Absent Minded

LOU BEACH for TIME

The two Moeller electronics factories that straddle the Czech-Austrian border are virtually identical. Only 20 km apart, they employ the same number of people — about 1,100 each — and make the same components. But there is one striking difference: employees in the Czech factory in the town of Suchdol nad Luznuci spend more than twice as much time off sick as their Austrian counterparts in nearby Schrems. Is there something in the water?

No. The problem is not health or the environment, according to Pavel Mracek, the Czech plant's personnel director. The problem is...

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