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  #61  
Old 14.12.2006, 15:32
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Re: Swiss Rudeness

Regarding the body space thing. Researchers found that if you put an Italian and an Englishman in a room in conversation, the Italian will move closer which will cause the Englishman to move away, They will move all over the room eventually.

I remember the staring thing. A group od my Swiss reletives came over to London when I was getting married there back in 1988 and I took them into a few pubs. I constantly had to tell them not to stare so openly at the assembled punks, skinheads, tattooed heavies and other assorted wildlife.
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Old 14.12.2006, 15:37
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Re: Swiss Rudeness

Employees do that as well! (I try not to, obviously) For some reason they always have to put a book into the shelf you're browsing, or start dusting books or what not.

Aah, Orell Füssli! Don't speak the name of that evil to me! (Can you tell I don't work there?)

Quote:
The interesting thing I see in Orel Füssli is that when someone is staring intently at an area of shelf obviously looking for something, another customer thinks nothing of stepping right across in front of them - blocking their view- to consult a lower shelf. I was taught such behaviour was rude and one should step around, not across.
dave


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I work in a book shop, and I don't know how many times a customer has followed me so closely that I can't take a step sideways without bumping into them.
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  #63  
Old 14.12.2006, 15:39
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Re: Swiss Rudeness

Quote:
The interesting thing I see in Orel Füssli is that when someone is staring intently at an area of shelf obviously looking for something, another customer thinks nothing of stepping right across in front of them - blocking their view- to consult a lower shelf. I was taught such behaviour was rude and one should step around, not across.
Recently I was shopping and there were three crates of tomatoes (exactly same and all three were full). I was picking the good looking ones from crate No.1 and some old chap came and stood right next to me. After a bit he turned in my direction and started starring at me. I ignored him and kept picking the tomatoes. Few seconds later he literally barged in between me and the crate. WTF! Looks like he wanted the right to pick from my crate and did not have the patience to wait! Were the other two full crates not enough for him? He did not even look at the other two crates!
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  #64  
Old 14.12.2006, 15:41
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Re: Swiss Rudeness

As long as you don't work for Bestsellers, who seem to be always advertising in Switzerland for employees to go to work Denmark for some obscure reason. Maybe something stinks there.

dave

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Aah, Orell Füssli! Don't speak the name of that evil to me! (Can you tell I don't work there?)
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Old 14.12.2006, 15:42
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Re: Swiss Rudeness

Maybe he thought it is "not allowed" to start picking from a new crate until the first has been emptied

dave

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Looks like he wanted the right to pick from my crate and did not have the patience to wait! Were the other two full crates not enough for him? He did not even look at the other two crates!
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  #66  
Old 14.12.2006, 16:00
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Re: Swiss Rudeness

Well the three crates were equally full and all had fresh tomatoes. That said you could be on to something :-)
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  #67  
Old 14.12.2006, 16:13
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Re: Swiss Rudeness

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As long as you don't work for Bestsellers, who seem to be always advertising in Switzerland for employees to go to work Denmark for some obscure reason. Maybe something stinks there.

dave
Dave, thats too funny
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  #68  
Old 15.12.2006, 16:49
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Re: Swiss Rudeness

I'm Swiss but I frequently travel to the US (I even lived in the States for about 2 years and my mother-in-law is American). Everytime I get back to Switzerland I can't help but notice how rude people are here.
But as some people have mentioned already: 20% of all people living in Switzerland aren't Swiss. In Basel, this can be up to 50% of the people, depending on the part of town you're in.

It also hugely matters where in Switzerland you are. I grew up in the Lake of Constance area but moved to Basel about 10 years ago. Whenever I visit my parents, I realize how much nicer people are in the Eastern parts of Switzerland (excluding Zurich, which is infamous for its rude inhabitants). Life's just slower there - this also manifests itself on the roads - people drive more slowly, take more time to complete turns, patiently wait for parking lots to become vacant etc.
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  #69  
Old 16.12.2006, 04:36
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Re: Swiss Rudeness

Never noticed rudeness for the most part, quite the opposite in Geneva. Only two incidents stick out in my mind:

-an obviously overworked older waiter was a bastard to a big group of us in Bern
-some fat guy in a car tried did not want to stop at a pedestrian crossing, so I pruposely slowed down and gave him a stare of death...he actually stopped and rolled down his window and started yelling in French, so I stopped and gestured for him to get out of his car, then he drove away

For the most part, my experience was nice and friendly.
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  #70  
Old 23.12.2006, 13:44
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Re: Swiss Rudeness

I am so happy to see that I am not the only one experiencing this. I actually found this website by doing a search on Swiss rudeness. I couldn't believe that other people are feeling the exact same that I am. I currently reside near Bern, and while I never even encounter people in the village I am at, every single time I go into Bern, someone feels the need to push me out of the way, rudely slam into me and walk off without an apology. I am getting very frustrated by it.

I am also sick of the stereotype people live by foreigners here. I went to a dinner last night and because I am Aussie, it is somehow expected of me to be an alcoholic (???) and the whole atmosphere changed because I would not drink. It is like I ruined the night because I did not feel the need to drink 3 rounds of grappa.

Being Australian, we also have the drastic differences in check out chicks and guys who have more in their job entailments. The primary differences between Swiss and Australian check out workers:

Swiss Check out: demand money, never have a greeting unless it is robotic, do not weigh the fruit or vegetable YOU have to go and do that for every individual bag and get a sticker to put on it, they sit on the job AND you have to put your own groceries in the bag.. Oh AND if you ask for a bigger one, or an extra one because you don't want to ram everything in a small one provided, then expect a nasty glare! Part of the service!

Australian Check out: generally, a friendly hello, stand AND scan AND weigh produce (!!), put the groceries in bags for you!!!, they don't take it personally when you ask for a bag (even if you have only bought a toothbrush!)

I know this is probably sounding petty, but I am just so frustrated and sick of the rudeness I experience ALL the time. No one makes an effort to say hello, I am sick of being banged into and when I comment on this to my partner, I am always told that Swiss are not superficial and pretend to care. Well, hello.. try!! It will generate more service and show that YOU make an effort.

I even hate walking down the street and going into a shop because when you walk out of a shop you are guaranteed to have someone slam into you without so much of an apology. When I express this frustration, I am then told that it is "my fault" because I am walking out of a shop into the street where they are walking in a certain direction. Well then why the hell do they have shops and doors on the footpath, where people are going to walk out? I feel guilty for walking out of a shop! Even when I do, I have to fight my way out and apologise, but I get nothing but glares in the meantime.

I have been told that it is a city thing, or a christmas thing. But I don't experience anything like this in Sydney (not as extreme!) which is even bigger and has a population practically the whole population of the country. So that can't be a factual theory?

I recognise that hell, even Australians are rude, but here, it is just ridiculous!
I am just wondering what manners are taught here? Is it at all even considered rude to slam into someone?

Frustrated Aussie

Last edited by evilshell; 23.12.2006 at 15:46. Reason: removed the bold and the red
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  #71  
Old 23.12.2006, 14:14
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Re: Swiss Rudeness

Quote:
I am also sick of the stereotype people live by foreigners here. I went to a dinner last night and because I am Aussie, it is somehow expected of me to be an alcoholic (???) and the whole atmosphere changed because I would not drink. It is like I ruined the night because I did not feel the need to drink 3 rounds of grappa.
Woooah - that red text is a wee bit overpowering!

But it's interesting to hear your point about being expected to drink. I'm Irish and of course we have a reputation as the number one alcoholic nation in the world I found that whenever I went out anywhere in CH people were always plying me with alcohol and expecting me to get drunk.

When I wasn't feeling like drinking anything they seemed to get pretty disappointed. I can only conclude that they wanted to vicariously experience getting blotto through me or something, as most of them were the types to never take more than a polite glass of wine.


I agree with the rest of your points too. It could seem petty to someone who hadn't lived in Switzerland for a while but there are just lots and lots of seemingly small things when living in Switzerland which all seem to add up. Since moving back to Ireland a few months ago I've majorly chilled out. Of course a decent holiday in the intervening period might have helped too.. But the big thing I really notice about being back is that people are a hell of a lot more laid back here than Switzerland and willing to cut each other some slack, a concept which simply does not seem to exist around Zuerich at least.

I think it's the ever-present sense that you are being watched/judged and that you have to live up to society's expectations with absolutely no give or take is what probably helps magnify all the minor irritations. I know that lots of stuff which used to really annoy me in Switzerland happens here too, but doesn't bother me nearly as much.

On the other hand - most of us who have lived in CH for a long(ish) term can appreciate the things that kept us there: Safety, comfort, cleanliness, stability, punctuality ... why do you think it's that way? No one naturally behaves so diligently and in the organised way that is required to make Switzerland the way that it is.

If you want to live in the country and take advantage of high salaries, relatively low taxation, great facilities and orderly society you have to expect that the flipside is the ever-judgmental pressure of society around you which is required to keep the place functioning like it does....


Gav
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  #72  
Old 23.12.2006, 14:26
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Re: Swiss Rudeness

Hey Jasmine,

life's different in a (little) big city. i thought the same of sydney when i first moved there, but got used to it. I live in brissy now, and even though its a big country town, actually find it harder then sydney or (fantastic) melbourne. The pace in the big 'burbs (melbourne, tokyo, etc) is always going to be different and people are going to be busy. i guess you really need to be confident in your independence and find your own path before it will be easy to settle in. And yes, as an aussie it's commonly thought that you're life revolves around beer and warnie's (R.I.P) latest texting fiasco. but that doesn't have to be the case (unless you like a beer). the swiss can seem a bit dry, but most are decent, honest people, and you could always use your novelty value as an aussie to meet some nice people.

Good luck with it.
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  #73  
Old 23.12.2006, 15:53
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Re: Swiss Rudeness

Quote:
Australian Check out: generally, a friendly hello, stand AND scan AND weigh produce (!!), put the groceries in bags for you!!!, they don't take it personally when you ask for a bag (even if you have only bought a toothbrush!)
While I can appreciate your frustration at things being different from home, cashiers sitting down is actually a very good thing. Unless you've ever worked as one and stood in one spot for 8 hours or more a day on a hard concrete floor, you'd never begrudge someone the opportunity to sit whilst doing that job.
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  #74  
Old 23.12.2006, 16:26
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Woooah - that red text is a wee bit overpowering!
Lol, sorry, I wondered why there was no colour on the forum and I am a bit of a creative soul. Shall tone down the bolds and colours!

Oops, I am yet to kind of get used to the forum and I think I posted something a couple of times.. Sorry. You are right, it is not easy to stand for long periods of time, yes, I have experienced this. Perhaps I need to reword my structure, I was basically communicating my admiration for people who do do it, therefore appreciate it more. I understand things are different in other countries and I am currently dealing with these differences! Thanks for the alert!

Last edited by evilshell; 23.12.2006 at 17:47. Reason: two related posts
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  #75  
Old 23.12.2006, 17:48
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Re: Swiss Rudeness

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Lol, sorry, I wondered why there was no colour on the forum and I am a bit of a creative soul. Shall tone down the bolds and colours!
We definitely welcome creativity and color! - just not all red posts
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  #76  
Old 23.12.2006, 18:09
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Re: Swiss Rudeness

Quote:
... you'd never begrudge someone the opportunity to sit whilst doing that job.
So if the Swissie ones get to sit down...surely they have less reason to be unpleasant to the customers

But on a more serious note; if we're in the local supermarket, we tend to queue up for the till with the more pleasant cashiers on. There are a couple of cashiers who are particularly grumpy and we'll avoid using them - even if the queue at their till is shorter.

There is one older woman who is quite nice and will automatically give us a larger plastic bag if one of the default flimsy one looks a little too small.

I'm sure one or two people will mention about how they hate false pleasantness from people in shops; but there is no excuse for downright rudeness to a paying customer.
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  #77  
Old 23.12.2006, 18:51
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Re: Swiss Rudeness

Quote:

I recognise that hell, even Australians are rude, but here, it is just ridiculous!
I am just wondering what manners are taught here? Is it at all even considered rude to slam into someone?

Frustrated Aussie
I agree with every word you say. There is such a huge difference in the cultures (Swiss/Aussie).
I've yet to meet a swiss teen who has been taught manners. I have a variety of friends at school and I have to admitt that they've all had strong influences from other cultures during their upbringing. My two best friends have parents who grew up in America and England.
I actually have no friends who have had a compleately Swiss upbringing, because most Swiss kids are obnoxious and loud, and I can't stand people like that.
Of course I'm no angel, but I was taught manners when I was little. In Australia we were even taught about personal space. If someone comes closer than an arms length of you, then they're invading your personal space. Something that especially Swiss adults have never heard of. If I'd got a frank every time I'd actually hit a wall or railing from backing away from someone who was talking to me and almost touching my face with theirs, I'd be able to move to England without worrying where I'd get the money from.
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  #78  
Old 23.12.2006, 19:00
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Re: Swiss Rudeness

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But on a more serious note; if we're in the local supermarket, we tend to queue up for the till with the more pleasant cashiers on. There are a couple of cashiers who are particularly grumpy and we'll avoid using them - even if the queue at their till is shorter.
We started to shop at Hieber in Germany instead of Marktkauf and the other local choices. They're a smidge higher than the other German places on a few things, but it honestly doesn't matter. I think it is because it is a small, regional, family owned chain the employees are treated better there. Rarely do you see people being grumpy just because they're alive and doing their job. The cashiers are actually pleasant and don't roll their eyes getting out the tax rebate form. We'll gladly pay 5 - 10% more, if it ieven is that much, to shop in a pleasant atmosphere. (and it is still cheaper and with better choices than in Switzerland)

Quote:
I'm sure one or two people will mention about how they hate false pleasantness from people in shops; but there is no excuse for downright rudeness to a paying customer.
I really, really abhor the American way of "Hi! How are you today?!" as you walk in the store. I'd rather be left alone until somehow indicating I needed help (or approaching a clerk) than to have false cheer shoved down my throat. But a smile from a clerk when being approached wouldn't go amiss.
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  #79  
Old 23.12.2006, 19:01
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Re: Swiss Rudeness

Hi Jasmin24,

It would be a sad world if your travelled half way round it and found everything was the same.

As to pricing food items in supermarkets: perhaps Australians cannot be trusted to weigh their own vegis honestly. It's easy to add more after weighing. I'm a Brit and we don't do it the Swiss way because I believe we could not be trusted. Also if you do forget to weigh your stuff here, you will be pleasantly surprised when the check-out girl rushes off to do it for you.

National stereotyping is not an exclusive of the Swiss - every nation does it to others. I worked with an Australian in London - we all called her 'Blue'. Scots and Welsh will tell you they get called Jock and Taffie - and get asked what's under their kilt or if they shag sheep.

I knew a Swiss man in the UK called Hess. He was so fed up by people asking him if his father was OK in Spandau and various other remarks that he actually changed his name by deed poll to 'Tell' (not much of an improvement IMO).

As to bumping into each other in the city streets - this is a wonderful Swiss foible - make the most of it and play a game to see who will avoid who first. See if you can't bump into them. Unlike Brits who will actually say 'Sorry!' when you bump into them, see what the Swiss say...
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Old 23.12.2006, 21:19
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Re: Swiss Rudeness

Quote:
I even hate walking down the street and going into a shop because when you walk out of a shop you are guaranteed to have someone slam into you without so much of an apology. When I express this frustration, I am then told that it is "my fault" because I am walking out of a shop into the street where they are walking in a certain direction. Well then why the hell do they have shops and doors on the footpath, where people are going to walk out? I feel guilty for walking out of a shop! Even when I do, I have to fight my way out and apologise, but I get nothing but glares in the meantime.
Well, if I believe some of the posts from the locals then it is probably your fault anyway as you are just another one of the 20% that is bumping in to everyone else and ruining their perfect society

I witnessed another version of loitering stupidity today. I was going down the escalator in a large department store. At each floor there was a display of cheap items so that you had to walk around it to ride the escalator down to the next level. No problem so far as there was plenty of room. This particular genius (another one of the 20% obviously) was admiring the cheap crap - fair enough - but was doing it in such a way that nobody could get past him on to the escalator. So after saying "Chuldigung" in my best accent a few times I just barged the arrogant little f**ker out of the way. I wasn't in the mood to play the game of silly buggers today.
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