Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Living in Switzerland > Complaints corner  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 31.08.2011, 16:52
Helm's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Zürich<->St.Gallen
Posts: 2,209
Groaned at 13 Times in 13 Posts
Thanked 4,136 Times in 1,371 Posts
Helm has a reputation beyond reputeHelm has a reputation beyond reputeHelm has a reputation beyond reputeHelm has a reputation beyond reputeHelm has a reputation beyond reputeHelm has a reputation beyond repute
Dealing with colleague racism

Been having a crappy week because of work related stress. While I'm drowning in paper-work, some guy knocks on the door. He starts shooting his business and doesn't take 5 seconds to notice he is very German. Oh heaven sent German accent.

The story: he is the Hauswart from a neighbour building. On Monday a huge truck is coming for some moving in/out and he would like to ask us to not park the car on the way to his house entrance to avoid possible damages or having to call the police to take the car away. All said in the most polite and subservient tone.

Reaction inside the office as soon as he is out:

1. "I don't care if they damage my car. I need a new one anyway". When I tried to mention it is forbidden to park in there, answer was "of course it is allowed, the police never gave me a parking ticket". Presenting the rules did not convince them.

2. "Argh! How awful to have a German Hauswart!"

Mind you, not only do these people know I am married to a German as, when asked "what's the problem with a German Hauswart?" the answer was "because there are too many of them here!"

I don’t know, but I sometimes don’t know how to deal with these sudden, unfounded, ridiculous xenophobic scenes. The excuse “Ah, don’t worry, I have no problem with you! After all you are not German but Portuguese” just makes it sound even worse.


Do you have to deal with these kind of situations at work? How do you manage not to grab these people by the neck after repeated offences?
__________________

Fighting for Pluto's liberation from the Dwarf League since 2006 @(°.°)=@)x.X)' ' '

Last edited by Helm; 31.08.2011 at 17:35.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank Helm for this useful post:
  #2  
Old 31.08.2011, 16:55
grumpygit's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: geneva
Posts: 1,476
Groaned at 29 Times in 16 Posts
Thanked 1,508 Times in 695 Posts
grumpygit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygit has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Dealing with colleague racism

I suggest the best way is to correct his impeccable english by pointing out that a pleasant request for help is always better than the threat of police involvement. It happens in Geneva too.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 31.08.2011, 16:57
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Dealing with colleague racism

With the contempt it deserves. Don't show them it winds you up, they're probably the type who'd enjoy seeing you react - don't give them that pleasure! Stay calm, smile and perhaps somebody here can come up with a gem of a sentence to shut them up.

Competition open.
Reply With Quote
The following 6 users would like to thank for this useful post:
  #4  
Old 31.08.2011, 16:59
NotAllThere's Avatar
Modulo 2
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Baselland
Posts: 14,500
Groaned at 280 Times in 239 Posts
Thanked 21,738 Times in 8,818 Posts
NotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Dealing with colleague racism

Hiding a sardine in their PC makes me feel better, even if it doesn't improve their behaviour.
Reply With Quote
The following 5 users would like to thank NotAllThere for this useful post:
  #5  
Old 31.08.2011, 17:03
Jordan Baker's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Oxford, UK
Posts: 138
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 136 Times in 63 Posts
Jordan Baker has a reputation beyond reputeJordan Baker has a reputation beyond reputeJordan Baker has a reputation beyond reputeJordan Baker has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Dealing with colleague racism

Quote:
View Post
Do you have to deal with these kind of situations at work? How do you manage not to grab these people by the neck after repeated offences?
I'm German, so like the Hauswart, I'm already out of the room when they start complaining
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Jordan Baker for this useful post:
  #6  
Old 31.08.2011, 17:03
TheWolverine's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Zürich
Posts: 1,490
Groaned at 13 Times in 11 Posts
Thanked 1,378 Times in 688 Posts
TheWolverine has a reputation beyond reputeTheWolverine has a reputation beyond reputeTheWolverine has a reputation beyond reputeTheWolverine has a reputation beyond reputeTheWolverine has a reputation beyond reputeTheWolverine has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Dealing with colleague racism

Quote:
View Post
Do you have to deal with these kind of situations at work? How do you manage not to grab these people by the neck after repeated offences?
Yes. You have deal with situations like this anywhere.
And my way of dealing with them is by not giving a sh1t about what they say.

Idiots, even if they are your colleagues, are still idiots.


As my learned friend, Ron White, would say :

"I didn't marry my wife for looks, and you shouldn't either. In a few years, if her boobs start to sag too much, there's a place you can go to and they'll lift 'em right back up to where they were. And you can point the nipple in any direction. Hell, you can go to a titty bar, pick out a set of titties and say "I want those titties on that woman right there." If she gets too fat and don't wanna work it off, you can get a tummy tuck. They'll give you a belly that looks like a cheerleader. If your eyesight starts to go bad, you can get Lasik surgery and they can give you 20/20 vision at any age. If your hearing starts to fail, they'll put a little device in your ear that makes you hear as good as when you were born. But let me tell you something folks- you can't fix stupid. There's not a pill you can take. There's not a class you can go to. Stupid is fo-evah."
__________________
"You picked the wrong house, Bub"
Reply With Quote
The following 11 users would like to thank TheWolverine for this useful post:
  #7  
Old 31.08.2011, 17:07
mirfield's Avatar
Moddy Wellies
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: North Yorkshire
Posts: 8,727
Groaned at 53 Times in 47 Posts
Thanked 9,936 Times in 3,651 Posts
mirfield has a reputation beyond reputemirfield has a reputation beyond reputemirfield has a reputation beyond reputemirfield has a reputation beyond reputemirfield has a reputation beyond reputemirfield has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Dealing with colleague racism

I managed to upset my French colleague by telling him what we call Zwieback in England.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 31.08.2011, 17:07
PaddyG's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Pensier, Fribourg
Posts: 9,243
Groaned at 118 Times in 102 Posts
Thanked 16,857 Times in 5,912 Posts
PaddyG has a reputation beyond reputePaddyG has a reputation beyond reputePaddyG has a reputation beyond reputePaddyG has a reputation beyond reputePaddyG has a reputation beyond reputePaddyG has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Dealing with colleague racism

I would call them out on it. They probably don't realise they're being racist and will be highly embarassed and apologetic when you tell them.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank PaddyG for this useful post:
  #9  
Old 31.08.2011, 17:07
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Vaud
Posts: 4,518
Groaned at 491 Times in 320 Posts
Thanked 4,099 Times in 1,952 Posts
CorsebouTheReturn has a reputation beyond reputeCorsebouTheReturn has a reputation beyond reputeCorsebouTheReturn has a reputation beyond reputeCorsebouTheReturn has a reputation beyond reputeCorsebouTheReturn has a reputation beyond reputeCorsebouTheReturn has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Dealing with colleague racism

PS: it's not racism but eventually discrimination based on nationality or origins.

Although one would need to prove any negative effects of the "discrimination" to be real...



So legally it's more "stupid comments" which, I think, don't fit in any legal category.


Anyway for the moral issue, it's certainly unpleasing and silly but not worth being too upset about it, or too confrontational.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank CorsebouTheReturn for this useful post:
  #10  
Old 31.08.2011, 17:08
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Dealing with colleague racism

Ashishah, exactly, and not just in Switzerland.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 31.08.2011, 17:09
PaddyG's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Pensier, Fribourg
Posts: 9,243
Groaned at 118 Times in 102 Posts
Thanked 16,857 Times in 5,912 Posts
PaddyG has a reputation beyond reputePaddyG has a reputation beyond reputePaddyG has a reputation beyond reputePaddyG has a reputation beyond reputePaddyG has a reputation beyond reputePaddyG has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Dealing with colleague racism

Quote:
View Post
PS: it's not racism but eventually discrimination based on nationality or origins.
Good point, racism is not the correct term. Bigotted is better.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 31.08.2011, 17:10
prof. taratonga's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Zürich & Bignasco
Posts: 2,310
Groaned at 27 Times in 25 Posts
Thanked 4,546 Times in 1,441 Posts
prof. taratonga has a reputation beyond reputeprof. taratonga has a reputation beyond reputeprof. taratonga has a reputation beyond reputeprof. taratonga has a reputation beyond reputeprof. taratonga has a reputation beyond reputeprof. taratonga has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Dealing with colleague racism

If all of these Xenophobs would eat a religious fanatic and suffocate the world would be a better place...
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank prof. taratonga for this useful post:
  #13  
Old 31.08.2011, 17:14
Pancakes's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Zurich-ish
Posts: 5,056
Groaned at 286 Times in 204 Posts
Thanked 10,667 Times in 4,005 Posts
Pancakes has a reputation beyond reputePancakes has a reputation beyond reputePancakes has a reputation beyond reputePancakes has a reputation beyond reputePancakes has a reputation beyond reputePancakes has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Dealing with colleague racism

I would politely (okay, passive-aggressively) inform your co-workers that "cultural stereotyping" is usually a sign that someone is 1) uneducated and/or 2) very sheltered.
Reply With Quote
The following 4 users would like to thank Pancakes for this useful post:
  #14  
Old 31.08.2011, 17:18
herc82's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Zurich
Posts: 1,624
Groaned at 10 Times in 9 Posts
Thanked 975 Times in 605 Posts
herc82 has a reputation beyond reputeherc82 has a reputation beyond reputeherc82 has a reputation beyond reputeherc82 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Dealing with colleague racism

Quote:
View Post
I would politely (okay, passive-aggressively) inform your co-workers that "cultural stereotyping" is usually a sign that someone is 1) uneducated and/or 2) very sheltered.
Hm... now I'm not sure if this says more about the Swiss co-workers or about EFers...
Reply With Quote
The following 5 users would like to thank herc82 for this useful post:
  #15  
Old 31.08.2011, 17:18
MidfieldGeneral's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Zürich
Posts: 1,503
Groaned at 92 Times in 85 Posts
Thanked 3,086 Times in 1,248 Posts
MidfieldGeneral has a reputation beyond reputeMidfieldGeneral has a reputation beyond reputeMidfieldGeneral has a reputation beyond reputeMidfieldGeneral has a reputation beyond reputeMidfieldGeneral has a reputation beyond reputeMidfieldGeneral has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Dealing with colleague racism

Quote:
With the contempt it deserves. Don't show them it winds you up, they're probably the type who'd enjoy seeing you react - don't give them that pleasure! Stay calm, smile and perhaps somebody here can come up with a gem of a sentence to shut them up.

Competition open.
I couldn't disagree more, why bury your head in the sand if you object to racism, homophobia, sexism or xenophobia in the workplace?
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 31.08.2011, 17:19
Helm's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Zürich<->St.Gallen
Posts: 2,209
Groaned at 13 Times in 13 Posts
Thanked 4,136 Times in 1,371 Posts
Helm has a reputation beyond reputeHelm has a reputation beyond reputeHelm has a reputation beyond reputeHelm has a reputation beyond reputeHelm has a reputation beyond reputeHelm has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Dealing with colleague racism

Quote:
View Post
I suggest the best way is to correct his impeccable english by pointing out that a pleasant request for help is always better than the threat of police involvement. It happens in Geneva too.
I think you missed the whole post lol... The whole conversation was taken in German. I am not allowed to speak English at work. And the German guy was absolutely nice! Hei, he came all the way from the other side of the road to give a heads up "hei, I know you are parking on a forbidden zone, but I really don't mind. But on Monday I really need the way free, and I would really regret if something happened to your cars while driving near them". There was no under tone. He was really nice!

Quote:
Stay calm, smile and perhaps somebody here can come up with a gem of a sentence to shut them up.
I try... I swear I try.

Quote:
View Post
Hiding a sardine in their PC makes me feel better, even if it doesn't improve their behaviour.
LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL It would stink the office, but, hell, I might resort to that!

Quote:
View Post
you can't fix stupid
I hope they find a cure for it soon. Don't want to spend the night in jail...
__________________

Fighting for Pluto's liberation from the Dwarf League since 2006 @(°.°)=@)x.X)' ' '
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 31.08.2011, 17:21
Tim8803's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Zürich
Posts: 417
Groaned at 2 Times in 2 Posts
Thanked 445 Times in 204 Posts
Tim8803 has earned the respect of manyTim8803 has earned the respect of manyTim8803 has earned the respect of many
Re: Dealing with colleague racism

Quote:
View Post
PS: it's not racism but eventually discrimination based on nationality or origins.

Although one would need to prove any negative effects of the "discrimination" to be real...



So legally it's more "stupid comments" which, I think, don't fit in any legal category.


Anyway for the moral issue, it's certainly unpleasing and silly but not worth being too upset about it, or too confrontational.
What do you mean it isn't racism; racism is discrimination based on race:-
rac·ism (rszm)
n. 1. The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.
2. Discrimination or prejudice based on race.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 31.08.2011, 17:21
tom tulpe's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Horgen
Posts: 1,182
Groaned at 21 Times in 19 Posts
Thanked 1,409 Times in 646 Posts
tom tulpe has a reputation beyond reputetom tulpe has a reputation beyond reputetom tulpe has a reputation beyond reputetom tulpe has a reputation beyond reputetom tulpe has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Dealing with colleague racism

While the main problem with "old" foreigners seemed to be that they didn't speak German, the main problem with Germans is that they do speak and write German, agressively, and the "bon allemand" variety. That makes the locals uneasy, because many don't like communicating in standard German, the latter being as much of a foreign language to them as English or French.

Tagesanzeiger complained a few weeks back that in Zurich, "the Germans take all the places at Gymnasium". According to the article, the main reason for that was that they had two unfair advantages: (1) their parents were academics (All of them? Ed.) and that (2) they spoke and wrote standard German easily whereas the Swiss struggled with this in the entry exam.
Reply With Quote
The following 5 users would like to thank tom tulpe for this useful post:
  #19  
Old 31.08.2011, 17:21
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Dealing with colleague racism

I'd make jolly sure they knew how I felt- but wouldn't react angrily at the time- as it would fall straight into their hands. I'd bide my time and find the right opportunity, away from the fire of the moment.

Still looking for that perfect sentence... any suggestions?
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank for this useful post:
  #20  
Old 31.08.2011, 17:24
MidfieldGeneral's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Zürich
Posts: 1,503
Groaned at 92 Times in 85 Posts
Thanked 3,086 Times in 1,248 Posts
MidfieldGeneral has a reputation beyond reputeMidfieldGeneral has a reputation beyond reputeMidfieldGeneral has a reputation beyond reputeMidfieldGeneral has a reputation beyond reputeMidfieldGeneral has a reputation beyond reputeMidfieldGeneral has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Dealing with colleague racism

Quote:
I'd make jolly sure they knew how I felt- but wouldn't react angrily at the time- as it would fall straight into their hands. I'd bide my time and find the right opportunity, away from the fire of the moment.
How useful is that when the incident is probably forgotten and everyone has moved on to talking about something else?
Reply With Quote
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Experience dealing with ADHD/ADD in CH? PunkyBroster Family matters/health 106 28.07.2017 23:16
dealing with daytime boredom in Zurich suemck2 Daily life 29 04.03.2012 23:31
Dealing with a temporarily disabled partner kslausanne Family matters/health 57 13.03.2011 12:55
Dealing with snow gabrielg Daily life 10 11.02.2011 14:34
Dealing with your children bigblue2 Family matters/health 16 28.10.2010 09:08


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 08:55.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0