Home Is Where The Landlord Is A Pain In Your Butt

, , , , | Legal | June 25, 2020

I get a new job in a city away from home where living is expensive and hard to get. I go home on the weekends, so I rent a furnished room, lucky to have found something in time. 

The landlady wants the rent in cash — a red flag for me — but I figure if she wants to evade taxes, it’s her problem, not mine.

She also says she does not need a written rental agreement but understands that I insist on one. To cancel a rental agreement for a furnished room in Germany, you need to give fourteen days of notice; this goes both for the tenant and the landlord. She insists on two whole months for both sides. Needing this room and knowing that writing this into the contract is actually void because the law says otherwise, I agree to that, as well.

When I finally want to register this room as my second address — as you are required to do in Germany — after putting it off for far too long, this goes down.

I have shortened the conversation a lot.

Me: “I need to register now!”

Landlady: “Oh… We haven’t discussed that, you know?”

I think, “We shouldn’t have to; it’s the legal thing to do!”

Me: “Is that a problem for you?”

Landlady: “Yes, I would have to make a different statement for my taxes.” (Meaning: “I would actually have to pay taxes!”) “Is it a no-go for you to just do it this way?”

I think, “Yes, absolutely; it’s illegal!”

Me: “Well, I need to register in order to be able to get money for commuting.”

Landlady: “I’ve been renting out that room since my kids were small.” (This means at least ten years.) “No one ever registered here before! Because then I can’t just throw them out when there’s trouble.”

I wonder how she can argue this way and still want an illegally long cancellation period. Then, she drops this:

Landlady: “Can’t we just pretend you live here free of charge?”

Me: “Well… I don’t know how to do that. I also have to pay extra taxes that depend on the rent in order to have a second address, so I don’t know how they would do the maths, then.”

Landlady: “But there must be a way to do it when people live with family.”

Me: “I guess… I can look into it.”

Landlady: “Then we do that. And I need you to give me back the rental agreement and I would trust you not to take a picture of it.”

I immediately think, “I am SO going to take a picture of that agreement!”

I am absolutely not happy about this idea but I am scared both of conflicts and of losing my place to stay. I also tend to be easily persuaded as long as the person is still in front of me, so for a split-second, I actually consider this. Begrudgingly, I agree to look into it. 

Following this conversation, we make some small-talk and I mention how officials make me nervous, especially because when I applied for job seekers’ allowance, they told me I had to tell them about every last cent or I would face serious consequences, blah blah.

She answers with this gem:

Landlady: “But I think it’s very good they scare you in that way! Way too many people take advantage of the system!”

Lady… you just told me you’ve been evading taxes for over ten years!

I started looking for a new flat, especially after one other incident where — after telling me I wouldn’t need to tell her when I was there and when not — she told me how annoying it was that I was home during her holiday.

I found a shared flat that I moved into yesterday! And thanks to home office times during the health crisis, I never had to go back to that room in the meantime except for picking up my stuff. And, of course, I kept the rental agreement safe and sound. I was so glad to get out of there.

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Unfiltered Story #198672

, , | Unfiltered | June 25, 2020

For reference: you choose knitting needles depending on your yarn – rule of thumb is, the thicker the yarn, the thicker the needles. They can be anything between 2 mm and 20 mm thick, so there’s quite a range.
Customer: “I need some knitting needles”
Me: “Sure, they’re right over here.”
Customer: “Which ones do I get?”
Me: “That depends on your wool. There will be information on the label as to what size needles you need.”
Customer: “Well, I don’t have it with me.”
Me: “Do you know what kind of wool it is?”
Customer: “Oh, just regular wool…”
Me (looking around the 50 or so wildly different varieties of wool I have in my department): “Riiiiight…”

We Can Sympathize With The Need To Escape Reality, But…

, , , , , | Romantic | June 24, 2020

Some years ago, I met a guy. He was kind of cute and we got along well, and we started dating; you know how it goes. He was into Buddhism and spent at least half an hour every day meditating. Cool, I thought.

He talked a lot about his uncle and his uncle’s master who had taught him for some time, too. He adored his uncle’s master. He was wise and patient and very kind. He knew all there is to know about life and meditation and he could levitate. 

Wait, what?

Yes, he confirmed, his uncle’s master could levitate his body by meditating. He could also create fire with his bare hands. What’s more, his uncle’s master’s master could talk to animals.

Surprise, surprise, I didn’t believe him.

He showed me a YouTube video of some guy in Indonesia setting some paper on fire with his hands. You can imagine how convincing it was.

He started digging up more YouTube videos. About reiki practitioners performing miracles. About how there were possibly two suns in our solar system. About aliens having replaced Vladimir Putin with an identical clone. The more absurd the story, the more he got into it.

I drew the line when he tried to replicate an experiment from some self-proclaimed alchemist to create a homunculus by injecting his own sperm into a hen’s egg, then incubating it under a woolly hat in his kitchen.

The whole journey from meditation to aliens took less than two months.

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What Color Is The Gender Fluid?

, , | Right | June 23, 2020

A customer comes up to me with two shirts for girls in her hands, pink and dark blue. The pink one is the regular price of 14,95€, but the dark blue one is 4,95€ because that color won’t be in stock any longer.

Customer: “Why do those have different prices? They are exactly the same!”

I explain the difference, with the blue one not being in stock any longer, etc.

Customer: “But why? These are exactly the same!”

Me: “No, one shirt is pink, the other one blue.”

Customer: “But why is the difference that high?”

Me: *Slightly ironic* “Because my coworker put it that way. I can make the blue one more expensive again, so that the difference won’t be that high anymore?”

Customer: “Noooo! I didn’t mean that! I meant, this is discriminating, isn’t it?!”

Me: “Um… why would that be?”

Customer: “Because if I had a daughter now, I’d have to pay more!”

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Unfiltered Story #195900

, , | Unfiltered | June 21, 2020

(I’m the idiot in this story. When I was nine, we visited family in Munich. The day before we left, we were at a riverbed with tons of rather big stones. My brother and I, both avid rock fans, picked up a few and I put them in my backpack. Keep in mind, these things are at least 15 centimetres long. You could probably kill someone with a little skill or some bad luck with these things. The next morning at the airport, I have this very backpack with me as my carry on.)
X-ray operator: “Excuse me, young lady?”
Me: “Yeah?”
X-ray operator: “Do-do you have STONES in your backpack?”
Me: “… yeah?”
X-ray operator: “You know that you’re not allowed to take these with you, right?”
Me (turning bright red): “No? Oh, Sorry. Should I… just leave them here?”
(At this point, my mom is already laughing so hard she tears up a little. The operator takes pity on poor, awkward me…)
X-ray operator: “You know what? Keep them. Just promise to be extra careful with your bag and remember not to bring stones next time you fly, okay?”
(Thank you, lady, for letting me keep my approximately two kilograms of rock souvenirs!)