underground to Marienplatz and change there for the train to the airport (which just so happens to arrive 3 minutes later). But what if the train is late and I miss the connection? What if it doesn’t turn up at all? I’ll be stuck here and my friends in Krakow will be left bereft at the lack of my company! There are so many ways this could go wrong...
”This is no problem!” they insisted.
So that is how I found myself at 4:05am on a Thursday morning at Machtlfinger Straße station...it was completely silent which seriously added to my dubiousness. The ticket machine efficiently dispensed my ticket with surprisingly clear instructions and minimal fuss and all I had to do was get to the platform and wait, with fingers and toes crossed.
The great long sets of escalators stretching down to the platform were also deathly silent. Damn! They’re not working!! Not the start to the day I was hoping for, lugging my 10 tonne bag down these things. But upon my approach the escalators pleasantly hummed to life and graciously carried me to the platform before politely falling silent again. “Oh. Why, thank you!”
I started watching the big clock suspended from the roof. As a self-confessed control freak I was feeling somewhat anxious about the chances of this plan working out. I began obsessively checking the clock every 15 seconds. Thankfully, I was pulled from my OCD nightmare as two gents in lederhosen appeared, looking immaculate albeit a little wobblier for their night out maybe, but singing most pleasantly some ridiculous Oktoberfest song as they transverse the train station - presumably a shortcut home.
The escalator came to a halt again, and the maddening silence returned. As I continued to stare at the clock face, it occurred to me that instead of the second hand whizzing in a frantic circle desperately trying to keep track of time....this second hand was pausing momentarily, almost reverently at each line etched into the clock face, as if to acknowledge it with the due respect that it deserved.
Tick 4:13:58, pause, tick 4:13:59, pause, tick 4:14:00, pause, Is that a gust of air I feel? Tick 4:14:01, pause...sure enough the familiar thrum and raising air pressure flowed out at me from the tunnel! Happy days....and of course the connection was indeed no problem either! But what did I expect... I was in Germany!
Upon reflection, UMS is so typically German, in the best possible ways. Efficient, exact, logical and built with the user in mind. Each detail and requirement is noted, and respectfully and thoughtfully given the appropriate attention that it is due. There is no arrogance in this, just bewilderment at the suggestion that there can be any other way!
Why wouldn't you back them?!?!
Sonja van Wegen
on 15 November 2013