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Old 13.03.2008, 18:42
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Bad experience on Tram !

So we are leaving switzerland next month - and boy did one of the local tram drivers make me feel glad about that today!
Heres the story - I have been taking tram 11 practically everyday - and with my baby for the last 8 months. Till today I have been getting on the newer(with no steps) tram at the entrance which has a disabled sign on it - this is where there is a lot of free space and people stand here - not to mention there are always prams there - big ones, small ones, super big creche ones...Indeed I always thought thats where people with prams are supposed to stand - agreed it has the disabled sign on the door but it doesnt say no prams allowed anywhere...ok to get to my experience today...
I get on the tram at Burgweis and to my horror the driver comes charging out of his cabin ,right at me and then starts to shout (yes shout!!) at the top of his voice! I am stunned - not to mention I do not understand too much German - I get something about the Kinderwagon...still in shock I tell him that I dont speak German...and he shrugs his shoulders in disgust (!!!!) and walks away!!!
The people around me also look shocked but none of them volunteers to help explain - so I look around and ask if anyone speaks english and can explain to me what grave crime I have commited - and one lady volunteers that the driver said he cannot drive if I have the pram there...really???
Now the thing is if indeed prams are not allowed at that spot why do so many people get away with it? Why has no other driver pointed it out? Why is it not written somewhere? And most importantly what right does a tram driver have to shout at one of the passengers?
Did I mention I am a proudly brown Indian..
In any case I have written a complaint to zvv and hope that I get some sort of explanation/apology!
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Old 13.03.2008, 18:47
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Re: Bad experience on Tram !

your dignity and letter writing suggest that you've dealt with this situation better than he has. So well done.

The trams are hardly overwhelmed with disabled people (wheelchairs especially) so why's he so uptight? I'd simply carry on using that access with the pushchair - after all, many won't help you on and off with it!!
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Old 13.03.2008, 19:05
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Re: Bad experience on Tram !

Hi

I am sorry to hear about your bad experience. I also catch tram 11 almost daily, with a preschooler in a stroller. You are right sometimes it is packed with prams of all descriptions, but I have never had a problem apart from jostling for a position sometimes. Sounds like the driver was having a bad day.
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Old 13.03.2008, 19:20
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Re: Bad experience on Tram !

hi

I can understand how humiliated we feel when we dont understand the laungage and we generally go by the signboards or copy what other fellow ppl around do and we think that is the right way and do most of the jobs(travelling, shopping etc)..... thats the plight of us foreginers.

Good that u complained about it . I too always have the feeling of insecurity living here as i dont understand nor speak Swiss german . But i feel we r here for short term and we will go back....so its just a phase....
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Old 13.03.2008, 19:55
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Re: Bad experience on Tram !

Thanks for understanding people - a few kind ( and polite!) words were what I needed most just now
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Old 13.03.2008, 20:51
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Re: Bad experience on Tram !

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Thanks for understanding people - a few kind ( and polite!) words were what I needed most just now
What a healthy attitude! You wont just survive, you'll flourish and enjoy.
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Old 13.03.2008, 21:15
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Re: Bad experience on Tram !

Hi Arundhi

"The people around me also look shocked but none of them volunteers to help explain" is a typical Swiss response I find they dont usually like to get involved.

Did you state in your complaint which tram you were on and when? Maybe he was having bad day but its not excuse for shouting and he could have said/explained it nicely. Thats why I think its important vbz knows which driver it was so he gets a good telling off -for next time.

Sorry to hear about your bad experience and hope you get apology you deserve
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Old 13.03.2008, 21:42
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Re: Bad experience on Tram !

It's a funny business with Zurich male tram drivers. By the way, you can always tell which it is without looking simply by the way they drive.

Some years ago when you couldn't enter by the front door by the driver (the button on the outside wouldn't open it) I ran up to catch the tram as it was already at the stop.

The front door opened and I was about to get in when I saw the driver was coming out. He was changing shifts with a fresh driver. So I stepped back in true British style to him out. But instead he stood there shouted at me in Swiss-German and pointing to the doors further down the tram.

This rather annoyed me and I stood an indicated with a sweep of an arm that he should dismount the tram and then I could get in.

To no avail: he shouted all the more. So I asked "who's the customer here?" He didn't get it, but was visibly shocked to be addressed in English. I then repeated it in German. This drove him crazy.

I could see his replacement driver was getting embarrassed and worst still, behind schedule.

Eventually he refused to let the tram go until I got in at another door. This I did. He dismounted and glared under a dark cloud as the tram finally pulled off. I gave him the finger and he started running after the tram to great laughter in the tram. He gave up after about 20 meters.

The moral: as the highest paid tram drivers on the planet, they have delusions of grandeur. Ignore them, they are not happy...
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Old 13.03.2008, 23:12
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Re: Bad experience on Tram !

It must be a Zürich thing. Basel tram drivers are quite a courteous bunch - and with a couple of exceptions the locals are generally helpful whenever I've boarded a tram with the pushchair. Indeed I've tram drivers open the doors if they see me running to to catch the tram.

Cheers,
Nick
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Old 13.03.2008, 23:21
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Re: Bad experience on Tram !

Hi, Arundhini
When I am in such a situation, I always think that it must be a misunderstanding, but I am simply at a loss to understand what he could have misunderstood about you standing right where you should have been standing. So, you did the right thing complaining - I just wish you did not have to.

As regards the passengers, I had a somewhat different experience, last summer. There was a woman sitting close to me who was obviously not quite - well, what is the diplomatic term? Well-adjusted? She was probably from an insane asylum. Anyway, she started ranting about me wearing a black skirt "who would wear a black skirt, that's idiotic in summer," and so on and so on. As it was obvious that her real problem was her head and not my skirt, I just ignored her, even though she became quite loud and aggressive. But then, people all around me started telling her kindly to leave me alone and to mind her own business, smiling Sat me and asking me if I was alright.

I just thought I should share this positive story, too.
Keep smiling
Idgie
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Old 14.03.2008, 07:23
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Re: Bad experience on Tram !

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It must be a Zürich thing. Basel tram drivers are quite a courteous bunch - and with a couple of exceptions the locals are generally helpful whenever I've boarded a tram with the pushchair. Indeed I've tram drivers open the doors if they see me running to to catch the tram.

Cheers,
Nick
its a 50-50 here in Bern.

Quite often you can see the guy looking at you in his wing mirror refusing to open the doors .... grrrr
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Old 14.03.2008, 08:16
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Re: Bad experience on Tram !

Sorry to hear of your bad experience ... I hope you will leave Switzerland with other fond memories ...
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Old 14.03.2008, 08:21
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Re: Bad experience on Tram !

Look on the bright side, you are leaving soon and you'll be able to put it all behind you. Not all tram drivers are like that, we have one who lives in our flats and he is a complete darling (hope he wasn't your nasty one who turns into evil twin once he gets his uniform on)
Put it into a bubble and let it blow away - our daughters advice for everything nasty or upsetting
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Old 14.03.2008, 09:15
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Re: Bad experience on Tram !

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Thanks for understanding people - a few kind ( and polite!) words were what I needed most just now
You handled it well. Just realize, every day, you will have an encounter with one idiot. Sounds like that was your idiot of the day.

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Old 14.03.2008, 09:29
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Re: Bad experience on Tram !

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Put it into a bubble and let it blow away - our daughters advice for everything nasty or upsetting
That is SO cool. I will put this into practice immediately. Your daughter is six, isn't she (you mention her in earlier posts)? Wise words from one so young!
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Old 14.03.2008, 09:53
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Re: Bad experience on Tram !

Good morning all you nice people - I definitely will not allow this memory to mar my otherwise pleasant stay here - way too many people (including tram passengers and bus/taxi drivers...) have been helpful to me to let that happen!! And ya - my trouble bubble is on its way far away Very wise words indeed!
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Old 14.03.2008, 11:23
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Re: Bad experience on Tram !

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Eventually he refused to let the tram go until I got in at another door. This I did. He dismounted and glared under a dark cloud as the tram finally pulled off. I gave him the finger and he started running after the tram to great laughter in the tram. He gave up after about 20 meters....
Ha ha ha absolutely brilliant AdFab!! I would have paid money to see this. Were you worried for those 20 metres though??
To be honest though i've never had a bad experience on the trams in Zurich. Just put it down to one total idiot trying to assert himself. I know the part of the tram you are speaking about and i've stood there myself loaded down with ikea packed furniture etc. I always see families with prams etc there too and cannot see any reason why someone should object to it....

Anyways i hope it won't spoil your memories of Zurich and just pretend you gave him the finger like AdFab did
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Old 14.03.2008, 11:27
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Re: Bad experience on Tram !

He certainly made himself look like a fool.

I find there is a big difference between tram drivers and bus drivers - bus drives tend to be nice, they even wait for you when running for a bus. Tram drivers wait until your hand touches the door and then pull away laughing like maniacs on dope.
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Old 14.03.2008, 11:28
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Re: Bad experience on Tram !

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hi

Good that u complained about it . I too always have the feeling of insecurity living here as i dont understand nor speak Swiss german . But i feel we r here for short term and we will go back....so its just a phase....
The 'workers' here are so unpredictable, some very nice & some unbelievably rude (& stupid) & some just doing what they get paid to do without any fuss. In my opinion those that work in the public domain also have a responsibility towards the impression Swiss people give in general, especially as this incident occurred in Zurich which is Switzerlands window on the world.

You never know what you might get but because of a few (too many) I find it easier to have a nonchalant attitude to them all, not rude but I like to give the impression that I am not someone who will take any rubbish from them, foreigner or not. I think though you as a responsible mother backing down & complaining later is the right thing to do. It's not only the impression you may give to the general public & these idiot drivers but also to your own child & other children.

Remember, the companies which own the transport systems (& rail systems) have drivers like these working for them & others who will turn a blind eye to people (or just don't notice) doing drugs/smoking/drinking on their modes of transport at varying times but if they look like trouble will do nothing about it.

I myself try not to forget to arm myself with my mobile 'phone to film these incidents & therefore am backed up by some serious footage to reinforce my complaint if I make one & if I'm feeling particularly creative make a short movie about anger (with music) on my computer to entertain the youtube enthusiasts

Collectively, whoever & wherever we are in Switzerland as foreigners (& proud to be in these type of cases), it is fair to say, we've seen it all!
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Old 14.03.2008, 11:43
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Re: Bad experience on Tram !

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The 'workers' here are so unpredictable, some very nice & some unbelievably rude (& stupid) & some just doing what they get paid to do without any fuss. In my opinion those that work in the public domain also have a responsibility towards the impression Swiss people give in general, especially as this incident occurred in Zurich which is Switzerlands window on the world.
Well, it's refreshing to know that Switzerland is pretty much the same as any other country in the developed world! A handful of crabby workers and "jobsworths" along with a majority of decent ones.

Where I grew up in the UK there were stupid, petty bus drivers and there were those that would really help anyone in difficulty with a smile and a friendly word.

Unpleasant and hateful as these incidents might be that the OP experienced, it makes you appreciative of all the good stuff that goes on, too. I would rather live here than in some soppy Disney-type utopia where everyone is painfully sweet to each other 100% of the time. Bleugh!

Last edited by Sandgrounder; 14.03.2008 at 12:13.
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