Roadworks or Pass the Buck.

Roadworks or Pass the Buck

Photo: aboutpixel
Author: Garry Green
Keyword: roadworks

Germany invests fairly heavily in repairs to its motorway network, often with lanes narrowed or closed and traffic slowed quite dramatically. But have you read the signs encountered after many minutes of queuing on the German Autobahn? After patiently waiting to speed off again on the asphalt paradise, we are told in bold letters: "We're building for you".

Love the explanation? No apology, just passing the buck; I'm at fault and it says so in black and white, for all to read. But wait a minute; did I ask anybody to build for me? Sure, different cultures bear different traits and yes, every single German friend I have ever pointed out this significant nuance to, has confronted my interpretation. But allow me to take this further.

If we, the motorists, have asked for the road to be improved, then we can't complain about the traffic queues, can we? Pass that same spot day after day, never seeing any digging, excavating, trucks pulling in or out… even a couple of guys drinking coffee or smoking a cigarette, we still can't complain. Good trick, isn't it?

And when newer signs merely declare "Thanks for your understanding", should we suspect governmental design or decision-making done by a lonely individual up on the fifth floor in Berlin. Is this purposeful formulation, begging for approval or am I really the only one who's given this any thought?

Am I, a foreigner, the only one appreciative of an apology for any inconvenience caused? Wouldn't we all, regardless of our nationality? I know my mind and my culture don't tick the way of the German psyche and this is just the next reminder. Check this, Berlin; here's how it's done elsewhere:

Sorry for the Inconvenience: Britain.
Check Republic