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Everything posted by maxie

  1. Legalities of unpaid praktikum

    AFAIK the only way a company does not have to pay you Mindestlohn is if is is a Pflichtpraktikum (you need it to get our degree and the university confirms this for your employer) or if the internship is less than 3 months. This means cummulative. If you do a voluntary internship now and in 2022 with the same company, the cannot be longer than 3 months combined.  If you already have your degree, the same applies except then there is no Pflichtpraktikum.  I have never heard of a mandatory internship lasting 12 months.  Any halfway savy/reputable/somewhat larger company should know those rules and abide by them as not complying will get them in trouble very quickly. If they have any kind of HR department, they should know that this is an absolute no go.  What is the position classified as? Internship (Praktikum) or something else? 
  2. Do you have any friends/colleagues etc. that you can ask for a recommendation?  I am not sure if a local one necessarily has much of an advantage as any Makler needs to constantly do their research in terms of prices and the market anyway.  There are some large companies that have a decent reputation. Engels & Völkers, for example. I never had any dealings with them directly because none of the houses they had on offer were what we were looking for, but they had a lot of more upscale properties listed and the advertisings were all pretty good (nice photographs, texts pretty normal language, almost no typos etc.) Maybe worth a look. You could also have a chat with them and see what their ideas are for selling your property and what price they would be aiming at, before you sign a contract.    We had a brilliant Makler that I have recommended before, unfortunately not really local for you (ca. 300 km).  
  3. Sour dough bread making in Deutschland

    I have a lievito madre that runs on wheat flour. I usually use 1050 but 405 will do as well - and a rye sourdough. I think the rye flour is 1150(?). My supermarket only has one kind.  I have only just started baking bread and got the dough from a friend,  but you can easily start your own.  I use the rye dough for any kind of bread - wheat, rye, spelt. There are some great German websites with recipes if you are interested.  
  4. Buying a house without realtor

    When we bought the house, almost 14,000 €  I believe it was 3% plus MwSt from us, 2 % from the seller. Without value added tax about 20 k for him and his team. 
  5. Buying a house without realtor

      Happy to, if that is ok here.  It was Johannes Katzenberger at Immocenter Bolich in Kaiserslautern  Immobilien Kaiserslautern Haus Kaufen & Verkaufen - ImmoCenter Bolich GmbH (  
  6. Buying a house without realtor

    We didn't have any bad experiences with any Makler when buying a house and we met quite a few. I know that is an exception, but they do exist. One seemed a bit bored, but still answered a ton of questions without batting an eye, let alone rolling them. About five were very friendly and helpful, pointed out stuff that we would have to update etc. One was brilliant. Since he made such a good impression when we bought our house, my parents sold an apartment through him a year and a half later.  He - checked the market and then suggested a reasonable price, the goal being that a number of people are interested and, if anything, offer more, not try to talk it down  - took photographs that showed the place at its best - not sugarcoating, just emphasising the highlights and not making stuff look bad which is easy to do  - drafted and put together a brochure of photos and text  - created an online 360° viewing  - organized and mostly ran an open house  - helped evaluate the candidates also with an eye on how they might fit into the house community (9 apartments, mostly owner occupied, lots of them friends of my parents so they wanted to try to find someone who would fit in)  - Suggested a notary and organized the contract draft and the appointment including one time with interpreter - lots of little bits of advice and knowledge   We shook hands with the new owners less than 48 hours after the first viewing. Sellers and buyers walked away happy. I don't think either one had any problem paying the Makler bill. It was a ton of money, but he really earned it.    I know this guy is a rare representative of the species, but they do exist. Both objects were desirable properties, maybe that played into it as well. But these days it looks like almost all properties are desirable. 
  7. Tenant subletting for profit

    If the room she rents out is furnished, the Mietpreisbremse does not apply. It can apply for furnished accommodation, but not if you are renting out a single room  Mietpreisbremse umgehen – Schlupflöcher bei möblierten Wohnungen ( Daneben müssen sich auch Immobilieneigentümer nicht an die Mietpreisobergrenze halten, die ein möbliertes Zimmer vermieten, das sich innerhalb ihrer eigenen Wohnung befindet. Das legt das BGB im § 549 Abs. 1 und 2 fest   Also from the link: Furnished means at least half of the necessary furnishings are provided. There is a list on the page above what that could be.  
  8. Expert advice regards to relocation to Germany

    Furnished rentals are not all that popular or common in Germany. At least not the size you are looking for and generally not outside large cities. 
  9. Donating new/old clothes

    Apparently there are three lables to look for which guarantee that the association putting up the collection box is reputable.  I came accross the same info on several pages, but the link below had the table which was easy to read and copy.  Another suggestion is to take a look at the box itself. There should be an address and phone number at least. If it has only a phone number, it sometimes is a fake one.  Some of the not so reputable ones apparently just sell the clothes and pocket the profit.    Altkleidercontainer: Diese drei Sammelstellen sind seriös ( Diese drei Sammelstellen sind seriös Als seriös und sicher stuft die Verbraucherzentrale Sammlungen mit einem der folgenden drei Siegel ein: Siegel/Label Name Leitlinien Label von FairWertung FairWertung ist ein Dachverband von rund 130 gemeinnützigen Organisationen. Diese haben sich dazu verpflichtet, sozial- und umweltverträgliche Standards einzuhalten. Dazu zählt beispielsweise, dass die Organisation gemeinnützig ist und mit ihrer Arbeit keine eigenwirtschaftlichen Ziele verfolgt, dass Erträge aus dem Verkauf unmittelbar und mittelbar sozialen, diakonischen oder karitativen Zwecken zugeführt werden und dass wahrheitsgemäße Angaben über Zweck und Verwendung der Kleidersammlung gemacht werden. Siegel des Deutschen Zentralinstituts für soziale Fragen (DZI) Das DZI-Spenden-Siegel belegt, dass eine Organisation mit den ihr anvertrauten Geldern sorgfältig und verantwortungsvoll umgeht. Organisationen, die dieses Siegel tragen, haben sich dazu verpflichtet, transparent zu arbeiten, sparsam zu wirtschaften und sachlich und wahrhaftig zu informieren. Es gibt entsprechende Kontroll- und Aufsichtsstrukturen. bvse-Qualitätssiegel Alttextilsammlung vom Bundes­verband Sekundär­rohstoffe und Entsorgung Die Mitgliedsunternehmen haben sich dazu verpflichtet, für Transparenz bei der Sammlung, nachvollziehbare Verwertungswege und den Schutz der Umwelt zu sorgen. Die abgegebenen Kleidungsstücke werden so weit wie möglich als Second-Hand-Kleidung wiederverwendet. Kleidung, die nicht mehr tragbar ist, wird den Angaben zufolge hochwertig verwertet. Unternehmen, die das Siegel tragen, werden regelmäßig von einem externen und unabhängigen Sachverständigen überprüft.
  10. Which language do you use? That might also make a difference. I (German) say "I love you" much more easily than "Ich liebe dich".    I think the variance in Germany is to large that it is very difficult to make any kind of generalization. What kind of relationship do you have? What kind of personalities are you - outgoing/extroverted, more introverted? Etc. I think that plays a much larger role than cultural differences as these might also come into play within Germany. Then there is the difference in families...    I agree with some of the posters above: If you feel like you want to say it, say it. 6 weeks would be too early. 6 months is absolutely fine, especially if you have been spending a lot of time together and have been sharing each other's lives. 
  11. If you go for a plot with a house on it, make sure to check the "window" on which you can actually build on that property and also the requirements for building which might have changed since the last house was built so they didn't apply for this one but for your new one.  Sometimes, one plot can be several parcels of land: building and garden/field etc.    When we were looking for a house, 500 m² for a new home was actually considered a "large" plot. Some were only 350    Since a larger garden was one of the top priorities, we ended up buying an "older house". (50 yrs) It had a lot of work done by a previous owner (roof, windows) so we could move in right away and are tackling the other issues as we go along. We were lucky that we bought when we did (3 1/2 yrs ago) because the market has just gone nuts since. Even though it felt expensive at the time - we had been looking for almost two years and even in that time prices had increased significantly.    Good luck! I know some people would rather rent adn it is true, that if you own property, the work never stops, but I love it and wouldn't change a thing! 
  12. Animals in roof/ceiling

    It depends on what animals you have in your roof.  Is the roof accessible? How about putting a live trap up there to see what you actually have.  Rats or mice, I would suggestion using traps or making it the landlords problem.    If you have a family of fat or garden dormice, regular traps are not an option as they are protected and cannot be hunted, cought, injured or killed. There are stiff fines.  Also, they are incredibly cute and there is usually only one or two.  Dormice I would catch in live traps and relocate (I believe it way >10 km or they can find their way back) somewhere in a field.    Poison is not a good idea, IMO. There is the smell, as someone mentioned. Also, cats, owls foxes etc. might catch a poisoned rodent and die as well. 
  13. Handling a hostile colleague in Germany

    Another theory: If you are the only two foreigners in the team or department (and people like you better), he might feel inferior and is trying to make up for it?  Or he watched too many old movies and sees any American as his enemy.    Or - and this is my favorite - he's just an a**hole. There's gotta be one in every team. It's pretty much a law of nature.    I think it's good you got your supervisor involved and they're not just shrugging you off. S/he could also bring in the next level up, to make it more official. Russian culture tends to be more autoritative, so that might help, too.    Best of luck! No one should have to put up with behavior like that.  
  14. Handling a hostile colleague in Germany

    There must be some kind of supervisor that you both report to (as AlexTr has said). This person, rather than HR, should be your first stop.  If your direct manager doesnt' to anything, the next in line would be the work council, if you have one. Or your boss' boss. Only after that fails would I involve HR.    But feel free to fire back yourself, politely but firmly. In an e-mail, you can put your supervisor in copy. 
  15. Teenager neighbor's noise driving us nuts

    Maybe the mom was on holiday     
  16. Why this forum speaks English and not German

    One of my friends is an English teacher and had tons of students who thought their English was brilliant. I pointed him to this lovely poem. He made them read it out loud.    Chaos: A Poem ( The Chaos (by G. Nolst Trenité, a.k.a. "Charivarius"; 1870 - 1946) Dearest creature in creation Studying English pronunciation, I will teach you in my verse Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse I will keep you, Susy, busy, Make your head with heat grow dizzy. Tear in eye your dress you'll tear, So shall I! Oh, hear my prayer, Pray, console your loving poet, Make my coat look new, dear, sew it! Just compare heart, beard and heard, Dies and diet, lord and word, Sword and sward, retain and Britain. (Mind the latter, how it's written). Made has not the sound of bade, Say said, pay-paid, laid, but plaid. Now I surely will not plague you With such words as vague and ague, But be careful how you speak, Say break, steak, but bleak and streak. Previous, precious, fuchsia, via, Pipe, snipe, recipe and choir, Cloven, oven, how and low, Script, receipt, shoe, poem, toe. Hear me say, devoid of trickery: Daughter, laughter and Terpsichore, Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles. Exiles, similes, reviles. Wholly, holly, signal, signing. Thames, examining, combining Scholar, vicar, and cigar, Solar, mica, war, and far. From "desire": desirable--admirable from "admire." Lumber, plumber, bier, but brier. Chatham, brougham, renown, but known. Knowledge, done, but gone and tone, One, anemone. Balmoral. Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel, Gertrude, German, wind, and mind. Scene, Melpomene, mankind, Tortoise, turquoise, chamois-leather, Reading, reading, heathen, heather. This phonetic labyrinth Gives moss, gross, brook, brooch, ninth, plinth. Billet does not end like ballet; Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet; Blood and flood are not like food, Nor is mould like should and would. Banquet is not nearly parquet, Which is said to rime with "darky." Viscous, Viscount, load, and broad. Toward, to forward, to reward. And your pronunciation's O.K., When you say correctly: croquet. Rounded, wounded, grieve, and sieve, Friend and fiend, alive, and live, Liberty, library, heave, and heaven, Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven, We say hallowed, but allowed, People, leopard, towed, but vowed. Mark the difference, moreover, Between mover, plover, Dover, Leeches, breeches, wise, precise, Chalice, but police, and lice. Camel, constable, unstable, Principle, disciple, label, Petal, penal, and canal, Wait, surmise, plait, promise, pal. Suit, suite, ruin, circuit, conduit, Rime with "shirk it" and "beyond it." But it is not hard to tell, Why it's pall, mall, but Pall Mall. Muscle, muscular, gaol, iron, Timber, climber, bullion, lion, Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, and chair, Senator, spectator, mayor, Ivy, privy, famous, clamour And enamour rime with hammer. Pussy, hussy, and possess, Desert, but dessert, address. Golf, wolf, countenance, lieutenants. Hoist, in lieu of flags, left pennants. River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb, Doll and roll and some and home. Stranger does not rime with anger. Neither does devour with clangour. Soul, but foul and gaunt but aunt. Font, front, won't, want, grand, and grant. Shoes, goes, does. Now first say: finger. And then: singer, ginger, linger, Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, and gauge, Marriage, foliage, mirage, age. Query does not rime with very, Nor does fury sound like bury. Dost, lost, post; and doth, cloth, loth; Job, Job; blossom, bosom, oath. Though the difference seems little, We say actual, but victual. Seat, sweat; chaste, caste.; Leigh, eight, height; Put, nut; granite, and unite. Reefer does not rime with deafer, Feoffer does, and zephyr, heifer. Dull, bull, Geoffrey, George, ate, late, Hint, pint, Senate, but sedate. Scenic, Arabic, Pacific, Science, conscience, scientific, Tour, but our and succour, four, Gas, alas, and Arkansas. Sea, idea, guinea, area, Psalm, Maria, but malaria, Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean, Doctrine, turpentine, marine. Compare alien with Italian, Dandelion with battalion. Sally with ally, yea, ye, Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, key, quay. Say aver, but ever, fever. Neither, leisure, skein, receiver. Never guess--it is not safe: We say calves, valves, half, but Ralph. Heron, granary, canary, Crevice and device, and eyrie, Face but preface, but efface, Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass. Large, but target, gin, give, verging, Ought, out, joust, and scour, but scourging, Ear but earn, and wear and bear Do not rime with here, but ere. Seven is right, but so is even, Hyphen, roughen, nephew, Stephen, Monkey, donkey, clerk, and jerk, Asp, grasp, wasp, and cork and work. Pronunciation--think of psyche--! Is a paling, stout and spikey, Won't it make you lose your wits, Writing "groats" and saying "grits"? It's a dark abyss or tunnel, Strewn with stones, like rowlock, gunwale, Islington and Isle of Wight, Housewife, verdict, and indict! Don't you think so, reader, rather, Saying lather, bather, father? Finally: which rimes with "enough" Though, through, plough, cough, hough, or tough? Hiccough has the sound of "cup." My advice is--give it up!
  17. Why this forum speaks English and not German

    "English is the easiest language to speak badly."               George Bernhard Shaw    Learning English, students rather quickly reach a level where they can make themselves understood. Basic sentence structure, forming past tenses and future etc. can be achieved in a pretty short period of time. Once you have mastered that, you don't sound like an idiot all the time any more. In a lot of other languages, genders of nouns, declination and conjungation, weird formation of tenses make that a lot harder. It takes much longer to achieve such a level.    Unfortunately, that leads to a lot of people thinking English is an easy language. But in the end, mastery of it is just as hard as in most languages. Sometimes harder because people tend to content with less. Since so many people speak English and make themselves understood, they think that is enough. For communication, that is true. But just because people understand what you mean doesn't necessarily mean you don't make mistakes. 
  18. You could do what my colleague did and ask for a meeting once they have sent you the contract. I think it is better to explain that in person and they might be so interested in you that they are willing to work with you. I know my colleague's boss was very impressed that she told him before signing the contract.    You say that you have two job offers. Theoretically, you could say yes to one, go in for a meeting and if they decide to take back their offer, you can try the other one. That is, if you are interested in both positions. 
  19. Thanks. I did not know that!    Imho, it is not a good way to start a working relationship though, is it? 
  20. Am I missing something?

    Another German here. Nope, definitely not something universally German. I would not offer to buy my parents furniture though because they don't need any. A bike, maybe. Something that they don't necessarily need and would probably not buy for themselves. Unless as in Metall's example when they actually cannot afford something for themselves.  So unusual the gesture might be, but absolutely nothing (culturally) to get pissed off about.  How is their relationship in general? Some people take even nice gestures and perceive them as a dig against themselves.    Coming from the other direction though: it is normal in the culture you come from to offer to buy something for the parents' house? Not the parents personally but specifically the house? Just curious.    Also, I would be very interested in why it bothered your wife so much. So if you ever find out. Please share... 
  21. It's difficult. It also depends on the job.    You don't have to tell them you are pregnant unless that has any implications on your job. i.e. you're in the kind of job where a pregnancy will land you with a "Arbeitsverbot" by a doctor. Kindergarten and primary school employees sometimes get that. I forgot which illness they are having to avoid though. Or some machine operators. In the past: hairdressers because the chemicals were not considered safe. Or in some lab.  But there is no time frame in which you have to tell them.    On the other hand, you cannot hide it forever and - also depending on the job - you might still be in your probationary period by the time it is very obvious or even when you go on maternity leave. So you might not win anything by not saying anything.    i have a colleague who was hired and asked to come by with the contract. She then told her future boss that she was pregnant and asked if it was ok for him to have to look for a temporary replacement six months after she started. He was so she signed the contract.  I also know someone who withdrew her application when she learned she was pregnant and the company held the position for her until she wanted to go back to work.    It is very rare, but it happens. It mostly depends how much in demand your skills are.    If I hired somebody and it turns out they were pregnant when they started the job, I would probably be seriously pissed at first. But I would understand why they did it and would not let them go, probationary period or not. Provided I hadn't been thinking about it before, anyway.    It depends on the company and the culture there, your direct superior, his or her superior. Two offers sound very good, though. Congratulations!  I know this post doesn't give you any clear answer, but maybe some info to think about.  
  22. What would you pay for these?

    Just by looking at these, I would expect them to be between € 80 and € 100. I wouldn't by them because my toddler destroys those kind of things for breakfast.  If you call them "designer" and "Einzelstück", you could go even higher I think.   
  23. For a German employer, yes. If you apply online, there is usually the possibility to upload documents such as diplomas, certificates and references. If you apply by e-mail, it migh be good to scan everything into one PDF chronologically. I hate it when people attach 15 separate document :-)    No one will expect you to add a reference from an employer you are still working for though! 
  24. You should get it a few weeks after you have finished.  If they write you a reference during your employment, that would be a "Zwischenzeugnis". This you would have to ask for. If you do so while you have an unlimited contract, this might raise eyebrows because your employer knows you want it in order to apply elsewhere. It is pretty normal, however, to ask for a Zwischenzeugnis if you get a new boss or if you change jobs within the company. 
  25. As other people have said, your employer (HR department) will definitely know even if your direct superior might not be German and thus unfamiliar with the concept.  The reference usually includes your name, DOB, job title, start of employment. Then it should list your tasts/things you were responsible for. Sometimes that is done as bullet points. Then come a few qualifying paragraphs about how you did your job, what your special strengths are etc. followed by how happy they were to employ you etc. and sometimes your reason for leaving (decided to pursue his/her career elsewhere, decided to return to xyz, to take care of growing family) followed by good wishes.  You are entitled to a "wohlwollendes Arbeitszeugnis", i.e. a well-meaning one. They cannot say you did a crappy job and they fired you for it. Nor can they say you were incompetent and not up to the tasks (not saying you are, by any means!!!) There is a certain jargon that is used in references that correspond to grades. Not everyone uses it and people tend to be more creative these days (not sure if it was ever as certain as people seemed to believe, tbh) but you can look them up here    If you have a German friend with a bit of experience in HR, ask them to read it once you get it to make sure it is good. Sometimes an employer will try to screw you and sometimes they really don't know any better and are glad you point out that a phrasing might not be well perceived.