[Translate to English:] Mitarbeitende bei Mobility erzählen von 25 Jahren Teamarbeit

“That’s how it was back then”

They’ve been there from (almost) the very beginning. Read these 5 stories from employees who’ve been with Mobility in heart and mind for over 20 years.


  • Mobility

James Zerbini

With Mobility since its founding in 1997; was already (since 1996) with ATG AutoTeilet Genossenschaft, which merged into Mobility. Expects to retire in June 2024.

James Zerbini, collaborateur de longue date de Mobility

Duties: Services, purchasing, materials management, contracts and much more – the “jack of all trades” at Mobility.

You’ve been with Mobility for 25 years. What was it that attracted you back then?

A change of scene; I was there from the word go. I was on night duty for ATG while also doing nights at the Hotel Des Balances in Lucerne, holding down two jobs at the same time. After about a year, I ditched the hotel to work fully for ATG.

Are there any incidents that stick in your memory, and why?

One day in autumn 1996 I was on night duty. When I turned up for work at 10 pm, we were notified that a minivan was missing from its usual location at Hardbrücke in Zurich. The better vehicles were already fitted with GPS trackers back then. So I had to start a special program, and I actually saw the vehicle’s location on the screen: it was driving near Innsbruck in Austria! So I called the international directory enquiries for Austria and asked for the telephone number of the police in Innsbruck. I called them and explained the problem. They sent out a patrol car to look for the minivan, while I sat at the computer giving out its position. Unfortunately, the computer crashed and I had to reboot it. A quarter of an hour later, I was ready, but the vehicle was nowhere to be seen; the Austrian police thought it might be on the Brenner Pass on its way to Italy. A little later, I found the minivan again: it wasn’t heading for Italy but for Germany and was on the motorway nearing Rosenheim. So I called International directory enquiries again, this time for the number of the Rosenheim police, and phoned them. The vehicle was on the motorway, near the river Inn, but not moving, so I assumed it was at a motorway services. At that moment, I was still on the phone when I heard one German officer say to the other: “We’ve got him!”. The Austrian police appear to have alerted their German colleagues and by chance there was a patrol already at the motorway services. To cut a long story short: the thief was a member of the cooperative, who was stealing vehicles and driving them to Austria, where they were sold and moved to the Balkans. He had stolen four cars this way.

My intervention earned me a lot of praise and three bottles of red wine.

It’s worth noting that there were no on-board computers back in those days. Locations were equipped with a metal key box to which each member had a key. That’s how the thief was able to steal the vehicles.

On another occasion, another car vanished; it was winter. I was able to find it on the computer: it was on a mountain pass. I don’t remember where exactly, I just remember that the Italian side of the pass was closed, so we knew the driver had to come back down the Swiss side. In those days, ATG hired the services of a private detective for incidents like this. When I saw on the screen that the vehicle was driving back down the pass road, I alerted the detective, who notified the police. They were waiting for it further down. The unusual thing about this incident was that it wasn’t theft: a newly wedded couple had hired a car and driven off happily, not knowing that they had taken the wrong one! That was possible back then with the key box method. They must have had no idea they would be stopped by the police on Sunday morning! They’re no doubt still laughing about it today, though it must have been less funny at the time.

What has kept you at Mobility all this time?

The employer, the job, my age (at some point you just keep going until it’s time to retire).

What do you hope the future holds for Mobility?

I hope the company will carry on after I’ve gone!

Andrea Corona

With Mobility for 22 years (December 2000)

Long-time Mobility employee Andrea Corona

Duties: Receptionist, Mobility Operations Services Assistant, Customer Service Administrator, Customer Service Projects Administrator, IT Innovation Project Manager, Application Manager/Software Development and Support, Head of Application Management

You joined Mobility in December 2000. Has anything remained the same over the years?

The cooperative idea, i.e. that maximising profit is not the main objective, has held up over all these years. That gives me a good feeling, because the success reflects well on the employees. I also find that people who’ve worked for Mobility for a long time identify with the organisation and stand behind it. You notice that in the way we interact and how we work. That’s why the family atmosphere has remained intact over the years. I really like that.

Is there anything you have a special memory of?
Yes, celebrating the first time we didn’t make a loss. We were delighted when we first got wind of this as the accounts were being prepared. That, and the two-day staff party on the Wirzweli, where we had so much fun. I think that was our 10th anniversary in 2007. Everyone, including the management, danced the night away – it really was a “family party”, and one I have very fond memories of!

Has your work changed the way you feel about ecology and mobility?
At some point we realised that we weren’t using our car to go to work; it stayed in the garage most of the time. The few kilometres we did per year no longer made sense financially or ecologically. I got to know car sharing through Mobility, and there was a Mobility car stationed near us that we could make good use of. So we sold our car some two years later – despite having two small children. Not having a car isn’t a problem.

What has kept you at Mobility all this time?

I’ve always been given the chance to develop and train: from a Federal Certification in Organisation and a CAS in Requirements Engineering to becoming a Certified Scrum Product Owner and attending leadership workshops, I’ve not stopped learning and reaping the benefits. Each of my roles has been very multifaceted, allowing me to give of my best. I enjoy my work and I’m a real fan of the Mobility family and the car sharing product.

What do you hope the future holds for Mobility?

I hope that Mobility stays with its finger on the pulse and keeps a watchful eye on changes in the mobility market. We’re going through an extremely exciting period that’s in constant flux – one that will certainly result in many more challenges. I also hope that Mobility remembers the value of its “family cohesion”. But I have no doubts about that!

Roger Gutknecht

With Mobility for 25 years (April 1997); due to retire in September 2024

Mobility employee for 25 years: Roger Gutknecht

Duties: Servicemobiler, service mechanic

How and when did you join Mobility?

I became unemployed in 1997 after Zurich voted to ban casinos. I signed up for a work programme, and at that time car sharing was becoming a trend.

You’ve been with Mobility for 25 years. What has changed over that time?
The concept is still the same, but the technology has massively accelerated. In my early days, mobile phones were still an unknown quantity. They didn’t exist. Nor were there any real computers. I used to call the claims department from public phone booths. But it was fun.

Are there any incidents that stick in your memory, and why?

Really special events in the early days took the form of the long police reports we had to complete for stolen vehicles: back then, the vehicle keys were kept in key boxes located at the parking bays. That’s unimaginable today. I was known to half the Zurich police force. I also have fond memories of the introductions for new customers that took place several times a week.

What has kept you at Mobility all this time?

It’s quite simple: I’m never bored.

What do you hope the future holds for Mobility?

I wish Mobility a long and healthy life. I’ve been here a long time – it means a lot to me.

Monika Duschek

With Mobility for 22 years (September 2000)

Working for Mobility for 22 years: Monika Duschek

Duties: Data Analyst in the B2B (business customers) department

You’ve been with Mobility for 22 years. How has your job changed over that time, and what do you like doing most today?

Holding down the same job for over 20 years may sound rather boring, but that’s not the case with Mobility. In the beginning, I found it really interesting to be involved in building up the B2B area, advising companies and dealing with quotes and contracts. Then came the expansion of our product portfolio and migrating our customers to new plans. Also, there’s always something happening in terms of evaluating options. I love all the number crunching, especially analysing and commenting on the figures.

What do you think has changed since you joined and how?

When I applied for the job, my future team colleagues had reservations about whether it was right for an employee to own their own car – in my case, a gas-guzzling SUV. But I needed my Toyota RAV to pull a horsebox. After assuring them I wouldn’t use my vehicle for commuting to work, I got the job.

That was a time when Mobility was still perceived by both customers and employees as being “ultra green”. For example, 20 years ago our delegates rejected the idea of purchasing vehicles with air conditioning … Much has changed since then. Sharing rather than owning is what it’s all about now. Our user base has also evolved in recent years.

Has the job changed your attitude towards sustainability and if so, how?

Yes, in recent years. Although I own my own car, I also have a GA travelcard and now prefer to travel by train – for example to my second home in the Piedmont or to the Valais at the weekend. Also, I now pay more attention to product “food miles” when shopping. We’re even looking at installing a solar PV array – Italy has enough sun …

What has kept you at Mobility all this time?

Aside from the work itself, which continues to deliver fresh challenges even after all this time, there’s another very important point: my “mobility family” – our B2B team under the leadership of a wonderful head of department. I’ve been working alongside the “hard core” for years, and friendships have developed outside the work environment.

What do you hope the future holds for Mobility?

Only the best – and that Mobility stays at the cutting edge technically and never loses its cooperative soul.

Javad Assir

With Mobility for 24 years (1998); due to retire in 2025

Working for Mobility for 24 years: Javad Assir

Duties: “Servicemobiler”

How and when did you join Mobility?

I found Mobility’s car sharing concept very interesting. The company was newly founded at that time, 1997, and I was a customer. I was made aware of a vacancy through Thomas Schwager, who was the section leader for Eastern Switzerland, and was invited to Lucerne for an interview. I was hired on a part-time (50%) basis and supervised 20 cars in St. Gallen.

What do you think has changed since then and how?

Around 2000, when there were no on-board computers and the vehicles could be opened with their keys, three cars were stolen at St. Gallen railway station and most probably taken abroad. The arrival of on-board computers has greatly simplified my work. In the old days, I always had to phone for reservations. I had to collect the handwritten journey logs at the end of each month. Today I’m responsible for 65 cars and work full-time.

How do you like working at Mobility?

Since I work alone in St. Gallen, I can't say much about the team. Instead, I’m in touch with the ServiceMobilers of Zurich and Winterthur via joint meetings and holiday replacements. I like the camaraderie amongst the ServiceMobilers.

What has kept you at Mobility all this time?

I still like the independence my job gives me, plus the fact that the work is manual and I have responsibility. That’s why I’ve stayed with Mobility such a long time. Of course, I still think the car sharing concept is important and I’m pleased Mobility has been able to expand. Who would have thought that back in 1998?

What do you hope the future holds for Mobility?

I hope that Mobility continues to be as popular as it is now, appeals to lots of young people and continues to grow.

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