Lunchtime on the PTV Campus at the headquarters in Karlsruhe. While most colleagues drink coffee and talk, two tables truly stand out. For there, people are playing cards. A group of ten to twelve people meets every day during lunch to play Tichu. We sat down with them one day and watched the cards during a round of play.
Tichu is a card game where four players play against one another in pairs. “I would describe it as a mixture of poker, Doppelkopf (a German card game), and Mau-Mau (a German card game that most children learn),” explains Severin Kuhlmann, who works on the Smartour sales team at PTV. Together with a few like-minded people, she started the game about a year and a half ago: “I always loved to play games. At some point, I had the idea that we could play at lunch,” she remembers. “In the beginning, we played different games, until I introduced Tichu. This game is really varied and never gets boring, which is why we’ve stuck with it.”
Since then, people come from a wide variety of departments during each lunchtime and they play cards together for about half an hour. Generally, there are two, sometimes even three tables in ever-changing combinations. This is a good example of how employees’ individual initiatives arise at PTV even outside everyday work life.
The nice thing is – and here everybody in the group agrees – that you meet colleagues from other departments with whom you do not otherwise have any points of contact. “We get to know each other in an entirely different way,” says Severin. “We play cards and talk only a little about work, if at all. It’s a complete break from what we normally do at work.“
And Silke adds: “When I play, I am energized during the break. You have to think entirely differently and, depending on your hand, your heartbeat and adrenaline levels increase. It’s a little like doing something athletic during the break.”
It’s quickly clear when watching the group that Tichu is a lot of fun. There’s a lot of laughter and enthusiasm lights up the players’ faces. And, of course, this attracts curious PTVers: “It often happens that somebody is suddenly standing behind us. The most frequent question then is whether having four aces in your hand is good. I’ve probably heard that at least 50 times,” says Severin, laughing. “Yes, absolutely! Because that’s a bomb.” This is how some curious bystanders have been recruited as players. Today, for example, Jana Reichert is looking on; she started just a few weeks ago on the Product Services Team at PTV.
“We’re always happy to have new players because we’re not a closed group. Anyone who has the time and desire can just ask us,” says Silke Notheis, Agile Coach at PTV, and deals the next round of cards.