Udo Möller celebrates 50 years in Customer Service
"We phoned until our fingers were sore" - Udo Möller celebrates 50 years in Customer Service
Udo Möller began his time at Hellmann with an apprenticeship as a forwarding agent on April 1, 1971. After working in groupage and export/import, he landed in customer service and quickly realized:
"This is exactly the right thing for me, this is what I was made for!"
Dealing with a wide variety of customers and the opportunity to offer solutions in direct interaction appealed to the Hamburg native, who moved to the Hanseatic city from near Leipzig in 1956. Over the years, he worked his way up to the post of department manager, which he took over in Customer Service in 1990.
"Of course, the early days can hardly be compared with today - not alone in terms of the technical equipment," recalls Udo Möller. He particularly remembers the phones with dial plates: "Sometimes I talked on the phone until my fingers were sore. To this day, he prefers to pick up the phone instead of writing e-mails. "That's just the quickest way to sort out problems." His customers appreciate that. He has built up a close relationship with many of them over the years. It was only after work that he liked to let the phone be the phone: "After a long day, I simply ignored the ringing at home in the evening.
When the 65-year-old looks back on his time at Hellmann, he remembers two events in particular: the snow disaster of 1978/79 and the opening of the Berlin Wall in 1989. In the winter of 78/79, up to 70 cm of snow fell in the Hanseatic city in a short period of time, including snowdrifts. He didn't have far to go from Harburg to Wilhelmsburg via the Elbe bridges; he made the 12 km trip to work on time in his sturdy Simca. But there he was almost alone; trucks weren't driving, and most of his colleagues were stuck in the snow or hadn't even made the trip to work. "A snowy experience," he jokes looking back.
In 1989, after the opening of the Berlin Wall, the Hamburg colleagues were literally "flooded". At that time, almost all transport to the east of Germany was routed via Hamburg, which was close to the border - but the site could not cope with the volumes, the cross-dock was completely overcrowded. "With 15 colleagues in customer service, we had to share two data viewers to arrange deliveries, track shipments, or print carrier transfer bills - so we had to work in shifts day and night," says Udo Möller. He remembers this time as the most strenuous at Hellmann. On the other hand, Udo Möller fondly looks back on the time he spent with his colleagues:
"In Hamburg, the working environment is very familiar; we have a core of colleagues in Customer Service, some of whom have been with us for 20, 30 or even 40 years, in other words, a "hard core" of seven or eight people who have always stayed here, and I naturally enjoy working with them," says Udo Möller.
And so he feels closely connected to the Hellmann FAMILY to this day, also with Jost Hellmann, with whom he shared a special passion: Squash. Towards the end of 1980, he faced the company owner in the final of an internal tournament on the court. "We were both very ambitious and wanted to win at all costs, but in the end, Jost came out on top by one point," says Udo Möller.
Now, from June 30, 2021, the next chapter is on the agenda for Udo Möller: retirement - surely well-deserved after 50 years with Hellmann! Then the globetrotter wants to travel again, if possible. All of Europe, the Dominican Republic, China, Vietnam, South Africa, Cambodia, Thailand, several times Dubai - he has already ticked off a whole series of countries together with his wife. In 2020, a tour from Georgia via Armenia and Azerbaijan to India was on the agenda - that is to be made up for as soon as possible. We wish you a good trip!