No social life after 9 years in Germany

55 posts in this topic

On 18.11.2022, 19:44:29, jeba said:

junior persons should walk on the right-hand side of the more senior one.

:lol::lol: That sounds really really old school! I have never ever heard that before. I started doing office work (subbing for secretary of second in command in factory) in 1998 and this is news to me. 

 

The "rules" for offering the Du are usually: higher up -> team member, woman -> man, older -> younger. You can refuse the offer of Du if you don't feel comfortable with it. 

I have done so twice in my life, each time to make a point. 

 

A lot also depends on the environment.

In sports clubs etc: everyone is per Du.

In the supermarket: everyone is per Sie. People at IKEA will say du and look at you funny when you reply with Sie.

At work it depends on the industry and the company: advertising agencies and the like: usually per Du, banks: more often Sie. Some companies have internal rules, e.g. everyone in the same level is per du, plus one level up and down. 

In construction, people often address each other by their last name but with Du. 

 

In German, the Du tends to imply a certain level of informality and familiarity. People then mistake the fact that people in the US or the UK are often on a first name basis with the entire company as a lack of formality and can really put their foot in because they do not pick up on more subtle signs of formality - both verbal and non-verbal  

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1 hour ago, maxie said:

:lol::lol: That sounds really really old school! I have never ever heard that before. I started doing office work (subbing for secretary of second in command in factory) in 1998 and this is news to me. 

 

My mother told me the man should always walk on the outside.

So he can quickly draw his sword to protect her.

 

In other news I'm so excited by my date with Arja Stark.

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2 hours ago, MadAxeMurderer said:

My mother told me the man should always walk on the outside.

So he can quickly draw his sword to protect her.

I have so many questions! :rolleyes:

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1 hour ago, maxie said:

I have so many questions! :rolleyes:

 

Ok ok, I know Arja Stark is a fictional character and totally too young for me.

 

But she is also a kick ass swordswoman.

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2 minutes ago, MadAxeMurderer said:

Ok ok, I know Arja Stark is a fictional character and totally too young for me.

 

But she is also a kick ass swordswoman.

That is actually the part that made sense to me :D Who wouldn't want a date with her! 

 

But: What is the outside when you are walking across a courtyard?

What happens when you walk back the same way and there are only houses on one side? Do you have to change your sword to the other side? 

What do you with attackers from the front or back? 

 

And then of course: Wouldn't you rather have a date with Arya or Brienne, who can kick ass by themselves and have your back? 

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On 11/21/2022, 10:36:41, maxie said:

:lol::lol: That sounds really really old school! I have never ever heard that before. I started doing office work (subbing for secretary of second in command in factory) in 1998 and this is news to me. 

 

The "rules" for offering the Du are usually: higher up -> team member, woman -> man, older -> younger. You can refuse the offer of Du if you don't feel comfortable with it. 

I have done so twice in my life, each time to make a point. 

 

A lot also depends on the environment.

In sports clubs etc: everyone is per Du.

In the supermarket: everyone is per Sie. People at IKEA will say du and look at you funny when you reply with Sie.

At work it depends on the industry and the company: advertising agencies and the like: usually per Du, banks: more often Sie. Some companies have internal rules, e.g. everyone in the same level is per du, plus one level up and down. 

In construction, people often address each other by their last name but with Du. 

 

In German, the Du tends to imply a certain level of informality and familiarity. People then mistake the fact that people in the US or the UK are often on a first name basis with the entire company as a lack of formality and can really put their foot in because they do not pick up on more subtle signs of formality - both verbal and non-verbal  

I think the equivalent in Anglo Saxon countries of first names everywhere has gone a bit far.  Last time in the UK I made a couple of business calls to British Gas and another public utility, and I got some disbelieving reactions when I asked people for their surnames. One said she was not obliged to give her surname. So if I needed to follow up the call at a later time, all I had to rely on was some "Sue" or "Jill". I said I found it sloppy and unprofessional, like we weren't mates down the pub, but were actually on a business call.   I don't know whether some British feel embarassed using their surname or what it is. When I'm on a business call, I'm not looking to be someone's mate.  I think the Germans have got it about right. 

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People in UK are increasingly cagey about letting on who they are on the phone. Had the same issue... it is avoidant behaviour, not just a form of incompetence. You might ring them back. Very inconveniently.

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13 hours ago, optimista said:

People in UK are increasingly cagey about letting on who they are on the phone. Had the same issue... it is avoidant behaviour, not just a form of incompetence. You might ring them back. Very inconveniently.

How dare you! And then you probably even try to hold them what they promised you last time. Biiiig faux pas, I guess :P

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Do you know if you are talking to a person, or a machine?

..

There is a lot to be said for anonymity, especially in Germany (data protection laws!)😃

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15 hours ago, optimista said:

People in UK are increasingly cagey about letting on who they are on the phone. Had the same issue... it is avoidant behaviour, not just a form of incompetence. You might ring them back. Very inconveniently.

 

When I asked a woman from customer service at  Vodafone Deutschland for her name she hung up on me.  She had probably said it at the beginning of the conversation but I find German names on the phone really difficult.  I must remember to get the correct name right at the start of the conversation.

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1 hour ago, sluzup said:

I must remember to get the correct name right at the start of the conversation.

Oh, I often also didn‘t get it the first time, but then I just ask something like „Entschuldigung, ich habe Ihre Name leider akustisch nicht verstanden.“ Then, it is repeated. 
 

I often write down names when I deal with authorities or companies as well, so I can refer to that if needed.

 

What I don‘t like is like „My name is Jenny.” Jenny who? Also, in emails you see first name only as well. Must be something new. 

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1 hour ago, LukeSkywalker said:

Oh, I often also didn‘t get it the first time, but then I just ask something like „Entschuldigung, ich habe Ihre Name leider akustisch nicht verstanden.“ Then, it is repeated. 
 

I often write down names when I deal with authorities or companies as well, so I can refer to that if needed.

 

What I don‘t like is like „My name is Jenny.” Jenny who? Also, in emails you see first name only as well. Must be something new. 

 

This is a phrase that I only learnt recently and need to try and remember. My hearing is a bit dodgy on one side and if I don't hear something properly, then often people assume I don't speak German and start speaking English

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I learned a long time ago to make people repeat their usually garbled introduction, asking them to spell their name (and how they have my number if I have not invited them to call me...) I take that real slow and with no shame.

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6 hours ago, Fietsrad said:

Do you know if you are talking to a person, or a machine?

..

There is a lot to be said for anonymity, especially in Germany (data protection laws!)😃

It should be fairly obvious if you are talking to a machine or a person if you are allowed to get into a dialogue. 

 

I have no problem giving my name on the phone, so I expect the same from my opposite number, as otherwise it sounds like they are trying to hide something from me. Its always easier to deny saying something if the first call was anonymous.   

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