I could tell it wouldn't be a good reception at Universal Geneve.
Why? The building directory was in disorder. Next to Universal
Geneve's name the floor number it was located on had been ripped
off. The names and floor numbers of other tenants had also been
ripped or fallen off. The not very well cared for building was
probably built in the 1970's and looks better far away rather
than up close. The first four floors of the seven-story light
brown building house offices with the top three floors apartments.
You have to knock on a door to get inside the second floor offices.
You aren't buzzed in but someone has to physically unlock the
door. That person turns out to be Christian Miller, who works
in the shipping department. There's no receptionist or reception
area. I explain who I am and how I sent a letter of introduction
more than a month ago to Managing Director Stuart Wood.
Miller disappears into another room during which time I'm left
standing near the door surveying the modestly furnished surroundings.
Miller quickly returns and says "the company isn't interested".
I ask, "What does that mean, did you check with Mr. Wood
or his assistant?". It turns out Mr. Wood isn't here and
all Miller did was to go in the back room and ask a fellow worker
what to do. I tell Miller I'll return next week.
The following week I return. It's 2:30 PM and my repeated knocking
on the door brings nobody. Hmm, for some reason I feel as if
someone is looking out at me through the peekhole in the door.
Could the company have gone on vacation? Maybe. My instincts
tell me that even though the company's roots go back to 1894-it
isn't a very classy company.
A company booklet given to me by shipping clerk Miller says that
in 1986 The Stelux Group bought Montres Universal SA and renamed
it Universal Geneve. Doing a search on search engine Google I
learn Stelux is a Hong Kong-based company.