Losing Isn’t Everything II

Talk about a sore loser. One day after the Pirate “bring in the clowns” Party finally gets tossed out of the Berlin Senat for good, one clearly unbalanced Pirate politician poster boy electrocutes himself in his apartment in Berlin Steglitz (otherwise not exactly the most electrifying district in Berlin).

Pirat

It gets even better, though (or worse, depending upon how you look at it). Word is now out that it looks as though he abused and murdered some other dude in his apartment before abusing and murdering himself.

And if that wasn’t shocking enough (shocking, get it?), Berlin’s SPD mayor Michael something or other, after getting reelected – sort of, the SPD having received during Sunday’s election the lowest percentage of votes ever for a “winning” government-forming party in Germany – well, this guy bans the press spokesman lady he just can’t get along with one of the most dreaded, cruel and unusual punishments known in all of Germany itself: Early retirement. The shocking part here? She’s 37. In Social Democracy anything is possible.

Berlin is kind of a wacko place, by the way.

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What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

Ein Frührentner (an early retiree). Please laugh, but please also be assured that I personally know a German teenager who actually answered this question this way and was NOT joking.

Retirees

And this really shouldn’t come as a surprise in a country where, according to the latest poll, 53 percent of the employed don’t plan to work past the age of 63 and barely one third of them expect to work until the “official” reitrement age of 65. Or is it 67 now? Wait, or is it 63 doch (after all)?

At any rate, whatever the official German retirement age may be, rest assured that it will not be the age at which the majority of Germans will be retiring.

Ein knappes Drittel will dagegen bis zum regulären Renteneintrittsalter weiterarbeiten.

German Soldiers Just Can’t Take It Anymore

That’s why 6000 of them (half the German army?) have now put in for early retirement.

Soldaten

No war is hell, too.

Flexibles System der Kinderbetreuung, mehr Tagesmütter für Randzeiten, Teilzeitmöglichkeiten mit einer Drei-oder Viertagewoche in der Familienphase, ein Lebensarbeitszeitkonto für Überstunden. Auch will sie sich das System der nahezu automatischen Versetzungen alle zwei bis drei Jahre „genau ansehen“ und Schluss mit dauernden Ortswechseln machen.

PS: And thank goodness this just came in. Here are the top 10 places for Frührentner (early-retirees) and other retiree types to, well, retire around at (International Living Annual Global Retirement Index 2014).

German Man Caught Impersonating A Cardinal After Other German Man Caught Impersonating A Pope

OK, OK. The German Pope dude actually was a Pope but he did that typical German Frührente (early retirement) thing that Popes don’t normally do so technically speaking you could be a real devil advocating jerk if you wanted to be and claim that the guy never was a real Pope in the first place (and no, of course I’m not Catholic and yes, I clearly don’t have the slightest idea what I’m talking about here – except for that Frührente part).

Cardinal

As for the Cardinal dude, I think he looked rather convincing while hanging out with several unsuspecting eminences in Rome the other day. Except for the sneakers he was wearing, maybe. And his crucifix, which was too short, or so I’m told. And his sash turned out to be just a purple scarf. But still. The Cardinal question here is, well, is not having a life something you can actually make your living at?

He was thrown out by the Swiss Guard after someone noticed his crucifix was too short and his sash was just a purple scarf.

The Scam That Keeps On Giving

Word has clearly gotten out now. What used to be a Geheimtipp (insiders’ tip) has now become a full-fledged and nationally recognized Volkssport (national sport): Early retirement due to mental illness.

Up some 6,000 from the previous year, more and more Germans (71,000) are now being “forced” to retire early each and every year because they suffer from things like anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, multiple generalized anxiety disorder, mega ultra super mulitple generalized really really bad anxiety disorder and other such imaginary diseases.

In fact, being mental is now the number one main excuse used to have to go into “involuntary retirement” in Germany, with the average age of these hapless victims being 48, by the way.

Fear industry profiteers, I mean experts, are happy to report that the increased number of diagnosed cases is due to a greater willingness of sufferers to openly admit their problems, although none of these experts are able or willing to explain where this sudden willingness comes from.

Über das Thema werde jetzt “offener geredet und deshalb diagnostizieren Ärzte jetzt eher psychische Ursachen von Leiden.”

The economy really must be booming again

This is by far one of my top five if not my absolute favorite scam here.

Although the political class in Berlin still pretends as if workers in Germany will actually be working until they are 67 in the future before being able to retire here (the system – or the demographics – she is broken, Señor), last year’s Vorruhestand (early retirement) numbers shot up 10,000 over the previous year, making it the highest number of early retirees (171,129) to throw in the towel (early) over the past six years.

Don’t get me wrong, though. These folks had to retire early because they were sick. Honest. No, not sick of working. Most of them had one of those newfangled, you know, psychological-like ailment-type sicknesses. But don’t worry. They’re feeling better already.

Der weitaus größte Teil – rund 64.000 Menschen – habe aufgrund einer psychischen Erkrankung in den vorzeitigen Ruhestand gehen müssen.