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Old 24.07.2015, 11:51
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Re: Working in Switzerland: An American perspective

The number of Americans with permanent residence in Switzerland declined by 287 from 2Q 2014 to 2Q 2015, according to Swiss statistics released yesterday - see p. 4 at this link:

https://www.bfm.admin.ch/dam/data/bf...15-06-q2-d.pdf

I doubt that they are all leaving because they miss Walmart and air conditioning. Rather, I suspect that at least part or even most of the explanation for the decrease is due to Americans taking out Swiss or other citizenship and reappearing as the citizen of another country in the Swiss statistics, i.e., they're still here. Obama's campaign against Americans in Switzerland is taking its toll as it enters its fifth year.
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  #102  
Old 24.07.2015, 12:16
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Re: Working in Switzerland: An American perspective

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I realize that the blog is simply one person's rather jaded and entirely biased opinion, but...

1. other than my first job out of uni, I have never had a job in the States where I had less than 20 days of vacation in a year. I have also never had a job where I took all of my vacation or was able to avoid work entirely during a vacation, regardless of the country where I was working.

2. yes, Americans are much more likely to work through lunch and to work on weekends (though I never work on Sundays). on the flip side, however, it is very rare for American professionals to work under employment contracts that stipulate their office hours, and so Americans are far more likely to leave work during the middle of the afternoon to attend a school event with their children or to leave the office early on a Friday afternoon to head to the lake. this was actually the hardest part of working in Switzerland for me to adapt to, since I did not have a work contract with required hours and all of my Swiss and EU peers did.

3. the pay at the higher end of just about every professional career position is higher in the States. unfortunately, of course, the pay at the lower to middle end of just about every professional career position is much, much lower in the States.

4. yes, US unemployment benefits are lower than in Switzerland, but legal protection of employees is much, much better in the US and a US employee who loses their job will generally receive a much more attractive severance package than a similarly-placed Swiss employee.

the only real and fundamental difference between working in the US and Switzerland is the undying and overbearing American need for consumption, which drives much of the attitude in the country toward work and money. it is very difficult to manage a proper work-life balance when you are compelled to buy a new home every 5 years, a new car every 2 years, eat out 5 days a week and fly to Europe every summer to see how the other side of the world lives. s'isch halt eifach huere geil, schneller, besser, Amistyle and all that.


You're speaking from an experience that is utterly unimaginable for the vast majority of Americans, which is fine, as long as you recognize it.


I think your experience is much more typical of a high level white collar worker. My wife and I worked in the film business in Los Angeles, got no real vacation, 10 days or so when not freelancing at the most. I didn't know anyone who got 20 days, job protection was nonexistent if you weren't in a union, working hours could end up around 100/week during particularly busy times, leaving at the end of the workday was considered leaving early and frowned upon and the pay was half of what I make here at best. I know plenty of people in other, unrelated fields who have college degrees and decent jobs by US standards, but struggle with salary and work life balance.


Chalking that all up to "Well, they want to buy a house every 5 years" isn't fair, I certainly didn't. I didn't own a home, there's no way we could afford to buy new cars every 2 years and annual trips to Europe are out of the question when you consider a low salary and no time to actually go. Yeah, we ate out a ton, but you don't have many other options when you're working 12 hours days.


Shitty labor practices and a f#cked up culture are to blame, imho.
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  #103  
Old 24.07.2015, 20:05
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Re: Working in Switzerland: An American perspective

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You're speaking from an experience that is utterly unimaginable for the vast majority of Americans, which is fine, as long as you recognize it.

I think your experience is much more typical of a high level white collar worker. My wife and I worked in the film business in Los Angeles, got no real vacation, 10 days or so when not freelancing at the most. I didn't know anyone who got 20 days, job protection was nonexistent if you weren't in a union, working hours could end up around 100/week during particularly busy times, leaving at the end of the workday was considered leaving early and frowned upon and the pay was half of what I make here at best. I know plenty of people in other, unrelated fields who have college degrees and decent jobs by US standards, but struggle with salary and work life balance.

Chalking that all up to "Well, they want to buy a house every 5 years" isn't fair, I certainly didn't. I didn't own a home, there's no way we could afford to buy new cars every 2 years and annual trips to Europe are out of the question when you consider a low salary and no time to actually go. Yeah, we ate out a ton, but you don't have many other options when you're working 12 hours days.

Shitty labor practices and a f#cked up culture are to blame, imho.
in fairness, Los Angeles is about as reflective of America as Miami, i.e. it is not reflective of America at all, and the "film business" is certainly not reflective of the US labor market or the US culture around work. there's a reason Bill Hicks used to call California "Arizona Bay".

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  #104  
Old 25.07.2015, 09:41
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Re: Working in Switzerland: An American perspective

Blick has a story on Chantal Panozzo's "Love Letter to Switzerland" and how practically everything is better in Switzerland:

http://www.blick.ch/news/schweiz/aar...id4000816.html
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  #105  
Old 25.07.2015, 10:54
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Re: Working in Switzerland: An American perspective

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Blick has a story on Chantal Panozzo's "Love Letter to Switzerland" and how practically everything is better in Switzerland:

http://www.blick.ch/news/schweiz/aar...id4000816.html
Interesting.

From what I read in her book, I guess esp. in the beginning of her life in Switzerland, she was a bit critical, at least not a 100% promoter, about quite a few things in CH, and she missed all the small talks with supermarket check-out ladies in Chicago etc., see what happens now a reversed culture shock it is
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  #106  
Old 25.07.2015, 11:04
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Re: Working in Switzerland: An American perspective

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Blick has a story on Chantal Panozzo's "Love Letter to Switzerland" and how practically everything is better in Switzerland:
It's Blick, of course everything is better in Switzerland.

In Bild, everything is better in Germany.
In Ekstrabladet, everything is better in Denmark.
In VG, everything is better in Norway.
... et cætera ad nauseam...
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  #107  
Old 25.07.2015, 11:38
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Re: Working in Switzerland: An American perspective

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The number of Americans with permanent residence in Switzerland declined by 287 from 2Q 2014 to 2Q 2015, according to Swiss statistics released yesterday - see p. 4 at this link:

https://www.bfm.admin.ch/dam/data/bf...15-06-q2-d.pdf

I doubt that they are all leaving because they miss Walmart and air conditioning. Rather, I suspect that at least part or even most of the explanation for the decrease is due to Americans taking out Swiss or other citizenship and reappearing as the citizen of another country in the Swiss statistics, i.e., they're still here. Obama's campaign against Americans in Switzerland is taking its toll as it enters its fifth year.
For the period June 30, 2014 to June 30, 2015, detail Swiss government statistics show that there has been a decrease in Americans permanently living in Switzerland of 2.6% while the number of all foreigners permanently living in Switzerland increased by 3.1%. For this period, the number of Americans citizens permanently resident in Switzerland dropped by 467 from 18’206 to 17’739.

An examination of the underlying statistics show that the decrease in Americans in Switzerland is primarily due to their net emigration and their naturalization as Swiss, partially offset by Americans births exceeding deaths.

Detail statistics are at spreadsheet 4-30, Letzte 12 Monate, table CH-Nati:
https://www.bfm.admin.ch/bfm/de/home...v/2015/06.html

Thanks to the superpower's campaign against its own citizens abroad, Americans are a dying breed in Switzerland. Last American to leave, please turn off the lights at the embassy - it won't be needed anymore.
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  #108  
Old 25.07.2015, 13:27
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Re: Working in Switzerland: An American perspective

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If you think I'm misinterpreting your writing I will work on my reading comprehension---self betterment is always key! I'm here to learn and broaden my mind. I was just a bit confused on how your logical thought train was going---Disagreeing with my point promoting hard work and motivation by first citing general minorities, then your friend who lost his job, then yourself losing your job.

Again, maybe my comprehension is a bit poor, but it does read like more like excuses and the victim train.

As for entitlement, personally I'm pretty far from that, and success is relative. I do consider myself successful, but I think compared to the general population in Switzerland (or North America for that matter), I'm extremely poor. But I'm a lot better off than I was growing up 30 years ago and I'd like to think that was due to good planning for the future. (And yes, I have spend almost 2 years unemployed in CH, but I never looked for sympathy or empathy, or even took unemployment benefits.)
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  #109  
Old 08.08.2015, 21:37
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Living in Switzerland ruined me for America and its lousy work culture

Anyone see this article, I have not worked in Switzerland just lived so have not idea if its accurate or not.


by Chantal Panozzo on July 21, 2015
I was halfway through a job interview when I realized I was wrinkling my nose. I couldn't help myself. A full-time freelance position with a long commute, no benefits, and a quarter of my old pay was the best they could do? I couldn't hide how I felt about that, and the 25-year-old conducting the interview noticed.

"Are you interested in permanent jobs instead?" she asked.

"I could consider a permanent job if it was part-time," I said.

She looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language and went right back to her pitch: long commute, full-time, no benefits. No way, I thought. Who would want to do that? And then it hit me: Either I had become a completely privileged jerk or my own country was not as amazing as I had once thought it to be. This wasn't an unusually bad offer: It was just American Reality.

Now that I'm back, I'm angry that my own country isn't providing more for its people
Before I moved to Switzerland for almost a decade, American Reality was all I knew. I was living in a two-bedroom apartment making $30,000 a year in a job where I worked almost seven days a week with no overtime pay and received 10 days of paid time off a year.

In other words, for the hours worked, I was making minimum wage, if that. The glamour of this job was supposed to make up for the hours, but in reality, working every weekend is a ticket to burnout — not success.

My husband and I were so accustomed to American Reality that when he was offered an opportunity to work in Switzerland, we both thought about travel and adventure — not about improving our quality of life. It hadn't occurred to us that we could improve our quality of life simply by moving.

But without realizing it, or even asking for it, a better life quality came to us. And this is why, now that I'm back, I'm angry that my own country isn't providing more for its people. I will never regret living abroad. It taught me to understand another culture. And it taught me to see my own. But it also taught me something else — to lose touch with the American version of reality.

Here are seven ways living abroad made it hard to return to American life.

1) I had work-life balance

http://www.vox.com/2015/7/21/8974435...k-life-balance
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  #110  
Old 08.08.2015, 21:51
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Re: Living in Switzerland ruined me for America and its lousy work culture

Seen it, discussed it, concluded that making generalisations about work culture in a nation of 300 million is as stupid as making generalisations about the taste of tomatoes in a nation of 8 million.
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  #111  
Old 08.08.2015, 22:05
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Re: Living in Switzerland ruined me for America and its lousy work culture

Working in Switzerland: An American perspective posted a couple of weeks ago, long long discussion.
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  #112  
Old 08.08.2015, 22:11
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Re: Living in Switzerland ruined me for America and its lousy work culture

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Seen it, discussed it, concluded that making generalisations about work culture in a nation of 300 million is as stupid as making generalisations about the taste of tomatoes in a nation of 8 million.
It was still spot on, however.

Tom
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Old 08.08.2015, 22:15
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Re: Living in Switzerland ruined me for America and its lousy work culture

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It was still spot on, however.

Tom
How would you know? You've lived in Switzerland since 1958, haven't you?
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  #114  
Old 11.08.2015, 12:32
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Re: Working in Switzerland: An American perspective

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Nope. Compared to Switzerland.

Almost everything I've eaten in the United States has been fresher, tastier and much better quality than anything you can get in Switzerland.

The only significant exception so far being coffee.

Not that I'd want to live in the US, mind, but the food really is way better.


Try coffee in Southern Lousiana, for example in New Orleans ! Perfectly splendid
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  #115  
Old 11.08.2015, 14:14
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Re: Working in Switzerland: An American perspective

The article paints an overly rosy picture, to say the least - and when filtered through the even more deeply rose colored glasses of disaffected Americans (on both sides of the socio-policital spectrum) we get posters like the 'Geneva or Bust!' lady, ready to hop on the first plane over, believing on the strength of one article that the streets of Switzerland are paved in gold, through which milk and honey readily flow. Sigh.

I'm torn between trying to inject a little reality, or just letting them all crash and burn... as a first lesson in Swissness, namely 'selber schuld'.

Ah well - good luck to 'em.

---

But I do have to counter one of the more blatant 'overly rosified' points inthe article. The author makes it sound like working part time in a professional role is soley the employee's choice.

Maybe it's the norm in the author's field, but in OH's industry working less that 100% goes by another name: Next in line to be laid off.
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  #116  
Old 11.08.2015, 14:49
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Re: Working in Switzerland: An American perspective

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But I do have to counter one of the more blatant 'overly rosified' points inthe article. The author makes it sound like working part time in a professional role is soley the employee's choice.

Maybe it's the norm in the author's field, but in OH's industry working less that 100% goes by another name: Next in line to be laid off.
I've worked with many people who have worked less than 100% in CH, but no-one in the US.

And those by their own choice.

Tom
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  #117  
Old 11.08.2015, 14:51
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Re: Living in Switzerland ruined me for America and its lousy work culture

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How would you know? You've lived in Switzerland since 1958, haven't you?
I wasn't even born in 1958.

Tom
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Old 11.08.2015, 15:04
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Re: Working in Switzerland: An American perspective

I read the article, now, too. Well...the lady just seems to be an American who has not been outsides of Switzerland. She probably could write a similar ode to pretty much any European country...

I remember my US friend in Brussels who recently wrote how great it is that we do not need AC in Europe (in large parts) because we build "proper houses with stone walls"

And now off to bake dinosaur cookies with the kids, after a leisure day in the office, and a lunch away from my desk...
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Old 11.08.2015, 19:31
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Re: Working in Switzerland: An American perspective

would still like the option to have the ability to shop on Sundays, most places I have lived its common practice. I get the need for recreational time, however everything on Sunday?
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  #120  
Old 11.08.2015, 22:11
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Re: Working in Switzerland: An American perspective

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But I do have to counter one of the more blatant 'overly rosified' points inthe article. The author makes it sound like working part time in a professional role is soley the employee's choice.

Maybe it's the norm in the author's field, but in OH's industry working less that 100% goes by another name: Next in line to be laid off.

Is that specific to Switzerland, or is the same true for the industry, regardless of location.

Most of the people I know here are in medicine or academia and they seem to have somewhat more flexibility.
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