How working in a restaurant as cleaner helped me to stop judging people?

In one of my previous blog posts I have written about different odd jobs that I took in Germany to make my living while I was studying. In this particular blog post I will share my experience working as a cleaner in a German restaurant.

Steve Jobs once said that the dots always gets connected looking backwards, the dots never gets connected looking forward. When I look backwards its clear to me that by doing all these odd jobs I learnt couple of important life lesson which are:

  • do not judge people based on the type of their job
  • always give respect to anyone and everyone
  • be kind all the time to anyone and everyone

When I got this job I was still working as a paper distributor. During our studies mostly all of my friends were trying to get odd jobs by applying online or writing emails to any of the job ad that we might see somewhere in the city. Likewise my room mate at the time had applied to a job as a helper in a German restaurant called „Oh Angie!“ in Heidelberg which was about to open in a week or so. He wrote an email asking if there is a job opening. Luckily he got a response saying that the manager of the restaurant wants to speak with him. He went for an interview and finally got the job. After getting the job he shared the news with me and other two friends. As we were as well actively looking for opportunities we asked him if he can refer us for the job. The next day he did ask the manager of the restaurant whether there are more jobs available. Luckily the manager said yes and he told all three of us to visit the restaurant the next day for the interview. We did go to the interview and got the jobs.

We were really happy about the fact that we got the jobs because this was the very first job which would be paying us significant amount of money (at the time) such that all our expenses are covered from what we would earn from the job. Basically it was a 3 months contract job with 20hrs per week and €10 per hour payment. This means we would be earning around €870 per month. At the time our monthly expenses including our University residence fees was around €700. Having this job means we could still save around €170 per month which was absolutely fantastic for us.

So, coming to the job itself, among the four friends who got the job two of us had to work in the bar section of the restaurant and other two had to take care of washing the utensils and cutlery. I was one among the two who got the job of washing the utensils and cutlery. Work at the bar section consisted of preparing drinks for the customers order, making coffee, serving cakes and pastries and washing the glasses. Work at washing the utensils includes washing the used cutlery and the cooking utensils using the industrial dish washer, drying them and refilling the respective sections of the utensils and cutlery such that they can be reused to serve the customers.

While working here at this German restaurant what I found remarkable is that the level of hygiene that these restaurants maintain. All the cleaners must wear gloves while cleaning the dishes. The dishes are cleaned using the industrial grade dish washers which also made sure that the utensils are being hygienic. Once the washing is done all the utensils had to be wiped using a dry cloth which are washed under hygiene conditions. When it comes to the utensils that are used to cook food by the chefs of the restaurant, each utensil is used only once and they should be cleaned by us in order for them to use for the second time. As I was working in the food preparation section of the restaurant I got to see first hand how food ingredients are being stored and maintained. I must say that it was maintained and stored such that there are no compromises on the cleanliness and hygiene. By the way the restaurant that I am talking about is not some 5 star or 7 star restaurant. It was just a normal German restaurant where you can eat some decent German cuisine.

As far as I learnt, being clean and hygienic is core to German restaurants, this means that if the restaurant is filled with customers then more cleaning needs to done and this means more work. There has been days where I was completely swamped by the amount of work that had to done and by the end of those days I was completely tiered and have felt like giving up so many times. But no matter what, I did not give up because the urge for me to do something big in my life was always there and this helped me to go forward and push through the tough days.

What was always clear for me while doing all these odd jobs and making my living was that I always knew that what I was doing was short term. Not even a single day I thought that this is what I have born for. I just did those work to make my living for the short period of time and I knew that after couple of months or years of hard work I will definitely be in a place where I could feel proud of myself. At the time my dream was to get a job in my area of my education (Business and Engineering) which would be a white collar job. And I am grateful to say that I have achieved it. At the time of this writing I have worked for almost 5 years in different white collar jobs and I am working as a full time Entrepreneur by starting Destination Germany along with my business partner Vincent.

Having been worked in a white collar job as a „Business Intelligence Manager“ at different companies for 5 years, one thing is very clear to me is that the work life balance and work culture is Germany is truly amazing. People here in Germany give their best during the designated working hours and completely disconnect form the work during non-working hours. Employers are as well respect employees free time and do not bother with work related topics during non working hours. Also, if you are woking in an IT field then you would be earning really well compared to an average German. As you can see in this Statista report on an average Germans earn around €43,000 per year but if you are working in the field of IT then you will earn around €60,000 per year if you have around 3-4 years of experience according to this survey plus according to my experience.

One more important thing to keep in mind is that the taxes are quite high in Germany. As mentioned in this article Income tax in Germany is progressive, starting at 1% and rising incrementally to 42% or for very high incomes, 45%. The tax rate of 42% applies to taxable income above €57,051 for 2020. For taxable income above €270,500, a 45% tax is applicable. Although the taxes are very high the amount of social benefits that you receive are immense which makes your life stress free. Sharing everything about social benefits actually requires one more blog post of its own, but just to give you a glimpse on some of the social benefits

  • Your health is fully covered (this is an heavenly feeling)
  • In your taxes you would be contributing to your pension fund
  • In your taxes you would be contributing to Unemployment insurance funds
  • … and many more

If you are someone who is looking for an opportunity in the field of IT in Germany then this is the right time for you to take the next step and explore different job openings at many top German employers. The good news is that we also support you in visa topics and integration topics. Go to our website to know more about us. Once you know who we are what we do then check out our current job openings. If you find the job that fits your profile then go ahead and apply for the position.

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