Presumed Guilt

My syntax teacher, Valia, is quite a hoot.
The other day, she was asking us to be more vigilant in closing the doors to the Seminarraum when forgetful professors or lecturers fail to do so. She then informed us about missing items from CoLi. “Ah, but you know, it’s a reality,” she said, in her famous Greek chanting voice, “cause, I mean, people are always going to need things. I was a student once, too.” Like a copier from the CL foyer, a projector from the Seminarraum, dishes and silverware from the Mensa cafe…

Speaking of which, I couldn’t help but reflect on the flaws of this system. At the Ausländer Cafe, they charge you a 1 euro pfand for the cup every time you buy coffee. You get it back, of course, once you return the cup. Which means you never know if someone’s going to swipe your empty cup and turn it in for your euro. On the other hand, having been unceremoniously plopped into the “poor student” status, I must admit that the idea of furnishing the kitchen cabinet in this manner had crossed my mind. After all, 1 euro is a fair price! That’s probably not what they had intended by that, but then again, I never liked laws/policies that presumed the client guilty. In the end, Ikea’s prices reigned over all, and I simply keep a wary hand over my cup when I’m there, and dutifully turn it in when I’m done.

Author: Lucello

Something about me?

8 thoughts on “Presumed Guilt”

  1. It never happened to me or anyone I know or anyone someone I know told me about, the swiping cups thing. Now, with tuition fees, I’m not saying it couldn’t happen soon, but so far, to my knowledge, it hasn’t.

  2. That’s also something I hate about Germany. Customers are never trusted, or foreigners are never trusted. As I have not-so-small handbag, I was asked to open my bag and show my previous receipts quite a few times. Once in Real, the cashier kept saying the cucumber(just 39c at the moment) can still be from their store even after she saw my receipt from Plus. She successfully kept me away from their store for more than 1 month.

  3. That reminds me of the day I was shopping around Saarbrücken for a dinner party we were having that night. I went into Plus with my home-brought shopping bags full of my purchases from different places in town, but decided to leave soon after without buying anything as the line was too long.

    If you could have seen the long face of suspicion the cashier had on as I walked past the line… I figured, if he really wants to stop me and check my bags, then he could go right ahead. Serves them right for not providing shopping bags to the customer in the first place!

  4. So. If you wanna get more cups to make up for those that inevitably get lost or stuck in one of the numerous rooms of your flat, you really oughta go get them at the mensacafe. There is no deposit there at all. 😛
    And I um.. uh.. just remember that I got two of those cups at home.. (Which I’m gonna return. Of Course. Tomorrow. I promise.) But they don’t offer paper cups to take the coffee with you. What was I supposed to do? Carry it home in my bare hands? But I guess, the cups you get for a Euro do really look nicer. 😉

    But speaking of deposit fees… I remember that when I was a child, I was so amazed that you could get a whole shopping cart for 1 DM, which is just a little more than 50 cent! I mean, think about what you could do with it.. a whole shopping cart. It’s big! It has for wheels! You can build a racing car with that! Or turn it around and build a cave. Put it in your room and use it as a shelf. Serve food with it. Keep your pets in it.
    Hm.I have to admit that the thought of having a whole shopping cart to myself was a little bit more thrilling 15 years ago…

    And yeah.. everytime I go to a supermarket and don’t take a cart and don’t buy anything, I already feel guilty. I think if I just walk out like that then they’ll suspect me. And then I think of some excuse why I haven’t bought anything (“I intended to buy seaweed. Couldn’t find any, so..”), sticking as close to the truth as possible… But still, I get nervous because I think that they think that I might have stolen something. And then I try to look innocent. Which is exactly what a thieve would do.. trying to look innocent although feeling guilty. And then I try to walk extra-slowly, stopping to look at things here and there, just to show them that I have no reason to be in a hurry to get outta there. But wouldn’t a thieve do the same thing? Rushing out would raise suspicions you can only afford if you have nothing to hide… And then I feel even more thieve-like since I am trying to figure out what they are thinking and trying to manipulate them into believing I was innocent. Uh. I wonder why they never stopped me. I’m sure that all of this must’ve shown on my face 😉

  5. Just ask them to call the police if they want to check your bags. They have no right whatsoever to do that themselves, and if they bother police for nothing, they pay.

    And for wholly different reasons, real will not see any of my business again, ever.

  6. Yeah, I know that I don’t have to show them what I keep in my bags. But.. I have to admit that I understand why they do it.. if I had a store, I’d probably do the same thing if I had reason to suspect someone (Wouldn’t ask random people leaving my store, though). And when I go shopping , I usually carry mostly empty bags with me, so I don’t really care whether the people there take a peek inside.
    And, after all, they _do_ have the right to ban people from their premises at will, so for me, showing them my bags every now and then seems to be the lesser of two evils…

    I can think of a million reasons why it sucks to shop at real (but I still like going there :P), but which are yours?

  7. They are relatively expensive, the stores seem grubby, their service sucks in many ways. I just couldn’t find any redeeming qualities for real, it’s not even close by.

    Globus rocks my world. 😉

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