You' re a real power man. Although having children, you run a business and are an FDP Council of States, how is that possible?
(laughs, long pause). I have to admit it: I spent a lot more time in business and almost no time at home. However, I always wanted children. That was quite clear to me.
What made you want so many children when all you did was work?
That was never a question I asked myself. I really didn't. Personally, I come from a large family of seven. We had a lot going on. So I guess I could never imagine a life without children. These days, though, this nursing mentality, overprotection and helicopter-parenting style is a bit annoying. Kids become independent quickly, if you let them. In our home, I was the second youngest and we quickly took on responsibility for each other.
How do you reconcile work and family life?
In your view, of course, I don't do it well, but in my view I do. We had a clear division of tasks: I was in charge of fun, my wife was in charge of parenting. I went skiing with them. During those rare moments at home, I didn't want to be the tough dad, I wanted to do something nice with them.
There was a clear division of tasks: I was responsible for the fun, my wife for the parenting.
So is it easy to reconcile the two?
When the children are of preschool age, childcare can still be organized, but when they are of school age... particularly if they have school problems, it becomes almost impossible. School doesn't solve it for you. My kids are dyslexic. They inherited that from me, unfortunately. And my wife got them through high school in spite of school problems. She has done unimaginable things there. Her work is by far more valuable than the work of a member of the Council of States.
And yet unpaid... How was your pregnancy?
(puzzled, hesitates) Well, I didn't have any pregnancy symptoms, if that's what you mean. Neither did my wife, because she always worked 100 percent until the birth. I always say that there is nothing worse than pregnant men. There we were in these parenting classes and I got terribly upset with the men there. The women were just normal. There were eight or nine couples sitting in a circle. The women introduced themselves something like, "Hi, I'm Sonja, I'm 20 weeks along and I'm expecting my first child." But when the men introduced themselves, the first thing they did was talk about themselves for five minutes. Every cliché was fulfilled. Terrible.
I always say there's nothing worse than pregnant men. Terrible.
That seems to have been traumatic?
Yes, and then the instructor wanted to teach me this cloth diapering thing. So I took her cloth out of her hand and did it the way my mother did it at home. Excuse me, but in a large family you get that and you can do that.
As a father, did you never feel guilty about missing out on something?
Have you ever missed a child's birthday party? And how did you feel about it?
Yes, and I didn't feel bad about it. I don't celebrate my own birthday either. Except for a round one like the sixtieth. These children's birthdays, we didn't know that. Nowadays, the pressure to have huge children's birthdays, that's gugus. We never did that. Also, these hyped-up marketing occasions for kids like Halloween are over the top. We only celebrated Christmas. That was important to us.
So is your job more important to you than your family?
Yes, certainly. The job has always been the most important thing in the Noser family. My father was a transport businessman and was hardly ever with us children.
The job is more important than the family. The job has always been the most important thing in the Noser family.
Has being a man never given you any advantages professionally?
No. (with emphasis)
Now you're being tough.
How did you manage to get elected as a man?
(laughs) Well, I took the place of a pregnant candidate for the cantonal council. At the time, I wasn't even on the FDP election list. She was surprised by the pregnancy of her third child and therefore no longer wanted to campaign, so I was asked if I would take over her place on the list. That's what I did.
But then being a man has brought you advantages, hasn't it?
Okay. From that point of view, that's true.
Why don't more men dare to go into politics?
There are enough men in politics. So in the Council of States we are almost all men.
Aaahhh. Another topic.
Don't you ever ask yourself if you can do it all?
No. If you feel comfortable in your skin, then you are the way you are.
Do you lead with feeling?
Yes, I would say that I am a very emotional person.
But you seem very rational.
(grins). That's deceptive. Yes, so the important thing in a company is a set of values. A company must develop its own values and culture. We live this.
Whoever knows something decides. If it is an apprentice who knows, then the apprentice decides.
Knowledge is crucial in our company. Whoever knows something, decides. If it is an apprentice who knows, then the apprentice decides. If I don't know, then I don't decide. Hierarchies in the business world are often a problem. In my time, especially at big banks like SGB (now UBS), the saying was: If you're not an army officer, you will never make it anywhere.
Do you know about wage inequality?
I was 23 when I applied for my last job, and then I became an entrepreneur. I couldn't have done it in the normal system, though. I have a problem with authority.
I have a problem with authority.
So how has your good looks affected your career?
(laughs heartily) Well, I may dress well, but I don't look good. But yeah, I'm vain about the clothes. I don't want anything uniform. I don't really own a dark blue suit and white shirt. At the same time, I'm still regularly at events, where I look into an army of gray and black suit wearers.
I like colors and quality. My mother was a dressmaker and gave me a feeling for fabrics. I also know what darts and patches are. I also cut patterns, darned socks. And I can knit, by the way.
I also know what darts and patches are. I have also cut patterns, darned socks. And I can knit, too, by the way.
You're definitely ahead of me on that one.
I've knitted entire sweaters.
Last topic: How do you deal with hormonal fluctuations?
(laughs) Not at all. I don't. I actually wake up in a good mood every morning. I'm of a sunny disposition.
Do you really never have mood swings?
I don't see myself as an object, I see myself as a subject. Someone who can shape his life, who is in control of it and can therefore also determine the way I feel. In the entrance area of my apartment hangs a picture by Gottfried Honegger. It says: "An attempt is always a solution". And I stick to that. Every day begins anew and offers opportunities.
For once, we agree on that. Thank you for the interview!