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  #201  
Old 20.08.2012, 18:24
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

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I don't understand how come that so many clueless foreigners (or ex foreigners?) after so many years (you being in CH since 2010, right?) have so little knowledge about local habits and the language that they don't even understand a simple utterance from normal everyday people in the supermarket.

dont have little knowledge, i know they have no respect for other people, just pondered why.
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How do you know, if you don’t understand? Apparently your German is not enough after 2 years, so it would have been fair to ask the lady for further explanation, if you feel you do not understand and/or if you fear that something went wrong and it's so important for you.


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Apologies, I havent learned fluent German in 2 years, I rarely speak it. I work with Americans, my flat mate is German but speaks English all the time, my work is all American based, I am English, all my Swiss friends speak English. I am lucky English is the chosen the language, unlucky when it comes to the little quips people make in supermarkets if at all to ignore your presence. I'll just shout NEIN to whatever it is next time in anycase, and do what I did in london.....drag them back behind me.
Just because you live in your self-chosen expat ghetto you shift your lack in responsability towards the society? Odd …

P.S. I'm aware that there are more serious matters in a person's life. However, life quality imho is not only defined by family, friends, job and administration, but also by everyday treatment (you do have some point there) and daily communication with persons one does not know very well - call it general respect or whatever. And consider that Switzerland does not really need you, but that it's you to need Switzerland, at least for your life in this country.


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Oh, and 'Since 2010' is not 'such a long time'.
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Well the point is not that somebody is unwilling of any integration in a local culture (what could seem to be the case - and one might even go further assuming that one gets corrupt by the common expat crap having a better income than in the own sh**y home country on the one hand, however for real in search of the own home culture on the other) - and again this is a free country so one can handle this at convenience,

but that a person is not even able to assume that common everyday misunderstandings might be due to own lacks in those efforts.

If I have no clue about what the lady was stuttering I have exactly 3 possibilities: 1. I acknowledge my own incompetence and start maybe to develop some language skills, 2. I simply ask the lady what she meant or make her understand that I am the one that does not understand or 3. I ignore it and smile and don't care at all and not being a whimp complaining all day long.


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But e.g. customer service / restaurants / hotels etc, I still have yet to find a country where I have been so badly treated (on average)...a lot of work to be done there!
Might be, but apart from the fact that the proportion of foreigners in those sectors is high (i.e. it cannot be only the Swiss to provide bad service),

the concept of service itself depends on cultural assets. What a person defines as a service in the US or in the Gulf states might be considered as crap in Europe and viceversa.
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  #202  
Old 20.08.2012, 18:34
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

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How do you know if you don’t understand? Apparently your German is not enough after 2 years (what for myself would mean a heavy defeat), so it would have been fair to ask the lady, if you feel you do not understand.

Whats their to understand about not waiting in line? When is it ever acceptable to do that in any culture? I dont need to know German, or any language to know that anyone before me, patiently waiting, is erm, before me.



Just because you live in your self-chosen expat ghetto you shift your lack in responsability towards the society? Odd …

What lack in responsibiltiy? Did you miss the bit where I afford others the respect and courtesy I afford all human beings. With the exception of not speaking perfect German. I dont need to speak German, it doesnt effect my life. Most of the things, if not all, aside from the very recent example, are not to do with communication, they are ignorance of the people around you. No words are spoken.

P.S. I'm aware that there are more serious matters in a person's life. However, life quality imho is not only defined by family, friends, job and administration, but also by everyday treatment (you do have some point there) and daily communication with persons one does not know very well - call it general respect or whatever. And consider that Switzerland does not really need you, but that it's you to need Switzerland, at least for your life in this country.

Well thats where you are wrong. Switzerland do need me, and I do not need them, I chose them, my skills are transferable wherever I go. Switzerland do not have enough people if any that do what I do.



Well the point is not that somebody is unwilling of any integration in a local culture (what could seem to be the case - and one might even go further assuming that one gets corrupt by the common expat crap having a better income than in the own sh**y home country on the one hand, however for real in search of the own home culture on the other) - and again this is a free country so one can handle this at convenience,

but that a person is not even able to assume that common everyday misunderstandings might be due to own lacks in those efforts.

If I have no clue about what the lady was stuttering I have exactly 3 possibilities: 1. I acknowledge my own incompetence and start maybe to develop some language skills, 2. I simply ask the lady what she meant or make her understand that I am the one that does not understand or 3. I ignore it and smile and don't care at all and not being a whimp complaining all day long.

Not really understanding the point are you. This was merely a recent example whereby instead of just pushing in front like a lot of people do, she tried to make an excuse for it. Whether I understood it or not, no excuse is valid. Wait like most normal people do, except not here, free for all a lot of the time. It doesnt matter what she said? Can I go infront of you ? NO. Are you standing in line? ER well clearly. I am in rush do you mind? Arent we all dear. Its not difficult. I dont need to ask the lady what she meant, she can stand behind me and wait her turn, if she wants push with any old excuse none it will sell. I dont care. I generally do ignore it, but it happens so much it annoy me. So now I act on it, people get dragged back, barged out the way, put back in line, etc etc. Step by step, people will realise. Rarely this is a problem, as they dont like confrontation and they know they have been a rude ass by trying to get away with something.




Might be, but apart from the fact that the proportion of foreigners in those sectors are high (i.e. it cannot be only the Swiss to provide bad service),

the concept of service itself depends on cultural assets. What a person defines as a service in the US or in the Gulf states might be considered as crap in Europe and viceversa.

The Swiss even admit their customer service is poor, why even argue a point that they do concede at least.

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  #203  
Old 20.08.2012, 18:47
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

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...Whats their to understand about not waiting in line? When is it ever acceptable to do that in any culture? I dont need to know German, or any language to know that anyone before me, patiently waiting, is erm, before me.
...
You have to know good German if you want to gain a position of understanding in the Swiss German speaking part of CH. Otherwise you will always remain in a state of a clueless alien.

P.S. Common sense in every region of the world.
That's why children learn to speak.
If there were no value added, they wouldn't.

In the concrete case you could have simply asked what was going on instead of making it a state affaire.


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I dont need to speak German, it doesnt effect my life. Most of the things, if not all, aside from the very recent example, are not to do with communication, they are ignorance of the people around you. No words are spoken.
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Because you were not able to speak and to ask, besides - as stated above - that you weren't able to understand what the lady was saying.


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Switzerland do need me, and I do not need them, I chose them, my skills are transferable wherever I go. Switzerland do not have enough people if any that do what I do.
If this was a joke, more power to you. If not, the problem lies there.




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This was merely a recent example whereby instead of just pushing in front like a lot of people do, she tried to make an excuse for it. Whether I understood it or not, no excuse is valid.
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Again: Your first error is that it's due to your lack in German that you do still not have any clue what was happening.

The second is that you assume the lady's behavior somehow is representative of all Swiss (you know them all?).


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The Swiss even admit their customer service is poor, ...
Some do. Some are right. Others are not.

That's life.
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  #204  
Old 20.08.2012, 18:50
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

It's time to admit and accept that JordanBarr doesn't need to actually make any communicative contact to gain insight in people's mind and mindset. It's a talent.
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  #205  
Old 20.08.2012, 19:44
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

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You have to know good German if you want to gain a position of understanding in the Swiss German speaking part of CH. Otherwise you will always remain in a state of a clueless alien.

No I dont. Again, this is not a communication issue. I manage to order my food, joke with my local shop keeper and petrol station, who always treat my dog. I manage to do my job, correspond with colleagues etc etc.

P.S. Common sense in every region of the world.
That's why children learn to speak.
If there were no value added, they wouldn't.

In the concrete case you could have simply asked what was going on instead of making it a state affaire.

It was clear what was going in. She didnt want to que, as a lot of people dont. Instead of just pushing ahead, she muttered, I assume some excuse. You are not quite getting the point that the excuse does not matter. Anyway, you are merely focusing on the one recent example other than the fact this is fairly common place here.



Because you were not able to speak and to ask, besides - as stated above - that you weren't able to understand what the lady was saying.

Again, doest matter. No need to understand, she wanted to push in front. Atleast she tried to come up with an excuse you could say, but what excuse is valid? None, in my opinion.

If this was a joke, more power to you. If not, the problem lies there.

No joke. No problem. Fact of matter is, Switzerland have to deal with US tax issue, Swiss people do not know US tax, Swiss people employ Americans, and have many issues with their banks. They need people like me. They do not learn it at school. Simples



Again: Your first error is that it's due to your lack in German that you do still not have any clue what was happening.

Again, I do, it is not a communication issue asdie from the one example you keep focusing on where the woman today actually tried to justify it. It is more common that it just happens.

The second is that you assume the lady's behavior somehow is representative of all Swiss (you know them all?).

Again, not all, I have already said this, but it is very very common. I am not the only one notices it. Its not all about shopping either. ITs various other things if you had read and understood the thread.


Some do. Some are right. Others are not.

That's life.

Why do I have to keep repeating myself
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  #206  
Old 20.08.2012, 19:54
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

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joke with my local shop keeper and petrol station, who always treat my dog
Oh, do they belong to what you call swiss culture?
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  #207  
Old 20.08.2012, 20:45
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

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Oh, do they belong to what you call swiss culture?
If I understand you correctly, are they Swiss? Yes.

I assume you are trying to make the implication that aha it's not all Swiss, which I have conceded again and again etc etc, it's just very common here (topic ) etc etc no I haven't caveated every post with "sorry I don't mean all, buts it's very common here, observed by most to a high degree" etc etc etcB
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  #208  
Old 20.08.2012, 20:47
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

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I've had it happen to me quite a few times. And done the reverse myself, of course. To me it seems a normal part of the courteous Swiss society I appear to live in. I sometimes feel like half the posters here must be living in some sort of parallel universe, which only overlaps the 'real' one, i.e. mine, via this forum.

It's about the only way some peoples' experiences could make any sense to me.
You took the words out of my mouth. You even used the same phrase -- "parallel universe" -- that I was going to use. People have let me in front of them at the supermarket checkout several times, and I can remember at least twice I've done the same. Result? Smiles and nods and warm inner glows all round!

Please. Why in heaven's name would someone being offered this courtesy look at you like you were "asking them to jump in front of traffic"? Explain.
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  #209  
Old 20.08.2012, 20:47
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

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It's time to admit and accept that JordanBarr doesn't need to actually make any communicative contact to gain insight in people's mind and mindset. It's a talent.
Theres a saying that goes and applies to what this thread is about:

"actions speak louder than words"
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  #210  
Old 20.08.2012, 20:52
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

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You took the words out of my mouth. You even used the same phrase -- "parallel universe" -- that I was going to use. People have let me in front of them at the supermarket checkout several times, and I can remember at least twice I've done the same. Result? Smiles and nods and warm inner glows all round!

Please. Why in heaven's name would someone being offered this courtesy look at you like you were "asking them to jump in front of traffic"? Explain.
Are you getting lost in the assumption I have an issue with people offering a place in que due to their item total? It seems so.

I have never been offered a place myself, sure it happens and there have been times when I have offered people a place when I know I have a hefty amount more.

There's a difference though in just taking that liberty upon oneself, which seems very common, or asking and proceeding without permission. The asking has only happened once, and I didn't give permission but they proceeded anyway. I think that's the crux you are missing
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  #211  
Old 20.08.2012, 21:08
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

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Are you getting lost in the assumption I have an issue with people offering a place in que due to their item total? It seems so.

I have never been offered a place myself, sure it happens and there have been times when I have offered people a place when I know I have a hefty amount more.

There's a difference though in just taking that liberty upon oneself, which seems very common, or asking and proceeding without permission. The asking has only happened once, and I didn't give permission but they proceeded anyway. I think that's the crux you are missing
The crux I am missing, and that I want you to consider and explain, is why your days are filled with snarling Swiss people muttering unintelligibly as they batter you in the supermarket, an experience apparently not shared by anyone else?

Serious question: what supermarket are you talking about exactly? I need to go and see this for myself. Is it next to a drama school? Could it be some sort of performance art project you are experiencing?
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  #212  
Old 20.08.2012, 21:12
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

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Theres a saying that goes and applies to what this thread is about:"actions speak louder than words"
There are many sayings... among others: In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
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Old 20.08.2012, 22:56
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

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Invariably, I get introduced as "Tom the American" (as no-one can fathom the roots of my accent), at which point I always point out "ex-American"

But only by Italians, never by Swiss.

Hell, my wife thinks that my mother tongue is "Americano", even when spoken by Richard Burton!

Tom
"Tom il Americano" is a clear compliment you ought to appreciate !
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  #214  
Old 20.08.2012, 23:03
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

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You do? Do you know what really goes into bratwurscht? (And yes, I do know what goes into black pudding and it is a lot more natural than the aforementioned.

Absolutely! OMG, I'm drooling now
Yes ! bone fragment, intestine ,eyes,hooves,hair, saw dust ,cleanex etc etc. the secert is how to make it tasty
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Old 20.08.2012, 23:10
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

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Nearly. There's a lot in a tap.

But in brief it means,

"Excuse me. You look like a polite young man. I'm 83, you know. So anyway, I've only got a few essentials. Do you mind if I go first. Then I've got to get to my cat. He's 17, you know. I see that you've not got much either, but let's face it, you've got longer to live. I'm 83, you know. And my cat, he's 17. He's called Rudi. After my uncle Rudi. He died in 1978. He was 92, you know, and worked every day of his life. So anyway, I'm in front of you now, so I might as well put my heavy things on the conveyor thing. We didn't have them when I was your age. Just a wooden counter at Rudi's store. Not my uncle Rudi, mind. Rudi was the local grocer. Died when he got run over by a tram. Wasn't used to them, you see. My cat's called Rudi too. He's 17, you know. Did I mention that I'm 83?"
Mum went downtown twice or three times per week until age 87. Then had an accident at age 88, but I went to places with her when she was 88/89/90, but at age 90, the show was over

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Old 20.08.2012, 23:26
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

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If I understand you correctly, are they Swiss? Yes.

I assume you are trying to make the implication that aha it's not all Swiss, which I have conceded again and again etc etc, it's just very common here (topic ) etc etc no I haven't caveated every post with "sorry I don't mean all, buts it's very common here, observed by most to a high degree" etc etc etcB
No, you don't understand correctly. We are speaking about swiss culture which includes everyone living here from my point of view.

All your points have been discussed to death already.

Queing: not a swiss thing. Wish more people would visit GB to get it. If somebody wants to get in front of me without asking I will get really loud. If they want to get on my nerves I can do it better.

Same with escalators. This improved a bit as there are stickers who instruct people on how to use them. It took about 20 years.

Not letting people out of trains/busses etc: This is relatively new. It started like ten years ago and got worse. The topic is widely discussed in the media and most of the people are not happy with it. How do I cope with it: If they don't let me out I don't let them in. Easy and amusing, just standing in the middle of the door watching them get nervous.

As far as I can see there is a trend in almost the whole western world. It lacks of empathy.

I encountered much things that where illogical and annoying in other parts of the world. Never ever I felt the urge to ask the question if their society is the rudest. Because you can't measure it and it's a personal viewpoint.

The frequency of abuse you suffer is for some of us just unbelievable. Either you making some of it up or you are sometimes part of the problem.
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Old 20.08.2012, 23:47
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

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The frequency of abuse you suffer is for some of us just unbelievable.
Pick and choose is a very human thing to do.
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Old 21.08.2012, 00:15
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

I haven’t read the whole thread (got bored around the middle ) but I want to tell you about what happened to me today, re Swiss manners. I was standing on platform 51 at the main station, drinking my water, when I saw an SBB conductor passing me in full uniform. He stopped, smiled and said quite loudly: Prost! Zum Wohl! All the people waiting for the train looked at me and smiled.
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Old 22.08.2012, 01:45
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

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No, you don't understand correctly. We are speaking about swiss culture which includes everyone living here from my point of view.

All your points have been discussed to death already.

Queing: not a swiss thing. Wish more people would visit GB to get it. If somebody wants to get in front of me without asking I will get really loud. If they want to get on my nerves I can do it better.

Same with escalators. This improved a bit as there are stickers who instruct people on how to use them. It took about 20 years.

Not letting people out of trains/busses etc: This is relatively new. It started like ten years ago and got worse. The topic is widely discussed in the media and most of the people are not happy with it. How do I cope with it: If they don't let me out I don't let them in. Easy and amusing, just standing in the middle of the door watching them get nervous.

As far as I can see there is a trend in almost the whole western world. It lacks of empathy.

I encountered much things that where illogical and annoying in other parts of the world. Never ever I felt the urge to ask the question if their society is the rudest. Because you can't measure it and it's a personal viewpoint.

The frequency of abuse you suffer is for some of us just unbelievable. Either you making some of it up or you are sometimes part of the problem.
I never mentioned I suffered abuse, was just raising a common observation that many other forum members, friends, colleagues, visiting friends and family observe and wondered what other people's experiences were and if they differed what cultures you found rude. No big deal.

But thanks for your contribution all the same.
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Old 22.08.2012, 10:06
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Re: Is Swiss culture the rudest you have encountered?

I'd have to say that Internet Forum culture is the rudest I've encountered.

By a long way.
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