Flat-Rate Mitarbeiter

Late in the workday today, Herr B. stopped by my office (shared with 3 other colleagues) to inquire whether my desk neighbor R. had already left for the day or would be back. It was a little odd; pretty much everyone knows R. starts his workday early so he can leave early too.

“Ist R. noch da?” Herr B. asked me. I pantomimed looking at my watch and with an exaggerated expression, replied “Och nee, R. ist schon längst heimgangen.”

“Und Sie? Sie machen als Flat-Rate Mitarbeiter ruhig weiter, nicht wahr?”

I had to chuckle at that — I’d never heard the term Flat-Rate Mitarbeiter before, but I kinda liked it.

“Na, bin koa Flat-Rate Mitarbeiter. Ich haue jetzt auch gleich ab.”

“Einen schönen Abend und eine gute Besserung wünsche ich Ihnen dann.”

I haven’t had so much as the sniffles in quite a while, so the fact that I’ve caught whatever cold was going around here seems to have raised some eyebrows…once they’re sure it’s not swine flu.

But that started me thinking. What other inventive uses of English words have surprised you in your Daily German Life context?

Oh, and this next question is posed to the readers out there who, like me, came from a “salaried” job in the home country where overtime was like a bad joke and comp time was hard to justify to one where every minute on (and off) the job is counted, overtime carefully measured, and only rarely gets paid out (but more often results in big comp time blocks). Isn’t that weird? I was kind of offended at first (in 2004) when they explained to me how to fill out my monthly timesheet, since I’d not had to do that since leaving my food service and mall jobs, but dang…Considering what I stand to lose (at least in the short term), becoming a true Flat-Rate Mitarbeiter can wait, if you ask me.

5 thoughts on “Flat-Rate Mitarbeiter”

  1. Tammy

    Best inventive English/Deutsch I have heard lately – “Ich habe es E-gebayed” as in “I sold (or bought) it on E-bay.” (not sure on the spelling there).

  2. cliff1976

    Good one! I like the separable-prefix ones — and especially hearing Germans themselves stumble over them.

    Hast du die neue Datei schon gedownl- … öhmmm, downgeloadet.

    I’m rather proud of one I made up this week:

    Nee, letztes Wochenende wurde schon sightgeseen.

  3. Scott

    The salaried managers in our restaurants are required to punch the time clock like hourly employees. They have a 39 hour work week and get 15% night bonus and double pay on holidays. We’ll pay out scheduled overtime… but it has to be planned and not just be hanging around late after shifts.

    My employment contracts in the IT world always had the clause that overtime was considered to be already compensated by my salary.

  4. cliff1976

    overtime was considered to be already compensated by my salary.

    Sounds like you were a true example of a Flat-Rate Mitarbeiter.

  5. J

    I hadn’t heard that term before now either.

    One of my favs is, ‘Ich habe mein Auto gepimpt.’

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