Third Week – Lime Week: All Work and No Play?

This is not where I work as a matter of fact, this is called the “Boerse” or Frankfurt’s Stock Exchange building. They offer tours in German and English, and I went on the German one and my friend translated the words I didn’t know. That’s the benefit of making friends off the get-go, they really help with the transition culturally and language wise.

The floors lit up when certain stocks went down or went up. It was very cool and updated, and certainly not as hectic as I remembered it been when I was a kid – with the constant ringing of the bell and papers flying everywhere.

However besides that it was mostly work this week. So I’m going to tell you a little bit about what I do.

I work in the Consular section of the Consulate General in Frankfurt – specifically the FBU (Federal Benefits Unit). Technically the FBU is a division of the SSA, not the State Department, however since I was recruited by the State Department I’m still a part of the Consular Section.

The FBU is very busy since we process all of the Social Security benefits of overseas Americans (or Europeans who have worked for the USG at one point in their lives) living in Germany, Poland, Austria or other countries in Central Europe. How I help is that I read letters, mostly in German, written to us by people who need our assistance and I give their letters to the right people so that they can call them and process their claim. I handle their mail, make copies of original documents, and then sometimes I even process their information in the SSA network.

My German’s definitely improved because of what I do, and sometimes I handle very old documents; a book resembling this came in recently in order to prove someone’s birth. By helping Germans get their fair share of American sponsored benefits, this definitely is relevant to my MA since this is ultimately bettering German/American relations.

For obvious reasons I can not post pictures of where I work, so instead!

Here is a picture of something relatively famous in Frankfurt, Spaghetti Eis!
It tasted so good, but it was so big and rich! I was so full when I was done. If you ever find yourself in Romer you should definitely try some.

Not a lot of lessons this week, make friends, plan trips, be enthusiastic about your work.

And don’t do what I’m doing tomorrow; all my friends were busy this weekend, so now I’m going by myself to Oktoberfest this weekend. My train gets there at 15:00 and doesn’t leave until 5 am Sunday morning.

Get some sleep? (pg-13)

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