I’m writing this from my living room in Hobart, Tasmania. I was meant to land at Gothenburg airport today on my return to Sweden, but I’m stuck here in Tasmania thanks to a cloud of ash from a volcano in Chile.
It was tough to read the latest press release from our parent company today, stating that wages would be delayed. After all that we’ve been through as a company, it feels like a real kick in the guts and I know the workforce must be doing it hard today.
It was tougher still to phone in to our team’s regular Thursday morning meeting and discuss the release, to hear the voices of my colleagues, for whom this news was still sinking in.
I’m due to head back to Sweden on my postponed ticket next week and I can’t wait to get back there. It feels horrible to be away from a workplace that I care about so much, to be away from a team that I care about so much, in such a time of distress.
It’s fair to say that working at Saab is a dream come true for me. I’ve been a huge fan of the company ever since I first drove one of their cars and I’ve been working my tail off for them for more than 6 years now (as an employee for the last few months). I’ve never come across another place with such a rich history, such a right philosophy and such genuinely smart, warm and caring people. It’s such a pleasure to be there every day and share a deeper insight of this company with its community.
The obituaries for Saab are already coming in from the various writers and tweeters, all trying to be more insightful and/or wittier than everyone else. I don’t blame them. I’d probably do the same in their position. I was urged by one person on Twitter to give it up, to let it go and admit that this is the end of things for Saab. I can (almost) understand where he’s coming from. There’s a lot of tiredness surrounding the fringes of this company right now.
My response, however – no chance. No chance at all.
There’s no covering over the darkness of the hour, but I keep telling people what a colleague told me last year: when you’ve got new, great product, there’s always a reason to keep on going. Right now, we’re in a very difficult position. But we’ve got heaps of great product on the verge of release and even better technology being worked on out in the back rooms.
For me, there’s absolutely no chance of giving up on this company. I can’t wait to get back to Sweden next week, rally with my colleagues and take up whatever fight we have to win.