Der Kellner

Wie machen Sie das?

Foto: picture alliance

Rocco Barbini ist Italiener und arbeitet im Pazzi X Pizza in Berlin-Neukölln. Dort, wo alle Kellner immer Englisch sprechen – in der deutschen Hauptstadt! Der CDU-Politiker Jens Spahn findet das doof. wochenende: How do you interact with customers, who speak German?

Rocco Barbini:Normally we don’t speak a lot with the customers, because you train your ear, the questions are always the same. They ask me for ice cream, for coffee, where is the bath­room, and such things. When I don’t understand something, they switch to English, because everyone speaks English here in Berlin.

Has there ever been a person, who only speaks German, and you had difficulty communicating with them?

Once some children asked me for something, that I never use – a straw. I didn’t understand. In these situations I have to use my body language to communicate.

A few weeks ago, Jens Spahn said that more waiters should speak German.

I agree with this politician. The people, who come to Germany, they should at least try to learn German.

Do you think that working here has helped you learn German?

Up to a certain level. I’ve learned every­thing about the things, we need to know here. Words like Eis, Kugel, Tisch, Stuhl, Sahne, Kase, ­Bisteck, Butter. And the numbers.

Have you ever felt really embarrassed, because you can’t communicate really well?

A lot of times. One time someone got really angry with me, because I asked them to repeat three times, and she started to scream. That time was the worst point. For me it’s a challenge working, I never worked in gastronomy, I always worked as an architect. I decided to leave my job in Italy and come here. Some­times it’s hard, but if you find impolite people, it’s even harder.

Interview Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian