Germans rarely admit that they're wrong

205 posts in this topic

The most annoying thing about this, is that it's counterproductive to be in a store or whatever having to argue about whose 'fault' it is, when there's a problem there that just needs solving.

 

Case in point: I ordered furniture from IKEA and they delivered the wrong stuff. The best thing to do would have been to take the wrong stuff away and deliver the right stuff. Not a problem. These things happen.

 

But no. First we had a long argument about how they had delivered the right furniture. The reason it was wrong furniture was because I had picked the wrong packs out of the warehouse.

 

"But I didn't go into the warehouse," I said. "Look, here is a receipt that shows I paid you guys to go into the warehouse and get everything."

 

Apparently not. Apparently if they had gone in they would have got it right. By definition, them delivering the wrong furniture meant I had made a mistake, despite the documentary evidence in my hand...

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Wrong LP. Why, I just apologized yesterday to DH for being so bitchy lately. I, of course, blamed it on other things (Dad's death). ;)

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Of course, because if they admit, you might be able to sue them. They learnt that from the Americans...

Tom_a :blink:,

 

Aren't Germans the teachers to the world?

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My first boss here (who was a dick and got a helluva lot of things wrong) took 3 years to finally admit that he got something wrong. And then he proceeded to let me know how big he was to admit to making a mistake. MAybe he just got used to me, or read up on anglo culture or something.

 

That's just one of many experiences (just at work). I think they can admit that they fucked up. It just takes them longer. There's a lot of hierarchy here. If someone is above you in the workplace they take it as sign of weakness to admit to you that they were wrong.

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Well...I dunno. Ex Mrs Keefy # 1 and #2 were Brits ... and always had to be right, as did my dear bloody parents. (Can you see a pattern emerging here? ;) )

 

If Germans are wrong, and manifestly so, I quite happily call them arrogant Krauts until the bastards back down. What's good is that they do back down. Some like to try bullying, but really fall to bits when they meet someone who calls their bluff (unlike the ex Mrs Keefies).

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Im A South African (from cape Town) and we quite relaxed with the way we go about things, Ive been married to a German woman for 7 years but the in-laws annoy me BIG TIME! perfectionists if I ever saw...at its worst. Now the old man has a dodgy heart and wasnt supposed to do any strenuous chores, so one day when we visited there , I decided to do the lawn in the backyard...did I even get a thank you??? Noooooooooo He also loves forcing his likes onto others and it seems my mom-law and my wife, seem to worship the ground he walks on...not on my watch though! Screw that! :rolleyes:

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I'm reading a lot of comparisons here with Germans and Japanese, saying that they share a similar code of honor and social hierarchy. Anyone who's spent a significant amount of time in the land of the rising sun knows that they have about 100 different ways of saying sorry, each varying in intensity :) Japanese apologize for everything, and I mean everything. It's common to get a complimentary "gomen na sai" and a head bow from someone just for disturbing your inner harmony by reaching for the napkins at McDonald's at the same time as you. In Germany, you're lucky if if they don't try to cut in line ahead of you. So this whole similarity thing is kinda suspect to me. I think the only thing the two nations have in common is war with America.

 

To make a loose association here, in a broader sense I think it amounts to this: to a German admitting that they're wrong is admitting that they are no longer in control of the outcome, and the "plan" has gone to hell. I see this often as the Germans at my job go bat shit crazy whenever their computer breaks down, they have car trouble, someone disagrees with them, they can't figure something out, or something just doesn't go according to plan. I don't think Germans have that mechanism inside them that allows them to flourish in a contingency plan, to have a plan b or c, to stay cool under pressure, to improvise and achieve the outcome without the necessary tools to do it. Maybe it's because of the rigid socialist society, maybe it's because of the undying faith and need for "authority," but admitting you're wrong when you've been given all the tools to be right not only shows flaws in yourself, but also the "system." Driving this point home, I think the Germans do believe that their society is "doing it right" in a world of chaos, and have been blessed with the wisdom and charm of old Europe and the technology and sophistication of the New World. But when things don't go as planned, expect to see a lot of stressed out stir crazy people here.

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So that's why my son blames everything on his little sister. It's a German thang...

 

My son's German father have said, "my bad" a few times. Does that count?

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Some Germans can be trained. :) My wife even admits she's been trained for the good and she's says sorry when she is wrong and would never jump a queue. She'll also admit that I have been trained too but only in the few good things about Germany like riding my bike to the bakery to get bread or not passing on the right in a car. ;)

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I don't think Germans have that mechanism inside them that allows them to flourish in a contingency plan, to have a plan b or c, to stay cool under pressure, to improvise and achieve the outcome without the necessary tools to do it.

To paraphrase something I remember reading on military strategy: in World War II, the Germans started out with better equipment, better discipline and more manpower. But they lacked imagination.

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"Never apologise and never explain". It must have been a German that first said that.

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My American boss never admits he's wrong, never apologises, is usually grumpy and stubborn. Fully assimilated or just a freak of nature?

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People in Northern Germany and the former GDR tend to have much less sense of humour (or a different one, maybe) than for example we Bavarians who are quite laid back and enjoy a good laugh.

Strange - 'round these parts then the view is exactly the opposite.

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That's strange, as most of my British friends say they think East Germans are so much more of a laugh than West Germans.

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