When watching German public TV I often wonder why Germans use the Plusquamperfekt/Vorvergangenheit when the actual Referenzzeitpunkt is the present, e.g.
Interviewed person: "Mein Mann ist in Rente." (My husband is retired)
Interviewer: "Was hat er denn früher gemacht?" (What did he work as before?)
Interviewed person: "Früher war er Arbeiter gewesen." (He had been a worker) (instead of "He has been a worker", or "He was a worker")
I would've expected an answer like "Früher war er Arbeiter" (Imperfekt) or (as I know that Imperfekt/Praeteritum/Mitvergangenheit seems to die) "Früher ist er Arbeiter gewesen" instead of "Früher war er Arbeiter gewesen"
Of course one might argue that this merely happens sometimes and to some people, but I notice this far more often in German than in Austria.
I don't want to bash or anything, it's just that I wanted to ask if others observe the same phenomenon and how to explain it.
As a native speaker I remember learning that Plusquamperfekt is only to be used if the Referencepoint (I had to look that one up though ;)) is in the past (so you're already talking in past tense) and you want to go even further back (kind of like inception ;))