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  #81  
Old 24.12.2006, 00:50
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Re: Swiss Rudeness

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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.
How far round the world would it be to be sad to find all things the same?

i've never heard such PC crap... aussies cannot be trusted...doh like the Swiss can..yeah right.. we cannot be trusted ie Brits...you forget to weigh youre stuff and you will be pleasantly surprised....doh what PC tosh....oh I forgot to weigh my onions be a nice check out girl and weigh them for me... yeah right.. we forgot youre a stupid foreigner.... we Brits cant be trusted back home hehhe we not allowed matches either...Alf Garnet where are you when we need you.......
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Last edited by evilshell; 24.12.2006 at 08:14. Reason: added quote tags
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  #82  
Old 24.12.2006, 08:15
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Re: Swiss Rudeness

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How far round the world would it be to be sad to find all things the same?
i've never heard such PC crap... aussies cannot be trusted...doh like the Swiss can..yeah right.. we cannot be trusted ie Brits...you forget to weigh youre stuff and you will be pleasantly surprised....doh what PC tosh....oh I forgot to weigh my onions be a nice check out girl and weigh them for me... yeah right.. we forgot youre a stupid foreigner.... we Brits cant be trusted back home hehhe we not allowed matches either...Alf Garnet where are you when we need you.......
Is there some point you're trying to make here? So, why aren't Brits & Aussie not allowed to price their food items, then?

It's always a good idea to present a counter argument and not just bleat "crap" and "tosh" whey you read something you don't agree with.

By the way, Brits are "not allowed matches" as you say. You will see this with Christmas trees and real candles on them in Switerland. This has not been practiced in the UK for many years. Why? I'd say Brits cannot be trusted with booze and fire. But perhaps you can present another reason. But somehow I doubt it....
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  #83  
Old 24.12.2006, 08:19
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Re: Swiss Rudeness

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How far round the world would it be to be sad to find all things the same?

i've never heard such PC crap... aussies cannot be trusted...doh like the Swiss can..yeah right.. we cannot be trusted ie Brits...you forget to weigh youre stuff and you will be pleasantly surprised....doh what PC tosh....oh I forgot to weigh my onions be a nice check out girl and weigh them for me... yeah right.. we forgot youre a stupid foreigner.... we Brits cant be trusted back home hehhe we not allowed matches either...Alf Garnet where are you when we need you.......
It is politically correct (PC) crap, as you so delicately put it, to believe that things should not be the same everywhere?

As for the weighing things, this stupid foreigner has had the sticker fall off at some point during the trip through the store. The cashier didn't even say a word, just quietly got up and ran to do it. Another time I offered to go, but the cashier went over herself - but not in a huff. I guess this stupid foreigner found the right people?

As for the trust issue, don't get so offended. It is a fact that crime is higher in the UK (or US and probably Australia, although I am not sure) than it is here. Including petty crime like weighing 3 tomatoes and putting in two more after the sticker is printed.
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  #84  
Old 24.12.2006, 10:38
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Re: Swiss Rudeness

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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.
Agreed. I like to be left to browse and will be sure to let the shopkeeper know that I need help. Especially when I am shopping for clothes. Sometimes the "can I help you" contains an undertone of "if you're not going to buy anything, get the Donald-Duck out of my shop". In that case I will respond with "thanks very much, I'll wait here while you look around and try stuff on".

Cheers,
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  #85  
Old 24.12.2006, 11:06
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I get stepped on, pushed, shoved and never once have I heard a "excuse me/pardon/sorry about that!"
instead, glares.
You are not alone. For me, the pushing, shoving and so on is the worst when I'm shopping at Carrefour. Especially in the meat section.

On more than one occasion, people have even laid their hands on the very package of meat that I was looking at.

I make a grand motion of turning and looking at them and letting my jaw drop and they usually let go.

But Jeez! This kill or be killed meat-buying frenzy is almost enough to make me turn vegetarian!

Having said all that - people have informed me that the Carrefour near Fribourg is the worst because its clients are typically *foreigners.* I doubt the people laying their hands on my meat were Swiss.

The Swiss prefer to just tear into my heels with their shopping carts. Hahaha!

Quote:
WOW... finally someone else that has had the same nice experiences with the Swiss as I have. I was beginning to think that my situation was unique.
My guess is that doktor.s and xynth are exuding so much positivism that they continually attract it from everyone they encounter, no matter where they are!

We need entire populations of people like this and then we need to evenly distribute them throughout the planet.

Things would then "hug themselves out!"

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
This is my shopping experience in a nut shell. For years, I told myself that the people here were rude. I don't think they are doing it intentionally to be rude, though. This is HOW they shop!

I still go through the grand turns and jaw-dropping though and do my best to educate the masses!

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

dave
Now we are working ourselves into culture stuff that must be genetically passed on - and I don't have that gene!

This calls to mind my first summer here, when we ate cold cuts at dinner time. My then-boyfriend's mom opened up one package of something gross like sliced Leberkäse or something and I knew she had something decent in the fridge as well - like plain-old, sliced ham.

When I asked for the ham, she said we had to finish off the opened package first, then we could open the other.



If we did that, first of all, I'd have to "suffer," and second of all I wouldn't be hungry anymore to go on and eat ham!!!!!

I'm still grumpy about crap like this!
But I'm getting over it!

Quote:
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.
What about overbearingly cheerful people who are at least genuine about it? I hope that's allowed!

Quote:
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.
National stereotyping stinks! I was once at a club dinner and a VERY Swiss fellow club member said to me over salad, "You know this food? You know what we eat now?" I wanted to smack the stupid smile off his face so bad! But I held it in and did the jaw drop and did not even answer. Stupid questions like that don't merit my response. I just kept eating my salad (which the Swiss don't know how to cut or tear into bite size pieces).

He was implying that as an American I have no idea what salad is! He was attempting to be witty and charming and a VERY Swiss man should *NEVER* try such a thing! Hahaha! Ok, that is my national stereotype potshot for the day! (Sorry!)

***Sorry guys, for being overly talkative, but I should have joined this thread a long time ago! I am making up for lost time!

This is what happens when an American girl marries a Swiss man who won't wake up at an appropriate hour on a Sunday morning! I hold a thread hostage!

Last edited by evilshell; 24.12.2006 at 12:21. Reason: merged 6 related posts
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  #86  
Old 24.12.2006, 19:16
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Re: Swiss Rudeness

Yeah was a bit un -PC of me there sort of contradicted myself , was a bit tired and emotional, and a bit off thread....apologies to Ab Fab..hehe still it got a reaction out of me which is pretty rare...and just to add my four penneth, I dont think the swiss are rude specially when compared to other "stereotypes" from say... German towels on the beaches......French happy smiling parisian waiters.....italians misunderstanding the basic rules of queues ..or.. what they are even!....etc blah blah
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  #87  
Old 25.12.2006, 00:52
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Re: Swiss Rudeness

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Yeah was a bit un -PC of me there sort of contradicted myself , was a bit tired and emotional, and a bit off thread....apologies to Ab Fab..hehe still it got a reaction out of me which is pretty rare...and just to add my four penneth, I dont think the swiss are rude specially when compared to other "stereotypes" from say... German towels on the beaches......French happy smiling parisian waiters.....italians misunderstanding the basic rules of queues ..or.. what they are even!....etc blah blah
No worries. Have a good Christmas!
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  #88  
Old 27.12.2006, 20:13
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Re: Swiss Rudeness

Fortunately, I've only been in Basel for around 45 minutes of my life.
And that 45 minutes were enough to show me how rude the Swiss from Basel is.

Coming from Germany, I HAD to stop in Basel to fill my tank up at a local Shell. They didn't accept my Shell credit card even though it was listed in Shell brochure I had. The polite "May I know why you don't accept this card" to the young bitch behind the counter turned into a police intervention...I mean, c'mon pussycat, get a life.

Geneva is as RUDE and old-fashioned as the German speaking part with a touch of the French egoism.

Of course there are polite Swiss...That is, Swiss who have had experiences outside their country, Swiss who have a foreign spouse, etc.
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  #89  
Old 30.12.2006, 19:02
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Re: Swiss Rudeness

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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!)
Being a student I worked part time at a check out in a supermarket. So I see the customer side AND the employee's side. I've read your complaints about swiss check outs and wonder what you are complaining about?
This is just the way it works here. It isn't really asked too much to weigh your fruit or vegetable yourself and to put your things in a bag yourself. If you do this by yourself the whole process is faster and more efficient. People don't like to queue for hours, so it's good if the process at the check out is fast... In addition to this you have to put yourself in the situation of the people who work at the check out. They wouldn't have to pack just one bag, they'd have to to pack 1000 a day. Imagine how your back feels after this....

You also complain that you don't get large bags in Switzerland. If you haven't noticed yet, there are larger paper bags, but they are for sale. If you need one, you just add it to the groceries you want to buy. Why ask for a bag? If you are too stingy to pay the 0.30 Rp those paper bags cost, then you have a serious problem.......

During the work at the check out I also experienced a lot of customers who just don't respect the people who work there. Some people treat the employees like idiots, so why should they be friendly with those people?! If you politely ask for a plastic bag, you get one, but if you think you can just unpolitely order one, you don't have to wonder if you get a rude answer. It's just all about respect. If you respect people, they also respect you. But if you think that, as a customer, you are god and the employee is your slave, then you don't have to wonder if you recieve rudeness.... Since I have worked at the supermarket I really got another view on things. Working there really isn't such an easy job one think.... So when I go shopping myself I threat the workers friendlier and I also get threaten friendlier.

At the other hand you write how good supermarkets in Australia are. I have been to Australia for half a year and I didn't feel that way at all and I didn't notice that the people in the supermarket were any friendlier than here. In contrary, they even suspected me being a thief and asked me everytime I left a store to show them the contents of the bags I carried with me. Is this the way you like to be treated as a customer??
It wasn't possible to pack the groceries into my personal bag either, no, the people at the checkout put it into plastic bags, and so you always had to carry 4 plasticbags out of the supermarket. What sense makes this? It's not only bad for the environment you also have to wait longer at the check out and have to carry 4 small plasticbags with you instead of a backbag or one large bag!

But overall I think that one just likes it the way one's used to. If you grow up with the system in Australia you like it and you don't get offended by showing the contents of your bags to the security every time you leave a store, because you're used to it and it's just the way it works. At the other hand, if you are used to the system here, you don't think it's bad service if you have to weigh vegetables and pack your bags yourself.... It's just the way it works and you see the advantages of it...

So, that was it, please excuse my bad english, but it has been quite a while since I've written my last text in english....
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  #90  
Old 02.01.2007, 03:28
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Re: Swiss Rudeness

Hi guys,

I've been away for a while and have enjoyed reading all the comments on this thread. A pity some of you lay into each other as you do, but then we're all human.....

I just wanted to comment on something that I picked up on here. Some of you moan about the Swiss cashier, or check-out clerk. I find it quite amusing how the arguments rage back and forth. Back in South Africa I was used to a leisurely process whereby one chatted at length with the cashier (as we called them) while her assistant diligently packed everything into free plastic carry bags of varying strength, depending on what you had bought and how heavy it was.

While this was pleasant enough it was a only good so long as you didn't know any better. As a fairly impatient sort who appreciates efficiency, I have to say that once I arrived here and got used to shopping in Germany (a contradiction in terms, I know) I got so used to the super-efficient and speedy way of "processing" customers at the till that I now can't bear it when I'm forced to stand in a Migros queue and wait for the polite little lady to finish enquiring as to whether or not I have my "cumulus karte" and whether or not I have been enjoying the warm Herbst and wouldn't I like to fill in a form to apply for my cumulus card, etc. Get on with it for §*&%à€ sakes!

Oh well, to each his own, I suppose

Shaka
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  #91  
Old 02.01.2007, 12:39
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Re: Swiss Rudeness

I have been living over here for 18 months and I am from Johannesburg, South Africa. I must say that in the beginnning I generally found people to be polite and friendly and I continue to do so. I do find it a bit annoying when I visit cities and there are 'traffic jams' of people walking all over the place who don't make any effort to get out of your way, but then I don't find that any different from JHB.

There have been a few times people were rude, like when I walked into someone in Bern and he shouted 'dummkopf' at me. I didn't really blame him as I did walk into him hard and I was not looking where I was going. Of course, it was probably half his fault as he was probably not looking. The other times have been rudeness encountered when dealing with railway employees in a small mountain village which I will not detail except to say that I put it down to their minds being like their village: small. The other incident could easily have happened to me in Johannesburg as well.

I would have to say that in general I have had more positive than negative experiences and that the more and more that I can speak and understand people in German the better it gets.
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  #92  
Old 02.01.2007, 14:19
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Re: Swiss Rudeness

We had some fun with the lift in our building on New Years Eve. There is a miserable **** on the floor below who insists on double-locking the main door to the building at 5pm.

My wife and I were in the lift going down - it is big enough for 2 people - and it stopped at his floor as he'd pressed the button. He then proceeded to give us a mouthful about having waited for the lift for ages (not true) and then tried to squeeze in meaning the doors would not close and standing on my wife's toes. Needless to say I came close to giving him the "Saddam Experience" over the bannister of the stair.

He got out of the lift realising that neither it, nor we were about to budge. When we got to the ground floor I made sure to press every button in the lift - meaning it would stop at every floor until it got to his floor again. My wife stopped me short of double-locking the downstairs door (well...it was after 22:00 and the Basler Hausordnung does state that doors must be locked after 22:00...and rules are rules...).

Cheers,
Nick
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  #93  
Old 02.01.2007, 15:20
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Re: Swiss Rudeness

nickatbasel,

You just have to take pity on people like that! It takes him stepping on your wife before realizing that he's "gone too far?" :/

About the door-locking...well, sometimes it does take someone getting a healthy dose of their own medicine to learn the lesson!

Funny as your post was, reading it I just feel sorry for someone as miserable as your neighbor!
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  #94  
Old 02.01.2007, 18:02
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Re: Swiss Rudeness

I must say that I rarely encountered the "Swiss" mentality and never ever had a problem with someone being rude. Sure, they didn't always go out of their way just to help me, but in 95% of the time, the swiss seemed to be a really polite folk to me and I got what I wanted.
You should avoid generalization; how do you know if the person bumping into you is really swiss? Every fourth person in Zurich is a foreigner, you have a reasonably good chance bumping into an asshat from the UK, US, Canada or Kazachstan if that matters. There are idiots in every country and if one is looking for them, they will inevitably find many.[/quote]

I am a Swiss citizen and I would really like to comment on the rudeness of the Swiss.

I do agree with many of the complaints about the Swiss; I think that there are quite a couple rude Swiss in this county, and even as a Swiss, I sometimes have bad experiences with other Swiss. I sometimes feel embarassed for my fellow countrymen. I feel sorry for all of you who encounter exceptionally rude Swiss.

I have lived in the US midwest for a couple of years where people are known for their friendliness. I really appreciated their smiles and friendly behavior to complete strangers although it took me a while to get used to it (what the heck are they smiling about?). Now I've been back in CH for more than a year and I still fear the Swiss rudeness - I don't think one can get used to it. Yet it is sometimes difficult to remember that most of the encounters with Swiss you have on an ordinary day are good ones - we just tend to remember the bad ones better than the good/neutral ones.

I sometimes think that the lack of personal space in Switzerland has a negative impact on the people living in this country. For instance, walking through the central station during rush hour is extremely stressful, and neighbours live way too close to each other. This lack of privacy and space might affect the tolerance of people to people they don't know. This is sad, but it is a phenomenon that I have encountered in other crowded places in the world as well.

Nevertheless, once you get to know the Swiss personnally, they may become your best friends and it might be difficult to get rid of them. My own experiences with fellow Swiss indicate that their behavior towards me reflects my own behavior towards them. If I am friendly and have a smile on my face, they often cannot behave grumpily!
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  #95  
Old 17.01.2007, 17:47
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Re: Swiss Rudeness

Sorry for interering :-)

Im new here an im 26, ive just found this Forum thank goodness At least im not on my own thinking that the swiss are rude :-)
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  #96  
Old 17.01.2007, 19:40
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Re: Swiss Rudeness

Yeah, I found that the swiss are rude too. They are even more agressive when they drive...pff
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Old 17.01.2007, 20:13
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Re: Swiss Rudeness

Find neighbours, work colleages etc quite friendly ecspecially the "guten morgen and shöneabig" although its probally like that in most of Europe. Must admit i find them rather rude when walking into you in shops... instead of an enschuldigung they tnd to stare at you untill you walk off. And the bit about people looking at their phones instead of where they are walking is similar to walking around in London...
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  #98  
Old 17.01.2007, 20:39
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Re: Swiss Rudeness

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Find neighbours, work colleages etc quite friendly ecspecially the "guten morgen and shöneabig" although its probally like that in most of Europe.
The good morning / good evening thing here is quite akin to the US "how are you today?! " that you encounter in every store. It is just a routine thing that one must do culturally, not something where you care about greeting anyone.
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  #99  
Old 17.01.2007, 21:13
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Re: Swiss Rudeness

Excatly evilshell

They just say it because its routine, without any friendlyness. Dont look at you but just mutter it under there breath.
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Old 17.01.2007, 21:30
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Maybe it's a cutural thing. In spain for example all the social norms that english people take for granted seem to be missing. People don't say please or thank you or sorry or excuse me a great deal. Spanish people don't think it's rude. Could I suggest that it is rude to come to a country and expect them to conform to your social norms.

So far, and it's not been long, I've found the Swiss friendly and helpful, far more so than say in London.

Here is a fine example. The other day I went drinking with a Swiss colleague. I said Prost then put my drink down with out taking a sip. Apparently this is the height of bad manners.

Last edited by evilshell; 17.01.2007 at 22:43. Reason: merged consecutive posts
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