But the area manager of iGZ member TimePartner wasn't put off by the unfortunate condition of her former employee.
Shocked, but calm, she spoke to the 56-year-old - and Brigitte Erang's speech brought Michels back to a completely normal existence from life on the park bench via temporary work.
"'Go to Caritas, and then you will get in touch with me tomorrow,'" recalled the trained butcher and butcher shop assistant during the encounter. "I was so ashamed of myself," she admits.
She then spent five days procrastinating until she finally went to Caritas to seek help.
Gabriele Michels' way of life shows how quickly you can plunge from a normal existence into nothing: after completing secondary school, she completed an apprenticeship and went to work.
"I worked in a department store in the food and delicatessen department for 16 years," she recalls. A change of job later, she from then on she worked on night shifts in the catering trade, and finally switched to TimePartner.
"She always managed like an ox," said Brigitte Erang, appreciating the hard work of her colleague.
But then fate struck. Another change of profession and a move to foreign territory made Michels lonely and unhappy. One or two beers in the evening ensured "pressure equalization". In the end it became much more though - job gone, apartment gone, everything gone, and the 56-year-old found herself on a park bench in the Schlossplatz.
Whether it was the fear of disappointing her former boss or her rediscovered self-esteem after Erang's speech - Gabriele Michels got up.
"I really wanted to make it," she insists. After therapy and detoxification, she was back on the TimePartner mat, insisting that she only wanted to speak to "the best boss in the world". Erang did not hesitate long and sent her "old"-new employee into the food production of a company that produces pizzas on site.
"On Thursdays there is free pizza during the break," says Michels, and she is happy about her job.
For Brigitte Erang, recruiting talent is so much more than just hiring temporary workers.
"Appreciation and personal care are our top priority," she emphasizes. And gives another example: When Gabriele Michels' son married, she grabbed her employee and went shopping with her. In addition to a complete wedding outfit, there was also a matching accessory: "For the first time in my life I have a handbag," says the groom's mother, who is still enthusiastic. TimePartner covered all the costs.
“I was the best dressed woman after the bride,” Gabriele Michels says happily, “and I'll be a grandma in January.”
She is certain that the way back is thanks to temporary work. Only through it did she get a second chance: "Without temporary work, I wouldn't have the job I have now."
Another advantage is that temporary work offers the opportunity to change jobs if it doesn't really fit. She now has a lot of fun where she works: "It is varied and I am still learning something new."
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