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by Matteo F.M. Sommaruga

The deadline is approaching. That's the deadline of the project, lead by a bunch of managers whose number is by far higher than the technicians involved. That's the deadline for the last of the assignments I'm supposed to submit to my tutor if I want to pass the exam. That's also the time to shut down the PC and take the train to get home. Business Administration seems to concern me much more than technical details. I've got to carefully plan my time, or I won't ever be able to obtain valuable results.

Yet, the company environment doesn't help me. It otherwise constitutes a severe hindrance, if I can't share my schedules. It seems that many shares my very same troubles, but suspicion avoids us to communicate.

That's like in Hohenschoenhausen, the infamous prison in East-Berlin, where the Stasi proved the highest qualities of the DDR. You wouldn't expect to stay alone in your cellar, sometimes you could receive the visit of a friend. Actually someone you've never met before, but that stated that he was your friend. You could believe it, perhaps you wished it, and you could indirectly confess your guilty to a KGB officer under cover. If you were unexperienced, or extenuated enough, you could also reveal the names of true friends and condemn your sweetheart to a miserable existence.

But that's the XXI century, I'm officially enabled to travel without a passport, at least for the 15 miles to get home, and the train is waiting for me. ù

Indeed if the railways were more efficient I could gain up to an hour a day, that I could spend on my studies. Alas, the white hand of the Democratic Republic doesn't provide a proper punishment for the officers who work the railways. They are members of the Party, or at least most of them. If not, they entered the Labor Union in their youth and they now build together the future of the country. Forgetting they whom they are serving for.

If I can't meet the deadlines, I'll have to reconsider my career. Or my escape plans. I've got to cut the costs, and my money is time. I've got to better organize my existence, until my Will won't be strong enough to shape my whereabouts. If I'm not talking like a member of the SED, certainly I'm wondering if I'm not unwillingly quoting a masterpiece of the NSDAP Propaganda.

Let's abridge my thoughts and problems. Deadlines related to the job, the underpaid and quite trivial one. Deadlines related to continuous learning, my only solution to flee. Time-consuming transportations (due to the inefficient management of the State). If I could cut the last figure, I could perhaps save enough mythical Man-Hours for all my tasks on my personal Gantt chart. I've got to relocate, or find a feasible solution. Yet, I've also got to find a better job, if any are available.

I've got to postpone the solution, since it can't be briefly deployed and implemented. Let's move on and try to do my own best under the present conditions, although not satisfying. Let's take the train, let's go home and study to midnight. Let's assume to have got a not paid hour (with end of the year bonuses either) to donate to my company, and get ready for the meeting that will take place tomorrow. I've not already met all the members of the commission, but several officers, in Hohenschoenhausen, also met to prosecute and interrogate the captives. Let's wait for tomorrow.

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On the other side of Berlin Wall

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