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  #21  
Old 05.01.2021, 12:56
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Re: Working with very Swiss people

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Maybe it is not so simple, as they always preach: “You must enjoy your job and do in life what you like the most”

The OP enjoys interaction with people and has her own ways.
Some things are never meant to be. The trial period is also relevant for employees. Time to leave the job is the place is really that bad and careful next time before signing a contract.
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  #22  
Old 05.01.2021, 13:03
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Re: Working with very Swiss people

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Your basic misunderstanding: Your not at work to socialize, make friends or be popular, you're there to get the job done. Keep that in mind and the Swiss will suddenly seem very normal.
Major eye roll ...

Even the Swiss "on the spectrum" anti-social weird dude at work talks to me about what he is watching on Netflix. Humans are not just robots at their desk...
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  #23  
Old 05.01.2021, 13:18
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Re: Working with very Swiss people

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Hi Folks, how do you manage working with very Swiss people, I.e. very narrow minded, not inclusive and not particularly friendly. I am not saying that being very Swiss necessarily mean very rude. It’s just my experience. Thanks for your answers!
I think there's a definite difference in the degree of openness, across cultures. The Swiss (or at least the Swiss-German) culture esteems measured discretion. What seems rude, or not inclusive, or not friendly, in one culture may not be considered so in another.

If you're in a chatty, connecting culture and ask your work colleague, on Monday morning: "How was your weekend?" then the answer is likely to be a description of where they went and what they ate, whom they saw and whether they enjoyed it, and whether anyone in the family is ill. And then they may ask you about your weekend, expecting that kind of detail, too.

A Swiss colleague, on the other hand, may look up and reply: "Fine, thank you." For someone expecting chattiness and a personal connection, it then can feel like there's a great, thudding full-stop in the room, and a "Keep Out!" sign. However, the Swiss person is not necessarily being rude, at all. While in another, more open and easy-going culture, that brief responce could be interpreted as stand-offish or as rejection, the Swiss person is typically just being discrete and non-pushy, and not wanting to rabbit on burdening you with endless details and way too much information about their weekend. Nor do they want to deviate from their duty to get on with working.


One thing I've seen help, over and over again, is to learn the local language. In the Swiss-German cantons, learn to read, write, speak and understand High German, (it doesn't have to be perfect, but it needs to be fluent) and then, at a later stage, learn to understand dialect. Once you no longer need to ask the locals to please make the effort of speaking English or High German to you a certain tension will vanish out of many social interactions. It really can improve the social interactions once finally, thanks to the effort of the newcomer, the Swiss can just freely speak in their mother-tongue. That seems to bring about a greater ease in conversation.

Last edited by doropfiz; 05.01.2021 at 13:32.
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  #24  
Old 05.01.2021, 13:18
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Re: Working with very Swiss people

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It could be that the country is run by the robots. After all, Swiss made the quantum leap in area of AI and machine learning. They must be watching their beloved country from far away while sipping on Rivella's
FTFY
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  #25  
Old 05.01.2021, 13:26
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Re: Working with very Swiss people

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Once you no longer need to ask the locals to please make the effort of speaking English or High German to you, a certain tension will dissipate, from many interactions. It really can improve the social interactions once finally, thanks to the effort of the newcomer, the Swiss can just freely speak in their mother-tongue. That seems to bring about a greater ease in social interactions.
This is an overlooked issue everyday. I have the chance to have really nice and chatty Swiss German work colleagues whom I can talk in English and sometimes French. However, every 10 min or so the conversation is interrupted by how do you say this in EN/FR? I'm thankful because they make an effort for me, but if they're ever going to relax.....I need to master the local language.

PS. I guess there difference is in I'm thankful for the other people to make the effort to talk to me in their 2nd or 3rd language and the entitlement that the others should make me feel welcome in my mother language.

Last edited by Axa; 05.01.2021 at 13:41. Reason: added the PS
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  #26  
Old 05.01.2021, 13:28
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Re: Working with very Swiss people

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Major eye roll ...

Even the Swiss "on the spectrum" anti-social weird dude at work talks to me about what he is watching on Netflix. Humans are not just robots at their desk...
I would really like to be a fly-on-the-wall of the lives the posters here who respond to every thread with 'if you don't like it, leave it', ' it is you not the Swiss' etc. I wonder if it is all a rose garden for them or if they are just stuck at their jobs like most middle-aged people whether they like it or not and say these things to make themselves feel better about their lives.
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  #27  
Old 05.01.2021, 13:31
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Re: Working with very Swiss people

I would love you to describe a 'very Swiss person' -

apart from the fact we are all individuals, the characteristics of the typically 'something or other' will probably go C/Kanton by C/Kanton- valley per valley, town by town- and even then! lol. Linguistic regions too - and then there is Geneva and Zurich- which are not Swiss at all lol.

Where are you from btw? All al your people the same? Are there regional differences? Town versus rural? North versus South, East, West or Centre? Etc.
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  #28  
Old 05.01.2021, 13:35
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Re: Working with very Swiss people

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I would really like to be a fly-on-the-wall of the lives the posters here who respond to every thread with 'if you don't like it, leave it', ' it is you not the Swiss' etc. I wonder if it is all a rose garden for them or if they are just stuck at their jobs like most middle-aged people whether they like it or not and say these things to make themselves feel better about their lives.
People around me marry, divorce or changes partners more frequently than changing jobs. Somehow, it's easier to accept a couple was not meant to be that a work team was not meant to be
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  #29  
Old 05.01.2021, 13:36
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Re: Working with very Swiss people

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Your basic misunderstanding: Your not at work to socialize, make friends or be popular, you're there to get the job done. Keep that in mind and the Swiss will suddenly seem very normal.
We don't know if the OP is talking about socializing with colleagues. It might be that the colleagues are rude in their interactions related to the job which I once experienced as well in a company with many Swiss employees though I cannot tell if it was related to 'Swissness' or if it was just because the people in that company happened to be insufferable. One would need to work in a few places with a similar make-up to make an assessment.
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  #30  
Old 05.01.2021, 13:38
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Re: Working with very Swiss people

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People around me marry, divorce or changes partners more frequently than changing jobs. Somehow, it's easier to accept a couple was not meant to be that a work team was not meant to be
I didn't say anything to the contrary. My post was about the all too predictable, knee-jerk replies to similar threads. Always the same people giving the same answers as if everything in CH is rosy.

I also think you might be exaggerating a bit. I find it hard to believe an average person changes partners every 2-3 years. Maybe when they are young but not in middle-age.
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  #31  
Old 05.01.2021, 13:39
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Re: Working with very Swiss people

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I would really like to be a fly-on-the-wall of the lives the posters here who respond to every thread with 'if you don't like it, leave it', ' it is you not the Swiss' etc. I wonder if it is all a rose garden for them..
Of course it isn't but maybe they think it's not worth turning it into a "Swiss thing" for them. I don't think it is. Most my colleagues/friends/Swiss German friends are really not like that. The rest, who cares why they fuss? I think this mindset of "everybody gotta be sweet to me and validate me" sets one for a disappointment.

Maybe if we tell Isa that she's awesome, she will not need it from her colleagues. But I have a hard time posit it as a Swiss thing, tbh.
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  #32  
Old 05.01.2021, 13:47
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Re: Working with very Swiss people

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Of course it isn't but maybe they think it's not worth turning it into a "Swiss thing" for them. I don't think it is. Most my colleagues/friends/Swiss German friends are really not like that. The rest, who cares why they fuss? I think this mindset of "everybody gotta be sweet to me and validate me" sets one for a disappointment.

Maybe if we tell Isa that she's awesome, she will not need it from her colleagues. But I have a hard time posit it as a Swiss thing, tbh.
I do agree that one shouldn't be quick to attribute certain situations to certain characteristics. The OP's situation might be completely unrelated to the ethnicity of their colleagues. If they moved to another company with similar number of Swiss employees, they might find it a better place to work, who knows?

Having said that, I don't see anything in the single post that the OP has posted that suggests 'they want to be told they are awesome' so it is unfair to assume that is the problem. As I said in an earlier reply, we would need to know more about the situation but if someone comes and just says 'it is difficult to work with Swiss people' without providing any more detail there isn't much we can do to help.
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  #33  
Old 05.01.2021, 13:51
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Re: Working with very Swiss people

There should be a rule of 10 before being allowed to post a Friday Thread!
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  #34  
Old 05.01.2021, 13:54
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Re: Working with very Swiss people

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There should be a rule of 10 before being allowed to post a Friday Thread!
Interesting 1st post.
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Old 05.01.2021, 13:59
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Re: Working with very Swiss people

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I do agree that one shouldn't be quick to attribute certain situations to certain characteristics. The OP's situation might be completely unrelated to the ethnicity of their colleagues. If they moved to another company with similar number of Swiss employees, they might find it a better place to work, who knows?

Having said that, I don't see anything in the single post that the OP has posted that suggests 'they want to be told they are awesome' so it is unfair to assume that is the problem. As I said in an earlier reply, we would need to know more about the situation but if someone comes and just says 'it is difficult to work with Swiss people' without providing any more detail there isn't much we can do to help.
Exactly. But who comes online and badmouths behind somebody's back, and as a 1st post?

How can we genuinely help. Without OP's compromising her job, even more.
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Old 05.01.2021, 14:12
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Re: Working with very Swiss people

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Interesting 1st post.
And not the first time a one-post-wonder troll with zero profile has let the dogs out...
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Old 05.01.2021, 14:22
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Re: Working with very Swiss people

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And not the first time a one-post-wonder troll with zero profile has let the dogs out...
Yeah. Interwebz.

We got

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Thanks for your answers!
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  #38  
Old 05.01.2021, 14:46
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Re: Working with very Swiss people

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i would love you to describe a 'very swiss person' -

apart from the fact we are all individuals, the characteristics of the typically 'something or other' will probably go c/kanton by c/kanton- valley per valley, town by town- and even then! Lol. Linguistic regions too - and then there is geneva and zurich- which are not swiss at all lol.

Where are you from btw? All al your people the same? Are there regional differences? Town versus rural? North versus south, east, west or centre? Etc.
This.
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  #39  
Old 05.01.2021, 14:54
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Re: Working with very Swiss people

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How about taking a step out of this and feel maybe a bit grateful that "no, it's not me" if it in fact seems to be cultural and taking that gratious energy to open up to differences and working with them? Things are very formal here, that's all. The opposite of chummy and that part is the same at home.
Do you think so?

Where I work it's the foreigners who are for the most part formal and rule sticklers, and come to work early, whereas the Swiss are mostly chummy, don't take the dress code too seriously, cut corners, joke about the rules and about the CEO, and like to go for an after-work beer (where I am usually the only foreigner although the office is about 75% foreign).

Yet strangely these foreigners all complain how the Swiss are so formal and difficult to befriend. It doesn't make any sense.
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Old 05.01.2021, 15:10
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Re: Working with very Swiss people

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Do you think so?

Yet strangely these foreigners all complain how the Swiss are so formal and difficult to befriend. It doesn't make any sense.
Interesting. Why do you think it makes no sense? Maybe all the foreigners' perception of the Swiss rigidness is wrong? Or maybe all the foreigners are trying to find fault with the Swiss by portraying them in a stereotypical Swiss way when they are in fact not like that at all. As third alternative, could it be that your perception that all the foreigners are rigid and the Swiss are relaxed is wrong?

How can we know without observing the foreigners and the Swiss in your workplace? Even then, every single individual who observes a situation will form a different opinion of what they observe because this is all subjective and everyone perceives their environment differently.
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