Often, in formal situations you are required to express your side of the story, the challenges you’re facing, so that people on the other side of the table can soften up to your bargain. How to express it easily in Business English… is quite fun.

So, I’m in #Berlin.

And naturally, I’m looking for a flat to live in.

Here in Berlin they have a “system” — a system of “interviewing” or “casting” people when selecting a tenant for a flat or a room. This is of course done by the person letting out / the landlord. They usually interview 20-30 people for each room they want to let out.

Out of the 20-30 people these landlords invite for interview, they will select one lucky person who will finally have a home to live in. The others, the unlucky ones, will go for more interviews until some landlord “likes” them.

I have some opinions and questions on this –

– Are you looking for a flatmate or a soulmate that you’re interviewing so many people when you could just have a skype call to see if there’s a fit?

– Isn’t it hugely humiliating to the people looking for a room?

Some people may not have been born in privileged families & may not have gone to the best schools.. they may not be pristine & groomed to walk the Ritz’s carpets, but they might be sincere. They might be trying to make a genuine living for their families. Do they not deserve a chance to live in a room when they are perfectly willing to pay the rent?

– Isn’t it just plain ridiculous because you’re not hiring me for a job wherein you’ll have to pay me every month. On the contrary, I will be paying YOU every month.

So, someone just “interviewed” me this Sunday and it is only after going there that I realized that it’s a “casting”. Hence, this is what I emailed to the guy.

I realized this situation is the perfect example for all my English students to learn tips on how to express disappointments in an official email conversation in Business English. Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.

Hi (name),

I came to see the apartment this Sunday; hope you remember.

You’ve probably “interviewed” 4 people already for the room and you plan to “interview” some more people next Sunday. So approximately you will be “interviewing” or “casting” 8-10 people for one simple room.

This is my opinion and maybe you will find it valid:

When people like me come to a new country and city, we deal with too many issues — so many that a local person cannot imagine unless they’ve traveled to a country which has a vastly different language, history and culture.

In such a case, when we are looking for a room to stay, it is mostly a difficult urgent necessity.

Don’t you think it would be better to have a skype call with people you like, to see if there’s a “fit” between you guys rather than actually inviting them over to the flat? It will save their time and money which they can actually use to find a place to stay. 

Not to mention that it is also kind of insulting to be “casted” just for living in a room. 

And once you find a “fit” that person can visit the apartment for further discussion.

You’re just looking for a flatmate — there are only so many things that can be “checked” or “casted for”. Do you understand what I’m saying?

This practice doesn’t need to be followed just because it has been done “always like that”.

Hope you understand what I’m saying.

Regards,

Reema

Guys, don’t be shy to share your thoughts with me below.