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About dj_jay_smith

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  • Location Wiesbaden
  • Nationality British
  • Hometown UK
  • Gender Male
  • Year of birth 1975

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  1. Brexit: The fallout

    So now it seems like new driving permits will be required:     Although not explicit in the article, this will probably also affect those of us who now have German licences when/if we want to drive in the UK.  
  2. What irritated you today?

      He uses a special company (although I can't remember who) and they have clear instructions for delivery of the packages to avoid problems.  And this is the first time that he has had an issue like this.    
  3. What irritated you today?

      Somebody I know runs an internet business selling specialised food items including sweets/candy for diabetics.  He had a complaint from a customer last week and this is what happened.   The courier tried to deliver but the customer was not home, so the courier left the box standing outside. When the customer came home they found the box standing outside in the sun (> 25c that day) for many hours.  Needless to say that the goods inside which included chocolate has spoiled and the whole order was ruined. When they investigated they also found that the courier had 'faked' the signature from the customer!   So my friend is now fighting with the courier service as they clearly screwed up, and in the meantime has to ship more goods to the customer for free in order to keep them happy.  
  4. Buying my first ever car (in Germany)

    I highly suggest that you look into insurance costs before you decide exactly what car to drive, and certainly before you commit to a purchase. As this is your first car and you don't have much experience on the road then insurance is going to be high.  You age helps, but too little experience negates somewhat this advantage.  The other points mentioned are important for the insurance, but normally not as much as experience and age, follow by type of car including how powerful it is, the make/model etc.   Best thing is to use a website to get a quote for the car you are considering.  To do this then it is best to have the " HSN / TSN" numbers ready.  These uniquely identify the exact type of car, make, model, type, engine, variant.  Otherwise you have to select this manually and there is a chance that you select the wrong things and get a wrong quote (e.g.  you accidentally mix up PS and Mw for engine power is an easy thing to do).  If you are serious about buying, then then seller will give you these numbers if you ask them, tell them you need them for insurance and it will be fine. You can use a web comparison site, but remember that some companies don't use them such as Verti (formally called so you need to go to them directly.   I would suggest buying from a dealer if possible, as you normally get a guarantee for a few months.  Although it is always a case of "buyer beware" and if possible take somebody with you who knows cars well, or at least has more experience than you.  But remember that dealers only care about selling the car and will tell  you what you want to hear, so take care!   Ask questions about the car (you can google what to ask), things like asking to view he service history, checking it has no outstanding finance on it, that it has never had an accident or that those it has had are stated and the damage documented (minor things you don't need to worry about). etc.     Other costs are; Registration fees which include number plates (50 - 100 euros?) Car tax which is paid yearly.  This is based on the engine, a diesel will cost a lot more (e.g. it can easily be 4 or 5 times more).       Use this website to calculate how much you will pay: If you can find them then look at the fuel usage stats to get an idea of the cost (although manufacturers estimates tend to be very optimistic, it will still allow you to get a comparison) Then factor in servicing costs.  You should get a service once a year minimum, if you do a lot of kms then maybe more often (> 20,000 per year).  The cost for this will vary, but normally every second service is a "big" service so it will cost more.  Estimate 150 - 300 euros for a small service, and 250 - 600 or more for a big one. (They can be higher depending on what needs fixing). TUV.  This has to be done every 2 years (get the dealer to update the TUV before you buy it!).  The cost of TUV is about 50-100 Euros I believe, but if they find any issues then you will have to get them fixed.    
  5. Basic Skype to Skype calls are encrypted using a unique 256bit key, which is unique for every call.  But calls to the 'normal' phone networks are not encrypted.  But as the calls are Peer 2 Peer then if the device at either end is compromised then of course so could be the conversation.    There are accusations that Skype has been working with the NSA (and probably others) for a long time, before Microsoft took them over.   But is Hangouts securer?  Personally I would doubt it.  Skype is a bigger target because more people use it and hence the security concerns are probably better known.   Of course the big question is, What kind of business are you conducting that you (or your client) are worried that your conversations can be eavesdropped?  
  6.   Where's the nearest train station  
  7.     Yes, but although I have entered Wiesbaden as my city, actually I live in another city in the Rhein Taunus Kreis close by, which doesn't put the forms online. (I put Wiesbaden as my city, as I didn't want to put the small town where I actually live because nobody would know where it is and Wiesbaden is only 12km from me)  
  8.   Yes there are, but the requirements don't seem to be published anywhere so I think it is up to the discretion of the Beamter who assesses you. Maybe somebody else has some experience in this area which they can share.
  9.   Actually it depends.  For my town then they don't make the application available online and you can to go to the city office to have a meeting with them, pick it up, and have the first chat about what is required.   They wouldn't even give me the form or the list of required documents until after I could prove I had my language certificate and citizenship test certificate.   Luckily living in a smaller town meant that going along and even later making an appointment was not a problem and I could always get an appointment within a few days and at a day and time that was suitable for me (e.g.  I wanted to do it on a Friday, as that is the day that I do home office and hence I am more flexible).  
  10. How to determine your tax class

      Afraid not.  Your husband/wife must be living in Germany before the authorities will accept this for tax purposes.     However, if you can get them to come over slightly early in December 2018 and then register them as living in Germany before the end of the year then you can actually claim as being married for the whole year when you do your tax claim for 2018.
  11. Turning in resignation letter while on vacation

    I'm pretty sure that it is legal and shouldn't be an issue.   If you are on holiday but still at home then you can still go into the office and hand it in.  Else you can sent it by records/tracked mail.  Then you will also have the date it was received and signature of the person who received it.   Also, you could follow up (or do this primarily) from your email account.  I don't know if you can get access to your work email when you are on holiday, but if you can this this is also an option.  Or you can do the first suggestion and follow up with an email on the day you expect the letter to arrive.
  12. Brexit: The fallout

        "Have I got news for you" posted this on their facebook feed earlier!        
  13. Brexit: The fallout

    Indirectly related to Brexit, but I like the reply!!  
  14. Building noise.

    Report them to the Ordnungsamt.  Tell them that this has been ongoing for 9+ months and that they are often working after 8pm.
  15. 1st written warning from employer

      Works council or union might help, but normally you would need to Lawyer up and challenge it officially.   However, it might be worth not doing this at this moment. If you challenge it now there might be a chance that you can get it overturned, but you will reveal your hand to them and they might be able to then adjust the warning to counter act these challenges or it can often just result in the company going looking for another reason to give you a different written warning.     But I was once discussing a similar topic with a person who was a member of a works council, and they told me that if you challenge it later then it can have some advantages. If you are later dismissed by the company and you take them to court then this will come up to show what a "bad" employee you were.  If you then challenge this and at this stage are able to show that this was incorrect in some way (either procedural or in your case you say the facts were fabricated) then the judge would dismiss this and deem it invalid.  This will then make your case against them very strong and likely help you to win.  This way, you don't reveal your hand to them, so they cannot prepare against it and they also are often surprised that you challenge something which they (falsely) assumed you had accepted.