The time has come to introduce some more team members of our hostel team to you. That’s why I interviewed our marketing manager and group specialist Ulli and our assistant general manager Karo.
Norma: Hi guys. Today, we’re going to do it the other way round. Ulli, you’re going to introduce Karo and Karo, you’ll introduce Ulli.
Ulli: All right, ladies first.
Norma: Where do people find Ulli in our hostel?
Karo: Well, if you are actively looking for Ulli, you won’t find him. Ulli is normally busy strolling around the house. Even though we are theoretically working in the same office, I don’t see him very often because he is busy talking to our guests and has different office times than I have.
Norma: And where exactly is he then?
Karo: Mostly, he is in the lobby, doing the group check-in, making coffee for the guests and giving advice on where to go out in Berlin.
Norma: Alright and where do you normally find Karo in the hostel?
Ulli: Well, Karo is normally sitting or standing at her working desk.
Norma: Standing? How is that?
Ulli: Karo has a very special desk that you can move up and down. Karo is working so much that it’s important for her to stand up from time to time. Actually, Karo is always in the office and almost never in the lobby or at the coffee machine because I normally send her away from the machine. I keep on telling her: “You stay at the office, that’s your territory and I stay at the coffee machine, that’s my territory”.
Norma: Now I’m interested – what exactly is your job at the hostel?
Karo: Well, Ulli likes to make coffee because he started working at our hostel bar. However, he worked his way up and now, he is our marketing manager. As we are a very small team, we have flat hierarchies. Ulli is mainly responsible for marketing but he also deals with guest relations. That means that he is taking care of our groups, personally checks in the groups and always has an idea what to do if guests have questions or problems.
Norma: Did Ulli ever experience something hilarious during his work?
Karo: Actually, I think that he experienced quite a lot of funny things. He deals with all kinds of teachers and students. From naughty students who had to be sent home to bus drivers who smuggled their lovers into the room – Ulli has seen it all.
Norma: Okay, and what exactly does Karos Job involve?
Ulli: It’s Karos job to bring everything our team does together. Karo is amazing with overlooking everything we’re doing here – at the reception, in marketing, at the office- and to check if everything is going the right way. At the right moment, she advises you to prioritize and always keeps in mind which tasks have to be done. Probably, her ability to overlook everything is due to the fact that she has been working at Industriepalast hostel since its starting phase when many things were done with few means.
Norma: Did Karo experience something funny during her work at the hostel?
Ulli: I’m pretty sure that Karo experienced many funny things. I remember one especially funny situation. Ever since Karo started working here, she brings us a British group every year and gives a presentation for this group. One time, her presentation was especially appreciated by a student who had to fart during the whole presentation.
Karo: That was the applause for my presentation.
Norma: A very special kind of applause…And apart from work, what does Ulli do in this free time?
Karo: Enjoying food, preparing food, talking about food. Apart from that, Ulli is doing Yoga, he likes to stroll around flea markets, buying and selling all sorts of stuff. And of course, he enjoys spending time with friends, family and his girlfriend.
Norma: Nice. And what are Karos hobbies?
Ulli: Karo is a through-and-through sporty person.
Karo: Even sportier than Jonas!
Ulli: Karo is the only person in the world who manages to exercise ten times in a seven-day-week. I have the feeling that whenever I ask Karo what she’s doing after work, she answers that she’s going to a training. Either she goes to a special back-exercise or to hockey training or to some other kind of training. Also, Karo has a very close circle of friends in Berlin. She wouldn’t change Berlin for any other place in the world because, being a Berliner, she has a strong connection to the city.
Norma: Does Karo even exercise when she’s on holidays?
Ulli: No, not necessarily. Well, Karo and I actually share the same passion for travelling. Whenever we are on holidays (not together of course), we try to get out of Berlin to see new places which we haven’t seen before. For instance, Karo would travel to South Africa and afterwards read the biography of Nelson Mandela. You would rather find her in a backpacker hostel in the middle of nowhere than in an all-inclusive Robinsson resort in South Egypt.
Norma: Than you can probably easily put yourself into the position of our hostel guests, Karo.
Karo: Yes, as I’ve been one myself many times. If Ulli and I wouldn’t work together, we could actually go on holidays together. If money wouldn’t matter, Ulli would travel far away but at the moment, he’s traveling to Eastern Europe, Lithuania and Latvia. He started a journey there and wants to explore more places in this corner of the world.
Norma: Okay. Thank you for the interview guys and have a nice day.
Ulli and Karo: Thank you Norma!
So, now you know who UIli and Karo are if you ever meet them in our hostel and who to talk to if you are a school group. See you next time at “We introduce ourselves” – then we’ll introduce you to our bar trender Alessandro.
(Blogger and receptionist at Industriepalast)
is Berliner by choice and a passionate backpacker himself. As a receptionist he knows the real hostel life; as a blogger he's been writing for Industriepalast Hostel's Berlin blog since 2014.