Downtime

Hi Folks,

As you might have realized The Midnight Bell has not been tolling for a while. That was because I was doing what was wrong for the right reasons.

I was focusing on my career as an advertising copywriter, so I stopped writing recreationally for a while. In the End it turns out that writing copy for my current company just won’t work out for many reasons. one of which is very probably me. Me and the things I need.

I need a strong team to be creative, I need to love my topic to write on it and I need to know why the fuck I am doing something which is clearly against a clients best interest just because the client says so. In absence of all these things my former talent has waned. So now I find myself not only out looking for a job once more, but also questioning my choice of profession and, which is the most annoying: my talent.

What keeps me happy these days was putting together my Portfolio and realizing how good I used to be. How well I could think and write when the circumstances permitted it.

If I have learned anything from this, it is that I have been going at things the wrong way for the last year and a half. I believed that making clients happy would make me happy, when it is really the other way around. If I am happy, so will be my clients. Because, at least in my case quality comes with happiness, and that really is what clients are looking for.

I need to relax, unclench, stop procrastinating, because procrastinating means that you really don’t like what you should be doing. In the end you can never force yourself to be happy. but if you look long enough and hard enough, know what you want and listen to yourself, happiness will find you.

I also became dishearted when I started this Blog and only got three reads a day, but you know what? No more! I am writing this for myself now, to do something great for me. to put something into this world creatively that is worth your and my Time.

I might be out on the market again, looking for a new job but I don’t sweat it. I might not end up being a copywrighter, but if I end up loving what I’m doing it’s all for the best.

 

Welcome back dear Readers. I might not be doing as much politicking as I used to, but I am writing again. Let’s see where it takes us.

If you read this I love you.

Benjamin aka The Midnighttoller

Unemployment – My story

After my graduation at the Advertising Academy U5 in Munich I did the next logical thing. I went looking for an Internship as a copywriter and got a very good offer from Saatchi & Saatchi Germany. A company I hold in high esteem to this day. So I moved to Frankfurt and worked there for six fun months on internship pay and lots of support by my parents. My then Girlfriend (now wife) found some decent work as a temp. We could pay the bills, afford a night out every month or so and had a cozy place to live. Life was good.

Sadly things then weren’t going so smoothly for the Publicis Group and therefore for Saatchi & Saatchi. So after My Internship ended things changed drastically. I lost my job and learned firsthand what it means to be unemployed in Germany.

People who have worked up to one year first receive 6o % of their previous paycheck for up to a year. Since my internship was my first payed job and only lasted for 6 months I was out of luck and fell into the category that receives “unemployment pay two”, now what exactly is that? For a household of two people you get rent, water, heating and electricity for an apartment of 60 square meters and a little more than 600 Euros for food, drink, clothing, insurances, fuel and doctors bills. It isn’t a life of luxury, but it is a decent life if you don’t have debts to pay. Now how do you get this unemployment pay 2?

First you have to find out which “Jobcenter” (Sounds like Orwellian newspeak, doesn’t it?) is the one you have to go to. Then you call that Jobcenter and ask for an interview appointment. Usually you get an appointment within the same month. At the interview you have to answer all sorts of questions aiming at finding out which jobs you are (also) qualified for. Then you get a questionnaire to fill out, and a list of things you need to hand in with that questionnaire. It is assumed, that everything is in the green and you get the unemployment pay retroactively beginning from the Time you where last employed. Now the what is that questionnaire about?

Here you have to tell the German authorities exactly how much money you have. If you have any insurances, you have to cash them in. if you have property, you have to live on it, or sell it. if you have something saved up for your old age, you have to spend that first, and you need to bring in documentation for it all. Also you have to prove what you have earned and spent in the last half year, so they want copies of all your account statements of the last 6 months. Which I did.

The whole experience was harrowing and humiliating but at least we did not go hungry.

Thank you Germany!

 

Keep tolling the bell.

Am I a Patriot?

As a german citizen i have an ambivalent attitude toward patriotism. I love my country, I love the countyside, its many quaint cities, the urban untamedness of Berlin and foremost I love the people. But am I proud to be a German? No. I have done nothing to be a german. I was born german. How can a person be proud of something he or she did not accomplish? I never served in the army, I am not a politician or a journalist, I am not an innovator. How can I be proud? Do I have the right to be proud? Thing is: I want to be proud, but I do feel that it is a right one has to earn. That is one reason why I started to blog. I want to help shape this nation, become part of the political discourse. And I feel, that if through writing I can get only one more person to vote their concienence or better one persons view of Germany, I can be a little more proud.

I am not proud to be german any more that I am proud to be a human being, but I am damn glad.

So who can be proud of being a German citizen? I’ll tell you my opinion: All the Turks, Greeks, Italians, Albanians, Morrocans and indeed all imigrants that came here to seek prosperity. They left their own countries, their families and friends, because they believed germany was better for them. A country that has not welcomed them with open arms. A country whose Wirtschaftswunder (economic wonder) was built on cheap imported labor of the “Gastarbeiter” (guest worker). They can and should be proud!

I respect immigrants a great deal for making this country what it is today, and for chosing my home over theirs.

That said, I believe I am a patriot, but not of the conservative lot, who believes everything should stay as it is, or longs for the “good old days”.
I wish and hope the best for this nation and the people who help to build it and further its cause. I want to be part of it and stand by it. I vote and I excercise my right to free speech. I keep an open mind and I share my opinion with others. Yes I am a patriot, but not in the way most people think of patriotism.