how to survive in Germany, Deutschland without cultural barriers, best and worst of Germany

JUST PERFECT. Vacation in Germany is one of the most sacred things

I was telling my clients all last week that this week I am having vacation. And when I am having vacation I try my best to keep me out of work completely, to the smallest detail.

A few times I made a mistake of trying to fix a very small thing, like one short call. But then somebody asks with a nice voice for a very very small action that would take a few seconds no more and then the series develop, and I used to end up with the whole day of working.

And since I am kind of inert, I only rest well when I do not work completely and I do not even think about work for a longer period of time.

But my home country mobile operator disappointed me in failing with routing the calls to voice mail. I know that there is nothing that irritates the caller more that as a phone switched off, and especially for a few days, I decided to leave it on with no sound.

Then I could not resist to see who was calling me. And one of them was one of my clients who was very clearly warned that I am away this week. And he was calling me repeatedly. I had to work with me to not even send an SMS that I am away. He knows that already! That is exactly his trick, to include me in the conversation and then he will do the job whatever it takes.

And the client I am talking about is not German. Germans would never ever act this way. They have a high respect to other people. Including when someone is on vacation. It is a sacred matter.

I have seen very important projects. So important that the whole organisations well being was depending on the success of these projects. And if very key people to the project had their vacations sceduled before the critical days to the project, there will be nobody, I say NOBODY from the highest ranks even who would even ask or even hint to postpone your vacation.

The top priority project would rather be freezed for the whole period of the key person’s vacation. Nobody would ever hint even in the shade of their voices that this person should feel quilty or anything like that.

OK, I am on vacation and I am lazy to type more. I hope you got that, in Germany your vacation is guaranteed. And there are 6 weeks of annual vacation. More than in any country I know.

(c) BestAndWorstOfGermany. You can use this picture and / or text with an active link to

(c) BestAndWorstOfGermany. You can use this picture and / or text with an active link to


One comment on “JUST PERFECT. Vacation in Germany is one of the most sacred things

  1. Hauke Hagenhoff
    July 27, 2013

    Well, I couldn’t agree less.

    To get some things corrected:
    Law only guarantees you 24 days of paid holiday.
    Based on a six day work week, that results in 4 weeks (If you got a 5 day work week, those 24 days become 20 days …).

    There is no specific respect or disrespect concerning your vacation, there is just respect or disrespect of your person.

    If you happen to have one of the truely nice employers, they will surely respect your holiday. It’s nothing remarkable though but a matter of course, as they expect the same from you.
    But if you happen to work for some of those companies that do not care about their employees, they will also care the same sh*t about your holiday as they do about other things.

    As the unemployment rate in Germany is very high, employers see no reason to care about their employees. Where should they change their job to if they get sick of being treated badly?

    Yes, despite all faked media rumble, the unemployment rate is sky high. Math is just one of the things Germans can do very well and statistics and their faking are parts of that field of science. You would be amazed to learn how high our unemployment rate really is, if you would count all the people in that have been excluded by dirty tricks (Currently being ill, too old, currently being engaged in some useless training, unemployed for too long, …).

    Germany’s workforce (People between 15 and 64 yrs old, counted as being “able to work”) is well over 55 million people strong and serious estimates expect more than 7 million to be unemployed or underemployed, more than 12%.

    Numbers for June 2013:
    Officially published number of unemployed people in June 2013: 2864663
    Admitted¹ number of unemployed people in June 2013: 3737998

    Estimates are that there are also about as many uncounted people unemployed or underemployed as counted ones:
    a.) People that will not get a single penny from unemployment insurance (unemployed for too long, previous freelancers, not having worked for at least 24 months during the last 36 months, …) and not eligibile to receive social welfare,e .g. if their spouse already earns the same amount as social welfare would pay to both of them together.
    b.) Workers in so-called “400 EUR Jobs”, which doesn’t even mean they actually earn those, it can as well mean they only earn 190 EUR/month.
    or at least
    c.) Workers earning just about the same as what social welfare would pay.

    So if your boss respects your holiday, it can mean either or more of these:
    1. You happen to have a very rare occupation which is that hard to find, that your boss is forced to care.
    2. You live within an area in which unemployment is comparably low, which also forces your boss to be nice. Unemployment in Germany differs highly by area, between about 2.5% (5%) and 25% (50%) (Numbers in brackets: real unemployment).
    3. Your boss is just a feeling human being. A species that is becoming very rare.

    During the last 11 years, I had 30 paid holidays at my disposal in ONE year (Working for the state during that year …) but only the law’s minimum of 20 days in all other 10 years and in those 10 years the employers even regularily tried to abuse those for their needs (E.g. to spare them up for covering the notice period for their hire & fire policy).

    ¹Officially published numbers plus those people for which the Bundesagentur für Arbeit admits they are not actually employed but do not count as unemployed.

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This entry was posted on July 25, 2013 by in Business, Going out and tagged , , , , , , .
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