Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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German Shopping

325 words

Germany is generally not known as a shopping paradise. People who work in shops are usually unfriendly. Although this is improving slowly, you’re not greeted in a friendly way. And even if you are, it’s very rare that this feels genuine rather than scripted. Add to that the limited opening times, which even after recent improvements, forbid shops to open past 8 in the evening or on Sundays and you can see that this isn’t fun.

But yesterday we made an experience that was even worse. On our way from lunch, my colleague and me passed a local store which sells materials and tools for all sorts of DIY and hobby stuff. Not one of the big chain markets that are out there in the shopping centres but a smallish one which carries most of the stuff you need but and is right in town. It also seems to be a single store that is privately owned. So, in principle, I’m all for it.

However, when we went to pay, my opinion on that changed. The guy behind the register couldn’t serve us because he was busy applying some medicine on the inside of his cheek with his bare fingers. WTF? Can’t he go to the bathroom to do that? It’s certainly nothing I want to watch. At least he was didn’t consider it adequate to serve us with his freshly licked finger and waited for a colleague to serve us. But he was wiping his finger dry at that time and I’m pretty sure he served the next person just like that.

While this probably isn’t medically a problem or anything, I still find it gross. And I’m pretty sure that such things wouldn’t happen – visibly at least – in bastard big company stores which’d simply fire people for doing things like this. Not that I’m a fanboy of those companies all of a sudden, but it’s a difference that I can appreciate.

February 17, 2005, 20:49

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