Last Saturday, the call came in from a cell phone. I didn't quite make out his name, as he said it so fast, but I managed to catch that he was calling from the "Gemeinde" or city government. It seemed like a hoax until he asked: "Do you still have your dog?"
Oops, I thought. "Yes, yes, yes," I said. "Yes, Bizzi is still with us. I am so sorry. I keep forgetting to come down to pay my dog tax."
"Are you at home tomorrow?" he asked.
"You, you... work on Sundays?" I asked.
"Yes," he said. "The whole day."
"Well... let's see. Yes.. It's Sunday... we plan to go skiing at 9:30am. Can you come at 9am?
"In Ordnung," he said. "I will come at 9am. Have CHF 120 ready." He didn't mention that CHF 30 of the amount was a fine for failing to pay the tax before the August deadline. As we are in the USA in the summer, I don't see the small reminder notice in the legals. And that they don't send a bill, makes this tax easy to forget.
He showed up as planned and was friendly. I invited him in for a coffee but he declined. Except for his coming in a marked van, he didn't make me feel like a criminal. He could have admonished me for my lateness or reminded me of the fine, but he didn't. The slight embarrassment of having a police car in my driveway for a few minutes was worth not having to make a special trip to city hall.
Now, that's what I call service.
As you may have noticed, I've been absent from the Swiss Alps, due to the fact that I've been fishing off the New England coast. T...
About a year ago, a reader emailed me asking about the health benefits of living in the Swiss Alps as well as its disadvantages. I’m no doct...
The Swiss are very manners conscious. Even in schools, children are required to greet their teachers with a handshake and eye contact. Whe...