Mayr-Meinhof Karton AG

Mayr-Meinhof Karton with 1.1 billion Euros in revenues and 5,400 employees is Europe's largest manufacturer of coated cartonboard folding cartons. It's a frustrating experience trying to meet with someone thanks to a very unhelpful receptionist.

I'm maybe a mile from Vienna's city center and I've been riding around in the pouring rain the last hour trying to find this place. Vienna street maps don't show one-way streets and it's driving me crazy because Mayr-Meinhof's offices are in a square called Brahmsplatz (after the composer) and I know its tantalizing close. I stop several neighborhood locals and they don't even know.

It turns out to be a beautiful nice quiet square with a small park in the middle. The five-story, off-yellow colored head office of Mayr-Meinhof is low-key with only a small plaque outside the door letting you know this is the place. I explain to the receptionist how I sent a letter of introduction a month earlier to Mr. Groeller, Chairman-Board of Management. She calls up Groeller's secretary who says she knows nothing about the letter. With that the receptionist seems to think that's the end of it. I explain how the letter might be in corporate communications or public relations and ask her to call. The receptionist refuses saying she can't go around calling up people. We go round and round and for the life of me I can't figure why she won't help. I leave, steaming and later wishing I had the receptionist's name.

I return the following week and thankfully find the unhelpful receptionist not manning the desk. However, this other receptionist informs me there's no one here in management -everyone's on vacation. She goes on to say I'm out of luck since no one still here has authority to meet with me.