05 October 2010

Fundbüro at Oktoberfest

(This article is from a year ago but it is in season again—or would have been, last week).

The New York Times has an interesting article about the lost and found at Oktoberfest (the Fundbüro). It seems to be exactly what you would expect to find at the intersection of German inebriation and German efficiency.

Returning lost phones, passports, keys, and wedding rings on this scale (about 5000 objects are lost each year) must require a regimented organizational/labeling system. And the people who work the booths seem to be very on top of things:

For Sam Sealy, 19, from Bellevue, Wash., it was relatively easy to prove ownership, since his passport was in his gray and blue backpack. An alert staff member actually recognized him from his photograph before he even made it to the counter to inquire.

This is not the sort of thing you usually encounter in America.

The Fundbüro has its limits though:

But as the staff must tell teary-eyed teenage girls every year, they do not keep track of lost boyfriends.

03 October 2010

Threading humor

We were eating lunch at the cafeteria.

P: [Sitting down] Where are R and S?
Q: They're still waiting in line for food. There was this mess inside where two lines merged into one, and they kept getting pre-empted.
P: Would you say they were... starved?