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  #121  
Old 12.07.2011, 08:13
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Re: Only in Switzerland... (anecdotes)

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Maybe we should write a book about East Coast vs. Swiss behavior.

Here's one. you're at the grocery store. You see the can of beans you want, but someone is standing in front of them and blocking your access with their cart while they look for what they want. They are oblivious to the fact that you WANT those beans and are in a hurry (because after all, on the East Coast, we're always in a hurry). So, you say, "excuse me" and you just stretch your arm and reach across or behind the other person to get your beans and be on your way. In and out. Real quick. No harm done.

If you did that in Switzerland you'd be thrown to the ground and given 40 lashes. You must wait, silently and politely, until the other person has found what they are looking for and moved out of the way.
Done that hundreds of times and never had a problem. Maybe it's because I say the Swiss German version of "excuse me"???
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  #122  
Old 12.07.2011, 08:21
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Re: Only in Switzerland... (anecdotes)

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Done that hundreds of times and never had a problem. Maybe it's because I say the Swiss German version of "excuse me"???
I've been using the High German version.
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  #123  
Old 12.07.2011, 08:34
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Re: Only in Switzerland... (anecdotes)

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I've been using the High German version.
Even worse!!
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  #124  
Old 14.07.2011, 08:24
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Re: Only in Switzerland... (anecdotes)

Everybody waits for the green man before they cross the totally empty street...except the tourists!
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  #125  
Old 14.07.2011, 08:30
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Re: Only in Switzerland... (anecdotes)

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Everybody waits for the green man before they cross the totally empty street...except the tourists!
I used to think it was a bit slack, too, but now I'm actually grateful that people tend to wait for their signal because I am trying to drill my son on how to cross the road safely, and there's nothing worse when you are saying "You must always wait for the green man and check there are no cars." when some idiot crosses right in front of him dodging cars, bikes and buses.

Cross by all means but just bear us poor mums in mind and our road safety lessons when you do it.
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  #126  
Old 14.07.2011, 08:38
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Re: Only in Switzerland... (anecdotes)

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Everybody waits for the green man before they cross the totally empty street...except the tourists!
Or... if you're at a crosswalk. The ped-x light is red, and a horde of people going to work is standing there... nobody wants to be the first one to jaywalk. But once someone goes, everyone follows. It's like a school of friggin' herring.

or... alternatively, everyone will jaywalk if it means getting to their tram before it pulls away from the station.
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  #127  
Old 16.07.2011, 04:36
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Re: Only in Switzerland... (anecdotes)

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I feel your pain. I still struggle with hours of operation at local businesses. Most people work the same hours each day -- 0900 to 1800 with an hour for lunch. But most businesses close for lunch between 1200 and 1300, and close for the day at 1830. That leaves very little time during the week to actually get anything done.

Businesses would make more money if they had different or longer hours. It's just mind boggling that in a capitalist country like Switzerland that there would be so little interest in maximizing profit.
That's a union thing. They want as few as possible employees to perform work at unusual times while their family has to follow the usual 9 to 5 routine.
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  #128  
Old 16.07.2011, 07:17
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Re: Only in Switzerland... (anecdotes)

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That's a union thing. They want as few as possible employees to perform work at unusual times while their family has to follow the usual 9 to 5 routine.


We actually like to do work off hours as we make more money for the same amount of effort.
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  #129  
Old 16.07.2011, 08:38
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Re: Only in Switzerland... (anecdotes)

Actually, I've both witnessed and been on the receiving end of a good deal of reaching past, elbowing/pushing out of the way and line-cutting in this country by the locals, all without even saying "Entchüldigung," so I would have to disagree.

Some people say New Yorkers or Parisians are rude. Some of the behavior I've seen here makes New Yorkers seem like paragons of politeness.

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Here's one. you're at the grocery store. You see the can of beans you want, but someone is standing in front of them and blocking your access with their cart while they look for what they want. They are oblivious to the fact that you WANT those beans and are in a hurry (because after all, on the East Coast, we're always in a hurry). So, you say, "excuse me" and you just stretch your arm and reach across or behind the other person to get your beans and be on your way. In and out. Real quick. No harm done.

If you did that in Switzerland you'd be thrown to the ground and given 40 lashes. You must wait, silently and politely, until the other person has found what they are looking for and moved out of the way.
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  #130  
Old 16.07.2011, 09:58
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Re: Only in Switzerland... (anecdotes)

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I've been using the High German version.
Which may be the straight road to disaster
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  #131  
Old 16.07.2011, 10:20
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Re: Only in Switzerland... (anecdotes)

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Or... if you're at a crosswalk. The ped-x light is red, and a horde of people going to work is standing there... nobody wants to be the first one to jaywalk. But once someone goes, everyone follows. It's like a school of friggin' herring.

or... alternatively, everyone will jaywalk if it means getting to their tram before it pulls away from the station.
I once read somewhere that if in England you see a gang of drunken youths on a deserted street corner at 3am, they are waiting to kill you. If you see the same thing in Switzerland, they are waiting to cross the road
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  #132  
Old 16.07.2011, 20:49
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Re: Only in Switzerland... (anecdotes)

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I feel your pain. I still struggle with hours of operation at local businesses. Most people work the same hours each day -- 0900 to 1800 with an hour for lunch. But most businesses close for lunch between 1200 and 1300, and close for the day at 1830. That leaves very little time during the week to actually get anything done.

Businesses would make more money if they had different or longer hours. It's just mind boggling that in a capitalist country like Switzerland that there would be so little interest in maximizing profit.
I used to have this idea too but...someone told me that the starting salary for a banker is something like 9000 chf per month. Would you want to work longer hours if you had that sort of money? Hell no...you'd want to have time to spend it on a nice dinner.
You only work long hours and accept to do so if you need the money. Educated Swiss with qualifications and good jobs apparently don't need more money than what they already have.
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  #133  
Old 17.07.2011, 11:25
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Re: Only in Switzerland... (anecdotes)

Here's a regular observation: A deserted road, a group of children, waiting by a pedestrian crossing until there's a car coming so that they can make the obligatory eye contact with the driver before crossing.... why not just cross when there's not a car coming...??

Being told that it was my fault for buying rotten fruit rather than getting an apology from the shop for displaying and selling rotten fruit...

Having every sarcastic or cynical remark commented on and some 'yes, but' explanation given...

When asking for fans or airconditioning because my team was sweltering in 28.6 degrees in the office, being told that the air conditioning was already at 120% so we couldn't possibly be hot...

I could go on.
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  #134  
Old 17.07.2011, 11:28
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Re: Only in Switzerland... (anecdotes)

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I used to have this idea too but...someone told me that the starting salary for a banker is something like 9000 chf per month. Would you want to work longer hours if you had that sort of money? Hell no...you'd want to have time to spend it on a nice dinner.
You only work long hours and accept to do so if you need the money. Educated Swiss with qualifications and good jobs apparently don't need more money than what they already have.
Good observation, and being there for the customer is still seen to be a novel concept here
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  #135  
Old 17.07.2011, 12:43
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Re: Only in Switzerland... (anecdotes)

... you take your visitors on a hike and have to stop every 200m cause they want to take pictures.
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  #136  
Old 17.07.2011, 21:57
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Re: Only in Switzerland... (anecdotes)

Do in Rome as romans do. Whats our problem in following the system.
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Old 17.07.2011, 22:37
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Re: Only in Switzerland... (anecdotes)

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Done that hundreds of times and never had a problem. Maybe it's because I say the Swiss German version of "excuse me"???
What's that, "Sorry"?

Tom
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  #138  
Old 17.07.2011, 22:41
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Re: Only in Switzerland... (anecdotes)

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I can't register my car here because all modifications with TUV approvals from Germany are worthless here. They were good all over the EU though, only in Switzerland...not
And I wouldn't be able to register my motorcycles in Germany because things that are allowed to be modified here (and there are plenty) need TUV papers in Germany. Plus, I'd have to re-install the blinkers (not required here in most cantons).

Tom
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  #139  
Old 18.07.2011, 05:26
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Re: Only in Switzerland... (anecdotes)

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Here's a regular observation: A deserted road, a group of children, waiting by a pedestrian crossing until there's a car coming so that they can make the obligatory eye contact with the driver before crossing.... why not just cross when there's not a car coming...??

Being told that it was my fault for buying rotten fruit rather than getting an apology from the shop for displaying and selling rotten fruit...

Having every sarcastic or cynical remark commented on and some 'yes, but' explanation given...

When asking for fans or airconditioning because my team was sweltering in 28.6 degrees in the office, being told that the air conditioning was already at 120% so we couldn't possibly be hot...

I could go on.
I have also seen kids waiting for the car to come and stop instead of crossing when it isn't there.

Interestingly enough, whilst borderline rotting fruit smells more fragrant it also causes other adjacent fruit to go off quicker.

Of course their explanations are valid and relevant.

So, when in doubt, it is always reality that has got it wrong.

Last edited by the_clangers; 18.07.2011 at 05:42.
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  #140  
Old 18.07.2011, 08:07
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Re: Only in Switzerland... (anecdotes)

Only in Switzerland: Most people think that if you are a Swiss, you must be right; if you are a Swiss and you are wrong, there must be some sane explanation for that; if you are a foreigner and you are right, you must have lived in Switzerland for a long time; if you are a foreigner and you are wrong, there is no surprise!
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