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Old 08.11.2007, 09:22
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Why Don't the Swiss Stagger Their Lunch Break?

Yesterday, I needed something from my local Swisscom shop. As I was in the neighbourhood, I decided to drive along there, despite the fact that it was around 13.15. Well, of course, the shop was closed for lunch, and I had to make a second trip in the afternoon, only to find they didn't have what I wanted anyway!

Now I know way back when whenever this topic was raised, the answer would often be "oh, but the Swiss like to get together at lunchtime and eat en famille", but can this commendable attitude still be applied today?
Does everything have to grind to a halt between 12.00 and 14.00?
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Old 08.11.2007, 09:28
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Re: Why Don't the Swiss Stagger Their Lunch Break?

is your local swisscom shop in geneva itself?

In basel most shops are open through lunchbreak, though on the countryside many (especially smaller) shops still close over lunch.

It can be inconvenient at times, but you might also think of the people who have to work at these shops (especially smaller shops where going one after another isn't really feasible).

But I'd say it's certainly going vanishing (slowly). when I started working 12 years ago, the even local Coop closed down for lunch.
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Old 08.11.2007, 09:35
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Re: Why Don't the Swiss Stagger Their Lunch Break?

Sadly, and I mean sadly, the British/American concept of food and eating has reached Switzerland.

Even a few years ago Swiss lunch was a leisurely and enjoyable pause in a hectic day - for school children who came home to eat and dad who left the office/workshop for 1½ hour lunch eaten sitting round a table together.

Pressures to compete will mean that shops and businesses will eventually be open all day (and likely all night and every weekend) to satisfy an ever more demanding consumer.

Until then, when we will snatch an unhealthy instant sandwich which stays fresh for 10 days gobbled down at our office desk or eaten on the hoof as we gallop to the next meeting, try and enjoy one of the disappearing pleasures of the late 20th century...
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Old 08.11.2007, 10:10
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Re: Why Don't the Swiss Stagger Their Lunch Break?

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Yesterday, I needed something from my local Swisscom shop. As I was in the neighbourhood, I decided to drive along there, despite the fact that it was around 13.15. Well, of course, the shop was closed for lunch, and I had to make a second trip in the afternoon, only to find they didn't have what I wanted anyway!

Now I know way back when whenever this topic was raised, the answer would often be "oh, but the Swiss like to get together at lunchtime and eat en famille", but can this commendable attitude still be applied today?
Does everything have to grind to a halt between 12.00 and 14.00?
The question that comes to mind is why weren't you working at 13.15?
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Old 08.11.2007, 10:15
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Re: Why Don't the Swiss Stagger Their Lunch Break?

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The question that comes to mind is why weren't you working at 13.15?

Now that would be telling wouldn't it!
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Old 08.11.2007, 10:18
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Re: Why Don't the Swiss Stagger Their Lunch Break?

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is your local swisscom shop in geneva itself?

This particular branch of Swisscom is in Sierre Suermel.
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Old 08.11.2007, 10:35
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Re: Why Don't the Swiss Stagger Their Lunch Break?

Stores in malls are open throughout lunch.
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Old 08.11.2007, 12:06
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Re: Why Don't the Swiss Stagger Their Lunch Break?

Because restaurant kitchens close at 14.00
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Old 08.11.2007, 12:41
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Re: Why Don't the Swiss Stagger Their Lunch Break?

I kind of like the idea that everyone has lunch together - but I'm always so rubbish that if we have people over we get to the restaurant at 14.01 and they have closed the kitchens... I find that annoying as I've usually convinced everyone where we are going will be good....
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Old 08.11.2007, 16:04
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Re: Why Don't the Swiss Stagger Their Lunch Break?

Because there are no decent pubs near the office...
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Old 09.11.2007, 10:45
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Re: Why Don't the Swiss Stagger Their Lunch Break?

It's very annoying. The main problem with the Lunch Brake, is that I have to go pick up my little brother all the time from school. It's a pain in the behind. For parents also. I find it more practical to keep kids in school with school lunches.
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Old 09.11.2007, 10:56
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Re: Why Don't the Swiss Stagger Their Lunch Break?

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It's very annoying. The main problem with the Lunch Brake, is that I have to go pick up my little brother all the time from school. It's a pain in the behind. For parents also. I find it more practical to keep kids in school with school lunches.
Sorry, I should have included 'Canadian' in my post above. But you have it right - it should be a lunch brake rather than a break...
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Old 09.11.2007, 20:13
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Re: Why Don't the Swiss Stagger Their Lunch Break?

Some places have a Mittagstisch for the kids, if there isn't one, organise one.

I can tell I'm Swiss when I get really aggravated about people calling our office between 12 and 13 and wanting really urgent replies. It's lunch. Nobody is here. I told you that last week. And the week before. Idiot.

Same thing about people calling after 21.30, I always think it must be some dire emergency to warrant disturbing my "Feierabend".

Well anyway - in small towns, people are granted a proper lunch break whereas larger places like Zurich keep most of the shops open from 09.00 to 19.00/20.00. I remember the days where it was fairly standard for opening hours to be 9.00-12.00 and 13.30-18.30 during the week and 9.00-15.00/16.00 on Saturdays practically everywhere. And no Shopville either...
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Old 09.11.2007, 21:09
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Re: Why Don't the Swiss Stagger Their Lunch Break?

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Well anyway - in small towns, people are granted a proper lunch break whereas larger places like Zurich keep most of the shops open from 09.00 to 19.00/20.00. I remember the days where it was fairly standard for opening hours to be 9.00-12.00 and 13.30-18.30 during the week and 9.00-15.00/16.00 on Saturdays practically everywhere. And no Shopville either...
If i remember right in the early 90es the Coop was shut on mondays and the Migros on Tuesdays (or the other way around).
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Old 10.11.2007, 11:11
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Re: Why Don't the Swiss Stagger Their Lunch Break?

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If i remember right in the early 90es the Coop was shut on mondays and the Migros on Tuesdays (or the other way around).

The Migros (and some other shops) were closed on Monday mornings, and the Co-op closed on Tuesday afternoons.
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Old 10.11.2007, 11:26
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Re: Why Don't the Swiss Stagger Their Lunch Break?

Why didn't you phone first, this would have established that the shop was going to be closed and that it didn't have what you wanted anyway? Call me old-fashioned but surely God gave us phones so we could spend less time warming up the planet, and have more time to make children in our lunch hours..........?
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Old 10.11.2007, 12:20
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Re: Why Don't the Swiss Stagger Their Lunch Break?

I dunno - I'm really not a social eater at all. I also end up working through most of my lunch break (which kind of excuses me coming in an hour late each morning), not because I'm a workaholic, or because my work is so high-pressure and deathly important that it must be completed quickly, but mainly because I don't enjoy sitting around for two hours not doing much. I'd rather have the hour with my family in the morning and take a shorter lunch break.
I'm just strange, I guess. There was a patch where one of the other researchers always came to the office at lunch time and spoke at great length about whatever mindlessly-boring thing she'd been doing while I was trying to shovel food into my face and after that I've always made excuses for being anti-social...
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Old 10.11.2007, 16:33
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Re: Why Don't the Swiss Stagger Their Lunch Break?

Even after 4+ months in Zurich, I still get really anxious at the end of lunch at work. Everyone lingers, drinking coffee, while I am dying to leave and go back to work yet don't want to be the American jerk that hates company...Then again, that's my one complaint about working here, so I can deal.
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