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Life Keeps Us All Very Busy

plant leaves

The picture above is just a random photo from my library. This here is more of a diary entry, and not so much about the photo. Today I had to go on errands, I basically had a bit of paperwork and wanted to drop the paperwork at the authorities. I like it this way, because I let them copy the paperwork, and I won’t leave if I don’t get a date stamp on my original. In this world, where everyone wants to pee on your knees (as we say in Germany if someone wants to cause issues), it’s better to be a perfectionist. And guess how often the stupid time stamp helped me in the past? I just can say that it helped me quite often because “We still need the papers, they never arrived” is nothing new to me. Even better when you then can say “Look, I think you’re kidding me, because I have the original with a stamp of you guys”.

I can’t tell you how much I hate it to deal with public authorities. I can’t think of anything that is more annoying. With that said, I was a bit pissed that I had to go there in the afternoon. But then I thought it would be nothing else than a nice hike, because the weather was great. So, I did put the papers in my camera bag. I thought if I have the camera with me, I can go hiking after I am done with the authorities. But it came different, I left the building and it got into my mind that a friend lives in that district. It was now around 6 PM and I thought he might already be at home. I called him and he said “I am in 10 minutes at home, you can visit me”. Together we went into a store and bought four Alster (pretty popular in Northern Germany, it’s basically beer mixed with soda). I think you in England it’s called shandy, huh?

You know, modern life keeps us all very busy, sometimes too busy. It’s sad, but there are tons of things that can make it difficult to visit your friends regularly, it starts with issues like rotating shift work and what not. This particular friends for example is trucker, and not always in the city, unless he’s driving between Lübeck and Hamburg like he’s doing right now. I knew this, because at the moment he is sometimes at home in the afternoon. One big plus is if you see a friend just two times a month, is that you have a lot more to talk about, because so much things happened. I mean, we still know what the friends are up to, because with the modern life, there is also modern communication like messaging apps and what not. But that’s rather used for tiny side notes. Nothing beats the traditional chat, face to face in the same room.

We talked two hours straight, because there was so much to say. And like always, the Alster was super delicious! In the third hour we did put on his Xbox. As a PC gamer, I am not really a fan of the Xbox, because I need a mouse and a keyboard, and not a gamepad. On the other side, it made it even more funny. We laughed a lot, because I am totally not used to the Xbox gamepad. We played Call of Duty and after that we played GTA5 on his PC. But it was not like sitting in front of the PC, because he has a video projector, which means we had a big picture of the games on the wall. Pretty cool!

Before I went home, we made some bad comments about life. I think older people just accepted how life works, but I see this trend that people in my generation can’t understand why you have to work your ass off so that someone else gets rich, while you barely survive. Most people can’t even afford holidays, they’re just working 10 hours each day and are happy if they still have money by the end of the month. Not to mention that it’s a constant loop of working, getting food, eating and sleeping. You’re completely exploited. People in my generation might be part of this loop, but they hate it so much that there will be always a comment at the end “God, I wish we would be young again, with no obligations, just living a life”. The social criticism is there, because it’s a sad fact, you can’t even see your friends regularly, even if you would like to. They would have fewer difficulties to accept it if they would actually benefit from their jobs, but quite often this is not the case.

To be honest, there are people who found ways out of this black hole. But this particular friend for example gets absolutely exploited by the company he works for. He told me about the pressure, about the payment and how he has barely free time. The end of the work day is for him really just that, getting food, eating, and being too exhausted to enjoy the remaining free hours. Of course I suggested to look for a better job, but this is usually just a sidenote too, because everyone knows that the never-ending search for a better job is troublesome too. Not to mention that it is a security if you have a job, even if it is a shitty job. If you ask me, it’s no wonder if people get burned out, and if this eventually leads to early retirement at the expense of health insurance funds or government funds, it’s a totally deserved retirement for the person.

This sounds like we just talked about the bad things in life. But that’s not the case. We talked about the good things too. But work and pressure will always come up at some point. But since this is not a subject that one person complains about, almost everyone around me does it, you can’t get around the question “What type of society is this, that burns so many people out, while just a tiny percentage takes the profit?”. You know what happens when politicians or media says “It’s not as bad as you think, because in Africa they don’t even have good water”? This is causing hatred, because it’s denial. These are the reasons why people come up with terms like “Lügenpresse” (lying press or media). This is the reason why nearly everyone I know hates the politicians of the established parties, and why nearly everyone I know wants a disruptive political change. And ironically, we come closer to a change with each election, because they just don’t see how they upset people. They are very good at pouring oil into the fire.

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2 Comments »

  1. I think that many people, in my generation as well as yours, have this type of conversation. It seems harder and harder for people with low to middle incomes to have a comfortable life. I’m not talking about material goods so much as what you said. People work in jobs they hate but are afraid to leave in case they can’t get another. If you lose your job when you are past thirty five in this country the chances of getting a full time job are not great. Employer exploit this by either giving too many hours or not enough or asking workers to do more work with fewer people in less time. They raised the retirement age in Australia and by the next decade it will be 70. If you work in an office or professional career perhaps that is not so bad but for people who do hard physical work, cleaners, builders etc it is very bad news because imagine having to do heavy physical work at that age and being expected to be as quick as a 30 year old. One of the nurses that David had in hospital was 70 and she could not keep up with the technology like using the hoist to get him out of bed so he was always having to wait for orderlies to come when she was on duty. I don’t blame her but she should have had the option to be at home with a pension after a life of hard work and it would have been better for her patients if she had been. I do try not to dwell on these things but society today does seem different from when I was young. Not as kind and and the divide between rich and poor in western countries is greater.
    Peope want political change but a lot of the people who are coming into promininence now are very extreme. I don’t want a Donald Trump in my country although he’s very extreme as he is really only interested in himself but extreme right or extreme left politicians are not going to make things better.

  2. I maybe generalized a bit, but my impression is that many older people around me here in Germany don’t see how much the working life for people changed. Grandpa often disagrees with me, and my friends told me the same about their grandparents. Or you see older people in TV and think “Nah, that sounds like a fine world, but that has changed”. Some even think “burnout” is a myth, while everyone else knows at least one or two people that got it, and are basically done for now.

    I remember how grandma and grandpa always were invited to company celebrations, or they got free hotel rooms and invitations to other cities, expensive bottles of wine as recognition, to name a few examples. Not to mention that they got a decent salary and worked no more than 8 hours (inclusive breaks), that’s about 4 hours less because our breaks are now exclusive, and working 10 hours already standard. I told grandpa “You know, that must have given you a feeling of being part of something, but this is what we younger people miss”.

    Now you don’t even get a “Thank you, that was perfectly solved” if you did something very well. But you are the person to blame if something went wrong during the shift. Now it’s like being a labor slave a whole year without a single comment of appreciation, except maybe that they invite you to a stupid Christmas party by the end of year, the time where most people are just happy they have holidays. Grandpa always denies it, and I always say “Oh yes grandpa, things have changed”, because this is my experience, and the experience of literally every friend I have. I like him anyway, but this is a topic where we disagree, because he doesn’t seem to see how the pressure increased. Also shift roations are a big no no, I know people that do this since 10 years without finally being offered a normal shift, they’re exhausted by this “lifestyle”. It’s just a super contrast to hear from one group that worked back then, and then from the other group that is actively working right now.

    Or like you said, you’re just 36 and lost your job, like in my case back then due to my diseases, which is why you got a early pension limited on two years, but afterwards you get huge trouble to find a decent job again. So, they tell you to fill the two years hole in your resume, but that they are not the ones that will help you doing so. As if you’re not a human anymore, not part of the society, not needed. Fortunately, I got something due to vitamine c (connections)… eveyone would probably complain about the strange shifts, but ironically it’s at least in my case compatible with my sleep problems (laugh). So, you made a good point… without luck, you’re probably done if you lost your job for whatever reason. It’s inhuman.

    I think our retirement age is still at 63, but people work more because with more years the pension money is higher. I think this is some kind of progressive calculation (0,3% more with each month or so) but I am not expert here. 63 is already not enough anymore for many. And we joke around and say “Let’s see if you still live with 63 under these conditions”. When my uncle was in the hospital, I also saw many old nurses, and I experienced the same like you, it’s difficult for them.

    I’m totally with you talking about Trump. And this might look funny because I often said I support the AfD in Germany. But I never got why the media compares the AfD with Trump. Maybe because Republican is far-right like the AfD is partly too, but that’s a bit too easy, because they still compare an apple with a pear. Maybe because of the Mexican border story, and because AfD wants to protect our borders too, but that’s pretty much the only similarity and does still differ a lot. There are a couple of person within the AfD that come close to Trump like Björn Höcke, and equal lunatic, a complete idiot, but fortunately these are not the only party members and there are many moderate or conservative members. But this is a complex subject (too much different influences within the AfD still). But they speak about issues that the other parties deny, and this is why they gain popularity. The reality is, the AfD would never have been a thing if there wouldn’t have been some fatal issues caused by our last governments and the current one, and if they wouldn’t be so heavily in denial about it in their secured luxus residential areas where life might be indeed still very nice.

    But Trump is a real difference. He would be funny if he would be entertainer or political satire comedian, but he isn’t, which is frightening. He doesn’t even get his facts straight, like when he said “Germany is captive of Russia due to gas trades”. Not sure where he got the 70% from, because just 9% of our gas comes from Russia. And even if it would be 70%, with what right does the USA have a saying about our trades? Does he think we’re a vassal? He’s nuts! It’s also funny how he wanted to befriend North Korea, meanwhile he makes trouble with nearly every ally. Canada is an enemy… Europe too. Really?? Is this comedy? This person is one of the biggest lunatics in this century. Every day you read the news, and Trump, and then you cringe, every single day. I mean, just look at his Twitter account. He tweets like a 13 years old boy in puberty. Every politician with a sense of professionality wouldn’t tweet at all, or at least not like he does. He’s insane, a narcissist, and as it seems, he drives the USA right against the wall right now. He probably wants to find out how it is a lose a trade war, because they will. On the other side, it seems it was a decision between Cholera and Pest for US citizens. Hillary Clinton would have bombed Iran by now, how could that have gone wrong lol.

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