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back to article Sky support dubs Germany 'Hitler's country'

It seems that it's not just the Greeks who are comparing German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Nazi-leader Hitler: Sky support seems to share the view that Germany is still in thrall to the long-dead dictator. An El Reg reader preparing to move to the country of lederhosen and oompah bands was explaining his decision to Sky's …

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Oh that's a bit nazi

Sorry

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Re: Oh that's a bit nazi

Oh dear, you should be!

This another example of political correctness gone mad? In effect, a name simply associated with a country is not offensive in any shape or form. Although if for example the customer support agent added "Hitler[']s country[, where he will gas you ya filthy Jew!]", now that is pretty much universally unnacceptable.

Epic fail.

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Re: Oh that's a bit nazi

So you'd be happy for Britain to be known forevermore as Thatcher-Land? Or Tony Blair's Kingdom?

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Meh

Re: Oh that's a bit nazi

I would not give a monkey. Didn't your dear mummy teach you that sticks and stones may break your bones but names will never hurt you?

Some people are offended by nothing. Grow up.

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"will take any necessary disciplinary action"

Uh oh. Off to Dachau!

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Big Brother

Re: "will take any necessary disciplinary action"

In the present case, that would be Diego Garcia.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "will take any necessary disciplinary action"

Followed by a nice little bit of recycling.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonderaktion_1005

I think it is a little unfair to modern Germans, for example, if you want to find people who like to pretend that the above didn't happen in their country, then you need to look a bit further east.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "will take any necessary disciplinary action"

those little Hitlers at sky...

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My German father-in-law...

...maintains that the Austrians are the cleverest people on the planet.

Why?

Because they've managed to convince the world that Beethoven was Austrian and Hitler was German.

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WTF?

Re: My German father-in-law...

Beethoven was Austrian and Hitler was German.

It's an old joke (regardless 41votes it's very old one) and it's about Mozart!! No one thinks Beethoven is actually Austrian.

I am just shocked that no one noticed and I consider myself musically inept.

Below it's a wikipedia quote:

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born to Leopold Mozart (1719–1787) and Anna Maria, née Pertl (1720–1778), at 9 Getreidegasse in Salzburg, capital of the Archbishopric of Salzburg, a former ecclesiastical principality in what is now Austria, but then was part of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation.

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Happy

Re: My German father-in-law...

I think there's at least one PhD to be had on the thesis "Whenever something goes wrong for Germany, look for the Austrian."

Kick off event of WW I.

Instigator of WW II

I'm fairly sure a few more could be added to the list.

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Re: My German father-in-law...

Actually, Austria was part of the Holy Roman Empire too. In fact the Emperor was a Hapsburg. Continental history is just so complicated.

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Re: Hapsburgs

@majarambuz

The House of Habsburg rule ends in 1740, Mozart is born in 1756...

Francis I was emperor at that time (1756) and he was mostly French.

The point was about Beethoven considered Austrian, he was born in Bonn and I know no single person who thinks Beethoven is Austrian (unlike Mozart).

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To be fair to Sky...

...I'm kidding, of course. It's Sky and they are a useless bunch of c**ts.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: To be fair to Sky...

Sky is a self fulfilling entity.

With no competitive (expensive) bids everything would be on free to air...

Think about that next time you loose your F1 to sky...

It's the customers that give sky the money to take stuff off free to air.

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You'll fit right in

So, a chatty Sky support rep makes a jokey but slightly dodgy cultural reference in a private chat to a customer and the humorless Reg-reading customer immediately publicizes it, no doubt resulting in the punishment and/or sacking of said Sky rep.

Frankly I'd've expected better of a Reg reader, but, as I say in the title, they should fit in perfectly in Germany.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You'll fit right in

It might be jokey and slightly dodgy if you know the person in question. This advisor didn't so its out of order.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You'll fit right in

Hehe. Getting downvoted for suggesting the Germans lack a sense of humour! Who knew that Reg readers were so politically correct! :-)

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WTF?

Re: You'll fit right in

Hang on.

You're basing your funny rebuke on the fact that all Germans are comically challenged and spiteful. Nice.

Humourless or xenophobic... hmmm... I'll take humourless thanks.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You'll fit right in

"It might be jokey and slightly dodgy if you know the person in question. This advisor didn't so its out of order."

Which country is Sky support based in? If it's outside Europe, the cultural insensitivity might be more forgivable.

One could argue that the employees are paid to deal with UK customers regardless of where they're based, but realistically, *if* this was an outsourced job, it'd be pretty dickish to blame some poor low-wage sod who was employed due to his country's lower wages and made an ill-judged comment without quite realising some people would find it offensive.

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Holmes

Re: You'll fit right in

"Germans lack a sense of humour!" No they don't!!

Mind you, it is different to everyone else's.

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HMB

Re: You'll fit right in: Believe in Better

Frankly I think the Sky customer in question would have let it slide.

But this is Sky...

They believed in better.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You'll fit right in

And as a character-based anecdote-

I once mortally offended a German airport official by hanging out too long in the Bakery in the airport in Hannover ... and turning up only 5 mins before flight thus causing a string of events such as baggage unloading-reloading, the poor fellow having to accept that logically I was actually there and that he had to let me on my flight, and the smallish regional jet taking off like a missile with the nose pointed very much skywards at max acceleration with people holding on tight, so it could make up a couple of minutes on a short hop so as not to delay Lufthansa''s rather fussy business customers!

So, sorry Germans, plus, hey, it was fun.

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Re: You'll fit right in

Who says the Germans don't have a sense of humour. I was once flying with Lufthansa and a flyer sticking out the seat pocket had the headline "DIE FIRST CLASS." (no kidding).

I thought one of the jobs of marketing is to work out how words sound in other languages.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You'll fit right in: Believe in Better

So did Marlon Brando. Oh, "better". OK.

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Joke

Re: You'll fit right in

I remember telling a German girl the following joke:

Q: How many mice does it take to screw in a light-bulb?

A: Two

And she thought it funny due to the mice having little paws - I then had to explain that in English the word screw had another meaning. :-)

She was disappointed.

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German humour

In Germany, KFC often gets referred to with the pun-based nickname Kentucky Schreidt Ficken (Kentucky shouted "Fuck")

It's cheap, but it would do well on British TV if it translated.

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Coat

Re: German humour

This is why the Germans don't have a proper sense of humour:-

"Knock knock."

"Who's there?"

"The Gestapo."

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Re: You'll fit right in

I once mortally offended a German airport official by hanging out too long in the Bakery…

You mean you arrived after the gate had closed? Then they don't have to let you on at all. And being punctual has as much to do with not paying fines on missing start times as it does with keeping business class customers sweet. My guess is that you were lucky being in Hannover which is a small and, therefore, more flexible airport.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You'll fit right in

I don't think it was closed, just very, very close to that time, but yeah, seems they were flexible, if somewhat irate ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You'll fit right in

Reverse example: I once passed a cinema in Germany and the poster said "Die Hard". I actually got as far as looking up "Hard" in my pocket dictionary before realising they were showing foreign films..."

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You'll fit right in

My shit got kicked off the plane in Hamburg for being 3 minutes late from the Diners lounge. The Luftwaffe chick at the gate obviously had Colonel Rosa Klebb as her private role model for friendly tolerance.

When rebooking the flight my boss inflated himself to his full importance and threatened the check-in woman with the: "Do yo think I will ever use your airline again?"-speech. Which caused a genuine full-on smile: "You will have to sir, we are the only airline servicing that route".

*That* was fun - And he had to pay through the nose for rooms at the SAS-radisson hotel across the street from the airport as well - because it was HE who absolutely had to go to the toilet on the way to the gate.

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Re: You'll fit right in, late for Lufthansa digression

Munich, late 90s, was travelling on a train from Nurenburg when I realised I'd screwed up the times and was going to be late, the train appeared to be most of the way there so I held some hope that we might arrive early, but German trains arrive at their stations at the exact second specified on the schedule or the driver and anyone else responsible are whisked away to a labour camp or something.

Anyway, they were suprised to see me at the closed gate, but I was ushered down to the tarmac and into a small car that screamed across the airport to my plane, idling at the end of the runway, patiently awaiting it's most slovenly bastard.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You'll fit right in

You will have to sir, we are the only airline servicing that route

Love it. You should see how some people treat service personnel. To me, that is a sign of very bad manners so I'm glad she had a nice comeback. Ditto for stewardesses, you should see some of the crap they have to put up with.

On the flip side, if I *do* treat people like human beings I have the expectation to be treated the same. I once was on an emergency diversion from London City to Stansted (you know, the home of Ryanair) do to hydraulics issues, and I raised merry hell there with the company that was supposed to take care of by then fairly traumatises passengers. If you would treat cattle that way you'd be arrested, and this party had kids and elderly people in trauma condition. It wasn't the fault of the people on the ground - their management just left them hanging without any instructions or resources.

All is well that ends well - they lost the emergency handling contract that very evening.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You'll fit right in

Those small intercity jets at LH are Bombardier and if you've ever driven a 56 ton B-Train for a few hours then got to drive home in your XK-8, you might appreciate why they are piloted as if they were sports cars...

So it had nothing to do w. you being late.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You'll fit right in

"You're basing your funny rebuke on the fact that all Germans are comically challenged and spiteful."

We are not very sarcastic and quite literal. It helps when building things.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You'll fit right in

To me, that is a sign of very bad manners so I'm glad she had a nice comeback.

It is stupid too. The humble customer service person is authorised, on their sole discretion, to pay up to EUR 700 to cover the inconvenience one might have by the luggage not arriving on time, f.ex. Why piss them off?

My daughter got 200 EUR for clothes in Paris from Air France, on a budget flight! I got a decent pair of trousers, jacket, tie and a shirt from BA because they lost my luggage on a morning flight and I had a meeting.

Sometimes the service staff take revenge: One bloke in Copenhagen was really bollocking the check-in girl over some problem with the required special handling of his excessive amount of stupid designer-luggage, 20 minutes we had to wait in line behind this c*nt. FINALLY - his luggage goes on the transport, the guy turns around, a luggage handler emerges from the nether regions, pick up his stuff and trows it onto several trolleys ... bound for bomb-disposal training in West Africa, one assumes. Everybody saw it, nobody said anything ;)

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Big Brother

Re: You'll fit right in

On my first visit to Germany a few years ago, I flew into Dusseldorf to catch a train to Essen. DeutscheBahn did their best to make me feel at home, producing a train that was slow, dirty and late. The Ruhr river looked like a country brook. Essen was fascinating, practically every building in the city centre had been destroyed by allied bombing during the (don't mention), except for Mr. Krupp's factory which they'd somehow missed and had since been converted into a branch of Ikea. Wandering around the city on Saturday afternoon (all the shops closed at 4 o'clock) I found myself looking at a row of little Swastikas and pictures of Adolf Hitler - I thought the philatelist's shop could have chosen it's window display more carefully.

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Re: You'll fit right in

> Why piss them off?

Too true. I was waiting in Denver baggage reclaim when I heard myself being paged. I went to the designated agent, and with a smile and my best "resigned, but light-hearted" tone said "I'll bet you're going to tell me my baggage missed the connection?" It wasn't his fault that Heathrow had screwed up, and he was visibly so pleased that I wasn't going to be bolshie that I got twice the number of AmEx vouchers that the more difficult passengers did.

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Trollface

Re: German humour

We were not much better when we had an empire - we just only did it to the "colonials", so no-one in the UK noticed. Its amazing how many Brits think the Empire was a paragon of ethics & brought wonderful British values to the rest of the world. We succeeded where the Nazis failed because we did it slow & clever rather than blitzkrieging all over the shop.

Thank fuck karma is an imaginary religious construct - if it wasn't we'd be bang in trouble now. Not for nothing does half the world think that the Illuminati are British :-)

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Re: And as a character-based anecdote-

You obviously have no idea the effect late pax have on a flight.

No, "he" did not have to let you board the plane. If the boarding gate is closed, its up to the pilot to decide to allow you to board an no one else, and thats only after its got passed the ground handler.

Delaying a flight is very little to do with not upsetting business class passengers. Its about people making connecting flights, its about airlines being charged for late departures and its about airlines being charged for late arrivals. And at a big airport like LHR or LGW, missing your slot can cause significant delays.

Try your attitude at a UK airport and you may well get a VERY diferent response. You only have to watch a few "Come Fly With Me" episodes to work that out.

Still, as long you had fun eh?

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Re: You'll fit right in

If the gate wasn't closed, they wouldn't have offloaded your luggauge. BUM (Baggage Unload Message) should only be issued from DCS once the airline has closed the flight I.e. the gate is closed.

So, either the story you tell is being "massaged" or something VERY non-industry standard is being actioned.

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Happy

Re: You'll fit right in

" I found myself looking at a row of little Swastikas and pictures of Adolf Hitler - I thought the philatelist's shop could have chosen it's window display more carefully."

F'nar, f'nar.

I had not realized Germany had repealed the law on Nazi symbols and memorabilia. Tricky given the swastika is a sacred symbol to IIRC 3 religions.

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Anonymous Coward

Customer Service...

.. When I phoned them to tell them I was leaving I was told that I was "Cutting off my own nose to spite my face".

Nowhere near as bad as what's being reported here but given that Murdoch just called Charlotte Church, former Crimewatch presenter Jacqui Hames and actor Hugh Grant."scumbag celebrities" I guess being offensive is just second nature to people in Sky.

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WTF?

Re: Customer Service...

"Murdoch just called Charlotte Church, former Crimewatch presenter Jacqui Hames and actor Hugh Grant."scumbag celebrities"

Pot, kettle, black?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Customer Service...

Maybe he meat "funbag". Not Hugh OFC.

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When working in customer support, always think of the worst possible response you could get before saying something.

Because if the guy on the other end had been German (i.e. moving back home), or Jewish, or was the EU minister for racial relations or whatever, it was never going to end well.

I predict someone only got a slap on the wrist and a harsh word, but it could result in you being sacked. Maybe that's what the guy was after - I know a few people who work in customer support who like to "go out with a bang" when they go, even if it ends up costing them their last month's wages.

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HMB

That's the sort of thing people say at the pub that's full of crap.

Who the hell wants to pay over £1,000 of wages just to make a daring remark to a customer?

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Happy

full of crap

I've never been to "the pub that's full of crap." - Not sure I want to either...

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