Now, to be clear, the Swiss are efficient about a lot of things. Take immigration and customs at the airport: it’s a model of efficiency and the US should take note.
But, recently, I’ve run into a few frustrating examples of inefficiency. Here they are:
My daughter had a doctor’s appointment last week. It was with a new doctor, but the doctor was in the same practice as her previous doctor. The same receptionist checked her in. But, because she was a “new” patient, the receptionist made us fill out the new patient paperwork. I pointed out that she already had all the information on the screen in front of her, but I still had to write out the information on her little form. I didn’t see her enter any of our information into the computer, but maybe she did it later? Who knows?
We moved two weeks ago and due to a mix-up with the rental agency, I didn’t arrange for internet in advance. It’s not a huge deal as my phone has unlimited wifi and I can tether my computer to it. But, I do prefer a separate wifi.
So, I sign up for Swisscom. Unfortunately, the previous tenants didn’t have the fancy internet I wanted, which means that electricians had to come and install the fiber.
They came on Thursday. On Friday, I got my modem and installed it. After installing it, I was unable to logon to the wifi. Why? Because I needed a password. I received an email saying that they would send me this password via snail mail for “security purposes.”
Frankly, I think if I got to the extremes of letting electricians into an apartment that I’m not renting, I can probably steal the post as well.
Swiss people LOVE hard copies. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve emailed a school principal only to receive a hard copy response in the mail two days later.
Registering and de-registering
As I mentioned, we moved. We did this 18 months ago. (I’m staying put until I can move back to the US, I SWEAR.) This time we changed cantons–which is like a state.
So, I went to the town and deregistered. She gave me a nice little form to take to the new town. I filled out a bunch of other forms and went to the new town offices to register. The nice lady informed me that I need first deregister with my former canton and register with the new canton. Then I can register with the town.
In addition, I needed a credit report and proof of income so I could prove I wouldn’t be a burden to the town. Bank statements, she informed me, would also be nice.
That’s a lot of paperwork, a lot of trips to government offices, and a lot of standing in line. How, pray tell, am I supposed to earn enough income to prove I won’t be dependent on the government if I spend all my time filling out paperwork and standing in line?
Now, as I’ve said before, I’m not opposed to registering in the towns. It certainly makes more sense than the huge census nightmare the US goes through every 10 years. But, this time around, it lacks efficiency.