multi-language contracts (and instruments) for private services

I started a petition at the European Union Parliament… let’s see if this gets anywhere

https://petiport.secure.europarl.europa.eu/petitions/en/petition/view/10917

We are currently living in a union where a private citizen can move across the member states but services are provided only in the local language of each member state, despite the fact that most of the big services organization are present in each, or most, of the member states. Despite my right to have an italian bank account, I cannot use it in germany as primary bank account (most of the utilities providers will reject that as a reference bank account to withdraw automatically from). Therefore I have to choose a local bank organization, in the local language. I choosed a bank, that has branches in 4 different countries of the union, and I see no point in having not to be able to use a web interface, and contracts, in my native language, applied on a german IBAN. For this, but also for many other topics like mobile phone contracts, or insurances, I want to have, especially for companies that already have their legal documents in the language of multiple member states, that they get forced (or incentivised) to provide me the choice of signing for their local branch in two or more languages. I also want, that if they already provide their service in another member state, on a website in my language for example, that I can use it to interact with them. In the specific example, I stumbled on Cortal Consor, german brand, with equivalent italian brand Hello Bank, part of the french group PNB Paribas. But can easy be applied for Vodafone or any other big financial or telco institution. They do probably get fiscal advantages to be a registered as an SE (societe’ europeen), I’d like that they have to become really an european service providing institution.

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UPDATE 2017/10/30

I just received a letter from the Committee on Petitions:
My petition has been accepted and got assigned the number 0338/2017

euthanasia from social media

people who know me from long time, they’ll find me here, or through the usual channels

I just permanently deleted my twitter, facebook and instagram accounts, too many bad memories that I don’t wanna see surfacing anymore…

best,
G.

Third Async Cats Meetup

incontro berlinese sulla gestione di team remoti

Async Cat Herding

Our third meetup will be slightly unusual in that instead of being a brief lunch session we’ll try and bring enough speakers together for an afternoon session. The idea was born at Europace: After our last meetup Stefan Rudnitzki approached me the idea of hosting a “complete afternoon meetup all around innovative management techniques over at Europace”. We quickly picked a date, reached out to interesting speakers and booked the meetup space.

Please make sure to register online.

As at least some talks will be German only, as such the announcement will be kept in German below.

Innovative team management techniques Meetup @ Europace

Hallo zusammen,

die Europace AG plant gemeinsam mit Async Cat Herding am 28. Februar 2017 einen Nachmittag rund um das Thema innovativer Team Management Methoden. Das Ganze findet bei der Europace AG (eine Tochter der Hypoport AG) in der Klosterstraße 71 in Mitte statt. Euch…

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e’ notte fonda in Europa

Sala delle colazioni, albergo fortezza al confine urbano di New Delhi. Una maledetta compilation di musica “rilassante” mandata a ripetizione ogni 24 ore suona in sottofondo. I camerieri indiani, vestiti con divise turchese mi guardano mentre pesto i tasti di questa tastiera. Fuori un cielo plumbeo, con nebbia, forse inquinamento. Degli addetti stanno passando con delle aste dei panni per pulire le grandi vetrate dell’albergo. Il resto del mio mondo in questo momento dorme. Un paio di amici che seguo su instagram stanno postando i loro aggiornamenti dalle Filippine e da Singapore. Per il resto, facebook tace.

E’ notte fonda in Europa. Questo mi da tempo di pensare, di non interagire. E’ quasi peggio che essere in volo sopra l’atlantico senza connessione a internet, per 12 ininterrotte dannatissime ore. In quel caso al modico prezzo di un euro al megabyte potevo tentare una boccata di ossigeno, a sto giro invece so che sorvolando i cieli del medio oriente e dell’europa orientale non avro’ questo lusso. Stanotte mi aspettano 7 ore filate verso Zurigo in cui dovro’ cercare di dormire per sfuggire a me stesso, ai miei pensieri.

Qual’e’ il mio posto nel mondo?

Ho fatto delle scelte, tutti ne facciamo. A volte si cerca di farle per cambiare in meglio, per darsi anche solo una speranza che cambino. Difficile tornare indietro, anzi, se anche si potesse, non bisogna farlo. Lo dico quasi non credendoci, io che fino a ieri, ma anche ora, vorrei poter far sedere intorno a un tavolo e avere una bella cena con le persone che ho perso per strada. Mai, o quasi mai (e’ capitato, anche di recente), che persone che hanno chiuso tutto tornassero, anche solo per un breve momento, poi di nuovo la porta e’ stata chiusa, sempre a tripla mandata.

Di nuovo, chi sono? Cosa faccio? La societa’, o cmq la fetta di societa’ che mi conosce, mi vuole come professionista nell’ambito delle tecnologie, dei siti internet, di grossi portali con notevoli sfide riguardando la capienza e la capacita’ di assorbire traffico. Mi piace? Credo di si. Posso viaggiare.

Di fronte a me, una sedia vuota, giusto con lo zaino del mio portatile.

Lascio a questo blog la malinconia e i pensieri del giorno, vado a provare di nuovo ad attraversare a piedi quello che assomiglia molto al GRA di Roma, e come li, qua, si attraversa facendo il gesto a mano aperta come a tentare di bloccare un auto che cerca di investirti. Sperom

EU way of life

I dreamt of living like in the United States of America, taking my car one morning, moving city, job, friends, life. Milan, Barcelona, Paris, London, Frankfurt, Berlin, Dublin.

An American would just do it. For us, Europeans, is not that easy as it seems.

We got used to get around with no borders, just our national identification card, no passport. One currency, no work permit needed.

You move, you get into a new job, maybe given the perspective of working with the holy dream of a common working language, like English. Well, keep dreaming. Reality is something else. Start getting used to the hateful sentence: “You live in xyz, you need to speak the language of xyz!“. There, all your dreams of a United States of Europe fail in a fraction of a second.

You just moved, you signed the contract of the above mentioned job, that might be bilingual (local xyz legal language, and hopefully English too). But the, you need to get:

  1. new tax id code of country xyz you decided to move to
  2. new bank account in country xyz, despite in the EU the IBAN should have avoided this… go figure and tell the HR (human resources) badly paid lady that just sees you as somebody stealing a decent job in their mother country
  3. new health insurance contract, as your EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) is valid only 6 months bound to the country you are relocating from
  4. new utilities contracts for your apartment: internet, gas, energy
  5. new rental contract (mortgage and related stuff is another nightmare)
  6. new driving licence (yes, you have to give up your old one within 6 months)

All of the above points, to be done in the language xyz of country xyz.

I moved to Germany, I’m Italian, speaking fluent English, with not a single word of German when I moved 8 years ago. For no f***ing reason I’d do this again moving to yet another country in the EU where I do not know the language.

Believe me, it is damn frustrating.

Not to mention that, if you are coming from one of the so called PIIGS countries (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Spain) you’ll be seen exactly as you might have been used to see gypsies. You are not welcome. Everybody will remember that to you on the street every damn day.

I love living in Berlin, I earned the respect and the trust of locals who know me.

Go, if you got the chance, go. Take an ERASMUS, take a job, a girlfriend/boyfriend. Go abroad, be a better person, open your mind. It is the only way to have an open Europe.

But… be prepared 😉

 

bullied by Tegel airport security

UPDATE 16/6/’14: I got a police letter today apologizing for the the behaviour of the airport personnel: “Ich möchte mich an dieser Stelle für das Verhalten der beiden Mitarbeiter entschuldigen und bedauere, dass Ihnen dadurch Unbehagen entstanden ist”.

Remains unclear the choice regarding the minced meat if it is a liquid or not, I left that to them to clarify as it is totally on a rule-of-thumb basis…. since the industry is putting a mark in milligrams on its plastic containers and not milliliters. THIS WAS IT> http://www.edeka-scharrer-shop.de/product/22715-Ruegenwalder_Muehle_Teewurst_fein_im_Becher_125_g

UPDATE 23/5/’14: A police representative wrote me back that they are investigating about the event and they’ll keep me posted as soon as they have gathered some facts about the incident.

UPDATE 15/5/’14: I got contacted on Monday, 12th May, by the person in charge of customer experience at the Berlin Airports. Seems that those guys are reporting directly to the border police officers. I’ll try to contact them

short-version of long story: I was travelling from TXL to MXP carrying 2 snacks of german teewurst (meat) to be spread on bread the guy at the security asked me to trash it, without thinking twice I went to the bin, which was full, so I left them on top of it

but then I realized that I was entitled to carry them, as a) they were not liquids, or at least their measurement on the box is obviously not in milliliters but in gramms… and b) even if they could argue it was a liquid thing, they definitely were under the 100ml each … so, I asked why I had to trash them > the same guy replied that I was not entitled, I argued instead that I was, he carried on… then at that point I asked to talk to his manager

escalating

his manager argued I couldn’t… then finally one of their colleagues pointed out they were not in a resealable-transparent-plastic-bag… they were instead in their plastic container, in a normal shopping plastic bag… I asked for one, but they refused me one… I then argued that they should have had them available, and the manager harshily replied that was not supposed to be the case… at that point I gave up and went to the gate

2nd attempt

I passed through the duty free area, and I asked to such a bag, I kindly got one, and I went back to the security to retrieve my goods > wrong, I was pushed back cause the bag was not transparent… gave up, went back to the gate, returning the bag at the duty free

3rd attempt

they guy at the duty free then kindly came back to me again, with a bag, with a zip, transparent… it was perfect… I went back to security > at this stage, with a big smile on their faces, the guys at the gate pointed out that _by_coincidence_ the cleaning guy passed by and pushed my goods inside the trash bin… so, if I wanted I could dig into it to retrieve it…

conclusion

at that point I was out of myself… outraged, offended, humiliated, I asked the guy that had me trash them to provide his name; he refused the name, and had no identification sign on his clothes … I was almost missing my flight, I went back to the gate

followup

at home, I wrote on Berlin Airport communication form, but as of now (3 days later, weekend has passed) I have no answer whatsover > I want to reach the HR department, walk over with a security officer to the gate and identify the guy: if anybody from Tegel airport is reading this, it was the security personnel, of a third party company, in charge at 18:15 (on Friday 9th May ’14) at the security screening towards gate C68

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