Do you remember the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland? The one singing: “I’m late, I’m late for a very important date. No time to say hello, good-bye, I’m late, I’m late, I’m late, I’m late and when I wave, I lose the time I save.”.
How many times we hurry with our project participants in order not to be late for important meetings or an agreed appointments? Always trying to catch our breathe, as the white rabbit from the fairy tale does? Let’s take our white hero from Alice in Wonderland and put him into our Berlink agency. Here in order to get on time to the work placement of our students – he has to change from the subway to the S-bahn and afterwards take a bus just for five more stops. And time goes by: tick-tock .
Imagine all this and in addition to your lateness there is also an iron rule: in Germany, punctuality is everything! Suddenly you remember the words spoken from your group coordinator during the welcome meeting:”remember, remember: be always on time – it is very important in Germany!”. Uff … one more time louder: tick-tock, the clock continues to count your lateness. And now? How to keep calm?!
Here are some tips for you, if you are still at home with a mug of coffee in your hand and reading this article:
First step: try to plan in advance when to leave your home, in order not to be late.
Step two: always try to have 5-10min in stock (especially if you are in the beginning of your stay in Berlin).
Step three: keep calm, breathe, and remember: it can always get worse – imagine you rush into the subway in a hurry, taking the wrong direction, and after a few stations you realize that it is not Alt-Mariendorf, but Alt-Tegel.
Step four: make sure you have the number of the employer, who is waiting for you, so that you can let them know you are late. Writing a simple text message can do wonders for you, like for example “- Hi, I am your new trainee, I am really sorry but I will come 10 min later / Hallo, bin eure neue Praktikant, Entschuldigung, komme 10 minuten in Verspätung.”.
Step five: Don’t panic! If you let the company know, that you are lost and late, you can relax for a moment and think clearly. It is important that you do not repeat your mistake too often, because then the magic word “sorry” (no matter which language or culture is) may not be enough to make up for your behavior.
Marta Barbara Laube – Training Tutor –