“Please come with me to Peru!”
A notarised signature. I am told that the City Court can help me and look up its opening hours in the internet. From 10a.m. somebody is there to help and I can even find a private telephone number. Without hesitation I ring this number early on Monday morning. Mr F. answers the phone and I hear his friendly voice saying: “I can take care of your matter at 09:30a.m. My office is room 17 in Wiesbaden’s Town Hall!” Mr F. is as good as his word: when I arrive at the Town Hall at 09:30 Mr F. has already been working for a while.
Finally it is my turn and I begin by saying: “Mr F., I would love to take you with me to Peru. The 500,000 Peruvian public employees could learn so much from you!” The face sitting on the other side of the desk opposite me smiles. Looking at him I reckon he is around 60 years old and I simply cannot stop my inquisitive nature and blurt out: “When will you retire?”
“I retired years ago, but continue working here in an honorary capacity!”
Wow, what an answer. It hits me for six. Mr F. is seriously impressive. I could not even imagine anyone in Peru working in a community office without any payment (or bribes for that matter) nor starting work more than half an hour before the office even opens.
It is my first day back in Germany and I am overwhelmed by the realities that I encounter here. Mr F simply has to go to Peru. He is an amazing example that everyone should follow. That goes without saying. /KDJ