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About JCrichton

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  • Location Saxony-Anhalt
  • Nationality US
  1. Rude receptionist at Doctor's office

    Heard that as well. And apparently it's not just Munich but Bavaria in general.   Eastern parts of Germany, well, these are the complete opposite. Stuff like that happens all the time. Foreigners' office, for example, hates foreigners. Every time I had to go there I was shouted at for no apparent reason.   You even get used to it and stop caring. Also, many don't seem to like Americans specifically around here. However, still, nobody can tell me why. 
  2. Rude receptionist at Doctor's office

    I doubt you can do much about it. As I understand, you were not left without medical attention, and being generally rude isn't a crime. Plus, I think receptionists at the medical practice offices in Germany are just rude to anyone who walks in without an appointment made a few months in advance.   Honestly, after two years in Germany, I think that it's just the way it is here. People often criticize the US for "fake smilies" and stuff, but I'm not sure this attitude is better. Also, I don't think the way you look plays a significant role here. I'm as white as it gets, still often meet Germans that are irrationally rude as a reaction to my not-so-perfect German. Which is ironic since everyone I interact with at work get out of their way to practice their English with me.    But, what I'm trying to say, don't think about it. It's just the way things are around here. 
  3. How can I check a potential tenant’s credit?

    I'd have to disagree with that. Housing is a real pressing issue in many large-ish cities in Germany, but far from most of them. Berlin, Munich, and a few others (including their surroundings) have the housing issue because everyone wants to be in these cities as these are the business, financial, and technological centers. Koblenz, as well as most other cities, are hardly the same.   It doesn't mean these are bad towns. It's just that there aren't many reasons to move there. In the east, it's even more apparent.
  4. Change in first name spelling

    Thank you all for your replies. I guess you're right and it's not the first time ABH sees something like that. It's just this is the kind of problem I never expected to encounter. I guess I will start by making appointments in ABH and banks.
  5. Change in first name spelling

    Hi everyone. I have a bit of a peculiar problem.    I was born in an Eastern Europan country, though I lived in the US ever since I was two months old. But my original birth certificate is not in English, meaning that initially, my legal name was not in English. It was transliterated in all legal documents I ever had in the US.  Turns out, when my parents moved to the US, either they or the local bureaucracy messed something up in the way they transliterated my first name in several different documents. Recently, I've discovered this when dealing with legal proceedings concerning inheritance.  Long story short, after it was discovered, it cascaded. Now I have a new US passport where my first name has a different spelling. The difference is in just one letter in the end.  In the US I had no issues with this, but I'm not sure how to deal with this in Germany. Basically, now my legal first name has one letter difference from what I have in every document I've ever gotten in Germany. Namely, health insurance, diploma, bank-related stuff, and of course, my residency permit and registration. The problem is that while the change in my first name happened, I've not gotten any reasonable document that would state why it happened. In the eyes of the consulate in Berlin, they didn't change anything. They've corrected a mistake. It's just the mistake persisted for 30 years. They've basically advised me to go to court if I want to object.  Going to court in California is out of the question as it would take too much time and money. So I have to deal with this on the German end.    How should I even approach this issue? I still have my old passport with an invalidation stamp and a new one with the new spelling of my first name.  Does anyone have any idea on the kind of questions I can expect from ABH, Burgerburo in this regard? What about insurance and banks? Do I have to give then any legal document stating the exact reason why the spelling was altered?   
  6. How to calculate postdoc salary properly?

      Oh, the irony. You are criticizing someone's English while being unable to express yourself using a consistent dialect.
  7. Ordering from Amazon with Amazon Prime

    Well they're trying make those as well.    
  8. Ordering from Amazon with Amazon Prime

    I'm not defending Amazon but suspect that for them and some other large companies, the choice is either paying low wages or go with the route of total automation.   It's like what happened in the US. The moment minimal wages went up, McDonald's and some other fast-food joints started to cut personnel and replacing people with self-service kiosks.    
  9. Got attacked by two Croatians in Unterhaching

    Before starting with the Uni, I worked a very peculiar profession that sometimes brought me to the fringes of the civilized world. I still refrain from generalizations. Lumping millions of people into the same group and then proceed to denigrate them is generally a bad idea.   As with your local crime issues. Are there no local criminals? Also, where's the police? Are those illegals? Where's ICE (or whatever it's called in the UK) then?
  10. Got attacked by two Croatians in Unterhaching

    In fact, I am. I worked overseas even before I got to Germany. And now in the Uni I get to see people from all over the world in the same lecture hall. That's including Asians, Indians, Eastern Europeans, Germans of course. There is no way to generalize people even within the same faculty, yet here people place labels over entire nations.
  11. Got attacked by two Croatians in Unterhaching

    Wow. What is this topic? And exercise in generalizations over entire nations? Especially funny when the said generalization is done over a nation consisting of 100+ million people. Some statements here sound very similar to the cold war era propaganda leaflets.
  12. Freiwillig Versicherung while unemployed

    Thanks for the reply john g.! This is very helpful. At least I can more-less plan my budget for the next few months.
  13. Hello. Right now I'm finishing up with my degree in a German Uni. I'm older than 30 so I'm insured on Freiwillig Versicherung at AOK.  Currently, I have no income above 450 Eur per month, so my premiums are at around 180 Eur per month. As far as I understand it's as low as Freiwillig Versicherung goes.   I already have a signed contract for a job, but the problem is that between me finishing up with my degree and me starting at work there will be 3-5 months gap. Unfortunately, the thesis defense date still hangs in the air, so there is this 3 to 5 month range. The question is what kind of contributions would I be expected to pay to AOK in the case when I'll be basically unemployed (on a job search visa most likely) for a few months yet no longer a student? Can I even stay insured at AOK?   And yea, I called AOK and even went to their office, and they somehow refuse to give an answer. Basically "come over when you're done with your studies and we'll see" is all they say.   I'm trying to figure out what to expect.