The Angry German

An occasional series in Esquire:

What\’s with all the friendliness? Everybody in America seems to want to make sweet love to all their colleagues while behind their backs they want to ram rusty screwdrivers down their throats. In my country, it\’s the other way around: Everyone at the workplace is unfriendly to each other, and then they are best friends over the weekends playing football. When I started working here, one of my first e-mails went to a senior database administrator. It said: "Database is down. Fix it." It landed me a first-row seat in the department head\’s office, getting a talking down about work culture. To this day, I don\’t see anything wrong. I didn\’t say, "You stupid fuck, you let the database go down while masturbating to Mexican donkey porn. Fix it." Now, I learned that the proper way to say this is: "I know you are really busy, but I cannot continue my work while the database is inaccessible. If you don\’t mind, could you look into the problem and let me know if there is a chance you can rectify it? Sorry to be a bother." No wonder shit doesn\’t get done in time when you have to write a freaking novel for each simple thing.

Anyone who has dealth with both Germans and Americans will see the truth of his statements. More articles here.

3 thoughts on “The Angry German”

  1. The Germans also tell you when they won’t do something, usually by saying “No.” In the UK, this is taken as evidence of a “no can do” attitude, but it is in fact very helpful because it means you don’t waste time in fruitless attempts at cajolery.

  2. A German friend told me that his first lesson in Britain was that you can’t get people to do things by shouting at them. We found, years ago, that you could get Czechs to do things by shouting at them in German.

  3. .”…………..that you could get Czechs to do things by shouting at them in German.”…….showing their papers or raising their hands?


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