Printed from

It's all according to the protocol- or not?

Friday, 20 May, 2011 - 5:33 am

Dear Friends,

This week i visited together with my wife a certain office, I won’t mention the name because of “lashon hara”. We needed to get some simple paper work done in connection to the birth of our son.

The woman at the office dealt with us in a very professional way, and no less efficiently, however a bit strange.

She did everything exactly according to the protocol, but was not friendly at all.

Firstly, she gave us strange looks about the fact that we didn’t send in the child’s first name right after the birth. I tried to explain to her our Jewish tradition of not mentioning the name before the Bris, but she just gave me a cold reply, with a small trace of a smile: “ Sir, you should have disclosed the name to us right after the birth, and I promise you we would not reveal it to any third party before the time.” I tried explaining that until two days before the Bris, we still weren’t set on a name ourselves. Again I received a cold response: “You should know that this is not the custom in Switzerland.” At first I thought to promise her that the next time around I will think about revealing the name to them before the Bris, but I chose to keep quiet. Who knows, I could have gotten a response such as “It is not the custom in Switzerland to have more than four children”.

Then came the best part; we were about to leave, when she calls out “Mrs. Drukman we forgot something”, as she hands us (still) with a serious non-smiling face, a nice card with beautiful words of congratulations: “According to the protocol, we present you our official good wishes on the birth of your son… have a nice day.”

During the week I study Torah with many people in our community while having a nice chat. One of my friends, who has a decent job, told me that he recently found out something astounding. He is already working at his job for quite a few years and feels very well there. However, just a few weeks ago, his office manager resigned and invited him for a coffee to say good bye. So far so good. In the conversation, the man tells him the following: We know each other for years, so I feel i can be honest with you, I want you to know that the managers were never too happy with your work here, and sometimes even worse than that, but your amazing relationship with your co-workers has prevented your dismissal. Even though according to the protocol you don’t have to do this, you chose to wish everyone “good morning” each day when you walked in. You also asked your co-workers how they were doing, which really touched their hearts. This is why no one ever had the strength to fire you.

To finish off, a request, which again is outside of the protocol :),

Among the presents which we have received for the baby, there were two very nice ones, which unfortunately did not have a card attached.

One of them was really unusual; it was a package the size of about 3 shoe boxes, in it was a nice wintery coat for the newborn baby, which came via Air Mail from Israel with beautiful wishes to the baby and his family, but without the name of the sender…

If it was from you and you are reading this blog, please identify yourself, as baby Moish would very much like to thank you! And not because of the protocol.

Rivky and the children join me in wishing you a Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Chaim

Comments on: It's all according to the protocol- or not?

itzik wrote...

the donor of this present wants to be higher in the donation mitzwa!
shabat shalom

Chaim wrote...

Itzik, This is definitely an option :)

I see you remember well the Maimonides

S. wrote...

Thanks Chaim, once more, for the blog, I'm alwasy enjoying it!

Roxy Blumgart wrote...

Lucky he had his brit on time! Can you imagine what sleepless nights you would have caused Ms. Protocol if you brought a 2 month old nameless baby!!

Steve K wrote...

Again a big "Mazel-Tov" to the birth of your baby son from me and my beloved wife.

These days I am - as well - dealing with some quite unprofessional and uneducated (by Swiss standards) officials myself right now. And reading your blog, just made my heart race like Nili Abramski after getting to the finish line. So here comes my condolences to your family regarding the "mediocre-minded-official-rubber-stamp-holder":

There are laws & rules, definitively also in the State of Switzerland - even though it is in Economical terms most of the times not much further away then a Banana Republic (yes, I'm Swiss! ... and to be precise ... an Emmentaler [Swiss Cheese, big holes ... ]).
However, a new born baby will not run away, so they should have cut you some serious slak in reporting it to the officials. I "reported" (shiver-down-my-spine in reading what I just wrote ... sounds like a bad 1943 movie) my wife from Norway 1 year after she moved here, instead of 3 month. No one cared!

But most important ... a Swiss Hospital should/MUST have informed you on how to go along on these outrageous amount of uninteresting official paper work.
You should have told that (please, please "pardon" my french and again ... Nili Abramski right now) "B.!.T.C.H." [may god forgive me ...], that the hospital should have informed you about the 3-day-thingy and/or report it to the officials directly themselves. Some hospitals do it for you here in Switzerland.

That "official rubber-stamp holder" should have known that and apologized to you and your wife instead of making this special day seem like the first day of milchémet schéschet haJamim.

And one more thing. Do not feel intimidated by a person like "her". You do know, that you are her boss, right? Not because of your profession, but you as a tax payer!

Shabat Shalom!