A young man moves to Vienna from the country to start in a new job. Martin is his name, he´s shy, awkward, his face shows no expression. Martin begins working as a salesman at chain of large electronics stores. His work shirt is yellow, his smile in the locker room mirror ("Check your smile") is forced. The film is sparse, not a frame too many, and the dialog´s brevity leaves room for the (tragi-)comedy of the moment.
Everything about the big city is still foreign to Martin, the speed of public transportation makes the buildings flash by in the distance. At work he gradually befriends a slightly older colleague, Woschitz, a proverbial rascal, somewhat disobedient and rather lazy, he likes to drink a beer when on break. In contrast to his ambitious coworker, Stocker, who´s somewhat stiff, a stickler for the rules, and a squealer, as will be demonstrated later. The competition at the workplace is as obvious as the job is boring, which entails more or less successful sales talks alternating with waiting, and inertia.
The settings of his lonely life at his uncle´s tiny apartment which doesn´t have a bathroom, so he must wash his hair in the kitchen sink, and occasional calls from his mother are observed carefully. As both a refuge and rhythmic punctuation, this socially realistic sketch is repeatedly interrupted by dream-like sequences showing a broad, snow-covered field and Martin´s brief encounter with a young woman who´s jogging, the object of his youthful desire.
At the electronics store, Martin´s coworkers start to bully him and, after a minor dispute, his boss´ interrogation turns into a scene of fraternization among men. Martin is forced to decide, for either the alcohol-soaked power structures with their men´s jokes or a sign of solidarity. (Dieter Pichler)