You know you are in Switzerland when...

3:26 PM

Everything is over regulated!
There are too many example to start making a list, but one thing that amazed me for ages, is how my own compatriots like to have every single public matter issue regulated, and follow whatever rule blindly, even if it's borderline stupid.

Today I'm finding myself the victim of such an idiotic rule I'm not really happy camper. We are living in a small building which has 10 appartments, apparently no one is allowed to have their own washing machine, and need to use the two common ones in the common basement, in order to make sure that the only users of those machines are the one living in the building, one need to use their appartment key to open two doors, and then use a special pin key thing to put on the electriciy outlet so that power can actually activate the washing machine, each flat is rented with it's own "power pin key" in which the number of the appartment is engraved, until then I can more or less follow the thing. Now here is where the stupidity strikes : This morning I planned to do a laundry, so I load my basket, go down in the basement, and see that the first washroom is taken, so I quite logically go to the second washroom, put my clothes in, put the detergent in the special little compartment, close the door, put my "pin key" in the device to activate the electricity, and go switching on the machine. What happened? NOTHING, for a brief moment I thought maybe I didn't close my washing machine door properly and it comes with a safety mode, but nope, I try again to start it, and still nothing, I check to see if my pin key is properly inserted, it is, but still nothing happens! And that's when I start realising that quite obviously me being in Switzerland those maniacs must have found a way to make two pin key reader box and that the 10 appartments in this building have been segregated into two distinct groups, one authorized to use machine A and one to use machine B and that I quite obviously did it all wrong snatching time from the B group me belonging in the A group! So I try to take my clothes off the waching machine NOT, it turns out that to activate the "open" button, the washing machine needs power, and that my pin key isn't activating the electrical outlet, meaning that all my dirty laundry is trapped inside the machine with me unable to take them out!

The most disturbing of it all is that there are no signs telling you which washing machine can be used by whcih falt, so now I have no way of finding a person with the right pin key to activate it, and I don't feel like ringing the doorbell of 9 appartment wondering if those people will know enough English or French to understand a problem I simply can't explain too well in German. It just seem that when you live here, you must know in advance that you've been segregated into two distinct groups and that using the wrong machine is a crime worthy of holding your clothing in hostage until you properly humiliated yourself trying to explain the above mentionned criminal operation (Sir I stole your attributed machine by mistake because it was free).
Now me being Swiss, I know those buildings generally have a superintendant in them, so I try to locate his name in the "building official litterature" in the lobby, and maybe see a mention on his mailbox, but here there was nothing. So I came to the conclusion that not only must the people in my building know they have been washing machine segregated, but also know the name of the caretaker so that it doesn't need to be mentionned on the official inforations in the lobby, making me mad, because I really need help.
On DH's advice I waited for a while in the laundry room hoping someone would come, even tried to track down the current user of the A room (the one alocated to my flat), but turns out that if there are flat numbers on the key, there are none on the doors, so I quite logically assumed it was our neighbour since he is one number ahead of us, but there was no one answering the door.

After one hour I decided that the best solution would be to leave my invalid pin key in the slot, and put a note on the washing machine explaining who I was and what happened in the little german I remember from my good old school days and hope someone will come and tell me I'm free to go now.

I'm sure that most people in Switzerland find this washing machine system highly efficient and practical, I say " well maybe if you tell people in advance which machine they are supposed to use. But in general here is what I think : It SUCKS.


Blog Archive