paulwork

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About paulwork

  1. Question for people who wear glasses

    Another tip: Don't let the opticians automatically add on special lens coatings for blue light or reflection etc.. without asking a hugely influential question:    "Will the lens coatings stop the lens from being crystal clear?"   I had coatings automatically added despite specifically asking for EXACTLY the same lens specifications as last time (i.e no coatings).   When they came back from the lab, I compared old and new glasses against the background of a sheet of pure white paper. The new ones with coatings were considerably darker - when I put them on, it made a sunny day look like it was overcast and about to thunder + lightning. Honestly - they were so dark, you'd think they were tinted, not "crystal clear"!   Over time, most glasses go through a yellowing or "vergelbung" that turn the lenses darker/discoloured. I shudder to think how dark my brand new glasses with unwanted coatings could have gotten if they were additionally allowed to yellow with time. Needless to say, I told them to take them back and give me the glasses I asked for - crystal clear. Which worked out cheaper in the end anyway, as I got refunds for the coatings they assumed I wanted but never asked for.  
  2. Getting a job from abroad

    If they're already offering to pay flights etc. for you because your cv impressed them so much, they're willing to go spend money getting you there, maybe it's HOW you speak to them that's the problem. If you flat out refuse to travel, you've already proven yourself inflexible. If you SUGGEST/enquire might it be possible to have an initial phone/web interview, that's a different matter.   At some point you're usually going to have to travel to a final interview.    If it's a startup doing this, frankly I'd be quite cautious:   A) (failing) Startups may have had a sudden cash injection from an investor, but some can act like they have money to burn. Until they go bust very quickly...   B. Precisely because of A) you would think startups would do 1st interviews via web/phone to conserve funds, and only shortlisted 2nd+ interviews at-location.   PS if you are constantly getting shortlisted from 1st to 2nd interview in most Berlin jobs you are applying for, I am extremely jealous :-)
  3. Find out the name of your bank manager, not your account representative. Most bank websites list their hierarchical structure. Then find out the equivalent of the CEO (well, in stadtsparkasse's case, something like regional manager). Copy in an email/letter to all of them. Explain your situation, mention (apparent lac of) training of staff / understanding the non-EU transfer element, explain the hardship you've suffered. Give them a short time window to reply - 7-10 days.    In the meantime contact a verbraucherzentrale - at the very least they will give info on who to contact if they can't help.   The ombudsman is https://en.bankenverband.de/tasks/ombudsman-scheme/ just not sure if this is for sparkassen (mentions private banks) 
  4. Wonderful Chicken Pox!

    I got chickenpox as a kid. As an adult, I've had 2 "reactivation" episodes, which of course are nothing like full-blown chickenpox, but still annoying :-(
  5. To everyone who has already become dual nationals, (DE + other country, or non-DE + non-DE) I have a quick question on how Germany determines this on paperwork:   On your rentenversicherung, sozialversicherung, taxes, jahresabrechnung, and many other items of paperwork from DE authorities, there is usually a listing of numbered codes / Kuerzel that correspond to nationality. E.g. 168  (British).   These codes are usually house-internal, so may not be the same for each authority/paperwork. The full listing of the codes is usually printed in fine-print on the reverse of the papers, or in accompanying explanation notes. There is usually only adequate space for holding a single code.   So how, and who gets to decide which of your nationality codes is listed on paperwork? Or is it just whichever nationality you held the earliest?    
  6. My new Job contract terms and conditions

    ^ Yep. At first when the OP mentioned "consulting company", I was thinking something along the lines of a KPMG, PWC or Boston Consulting etc... But it is now sounding much more like a Personalvermittlung / Zeitarbeit firma.   It's been decades since I worked via a Personalvermittlung, but yes - definitely ask about travel and food expenses. It may also be an idea to ask how your salary is paid / cut off dates for when to expect expenses submitted then paid back. From my memory I was paid at the end of the calendar month for work performed in that calendar month, but the expenses were paid one further month prior to that i.e 2 months in arrears. I would like to hope in the intervening decades that they have simplified that payroll process.
  7. FFS

    ^ It's true - both Edeka and REWE used to stock mcvities choc homewheat. They even stocked individually wrapped 2-biscuit snack packs. Be it pure coincidence, but they stopped stocking McVities around 6 months after brexit referendum. The supermarkets would rather stock their own "granola" variants nowadays.   Though both EDEKA and REWE have really ramped up the shortbread and cookie products from Walker. Even in a scottish supermarket you don't see that much choice, same as with Kerrygold yoghurts (love the pear flavour ones) - you don't see them so much in Ireland. (Nor do you see Philadelphia cottage cheese anywhere else except in Germany...)   However... You can still get McVities in the sweets/biscuits section in the food hall of most large Kaufhofs.    Large Cadburys bars in dairy milk, fruit + nut, + crunchie bits are all available in Kaufland, though I haven't seen them in the slightly more upmarket Real.   Weirdly, Aussie Tim-Tams (bit like Penguins) can be pp-pp-picked up in REWE.
  8. My new Job contract terms and conditions

    ^ It does sound odd at first glance. The only reason I could think of, is if the consulting work/topic was for something like if halfway through implementing an IT system, it went into meltdown, or some showstopper problem happened on a weekend, and the customer receiving the consulting needed you to turn up and figure out a solution or workaround, because you the consultant (and nobody in-house) had the expertise.   Based on governments though, consultants are usually very free to walk away from any disaster and wash their hands of it all (Whoever consulted on Seaborne Ferries, a case in point...)   @hakka You mentioned your boss "says ..." Says can be different from what is written down in a contract. What exactly is written in the contract about your length of employment? Does it mention keywords like befristet or unbefristet? Does it mention dates when your contract ENDS (or expires) automatically? If not, they are (after trial period) bound by law to have you as employee even if they can't place you with a client. They could of course let you go after 4 weeks, but only with substantial business reasons. I doubt "we don't have any suitable clients this month" is a valid enough reason to get rid of someone, knowing that customers requiring consultancy might walk through the door (or be approached) at any moment.   Also, does contract contain VAGUE LANGUAGE  like would, could, should?
  9. Krankenkasse. Freiwillig- oder Pflichtversichert

    If you worked across several EU countries, you will be asked to list them anyway if you complete a declaration form Kontenklaerung for the German rentenversicherung.    The Kontenklaerung you can do at any time voluntarily. Sometimes, if you have gaps in your timeline, they will contact you anyway to ask you to do a Kontenklaerung. 
  10. Wow - that's some commute. I actually had to look at a map to see if there were alternative outside-Berlin nearby cities, thinking it might be a little bit like NRW (closely packed surrounding cities) - turns out, not so much.    Anyway, I feel your pain - I've been looking for apartments for ages - everything either gets snapped up, or isn't officially advertised, but instead via grapevine. I have even tried pulling a Miranda Hobbes from Sex & The City, and whenever I see a removal van on a street I'd like to live in, I've started walking up to complete strangers moving out, telling them I live around the corner and am looking to move, and asking them if the apartment they are vacating is already taken. (I figure if my starting line is I'm desperate to move and I'm living on street x around the corner, they are less likely to think I'm a burglar jonesing the joint , or just plain weird, since they can walk a few blocks and check my name on the doorbell)   Anyway, I've not had much luck yet, but since Wednesday 1st May is a public holiday, I'm keeping my eyes peeled from now on, as those who have given notice on their apartment will be moving out over next days.
  11. Hi guys,   Out of curiosity, for those who started or changed to a new employment contract in the last 10 years, are German employers still handing out the "old german style" contracts with an automatic 13th month salary, or automatic weihnachtsgeld christmas bonus?   I'm rather suspecting newer employment contracts don't offer such things as an automatic god-given right any more, but rather that they have been "converted" into personal performance related bonuses, where it is no longer automatic.   Would really be interested to know if these old-style german contracts are now relics of a bygone era ;-)
  12. ^ @Chris Marston In case of UK citizens, the passport is proof of citizenship. The people at the Amt "should" know this, and shouldn't be asking for an additional doc to prove that.   UNLESS it's not a straight forward situation (Brit overseas passport / you already hold multiple citizenships / you acquired Brit citizenship through naturalization where you took a test etc... https://www.gov.uk/right-of-abode
  13. ^ 14th April the local Amts compile a list of everybody who is allowed to vote. They then send out initial voter notifications to the addresses of the voters. If you don't receive a letter by end April, you were probably not on the list/have an old address. You need to act fast. The closing date for self-registering to vote (application form) is May 5th. Soon after May 5th, they send out follow-up letters containing voting slips, and instructions.   NOTE: If you initially anmelded your apartment at the einwohnermeldeamt and put a cross in the box that you DON'T want your details passed on to other organisations (e.g. telephone directory, political parties) this might influence if you are included in the voters list - not sure exactly.
  14. PS They updated the page and removed the "also bis 29 Maerz" remark.
  15. ^ There is no "Austrittsdatum" of 29th March 2019. But, when faced with Herr or Frau so and from an amt, who knows...