Many of the Spaniards say the work environment in Germany takes getting used to, with Germans far more direct than Spanish people and much quieter. No one makes personal calls during business hours, for instance. But the work day is much shorter.
They were surprised that they were expected to greet co-workers each morning with formal handshakes and to call colleagues “Herr” and “Frau” (Mr. and Ms.). Impromptu hallway conversations over work issues were cut off by Germans suggesting it would be more appropriate to schedule a formal meeting.
The German fondness for order, often joked about, has proved true, said Carlos Baixeras, 30, an engineer who started working near Frankfurt 18 months ago. “There are rules for everything,” he said. “There’s a trash police.”
Right now, the migration benefits both countries. For Spain it relieves pressure on the overstretched welfare state and gives job opportunities to what has quickly become known as the lost generation. The conflict will begin when Spain eventually recovers and wants its engineers back.
-Suzanne Daley and Nicholas Kulish (NY Times) report on the shifts in the European Union caused by the Great Recession. No one knows how this will end. Maybe Spain will recover in the short-term. Maybe “northern economies [will] retain industry and the southern ones are left with agriculture and tourism”. I suspect that the Europe of the mid 21st century will look very different than the one we’ve become familiar with - it’ll be fascinating to see how this develops.