Germany - Munich - Free Walking Tour

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Oct 30th, 2009, 09:09 PM
  #21
 
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Have fun rowdytxgirl! I took the Sandeman's free Munich tour last year and really enjoyed it. The tour guides were fun, friendly, and knowledgeable. I think I tipped a few euros because that's all I had.
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Oct 30th, 2009, 09:14 PM
  #22
 
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btw I think that if Sandeman's is really that terrible of a company, nobody would be working for them. It's not slavery, you know!

Exploitation? If the tour guides are unhappy, they don't have to work there. They chose their jobs, and if they feel exploited, they don't have to stay. Most of them have day jobs anyway (mine did).
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Oct 30th, 2009, 11:41 PM
  #23
 
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Of course they have 2nd jobs, they don't earn enough as a guide! As to them being exploited or not staying around, have you looked at the job situation lately? Do you know what it is like being an expat in Germany, where most of your skills and degrees are not accepted by the Germans? There are not a lot of jobs out there for anyone, let alone being an expat and especially if they don't speak German perfectly. So, they take a job teaching English, working in an Irish Pub or work as a tour guide. Rent has to be paid as well as all the other stuff. As a free-lancer working as a guide, they would also have to pay higher premiums for their health insurance. If they have a 2nd job though, their employer is paying half of the premium, thus most guides will have a 2nd job simply for that.

There are better, more reputable companies out there, so why not tour with them?

PS - as an FYI, it is very common to tip a walking tour guide a couple of euros if you liked the tour. Not sure why you wouldn't? You leave a couple of euros on your bed for the maid, you give the bartender a tip for pouring a beer, the server a tip for taking your order and bringing you food, the taxi driver gets a tip for driving, so why not a guide who has given you a 3-4 hours tour?
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Oct 31st, 2009, 05:11 AM
  #24
 
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Hi; Sandeman's for us was an excellent tour of Munich for about three hours. It doesn't matter what company you use, it's the guide that matters. Our guide was a young woman and she was 'good--period'. All that matters is, was the guide good or not. Richard
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Oct 31st, 2009, 05:32 AM
  #25
 
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I really wonder how companies that offer tours for free pay their guides. The guides are totally dependent on tips, I assume. I also assume that they do not have the status and advantages of employees but are freelancers. In other words, if no one in the group tips them they have to work for nothing. With the unemployment situation among highly qualified specialists in the field of arts, history and culture (whose professions are considered no more than a nice hobby by general opinion in this country), such companies get good guides who don't find a regular job and have no choice but work under such conditions. I would not feel well supporting such a system of exploitation. If the city employs someone at a regular wage and then offers the tour for free as a service for visitors, that would be fair and a different story.

Tour guides are generally not paid well - I have given up doing guided tours for that reason - so a tip is of course welcome. On normal tours where the guide is paid, tip (depending on length of tour) one or a few Euros if, and only if, you liked the tour.
My personal record was a cute old man who handed me a tightly folded 10 Euro bill, that was after a tour of two hours in a museum. When I later unfolded the bill I found there was a second one inside. Wow...
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Oct 31st, 2009, 05:45 AM
  #26
 
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Hi; Our Sandemans guide was good enough, that my wife gave her 20euros. More than we have ever given before. On a paid tour, we always give a tip, perhaps 5euros. But we have been on paid tours where the guide was not very good and 'we did not tip'. Richard
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Oct 31st, 2009, 07:17 AM
  #27
 
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Why not give the free walking tour a try? So you give a little tip at the end or any amount that you are comfortable with. What do you have to lose? I did two free walking tours in Buenos Aires and they were outstanding so I would most definitely go on another walking tour without any qualms.
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Oct 31st, 2009, 06:34 PM
  #28
 
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Mainhattengirl on Oct 30, 09 at 11:41pm:

>>Of course they have 2nd jobs, they don't earn enough as a guide!


Have you thought about the fact that some people do things for the love of it and not for the money? I have a 2nd job, I get paid !#$# amount of money for it, and I do it because I like it and people appreciate me for it (I tutor kids from low-income families in inner city schools for $5/hour and sometimes even free). I didn't feel exploited by anyone, I worked with tutoring companies and as a private tutor, all at the same low/free rates. So my point is, the fact that anyone has a multiple jobs doesn't prove that they needed it because of money or that they are being exploited by some big bad employer.



>> As to them being exploited or not staying around, have you looked at the job situation lately? Do you know what it is like being an expat in Germany, where most of your skills and degrees are not accepted by the Germans?


Haha, you're very funny. I live in a developed country, just like you. I read the news, I have an advanced (masters) degree, I speak multiple languages, and I'm not a hermit. And yes, I know what expat life is like -- not going into details here but I do live in Europe part of the year (have a schengen visa, pay local taxes, pay social security and all that). Oh, and I've actually worked for a German employer before -- based in Berlin. They accepted my skills and university diplomas, so I don't know what you're talking about -- "being an expat in Germany, where most of your skills and degrees are not accepted by the Germans" -- sorry but you're talking out of your @$$ with that statement.



>> There are not a lot of jobs out there for anyone, let alone being an expat and especially if they don't speak German perfectly.


Big wow, is that even news? There are not a lot of jobs for anyone. Why are you talking about unemployment as if nobody knew about it? We're not stupid. But what does that have to do with being an expat? Most expats live in the E.U. because they already have a source of income (i.e. a JOB) because without an employer to sponsor them, they wouldn't qualify for a work visa, which wouldn't make them legal residents. Therefore, if you're an expat in Europe, you are most likely EMPLOYED. Of course there are other reasons why some expats live in Europe -- retirees, family connections, business owners, students -- yes I know about all that. And yes there is also the situation for some expats who are recently laid off and still haven't returned to their home country and looking for another employer. But, you and I know that their visas would expire and they'd have to return to their home country which makes them no longer expats!



>> So, they take a job teaching English, working in an Irish Pub or work as a tour guide. Rent has to be paid as well as all the other stuff. As a free-lancer working as a guide, they would also have to pay higher premiums for their health insurance. If they have a 2nd job though, their employer is paying half of the premium, thus most guides will have a 2nd job simply for that.


Oh please. The "expats" you are describing are people who are trying to stay in Europe without any real reason to. English teachers? They need a TESOL certification. Language schools don't care if you are a native English speaker. Of course there are *some* schools who will overlook that; for many schools, they have standards when it comes to training and hiring. So for you to say that any "expat" could "take a job teaching English" is just B#%$S%Q!.



>> There are better, more reputable companies out there, so why not tour with them?


You don't work for Sandeman's, how do you even know that their tour guides are unhappy working there? "Reputable" or "exploitative" --- oh please, who is to say which companies are "good", "bad", "fair", or "exploitative?" In a capitalist economy, ALL companies have to make money. Some people say that it's ridiculous that many factory workers in China are getting paid so little and that something should be done about it, but in fact, many of these Chinese are very happy to have a job and what is considered a "s#*77y salary" to some of us is considered a very comfortable salary for them. We say they are being "exploited" but they don't feel "exploited", so who are we to judge when it comes to how companies pay their workers?

Some companies pay their employees differently than others. If you're not happy working there, you don't have to. You're not stuck there, it's not slavery, and you don't have to be an "expat" if you really have no reason to live in Europe (or any country in the world, for that matter). Not happy? Go home. At least you'll be legal there.



>> PS - as an FYI, it is very common to tip a walking tour guide a couple of euros if you liked the tour. Not sure why you wouldn't? You leave a couple of euros on your bed for the maid, you give the bartender a tip for pouring a beer, the server a tip for taking your order and bringing you food, the taxi driver gets a tip for driving, so why not a guide who has given you a 3-4 hours tour?


I tip 20% on a regular basis to all taxis, restaurants (even take out orders), and hotels (even apartments and hostels). So I don't know why you wrote "Not sure why you wouldn't?"

On the day I took the Munich Free Tour last year, I only gave a few Euros and that was all I had in my pocket. I didn't carry any more cash with me and we didn't have time to stop at a bankomat.

Don't assume that people who go on free tours are cheap, because clearly if they were and nobody tipped, there wouldn't any any Sandeman's tour guides, would there?
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Nov 1st, 2009, 07:58 AM
  #29
 
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Thank you Nancita for your kind remarks. You may of be right, cause after living in Germany for 23 years, I obviously know nothing. I seldom resort to calling people names though when there is a difference of opinion. It isn't very classy or respectful.
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Nov 1st, 2009, 03:49 PM
  #30
 
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Mainhattengirl, I apologize for my last post. I didn't mean to come across as trying to attack you. Obviously you seem like a caring and respectful individual. But what "names" have I called you? Did I say you "know nothing"?
Perhaps you should read more carefully.

With all due respect to you and the tour guides at Sandeman's, I think it's ridiculous to call a company "exploitative" and then give all kinds of reasons (such as, the tour guides had to take the job because of the economy, etc.) without actually having worked for the company. As I've said before, if the tour guides really are being exploited by their company, they wouldn't be working there. If people weren't tipping them at all, they wouldn't be working there. Their work is by choice, not by force. Expats live abroad by choice, not by force.

Of course there are specific exceptions or extenuating circumstances for some expats. So this is not a generalization on the situation of *all* expats.

And I still don't see your point about "most of your skills and degrees are not accepted by the Germans." How is this true? Tell me how someone with a top-ten university degree from the U.S. in computer science or business administration will "not be accepted" in Germany? It's one thing to not be able to find a job, but it's another thing to not have your diploma recognized. I agree with you that the German economy is struggling, but I disagree with you in saying that "most of your skills and degrees are not accepted by the Germans."

You have your right to your opinion and I respect that, but your arguments are unsubstantiated.
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Nov 4th, 2009, 09:15 AM
  #31
 
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We did the Sandeman's walking Tour in Paris, Prague and Munich. We enjoyed it and were happy to do it instead of just walking on our own. The tour guys has very good projection and you will understand what he is saying. They wait for everyone(those who walk slow or taking pictures) before he starts talking. We paid 10 Euro for 2. After the tour, if the guy tells you he knows a good pub that offers an all you can stew with free beer for 7 Euro, just don't bother to go. I didn't like the stew. You can have better food somewhere else. I hope you are prepared to walk for 3 hours outside on a cold weather.
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