Dario Koster (26 years old) works for an event catering company in Schlieren. The Christmas season is a busy time.
Anja Kunzit (magazine)
Today, on a day where there is a lot to do but no event to set up or explain, my alarm goes off at 6:15 AM. Bialetti, scroll on Insta, read WOZ, take a tram or Vespa from Zurich-Bäckeranlage to Schlieren. Start work at eight. But sometimes at two in the morning. When there’s not much to do, like in August, sometimes I only work four hours and spend the rest of the day at the lake. This month I’m working practically all the time: nine, ten, twelve hours a day. It is peak season for outfitters since mid-October.
We mainly cover corporate stories, trade fairs, general meetings, corporate dinners, Christmas dinners, Christmas markets, New Year’s Eve parties… Last week we ran an event for 900 people, which will take place next week. Then I’ll walk around the warehouse and see what we have. With 2,000 square meters of storage space and six-metre-high shelves, the question is what don’t we have. Of course we have the basics: tables, chairs, lighting concepts, vases and artificial plants.
But also a lot of spacious things: an old pulpit as a bar, a triceratops, a real American police car from the 70s, three stands of oriental carpets, a gondola, thousands of old books to make the library look real, old coup cars, a Trevi Fountain… and what we don’t have to build.
We are not a catering company that sets up a few tables with few decorations. We show, tell a story, and create a world you can briefly immerse yourself in. But we’re not artists, we’re vulgar. We have an industrial welder, Strummer, and I’m a carpenter. Since there is no real apprenticeship for this job, we also have a lot of people changing their careers on daily wages.
The work often consists of: loading the truck, unloading it, setting it up, laying out the red carpet – sometimes you spend a couple of days just washing the pillowcases. Of course, it is not necessary to learn a craft to do this. But sometimes, when I watch, I almost have a crisis: If after twenty years in this business you haven’t realized that you have to secure the load on the truck, you better go to work.
I still don’t miss the construction site. A lot of khanshtians who stopped in time: “earlier, earlier, earlier.” And sponsors – no thanks. When I was in construction, I became more involved in unions because there were still unions out there. This means that the pay is much better, but money is not everything.
My current job comes with more freedom and at least a little creativity. The rest of the days on the construction site: Lunch is the most important meal. Multiply by twelve if possible. Today at the restaurant: noodles with a piece of meat and cream sauce. Classic boozer food.
I was the first craftsman in the family. Before me, four generations with academic careers. I dropped out of high school when I was sixteen. Stoned, no plan, why not Zimmerman? Best decision I made in my youth. However, after work – at drinks, concerts or other cultural events – to this day, I move mostly in left-wing academia. However, I sometimes encounter prejudice there. Especially from men who, when they hear what I do for a living, want to talk to me about football or Formula 1 rather than politics. I know politics, I’m not interested in sports, but I can participate in it if I want to. After all, you worked in construction, right? I find it more amusing than offensive. Literal-Academic: This is not a duality unless you make one.