Street: Emser Eck, City: Berlin-Neukölln, Tuesday evening. Heiko, Katharina and Sebastian meet, as they do already for a long time, in the evening for a beer in a pub. All are mid 30’s Hartz IV (German social welfare program) recipients, but in every home a master’s degree or Ph.D. hangs on the wall certifying their owners’ education. They are deeply depressed. For whoever comes into this Hartz IV pub, is interested neither in the weather nor in the change of seasons, but apparently to waste his time drinking. In the beginning, it was supposed to be a joke, a kind of social study about alcohol consumption: Let’s see with these low-class people whether it really is as you hear it would be. And today they are almost just as them. What do unemployed do when the market does not provide suitable work for them? How they are treated by the authorities? What thoughts keep them busy and above all: Which is their wishes can come true?
Thomas Pregel documents the labor market experiences of his protagonists and offers deep insights into the rigid life of three academics living on the state welfare program Hartz IV. Through diary entries and sharp observations of the office apparatus and the absurd bureaucratic traps the value of man is questioned. This novella about Hartz is a sarcastic account of our fast-paced and sensation-hungry society.
Thomas Pregel, was born in Bad Segeberg Schleswig-Holstein in 1977 and grew up in a small village. After school and civil service, he went to study in Berlin, where he works as a freelance editor and writer today. www.thomaspregel.de
Publications at Größenwahn Verlag:
> The least safe of all times of the day, “novel, September 2013
In the anthology > Love and other pains – 16 heartbeats< June 2013, his short story >Turkish lottery <, is published and in the anthology “Dinner is ready, dear” he is present with his short story >The biscuit-trick<, July 2014.