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  #61  
Old 07.01.2015, 13:13
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Re: Swiss people, what to know (by a Swiss)

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Yeah, all very terrible, they even employ foreigners so i hear,
Probably most of the forum members here
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  #62  
Old 07.01.2015, 14:20
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Re: Swiss people, what to know (by a Swiss)

The Good:

Just realized that I don't even fullfil the good points.
Will ask my mother if she had an affair with an Englishman 46 years ago...
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  #63  
Old 07.01.2015, 14:56
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Re: Swiss people, what to know (by a Swiss)

I didn't even read your lists. I have probably lived here longer than you are alive.

I just sort of fit in. Perhaps my thoughts and thinkings are more Swiss than Brit. But i like it that way. And my Swiss friends are from all over - i don't think even one of them is a true Swiss from two Swiss born parents. Lot's of mixes.
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  #64  
Old 07.01.2015, 15:49
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Re: Swiss people, what to know (by a Swiss)

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Switzerland is not as Nature Friendly as people think; I have found that most people here (Swiss and foreigners) are completely ignorant about environmental issues or just turn a blind eye to problems. Here are some of my pet hates:

1. Nespresso coffee and tea capsules in every workplace (and most are not recycled)

2. Glass bottles are smashed or trashed rather than cleaned and reused

3. People who take long distance vacations all over the world with little though to global warming and then lecture me about drinking from a plastic bottle

4. Many super evil companies with terrible environmental records are based here.
you bring good points and by the way, I love your country ! But then again, where do you find in the world people that pick up dirt on the floor and put it in the trash? Swiss people in general are extremely nature friendly, but there are exceptions and things are getting worse. In fact, there is debate now on making severe monetary penalties for littering.
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  #65  
Old 07.01.2015, 15:52
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Re: Swiss people, what to know (by a Swiss)

I found the OPs list interesting. A little sad, I thought, since I've met with wonderful Swiss people, too. Yet some of the points would have helped me, when I first arrived.

With one aspect I disagree totally: the politeness of government officials and the police. I have found them - with few exceptions, by and large - to be not just polite but also genuinely helpful, sometimes even referring me to a different department if they are not in charge of my question, and even ready to look up the address and opening hours for me.

A few times, when I've made an enquiry from the "wrong" government department, the person there has even phoned around on my behalf, to find out the "right" office, and then called me back to give me the name and direct telephone number of the person who is now informed of my needs and awaiting my question. I think that is amazing and wonderful!

As I write this, I've been remembering really efficient dealings with polite, helpful officials in the police, the tax office, various social security offices, the local municipality, population registry, deaths, cemetary, free legal aid, courts, traffic officials and education authorities.

Okay, occasionally one meets a horrible, rude, stubborn, uncaring bureaucrat.... but then I just phone back or go by again on another day, and most likely get to deal with someone else in that office.

Before I read this thread, I posted elsewhere:
"The Swiss culture esteems discretion, hard work, determination, politeness, punctuality, absolute reliability, grooming, modesty, solidity and a firm handshake. It shuns showiness, anything brash or flashy or pushy, drama, haughtiness or the mentality of entitlement.

Of course, there are different yardsticks of when one is determined to have demonstrated those esteemed or despised attributes. By having taken on a job with a long commute, for example, a candidate (for a more suitable job, later) shows that she was not too proud to knuckle down and do the serious, determined thing. I sometimes think that is it this aspect (besides all the benefits of cultural integration) that pleases the Swiss so very much, whenever immigrants are respectful and hardworking enough to make the effort to learn German."
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  #66  
Old 07.01.2015, 16:29
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Re: Swiss people, what to know (by a Swiss)

What I find a bit eerie about the Swiss is their tendency to say "Gruezi" (hello) without smiling.

Soon after I moved here, my mother asked me if the Swiss were friendly. I thought about it a bit and replied: "Well, they're not friendly. But they're not unfriendly.... It's like being said hello to, without a smile to accompany it."

Anyways, while I do try not to generalize, I can't deny that, after reading through this thread, I have come to realize that much of my Swiss husband's behavior is (apparently) simply due to his cultural upbringing.
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  #67  
Old 07.01.2015, 16:36
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Re: Swiss people, what to know (by a Swiss)

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With one aspect I disagree totally: the politeness of government officials and the police. I have found them - with few exceptions, by and large - to be not just polite but also genuinely helpful, sometimes even referring me to a different department if they are not in charge of my question, and even ready to look up the address and opening hours for me.
Indeed, even the people at the DMV, which is a refreshing change from the US.

Tom
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  #68  
Old 07.01.2015, 17:02
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Re: Swiss people, what to know (by a Swiss)

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Indeed, even the people at the DMV, which is a refreshing change from the US.

Tom


Tom, thanks. What is the DMV, please?
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  #69  
Old 07.01.2015, 17:16
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Re: Swiss people, what to know (by a Swiss)

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Tom, thanks. What is the DMV, please?
Department of Motor Vehicles.

Tom
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Old 07.01.2015, 17:53
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Re: Swiss people, what to know (by a Swiss)

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What I find a bit eerie about the Swiss is their tendency to say "Gruezi" (hello) without smiling.

Soon after I moved here, my mother asked me if the Swiss were friendly. I thought about it a bit and replied: "Well, they're not friendly. But they're not unfriendly.... It's like being said hello to, without a smile to accompany it."

Anyways, while I do try not to generalize, I can't deny that, after reading through this thread, I have come to realize that much of my Swiss husband's behavior is (apparently) simply due to his cultural upbringing.
Because a smile – as anything else – has a (slighty) different meaning from culture to culture. There are no precise universialities!

For me, as a Swiss, or better, European, it is always (to some extend) intimitating/embarrassing to get constantly smiled at by US-americans. I then always have the impression that, either, they intend to flirt with me, or they just made a joke, but I totally missed it, or I slept with them, but I cannot really remember them!

With facial expressions (or any kind of body language) it is comparable to words: from context to context, and especially from culture to culture, they can have different meanings, sometimes even important ones!

I always thought that especially US-americans particularly should be aware of this mutlicultural fundamental truth, but probably this is only true for New Yorkers (since there are so many people from different cultures around on the same spot), and also only to some extend. :-( But sometimes, especially "recently" I learned rather the opposite impression about US-americans. :-((
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Either you are honest or polite, but you can not be both at the same time, since they are exclusive attitudes.

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Old 07.01.2015, 17:57
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Re: Swiss people, what to know (by a Swiss)

One more bad! Smoke too much!

One more good! Drink too much!
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  #72  
Old 07.01.2015, 18:16
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Re: Swiss people, what to know (by a Swiss)

The OP wishes to be born in Bangladesh or Pakistan ,if not I wish
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  #73  
Old 09.01.2015, 11:11
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Re: Swiss people, what to know (by a Swiss)

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But not to be confused with Ueli, which is a shortened form of Hans-Ulrich, I believe.
That would be Hansueli, Ueli is for Ulrich.

I've never seen that, but I think it should actually be written Uëli as both the "u" and the "e" are pronounced.
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  #74  
Old 09.01.2015, 14:18
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Because a smile – as anything else – has a (slighty) different meaning from culture to culture. There are no precise universialities!

For me, as a Swiss, or better, European, it is always (to some extend) intimitating/embarrassing to get constantly smiled at by US-americans. I then always have the impression that, either, they intend to flirt with me, or they just made a joke, but I totally missed it, or I slept with them, but I cannot really remember them!

With facial expressions (or any kind of body language) it is comparable to words: from context to context, and especially from culture to culture, they can have different meanings, sometimes even important ones!

I always thought that especially US-americans particularly should be aware of this mutlicultural fundamental truth, but probably this is only true for New Yorkers (since there are so many people from different cultures around on the same spot), and also only to some extend. :-( But sometimes, especially "recently" I learned rather the opposite impression about US-americans. :-((

I see this differently, as a Swiss I personally smile when I say hello, and appreciate when people smile at someone. This goes into the psychological aspect of human behavior, it is a form of "show respect" psychologically speaking, among people of western cultures, where in eastern cultures, like Japan and China, it would be an insult to greet someone looking in the face while smiling if you are part of that culture. So I kindly have to say that there is no reason at all, except a personal one, when people in CH do not like to be smiled at. But personal opinions need to be respected, so if I knew in advance that you dislike people smiling, then I would greet you without a smile, but I was still raised to give people a warm greeting, and that involves a small not exaggerated smile. But it is now more and more common to greet people and they straight out ignore you... even when greeting older people, which is kind of strange.

Modification needed with government employees being rude, I wish I could edit text here.

I should have specified more. Yes, you go to your Gemeinde, people will be nice. With the Strassenverkehrsamt DMV, depends. The person at the counter yes, the examiner that tests you in navigating a boat, or driving a vehicle whatever, can be extremely uptight and rude and even after the slightest mistakes in the beginning of an examination be rather unmotivational towards you. This I know for a fact however, because many people in such job positions did not work themselves there, but were hired due to 100% connections and Vitamin B (Vitamin Beziehung/Connections), especially in smaller Kantons, in ZH, GE and BE it is not as bad I heard.

What I wanted to mainly add however is the issue with the police. You are as a CH at least, often treated like a criminal and with a sincere lack of respect, if you do the slightest thing wrong, and if you answer back, or if you ask for the reason why you are not even being greeted and immediately treated like a criminal, you often hear the same answer of them: "So so, werdemer Fräch???" or "so so, someone starting to be rude???".. The US differs completely for example. You are greeted, asked for your documents, nobody is immediately rude at you unless you really did something stupid, but here, the police is immediately rude at the slightest thing. The other day my mother had one stop light not working. Was pulled over, the greeting was nice, but she was then basically told to get it fixed and present it to the Fahrzeugkontrolle within a time period. My mother replied that she apologizes and she wanted to take care of it already yesterday, and that is when the problems began. "What !!!??? You knew this since yesterday... "and the interrogations began, my mother was fined...and this is not a one time example it is always the same....this is also because most of our police officers did not even want to become police officers, many are university drop outs that need work, others used to be electricians etc that want to earn slightly better and have a much better job guarantee (you don't loose your job here so easy in the police and you earn quite good compared to police forces in other countries), so such people pass through tests, get into the police force, but not because they love doing what they are doing, maybe that has something to do with it... but this is a fact, police here are not friendly too many times.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 09.01.2015 at 14:41. Reason: merging successive posts
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  #75  
Old 09.01.2015, 14:44
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Re: Swiss people, what to know (by a Swiss)

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The person at the counter yes, the examiner that tests you in navigating a boat, or driving a vehicle whatever, can be extremely uptight and rude and even after the slightest mistakes in the beginning of an examination be rather unmotivational towards you.

The US differs completely for example.


you are absolutely right about the US, as well, although police there simply say "werdemer tot." it is not stated as a question, however, but rather as a fact.

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Old 09.01.2015, 14:47
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Re: Swiss people, what to know (by a Swiss)

I have had similar experiences with the police in Switzerland (Which I have not had in England nor in Germany) I find them sneaky and down right nasty, and I always answer them very carefully. Even off duty they are a problem: I know English language teachers in Solothurn that refuse to teach them!
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Old 09.01.2015, 16:38
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Re: Swiss people, what to know (by a Swiss)

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What I wanted to mainly add however is the issue with the police. You are as a CH at least, often treated like a criminal and with a sincere lack of respect
Not in my experience.

Tom
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  #78  
Old 09.01.2015, 18:05
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Re: Swiss people, what to know (by a Swiss)

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This I know for a fact however, because many people in such job positions did not work themselves there, but were hired due to 100% connections and Vitamin B (Vitamin Beziehung/Connections), especially in smaller Kantons, in ZH, GE and BE it is not as bad I heard.
.

Okay, maybe my experience is, at least in part, due to being in cities.

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What I wanted to mainly add however is the issue with the police. You are as a CH at least, often treated like a criminal and with a sincere lack of respect, if you do the slightest thing wrong, and if you answer back, or if you ask for the reason why you are not even being greeted and immediately treated like a criminal, you often hear the same answer of them: "So so, werdemer Fräch???" or "so so, someone starting to be rude???".. ....
here, the police is immediately rude at the slightest thing.
.

Only once, ever, in many years here, have I had police be rude to me. I had found a bunch of keys on the pavement, and taken it to hand in at the Police Station. By the way I was dealt with, I felt I was almost being accused of having stolen those keys! In retrospect, after many years, I realised that I had not said, "Grüezi" when I entered the room, as I now know to be polite. So maybe I transgressed, and maybe the poor guy behind the counter was having a lousy day. I wouldn't like to have to do his job.


To counter that single example, I have been part of, and witnessed, many, many respectful, helpful, efficient and sometimes even remarkably kind interventions by the police in Switzerland.


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The other day my mother had one stop light not working. Was pulled over, the greeting was nice, but she was then basically told to get it fixed and present it to the Fahrzeugkontrolle within a time period. My mother replied that she apologizes and she wanted to take care of it already yesterday, and that is when the problems began. "What !!!??? You knew this since yesterday... "and the interrogations began, my mother was fined...
.
Well, that doesn't surprise me. It is against the law to drive a vehicle which is defective. Surely being given just a warning and not a fine for it is could be considered generous and lenient. But if one does so knowingly then, yes, by law a fine is appropriate.


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this is also because most of our police officers did not even want to become police officers, .....
such people pass through tests, get into the police force, but not because they love doing what they are doing, maybe that has something to do with it...

In Zurich, the entrance exams to become a policeman or -woman are demanding. That means one has to bring a certain determination to pass. Whether the police officers then go on to love what they are doing... well, I would imagine, like any other job, it depends in part on how many negative experiences one has along the way. I've had so many good experiences with the police in Swizterland, for which I am truly grateful, that I couldn't agree that they are generally rude of offensive.
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Old 12.01.2015, 10:52
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Re: Swiss people, what to know (by a Swiss)

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In Zurich, the entrance exams to become a policeman or -woman are demanding. That means one has to bring a certain determination to pass. Whether the police officers then go on to love what they are doing... well, I would imagine, like any other job, it depends in part on how many negative experiences one has along the way. I've had so many good experiences with the police in Swizterland, for which I am truly grateful, that I couldn't agree that they are generally rude of offensive.
The entry tests do not require determination in terms of really wanting the job, the tests are basic and any university student that stopped his or her studies will pass with ease. The tests include mostly:

A text is read out loud (an accident report), and you have to write it and have no errors. The text is to the point, nothing advanced.

A Swiss knowledge test is done. What is the biggest lake we have that does not border with other countries. Where is the longest tunnel? What is it called? Name three famous passes, etc. When was CH created? Highschool student knowledge

World knowledge exam: Who is the head at the UN. What is the name of the German chancellor. On top of that, all is multiple choice, same with the above answers.

Maths is 7th-8th grade Stuff. Some percentage calculations, a few Sentence/Sätzli-Aufgaben.

Sport test differs in all Kantons. From 5 km runs and then immediately checking your pulse and Natriumlactat levels, and some places just make a simple back up check without much sports involved as you will do plenty during recruitment school.

the Psychological exams is where it gets many and that can be eventually hard, as in any other profession.

My point? It is not demanding to enter the police force and done with ease with any University student or someone that paid attention in school and kept reading the newspaper on a daily basis, really no rocket science.

I still stand to the fact that police in general if you do something wrong will be extremely rude as soon as your face does not please them. That you felt like they believed you were the thief I can completely relate, whether you greet them or not leading to this is no excuse for such a behavior. After all they can greet you too.
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Old 17.01.2015, 07:10
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Re: Swiss people, what to know (by a Swiss)

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Wolli? Is that you??

No, if it was me it would not be B787 but A350
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