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NAKED TRUTH bribing in Germany

In the country I am from, it is quite a usual practice to give money to some officials to get the service you need better or faster.

For example, give money to the dorm manager in the university to get a better room, for a right to share the room with someone you want to live together. Or live only two instead of three.

To get your kid faster into the kindergarten and avoid waiting in a long line a year or two. Or get the medical screaning in two three days rather than waiting two three months.

I have heard a lot of similar practice in business, like winning public tenders run by state institutions. I have never been part of this myself but I have seen many signs it is happening. By the way, people avoid calling it bribing. They call other names, I think they do not want to feel dirty themselves.

Nothing like this is happening or possible in Germany. If you ever thought, forget this. And do not ever EVER try to bribe anyone for whatever the matter!

They will not take it. They will not understand it. And I am sure if you want to ruin your reputation, bribing is the fastest way to do it.

Foreigner or local, your kid will be in the same waiting list. You might even get your kid faster into kindergarten than your German neighbour living here his whole life and you just moved in half a year back.

One of my kids got a place in the special group in the kindergarten which is famous for its specific schooling methods all over the country. German mothers kept asking me, how did you get that place?

I just marked in the application form that it is ok that my child takes part in it, that is all I did. And many of them wait and want and to do not the places. I was just lucky.

My other child got the place in school for next day, which is completely the opposite what you can expect in Germany. They simply thought it was way too far for him to be taken to his old school after we moved.

My kid got a place in the group in the school where kids are being taken care after the lessons until parents come home. And there were no places in this group. But after they found out the family situation they arranged it very quickly. Whith no money, just human talk!

These are the positive examples, do not expect all the things to work out in Germany that simpe and next morning. Normally it is not like that. But I am saying that this is also happening, and you do not have to give money to anyone for this to happen.

If you want to pay to say thanks, there will always be an official possibility. Schools will send you papers with bank account where parents can put money. Kindergartens will arrange various projects like collecting money from parents to build a specific playground or some special educational expensive learning tool. You will have opportunities.

But no offering cash in any situation whatsoever.


You might be even be able to pay in cash, like this envelope in the picture. It was given from school to support school funds. Mind the window on it where money is clearly seen! Everything is very transparent in Germany.

Everything is paid. And paid the official way. Have this in mind. People receiving their salary will think they are paid also to arrange you the best they can if it is really needed. They will not take your money and misunderstand if you will offer.

Once like usual we were collecting 5 EUR each to buy a small farewell gift for our German teacher at the end of the semester. I do not know what came to the head of the girl who decided not to buy some flowers of sweets or some small gift but give cash to the teacher.

The teacher was so embarraced to take money. She asked everybody, why do you give me money? Do you think I am paid not enough to be given money? I think she was very insulted to be given money.

And it was not even the bribe! It was meant just to say a thank you…


One comment on “NAKED TRUTH bribing in Germany

  1. Suze
    June 14, 2013

    It’s just very unusual 🙂 Nice touch though!

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This entry was posted on June 6, 2013 by in Business, Character, For kids, Learning German and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , .
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