Re: Overseas work

Subject: Re: Overseas work
From: David Dubin <David_Dubin -at- NOTES -dot- PW -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 3 Oct 1994 13:49:00 PDT

In reply to Steve Read's added comments to Jack Shaw's confessions, I would
like to add a few in support of Jack. As an expatriot myself, and having
lived in the same town in Germany that Jack works, and having worked in the
vicinity where Jack lives for almost seven years, I concur with Jack's
original statements.

I believe that the difference in opinions is locality. Jack lives in Germany,
Steve lives in England (United Kingdom). If you have not encountered German
bureaucracy, you have no idea what frustration can be. I mean, after all,
whom do you think invented the word and the concept?

To get a stamp on a document (Germany is known as the stamp culture among its
own citizens), you must first go to the individual who listens to your
request. That person decides with whom you must next speak. After you have
waited long enough for person number 2, he/she will decide which form you
need. You have to go to a third person to receive the form, a fourth to
receive the instructions on completing the form, and a fifth to be shown the
area in which forms are completed.

After completing your form, you give it to the person (#6) who is responsible
for the receipt of forms. They will stamp it with the day, month, year, hour,
minute, and second it was placed into their hand and will pass it on to the
next person, who is responsible for checking the forms out. If the form has
been correctly completed, (and remember, Jack is doing this in German, not in
English as Steve is), person #7 stamps the form as accepted and hands it to
person #8 to begin processing. Usually four people are required to process a
form; one to verify the stamp is correct, the second to stamp it with the
correct routing indicators, the third to verify that the routing indicators
are correct, and the fourth actually processes it. The same process takes
place again when you have to pay for the processing.

With regard to purchasing a house. In the town in which I lived (and which
Jack works) it costs between 500 and 650 Deutsch Marks for every square meter
of ground upon which you wish to build, and then another 250 to 300 thousand
Marks for a 2 bedroom/2 bath house with approximately 200 square meters
living space.

While I never got diarrhea from nerves (in Germany), I did get it from the
water in Italy, Spain, and Portugal and, after seven years of learning six
dialects of German, and being away from real vanilla malted milkshakes,
baseball, and fall along the Blue Ridge Parkway and Brandywine river, it was
time for me to come home.

Steve, please don't think this is a flame, as it isn't. You were not wrong in
your perceptions, but your perceptions were for the wrong country, and the
wrong person.

This has been one man's opinion, yours may vary with mileage, calories, and

david dubin

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