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Old 15.08.2017, 13:23
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SBB employees so helpful

Just need to get this off my heart:
Yesterday at the Zurich train station there was an English guy, a musician by the look of it as he was carrying a guitar, an amp, and other gear around his neck, running around in full panic mode as he had lost his phone (or it was stolen) and he needed to get to the airport to catch his flight, and he was obviously distressed, trying to find the lost&found.
As he didn't speak a word of German and nobody else seemed to speak any English, I tried to help him. We sprinted all across the train station, trying to find it together, but there were no signs, nothing, so we approached an SBB guy, asking him where it was.
He held up a phone to his left ear, cupped his other ear with his hand, and said loudly enough for us to hear (in Swiss German) "YEAH THERE'S SOMEBODY WHO'S TRYING TO SPEAK TO ME BUT IT DOESN'T MATTER".
So, ok, we got the hint (luckily the musician didn't understand anything of that) and we ran around some more trying to find somebody else who could help us.
All the while he's panicking more and more because, well, time is running out, and he's left some of his stuff with somebody else, and he doesn't know if THAT will disappear along with his phone.
We found a woman who was trying to explain to some tourists how to create a login to print out tickets - after waiting for a few minutes, and seeing that she was explaining everything 3 times and going sooo sloooowlyyyyy through the whole process, we asked, very politely, if she could just quickly tell us where the lost&found was. Which is when she yelled at us, again in Swiss German "ONE PERSON AFTER THE OTHER, WAIT FOR YOUR TURN!" (seriously, yelling.)
Well, thanks, I guess. Just a quick pointer with her arm would have been helpful.
After a few more circles of panicking and running around we found the hidden sign with the umbrella, followed it, and found the lost&found. Where the guy said (but at least kindly(ish)) that they were not dealing with people directly anymore and that one should fill out the web form on the website.

What ever happened to the famous Swiss kindness and helpfulness?
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  #2  
Old 15.08.2017, 15:19
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Re: SBB employees so helpful

I find it incredibly rude when people but in or "just want to know this" when somebody is dealing with whatever i am doing or a hotel employee takes a phone call and starts a conversation.

Is my time less valuable than somebody else's, are my dollars only worth USD 0.98 compared to yours ?

It's guaranteed to get my goat, and depending on my humour i get quite pissy when this happens.

I will make exceptions for medical emergencies.
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Old 15.08.2017, 15:30
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Re: SBB employees so helpful

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What ever happened to the famous Swiss kindness and helpfulness?


There is an information counter standing prominently on the station's apron in front of the platforms - but one does of course have to wait one's turn.
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Old 15.08.2017, 15:43
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Re: SBB employees so helpful

How is it possible to not see this? (especially when sprinting all over the station as you say)

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Old 15.08.2017, 16:02
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Re: SBB employees so helpful

Typical EF responses. Passive agressive and unhelpful.

The lost property office is on the Museumstrasse side of HB. You have to go outside and there is a sepaarte entrance leading to it. Opposite the Landemuseum and close to where the police vans normally park.

Anyway, lost property claims normally take a couple of days (at least) to process so he wouldn't have got his phone back anyway before making it to the plane. He might thus just as well have filled in his claim at the SBB office in the airport. That would have been less stressful being closer to his destination and not dependent on a train.
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Old 15.08.2017, 16:17
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Re: SBB employees so helpful

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I find it incredibly rude when people but in or "just want to know this" when somebody is dealing with whatever i am doing or a hotel employee takes a phone call and starts a conversation.

Is my time less valuable than somebody else's, are my dollars only worth USD 0.98 compared to yours ?

It's guaranteed to get my goat, and depending on my humour i get quite pissy when this happens.

I will make exceptions for medical emergencies.
But this was clearly a matter of importance, the "how to login" could wait, this guy was about to loose his phone and his plane
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Old 15.08.2017, 16:23
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Re: SBB employees so helpful

As amogles said, it's at the side of the station. I picked up a camera that guests had left on a train last month. Just asked at the left luggage office where the 'vermisst und gefunden'was (which is a bad translation, but the first one that came to mind), and was directed to the office. There was a 24hr gap between the report being made and my friend receiving an email saying the camera had been found, then another 24hrs before it had been returned to Zurich for collection.

Last edited by Blueangel; 15.08.2017 at 17:56.
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Old 15.08.2017, 16:25
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Re: SBB employees so helpful

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But this was clearly a matter of importance, the "how to login" could wait, this guy was about to loose his phone and his plane
How do you know i am not in a rush or pressed for time ?
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Old 15.08.2017, 16:29
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Re: SBB employees so helpful

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How is it possible to not see this? (especially when sprinting all over the station as you say)
However stupid this sounds, if I were looking for a Lost Property Office, I perhaps wouldn't notice an Information Desk either.

However, thinking logically, if the guy was really in a desperate hurry to get to the airport to catch his flight, he should realise that going to a Lost and Found place, waiting in a queue there, filling in a form or two (ever arrived at an airport and had to report lost luggage - which they lost, I didn't?), would probably cause him to miss his flight anyway. These things seem to take forever. Either he could try to sort things out from the airport after checking in as Amogles suggested, or call a lost phone a lost phone. It's a nightmarish situation I agree though.

Regarding Today Only's comments, I can only agree with him about interrupting people who are already talking to someone else. I, too, have worked in an 'exposed environment' and it is mind-boggling how many people think that because one is there, one is at their disposal and can answer questions on any subject under the sun.

These days this goes on at all levels though. Even at a social function, talking to anyone you run the risk that someone else will walk up and start a conversation on a different subject. Anyone who just wants to say 'Goodbye' can interrupt me by catching my attention first, but woe is he who thinks he can then carry on a cosy chat instead of disappearing.

Back to the main these. I hope the guy caught his flight and that maybe his phone turned up. It sometimes happens. In the meantime it convinces me of the value of my row of Phrase Books in various tongues which accompany me to countries if I don't speak the local language.
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Last edited by Longbyt; 15.08.2017 at 16:39.
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Old 15.08.2017, 16:38
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Re: SBB employees so helpful

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How do you know i am not in a rush or pressed for time ?
^This

But do they care enough to ask?
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Old 15.08.2017, 16:40
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Re: SBB employees so helpful

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^This

But do they care enough to ask?
No,but it's almost guaranteed they know very shortly after they start speaking
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Old 15.08.2017, 17:10
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Re: SBB employees so helpful

Thank you for the few understanding replies.

To the others, you can seriously <beep> off. I am the one person who will listen to everybody else's crap, until they finish talking (and that can take YEARS for some, believe me :P).
I don't interrupt people. Wait patiently for my turn in the queue, and glare at the people who try to go first.
And yet there's a difference between good or even normal Swiss customer service, and yelling at people, in my opinion.
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Old 15.08.2017, 17:39
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Re: SBB employees so helpful

Nobody ever said you did but in, what i said was i find it incredibly annoying and rude that people think they can but into an existing conversation because they are in a rush or whatever else.

The guy has to stop dealing with me, listen to the other person, possibly in a different language, formulate a reply, possibly answer another question, whilst i just stand and wait for the guy to finish to carry on dealing with my request.

Who is to say i don't have an airplane/train to catch with limited time ?

This happens a lot, so i guess the employee stated what we all think, "ONE PERSON AFTER THE OTHER, WAIT FOR YOUR TURN!"in Swiss German as after all we are in a Swiss German speaking area
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Old 15.08.2017, 18:01
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Re: SBB employees so helpful

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And yet there's a difference between good or even normal Swiss customer service, and yelling at people, in my opinion.
Are you thinking of making a formal complaint to SBB?

Everyone I spoke to at ZHB was really helpful and polite, so it must be disappointing for you.
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Old 15.08.2017, 18:29
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Re: SBB employees so helpful

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Nobody ever said you did but in, what i said was i find it incredibly annoying and rude that people think they can but into an existing conversation because they are in a rush or whatever else.

The guy has to stop dealing with me, listen to the other person, possibly in a different language, formulate a reply, possibly answer another question, whilst i just stand and wait for the guy to finish to carry on dealing with my request.
True enough.

(Just to emphasize, we were not looking for a chat. At all.)

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Who is to say i don't have an airplane/train to catch with limited time ?
To be fair, I just took a guess, from their leisurely behaviour, that a 0.5s interruption would not have any adverse effect on their schedule or health.

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Are you thinking of making a formal complaint to SBB?
What would that achieve? Apart from landing on some black list of theirs?
Just ranting here was more fun anyway
(Well it was that or calling a psychologist for an appointment)

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Everyone I spoke to at ZHB was really helpful and polite, so it must be disappointing for you.
Lucky you!
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Old 15.08.2017, 18:44
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Re: SBB employees so helpful

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To be fair, I just took a guess, from their leisurely behaviour, that a 0.5s interruption would not have any adverse effect on their schedule or health.
It's never 0.5s and you know it !

The guy has to stop whats he's doing and formulate his answer correctly and then their is very often a follow up question which may or may not require some further effort.

It is intensely annoying and rude, possibly and only possibly could he push in front on the next person waiting, but NEVER but in for something like this.
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Old 15.08.2017, 18:55
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Re: SBB employees so helpful

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To be fair, I just took a guess, from their leisurely behaviour, that a 0.5s interruption would not have any adverse effect on their schedule or health
I know exactly how you feel. Yet I have to agree with the others here. I remember when 170 people tried to get "just 3 minutes" of my time without scheduling (preferably in a language I didn't speak, so I had to empathise with the person first in order to then understand his/her problem) not realizing that had I given each one those 3 minutes, my regularly payed workday would have been over - with me having to do the rest of my work ..... during the night?
Those 0.5 minutes to you are not minor in the big picture.

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Just ranting here was more fun anyway
(Well it was that or calling a psychologist for an appointment)
Someone will drop the bill in your PM-box
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Old 15.08.2017, 18:59
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Re: SBB employees so helpful

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Typical EF responses. Passive agressive and unhelpful.

The lost property office is on the Museumstrasse side of HB. You have to go outside and there is a sepaarte entrance leading to it. Opposite the Landemuseum and close to where the police vans normally park.

Anyway, lost property claims normally take a couple of days (at least) to process so he wouldn't have got his phone back anyway before making it to the plane. He might thus just as well have filled in his claim at the SBB office in the airport. That would have been less stressful being closer to his destination and not dependent on a train.
Not reading properly is also a typical thing.

They already found it
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Old 15.08.2017, 21:25
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Re: SBB employees so helpful

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But this was clearly a matter of importance, the "how to login" could wait, this guy was about to loose his phone and his plane
How would they know though if someone just interrupts them? While I understand the predicament and would agree it was likely more urgent than other issues, none of the people OP interrupted in whatever they were doing could possibly know that. They are not mind-readers. I would have probably reacted somewhat harshly too to be honest.
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Old 16.08.2017, 10:32
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Re: SBB employees so helpful

Guys, you are all reading a lot into this which just didn't happen the way you want it to have happened so you can get all angry about it.
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