Sunday, July 25, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Friday, April 30, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
I’d never heard of this event, but after doing a little research, I really wish it were held earlier in the year so I could attend. Add one to my “Things to do in my lifetime” list, right behind SxSW and TED.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Now, in my final month, I have been assigned to a chocolate account.
I’d say my work in Switzerland is finished.
Monday, April 19, 2010
But when our family visits, we just give up.
Because under our sink, they see a container for regular trash and a container for compost. And next to the stove, they see a container for paper and a container for plastic and a container for glass.
And they quickly deduce that we are pigs and have five randomly placed garbage cans around the kitchen, and they throw stuff wherever it’s convenient. So we simplify and ask them to put everything in the trash under the sink, no matter what it is.
If you are an environmental activist looking for something to protest, come stand outside our apartment when we have loved ones in town.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Many foreigners are asked to sign contracts stating they will give two months notice. Since it took us more than twice that to move from Chicago to Geneva, I figured it wouldn't be a big deal.
But when I finally gave my resignation, I was told that according to Swiss law, your resignation becomes official the month after it's given.
So even though I gave my resignation on March 1st, my two months notice wouldn't legally begin until April 1st.
Had I known, I would have called my CEO at home Friday 10:30 pm when I received my offer.
We're still leaving on May 1st. I've worked it out with my company so the that's not going to be a problem.
But the whole resign-by-the-end-of-the-month thing would have been nice to know.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Why are all these Brits working at the American Embassies? Are they Americans who are trying to sound European?
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Where things really differed from our US experience was in the recovery room. In the US, we’ve always had private rooms. Here, my wife shared a room with two other new mothers. Visiting hours seemed more like a cocktail party. My wife kept referring to it as Baby Camp.
The other two women at Baby Camp were European, which mean they liked their room crazy warm. They were wrapping their kids in blankets in Sahara-like conditions, and my wife was letting our hang out in a onesie. The nurses couldn’t believe that my wife would give a pacifier to our newborn. Culturally, everyone thought everyone else was a nut.
In the States, new moms are usually given two days max to recover. Here, the doctors wanted my perfectly healthy wife and child to stay for five. She started campaigning to be released and was let go on Day 3.
In Switzerland, they weren’t too concerned with whether or not we had a car seat for the baby. In the States, they wanted to see the kid strapped and buckled in before you rode off.
Also, our doctor looked just like Jacob from Lost. When he left to “consult with colleagues,” it was pretty easy to image that conversation taking place inside a giant stone foot.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Most supermarkets make you deposit a 2-franc piece to use things things. I guess at least two people decided that wasn't a big enough reward for returning them.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
This is the least expensive at 4,400 Swiss Francs (about $4100).
This is the most expensive. At 262,000 Swiss Francs it is a little more expensive than my house in Chicago.
Notice that the more expensive one displays the date and day of the week. I'm guessing this is why you pay a little more.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Baselworld is the most important trade show for watch manufactures in the world. Who knew?
A few of my coworkers recently attended (I was offered a ticket, but had prior obligations – rats). Even though the majority of the booths are accessible by invite only, I would have loved to browse.
What blows me away is that the average high-end watch manufacturer (think Patek Phillipe or Rolex) plans to make 50% of their annual sales at Baselworld. So it’s basically like the auto show only you can’t get into any of the booths, and the rednecks are replaced with oil shieks, Japanese trust funders and Russian mafiosi.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
- Launched in early 1983, they were smart enough to realize they needed a brand. They knew if they were just another Swiss watch, their deep-pocketed competition would demolish them.
- Switzerland was known for producing the best watches in the world, but they were also the most expensive. In the early 1980's, if you wanted a good watch for under a couple hundred bucks, you bought a Japanese Seiko. Swatch changed all that. (In fact, Swatch was short for "second watch" - the one you'd wear when you didn't want to scratch up your $10,000 piece.)
- Early on, Swatch started partnering with artists like Keith Haring to build their design cred.
- They remained true to their meticulous Swiss heritage, first developing the flattest watch in the world, and then figuring out a way to reduce the pieces needed from 91 to 51 without losing any accuracy.
- Today, the Swatch Group is the world's largest watch company and owns the following brands: Omega, Tissot, Mido, and the watch lines of Calvin Klein and Tiffany & Co.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
No matter what policies Obama's implementing (or failing to implement) back in the States, his brand is still strong overseas.
We have a Swiss copywriting intern in the office, and I asked him to write several lines for a client who's wants to announce how they tailor their products to their customers' needs. One of his suggested lines was this:
You wish, we made. (Obama style)
I'm amazed that someone who's only moderately proficient in English is recommending communication be "Obama style."
I'm not sure which is stronger, Obama's brand or the reach and influence of American politics. I can't imagine writing any line and giving the direction "Sarkozy style" or "Felipe de Jesús Calderón Hinojosa style."
Maybe these would work:
Yes! No! Whatever! Reorganize the government! (Berlusconi style)
You have no idea who I am! (Stephen Harper style)