Working in Germany Initial Observations

The first thing I noticed is that the Germans work together in a giant room (even upper management). It is nothing like I had expected it to be. I was expecting a cubicle what I got was much better.

It can be hard to get things done at times though. Your thoughts are constantly interrupted by Bayerisch being shouted across the room. You also can hear every phone call anyone makes so it can be a bit distracting. It hilarious though. At least to me. They joke with each other it makes me laugh. I also think it’s funny how direct they are with each other. You insert name here I need _______. There is no beating around the bush.

I think the openness of the workspace increases cooperation. It is much easier to talk with a colleague when all you have to do is shout. It creates a we are all in this together atmosphere and when you have a problem all you have to do is ask someone. You always know what is going on too which is nice.

My colleagues have been very welcoming to me and I am grateful. Watching them they are very friendly with one another. Always greeting everyone when they come in in the morning and when they leave at the end of the day. (as is customary) That is something important to remember about working here. If you don’t greet everyone in the morning you are perceived as cold and distant. Having a good relationship with your coworkers is valued very highly here. Everyone seems to get along. They all go to lunch at the same time and eat together. When it’s someone’s birthday they all celebrate together. All this is in stark contrast (at least in my opinion) to the US.

The Germans unlike the Americans don’t work themselves to death. After 5 they are done which is how I think it should be. They see taking work home or working overtime as a lack of efficiency. They don’t work as much but they work enough (efficiency). Work to live not live to work. I like it.

Every day I get to see a new part of the factory, meet new people and solve new problems. My German has gotten astronomically better. Speaking is still difficult but I can understand most of what is being said now when I focus. The good thing is they usually treat me like a normal German speaker. They mostly talk at normal speed which has been good for me. At times though it is frustrating when I can’t understand what they are saying. Every day though it gets a little easier.

Sorry no pictures. Taking pictures at the plant is strictly verboten…