Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Understanding of Time

This is one big difference between the Germans and English that is quite irritating. In Germany, if you need something repaired or someone is going to come around, you agree to a time and they are there at that time. Let's say I need someone to fix my furnace. I call up the furnace repair people, they say they can send someone on Tuesday at 2pm. Actually, they would say 14, as Germans work on a 24-hour clock. Within 10 minutes of 2pm on Tuesday, the repair person would be there.

In England, you seem to be give a range of hours when they might show up. Between 9am and 2pm seems to be the normal time to give. Which really ticks me off, because even if I'm not working anymore, I do have more to do than to just hang around waiting for someone else to show up. And they always show up at the end of the time period. Today for example; someone is supposed to be coming by to fix our shower as it makes horrid noises when you turn up the pressure. Sometime between 9am and 1pm. Well, it's 12:15 and no one in sight. Normally I could live with this, but a midwife is supposed to be coming between 2pm and 4pm to visit me, and I really don't need the overlap. She'll of course be early instead of late, I'm sure, knowing Murphy's Law. Plus the fact I need to get to the bank today to get a banker's draft to pay for our car today. If I knew that the repair person wouldn't be here before noon, I could have gone this morning. But with this stupid time range, I have to suspend my life to wait for him.

This is one thing I already miss from Germany. Punctuality.


susan_rn92 said...

Ahh, England, maybe not as punctual as Germany, but it is the land that brought us zanniness like Fawlty Towers. What you need to do is get the furnace guy to get confused and he starts giving advice on the pregnancy and the midwife time the contractions on the furnace.

UrbanAngel said...

It's the same in Germany, Germany is no better in this respect. For example, furniture delivery, you're given a 6 hour time slot, if you're lucky, a 4 hr time slot. No need to generalise yet, though I guess comparison is part of culture shock :P

ReallyEvilCanine said...

Which Munich did you live in previously? It sure as hell couldn't have been the one I'm in even though I know I saw you here a few times. In my Germany you have to take an entire day off work to wait for someone from Telekom to do a 30-second "test" of your wires before some other company can take over your phone service. They don't always come and that left a certain bar with no phone or Net for 11 days.

ZeeBride said...

Oooh, this certainly generated comments. Honestly, I can't think of anytime I'd been given a time range of more than 2 hours when in Munich. Mostly I was always given an exact time. Maybe because I never ordered brand new furniture; guess I was never that rich UrbanAngel. ;-)

However, the incompetance of Deutsche Telekom is a totally separate issue. Glad to be rid of them, that's for certain.

simon said...

If you don't like Deutsche Telekom, then I'd advise steering clear of NTL, they've a terrible reputation for incompetence.