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Old 06.12.2015, 19:57
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Swiss bar staff awareness when serving drinks...

Haven't made a light-hearted complaint thread in a while, and while I love this country to the nth degree, in my years here one of my wee gripes has always been...bar staff.

For some reason, many Swiss bar staff completely lack the ability to keep an eye on who has been waiting at the bar and making a mental queue of who to serve next. It's like, despite their eyes flickering across you multiple times as they make their drinks during the 10 minutes you have been waiting to be served, they have just really only seen you for the first time, and ask "Who is next?" while looking at everyone. This inevitably results in some plonk or plonkette who know full well that they have just got to the bar ordering their drinks before everyone else.

This is such a basic skill for any bar man or woman, and I am so used to it in the UK (or UK pubs in CH) that I find it absolutely baffling that it seems to be such a problem in Switzerland. Add to this a trend for staff to look flustered and service to massively degrade in a bar that is only half or less full, and after a while it genuinely becomes an annoyance.

Anyone else experienced this in Swiss bars, or is it only Zürich that has this problem?
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Old 06.12.2015, 20:03
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Re: Swiss bar staff awareness when serving drinks...

You are suffering from the WASP queue gene. In Switzerland the rule is not survival of the politest, but rather survival of the line jumper. The bar staff are just watching to see who is the Alpha animal.


Yes, it annoys me also.
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Old 06.12.2015, 20:09
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Re: Swiss bar staff awareness when serving drinks...

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You are suffering from the WASP queue gene. In Switzerland the rule is not survival of the politest, but rather survival of the line jumper. The bar staff are just watching to see who is the Alpha animal.


Yes, it annoys me also.
There's a sense of fair play in the U.K. that doesn't exist here. It's the same with serving drinks and getting served.

It's the same when queuing.

Before the Swiss on this forum jump down my throat (again), I ought to add that it's a culture thing and nothing malicious.
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Old 06.12.2015, 20:14
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Re: Swiss bar staff awareness when serving drinks...

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There's a sense of fair play in the U.K. that doesn't exist here. It's the same with serving drinks and getting served.

It's the same when queuing.

Before the Swiss on this forum jump down my throat (again), I ought to add that it's a culture thing and nothing malicious.
This is true. It used to annoy me more than it does now. One gets used to anything....

Having said that, I still cannot bring myself to do it. I'm integrated to a point, but not to THAT point...
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Old 06.12.2015, 20:24
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Re: Swiss bar staff awareness when serving drinks...

I don't line-jump, but after having this happen a couple of times I learned to stand my ground - because otherwise you'll stand there all day. Also, it shocks the heck out of the line-jumper.

I see this behavior at the supermarket too. Most recently some lady was trying to get the butcher to serve her first, and I stepped in front and said, "Nein. Bitte, Ich war hier zuerst." (No. Please, I was here first).

That's probably horrible German and even more horrible Swiss etiquette, but it gets the point across. Never had anyone insist they were first after saying that.
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Old 06.12.2015, 20:35
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Re: Swiss bar staff awareness when serving drinks...

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I don't line-jump, but after having this happen a couple of times I learned to stand my ground - because otherwise you'll stand there all day. Also, it shocks the heck out of the line-jumper.

I see this behavior at the supermarket too. Most recently some lady was trying to get the butcher to serve her first, and I stepped in front and said, "Nein. Bitte, Ich war hier zuerst." (No. Please, I was here first).

That's probably horrible German and even more horrible Swiss etiquette, but it gets the point across. Never had anyone insist they were first after saying that.
Yeah I love that too. Yesterday we were queueing for a gluhwein, there was an obvious line of people leading tot he stall and someone walked to the front before hearing a comment and turning around, looking shocked, and asking "Oh, is this the queue?". You have to laugh.

Last edited by Chuff; 06.12.2015 at 20:57.
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Old 07.12.2015, 13:58
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Re: Swiss bar staff awareness when serving drinks...

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I don't line-jump, but after having this happen a couple of times I learned to stand my ground - because otherwise you'll stand there all day. Also, it shocks the heck out of the line-jumper.
I had a nasty specimen at Zürich airport just some weeks back.

The Oh and I were waiting to take a coffee at the coffee bar just before you enter the security area

That place is already overpriced even by Swiss standards so we were hoping at least the service might be up to scratch.

We spent a long long time waiting while the server went about rattling saucers and pretending to clean tables, despite looking our way and saying he'd be over in a minute.

Then another guest arrived and she was served before us. We decided enough was enough and left makiong loud noises about how useless the service was, in the process turning back some more people who were about to walk in. The barrista guy actually had the nerve to run after us shouting at us for being so rude.
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Old 06.12.2015, 20:18
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Re: Swiss bar staff awareness when serving drinks...

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There's a sense of fair play in the U.K. that doesn't exist here.
Do you know what Tom, that sentence sums it up perfectly and eloquently and applies to pretty much all complaints of this nature. In the UK/US we (for the most part) have a culturally ingrained sense of politeness and fair play which we just take for granted, and we automatically weigh it into our decision making at any given point or normal everyday situation. While the Swiss are in general very polite and decent people, that sense of fairness and social etiquette doesn't seem to exist for the more trivial aspects of daily life like queueing and serving.
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Old 07.12.2015, 10:16
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Re: Swiss bar staff awareness when serving drinks...

Yesterday I drove to Zurich and because so many people came into the city, getting a parking place was crazy. We waited in line in a parking place close to the center. The queue was to obvious to ignore it. In front of us was a turkish guy and behind us was a spanish guy (I know because we spoke to them after the incident). A car passed the line and waited on the other side of the parking. The moment a car left, he jumped in front of the turkish guy. He was Swiss. The turkish guy (with two children in his car!!) got out but the Swiss guy just stayed in his car talking through his opened window. He stayed there for 10 minutes until the turkish guy found another place. We waited for another 20 minutes and just when we found a place a Swiss guy tried to get the place. I told him nicely that we have been waiting for 40 minutes but he only left after my wife blocked his access. When he failed he tried to get the parking found by the Spanish guy behind me. He failed again when the wife blocked him. I am not saying that only the Swiss are doing this but it is not the first time this happens to us.
So I agree with Richdog because I work at the airport and I can prove his point with many situations but it would take me too many posts but it happens at the bars and in the shops many times. I do not know why but a Swiss guy said that they take advantage of the fact that because the Swiss are not confrontational, they believe that everybody will go nuts on the inside but will not say anything. If you do say something...they ignore you.


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Do you know what Tom, that sentence sums it up perfectly and eloquently and applies to pretty much all complaints of this nature. In the UK/US we (for the most part) have a culturally ingrained sense of politeness and fair play which we just take for granted, and we automatically weigh it into our decision making at any given point or normal everyday situation. While the Swiss are in general very polite and decent people, that sense of fairness and social etiquette doesn't seem to exist for the more trivial aspects of daily life like queueing and serving.
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Old 06.12.2015, 20:54
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Re: Swiss bar staff awareness when serving drinks...

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There's a sense of fair play in the U.K. that doesn't exist here. It's the same with serving drinks and getting served.

It's the same when queuing.

Before the Swiss on this forum jump down my throat (again), I ought to add that it's a culture thing and nothing malicious.
Agreed- queuing is so so British, and not French, not Swiss, not Italian- not European (Tom, I certainly can't remember ever jumping down your throat, have I?) - having lived in England all my adult life, I am very happy to say British waiters are generally much better- and I love the fairness of the 'queuing' system- be it in shops, or in a bar or at the bus stop.
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Old 06.12.2015, 20:18
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Re: Swiss bar staff awareness when serving drinks...

I had trouble getting a drink once in the US, therefore CH isn't any worse than anywhere else.

Besides, you probably gave off a condescending air and didn't treat your server as an equal.

They probably heard you speak English too. Why don't you integrate?

Lastly, if it is so bad, why don't you go home to your terrible country and complain about it there!




Beat you to it, all you STTS!
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Old 06.12.2015, 23:36
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Re: Swiss bar staff awareness when serving drinks...

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Besides, you probably gave off a condescending air and didn't treat your server as an equal.

!
That must be true though for our little OP friend here...

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Do you know what Tom, that sentence sums it up perfectly and eloquently and applies to pretty much all complaints of this nature. In the UK/US we (for the most part) have a culturally ingrained sense of politeness and fair play which we just take for granted, and we automatically weigh it into our decision making at any given point or normal everyday situation. While the Swiss are in general very polite and decent people, that sense of fairness and social etiquette doesn't seem to exist for the more trivial aspects of daily life like queueing and serving.


Seriously now, do you have any idea how ridiculous and pompous that kind of statement is? In general, not only coming from your mouth....

Last edited by greenmount; 07.12.2015 at 00:03.
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Old 07.12.2015, 03:23
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Re: Swiss bar staff awareness when serving drinks...

Ha ha ha ! is that you


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Old 07.12.2015, 04:33
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Re: Swiss bar staff awareness when serving drinks...

You sure as hell better not cut the queue in the US. This is one of the things I love about my country:

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/...icle-1.1762538

If I were on the shooter's jury, I'd vote to acquit.

I have to work on my deep breathing to be ready for the line-jumpers in Switzerland. I almost burst a blood vessel the last time I was in the Zurich airport (they were even worse at the Geneva airport).
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Old 07.12.2015, 13:31
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Re: Swiss bar staff awareness when serving drinks...

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Seriously now, do you have any idea how ridiculous and pompous that kind of statement is? In general, not only coming from your mouth....
So, what is the explanation for the line jumping and general free for all?


If it is culturally accepted here to exert your dominance as the alpha wolf, then great! I am a big guy yet very agile and have no problem throwing a few elbows along with a hip check or two to get through. If challenged - feck off! I'm American and therefore it is my cultural and evolutionary right to ascend to the head of the line! Bow to my greatness, bitch! I'll fit right in.

But that just doesn't seem to be very cultured; especially in the land of I'm OK and you're OK and we are all equal, comrade.


It has to be something else that I am just not understanding.


Edit: and for those with limited snark/sarcasm detection - please ignore para 2&3. You might think I am an ugly American.


TOO LATE

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Old 07.12.2015, 13:44
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Re: Swiss bar staff awareness when serving drinks...

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So, what is the explanation for the line jumping and general free for all?


If it is culturally accepted here to exert your dominance as the alpha wolf, then great! I am a big guy yet very agile and have no problem throwing a few elbows along with a hip check or two to get through. If challenged - feck off! I'm American and therefore it is my cultural and evolutionary right to ascend to the head of the line! Bow to my greatness, bitch! I'll fit right in.

But that just doesn't seem to be very cultured; especially in the land of I'm OK and you're OK and we are all equal, comrade.


It has to be something else that I am just not understanding.


Edit: and for those with limited snark/sarcasm detection - please ignore para 2&3. You might think I am an ugly American.


TOO LATE
I didn't see greenmount's post until you quoted it as I've had her on ignore for a while now, but her response seems to fit with her general dullard style of coming into a thread, rubbishing a statement, and provide zero rationality for doing so.
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Old 06.12.2015, 20:55
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Re: Swiss bar staff awareness when serving drinks...

Have to find ways to gain their attention then.

Varies depending on establishments, but often it is not the bartender's main responsibility to pay attention to who is next in line. Of course a brilliant bartender will try to pay attention, but then even the most attentive one will struggle if it is a large crowd.

The basic tasks of bartenders are usually:

Giving customers the highest standard of service
Serving the highest quality drinks to each customer
Ensuring the bar top is kept clean and dry at all times

And those three are hard enough on most nights.


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Haven't made a light-hearted complaint thread in a while, and while I love this country to the nth degree, in my years here one of my wee gripes has always been...bar staff.

For some reason, many Swiss bar staff completely lack the ability to keep an eye on who has been waiting at the bar and making a mental queue of who to serve next. It's like, despite their eyes flickering across you multiple times as they make their drinks during the 10 minutes you have been waiting to be served, they have just really only seen you for the first time, and ask "Who is next?" while looking at everyone. This inevitably results in some plonk or plonkette who know full well that they have just got to the bar ordering their drinks before everyone else.

This is such a basic skill for any bar man or woman, and I am so used to it in the UK (or UK pubs in CH) that I find it absolutely baffling that it seems to be such a problem in Switzerland. Add to this a trend for staff to look flustered and service to massively degrade in a bar that is only half or less full, and after a while it genuinely becomes an annoyance.

Anyone else experienced this in Swiss bars, or is it only Zürich that has this problem?
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Old 06.12.2015, 21:00
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Re: Swiss bar staff awareness when serving drinks...

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Have to find ways to gain their attention then.

Varies depending on establishments, but often it is not the bartender's main responsibility to pay attention to who is next in line. Of course a brilliant bartender will try to pay attention, but then even the most attentive one will struggle if it is a large crowd.

The basic tasks of bartenders are usually:

Giving customers the highest standard of service
Serving the highest quality drinks to each customer
Ensuring the bar top is kept clean and dry at all times

And those three are hard enough on most nights.
Oh come on what generic fluff, it sounds like you are simply making excuses for them, I worked in a bar for a while I was in my late teens so I know what I'm talking about.

I am not talking about "struggling in a big crowd", I am talking about everday levels of service. And yes, it is their job to keep an eye on the basics like that, and you don't have to be "brilliant" to do that.
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Old 06.12.2015, 21:14
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Re: Swiss bar staff awareness when serving drinks...

haha, I also worked bars and well.. some nights are easier than others. You can only do your best. As a customer, I rarely had problems getting my drinks quickly.. maybe it's easier for women?
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Old 06.12.2015, 21:17
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Re: Swiss bar staff awareness when serving drinks...

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Have to find ways to gain their attention then.

Varies depending on establishments, but often it is not the bartender's main responsibility to pay attention to who is next in line. Of course a brilliant bartender will try to pay attention, but then even the most attentive one will struggle if it is a large crowd.

The basic tasks of bartenders are usually:

Giving customers the highest standard of service
Serving the highest quality drinks to each customer
Ensuring the bar top is kept clean and dry at all times

And those three are hard enough on most nights.
One shouldn't have to find ways to gain their attention, as you put it, imho.

Getting service when it's your turn should fall on "giving he customers the highest standard of service".

I worked in bars when I was young, and keeping an eye on who was next was something one just did. And this, brace yourself Odile, in Spain!
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