The longer I live and work in Germany, the stranger it gets. This makes me wonder whether I live in a particularly strange country or a strange neighborhood, work at a weirdo university, on an oddball campus, or that, perhaps, I just attract a peculiar type of people around me.
One of the stranger aspects of life here, I find the local approach to problem-solving. As in any other place, things go wrong all the bloody time. That’s normal, and to be expected, I suppose. I have messed up, and still mess up, all the time. The right thing to do in such a situation is identify the core problem, and fix the core problem. In my view that’s how you make things better. If you break a leg, you get it fixed – not just take some pain pills and a band-aid.
Wherever I go, this place is held together with zip ties, multipurpose glue and band-aids. And those are just the problems that were at least temporarily fixed. At least something was done to fix things. Often though, the core problem remains. And why would you want to solve that?
At least as common, problems are simply completely ignored, as ignorance is bliss. Or maybe even worse, they’re turned into someone else’s problems. Examples range from the rather innocent ‘I have this shitty task that I don’t like so much, let’s make someone else responsible for it and call it delegating’ – which we’re all guilty of here and there – to ‘I have a problem, but if I throw this other person under the bus, at least it’s not mine to deal with’.
I see it all around me. The building I live in. The building I work in. The campus I work on. The systems I am forced to work within.
Nobody fucking cares.