September 15th, 2008


A swiss german telephone call

Today I had a call which made me SO angry. But first I need to put it into context....

1. My swiss German is now pretty fluent - I understand 99% of what is being said by 99% of swiss people. Most Zurich CS people will ask "Is swiss german okay?" when they hear that I'm not swiss

2. CS is an international company

3. I cover about 20 different projects / courses and send and receive a LOT of emails a day - usually about all 20 projects

So I kid you not, today I get a phone call (in Swiss German) that goes like this

Her (swiss German speaker): I'm ringing about your email
Me: Okay. What is it concerning?
Her: The email that you sent me
Me: Fine, but what was my email about?
Her: The course
Me: I'm sorry, but which course?
Her: Excel of course
Me: (takes deep breath)
Her: Rambles on a great length, something about the course that she might or might not have signed up for and is it the right one. In very fast swiss german
Me: I'm sorry, I still don't quite understand the context and what you want me to do
.....finally I work out that she is asking which level excel course she sould do
Me: Okay, well, could you tell me what you currently use Excel for in your daily working life?
Her: No - now talks even faster now in swiss german. About cancelling the course
Me: I am very sorry, but I don't quite understand. Could you speak a bit slower for me, or could you switch to high german?
Me: (Flabbergasted. Bring the call politely to an end!)

Finally set up

2008_09_15 New desk
Originally uploaded by nice_cup_of_tea
The new workplace - Today I finally finished clearing and sorting the last couple of book shelves.

I still have a window seat, but this time looking out onto the fire escape! Have managed to keep the flipchart and have a side desk with dictionaries, jugging balls and fake flowers!

Today I also figured out how to configure both screens, so that I have a "double" screen :-)