Autoliv, Inc.

Things are looking good as I make my way to the sixth floor of the snazzy World Trade Center. And why not, I've got the name of my contact person and it stopped raining for a day after almost two straight weeks of it. The WTC is a sharp looking building only a few years old and located almost directly above Stockholm's central train station. The city's central bus station is also located on the ground floor, making this snazzy building a real trade and transportation conduit.

I'm visiting Autoliv, with revenues of over $3.4 billion and 20,700 employees, it's the world's largest producer of car safety equipment. I also received an Email from Cecilia Forsmar, a corporate communications assistant, who said the company was looking forward to meeting with me. Sounds like I'm in for a nice reception right? Wrong. I walk up to the receptionist, identify myself and then ask to speak to Cecilia Forsmar. The receptionist, who seems to be preoccupied with gathering up her purse, says Forsmar left the company several weeks ago. I then explain what I do and ask to speak to someone else from corporate communications. The receptionist says "I can't help you because I'm going to lunch". Somewhat amazed by her dismissive attitude and lack of tack I ask, "I don't understand, why is it you can't help me?" She answers matter-of-factly, "It's lunchtime and I'm going to lunch". With that said she unceremoniously shows me out the door and then locks it. I'm able to deduct two things from her actions: 1) it's a very small office with her evidently being the sole person equipped to handle reception duties and 2) she seems to be clueless as to one of the prime duties of a receptionist; receiving visitors.

This is my last day in Stockholm and I won't be able to get back for another stab at visiting Autoliv. Thanks to the receptionist's actions (or is it, lack of action) my view of Autoliv is less than flattering. A favorite saying comes to mind: "you don't get a second chance to make a first impression".