People like this I’ve met a lot in the Saarland.

Very friendly, eager to help, rather chatty … but very slow. Not mentally, but in the things they do.

The specimen who probably fits this description best I met on Friday morning. I had to go to get some advice on pension and stuff when you work in Switzerland. In some countries you get the money that you pay into the state pension fund back when you leave the country. (Germany, to my knowledge offers, this.)

Anyways, in the end the situation was simple: Time spent working in Switzerland (or “any other EU country”) counts directly towards the pension in your home country. Great. That was easy. The other point was that my time at university is currently marked as “unclear” in my file. That just means I have to send them some proofs about my time at university. No rush. Just some time before I retire  🙂

This could have been explained to me easily in 2 minutes. The guy, a very friendly and nice state employee, spent 10 minutes. [Honestly: What I wrote above is the only relevant information from the conversation.]

At several points I almost had to laugh because the sentence he just said was just another paraphrased version of the 5 previous ones. While he was talking I was really thinking: “I wish there was some compression device for human speech. Just filter out all the redundancy and reduce the rest to silence.”

Don’t get me wrong: I like chatting. But not when I’m in “I have to get something done”-mode.

Probably, I’ve just become more impatient (or stressed?) over the last couple of times. Most of the time I still prefer friendly and slow (… as long as things get done in a finite amount of time) to unfriendly but efficient.