Scheißtage

Scheißtage: During the "crap days", German workers had to work for free to compensate for the time they have on the toilet the months before.

literally: “shit days” / meaning: Unpaid working days to compensate for pooping

There are memorial days for pretty much every kind of crap. For example, someone has declared May 3 “Lumpy Rug Day”, on which the world should show its appreciation for uneven carpets. Just 6 days later, the “International Lost Socks Memorial Day” is on the agenda. And on August 6, the whole world is celebrating the “Wiggle Your Toes Day.”

However, the Germans were already good at adding creative ideas to the calendar around 300 years ago and proclaimed the so-called Scheißtage (“Crap Days”) from December 29. However, in contrast to obscurities such as “Take your Houseplant for a Walk Day” (August 6), the Scheißtage have a very serious background. Farmhands and servants in particular had to work here, but were not paid. The reason is as simple as it is audacious: On the last days of the year, they were expected to compensate for the time they had spent on the potty in the months before. 

This practice was particularly common in 18th and 19th century southern Germany and Austria, but in some cases even much later. If this custom is still practiced in your company today, you don’t have to declare a “Punch Your Boss in the Face Day.” Rather, the “I Know a Good Employment Lawyer Day” day will also do.

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