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I regret moving to Sweden

Biggest mistake I've ever made

post 3.Jul.2012, 10:11 AM
Post #1
Joined: 22.Dec.2007

I have been living in Sweden now for 3 years after moving here from London, and I am now starting to regret ever coming here. I wish that I had done my homework first about Swedes in general before I decided to come here to live. Sweden prides itself on being this great multi-cultural society, internationally respected for its equality to all people but this is just a myth. The truth is, I believe that most Swedes would prefer if there were no foreigners here at all, well perhaps only a few foreigners to help clean up their mess as this seems to be the only jobs that us foreigners can get. Take a good look around when you are next in the tunnelbana or at Mcdonalds, and you will see that all of the cleaners are foreigners. Even the taxi drivers are mostly foreigners as Swedes see this as work that is beneath them.
I recently telephoned a delivery company to ask about a job. The Swedish man on the other end of the line asked me, "where do you come from"?. "I come from London" I said. "Are you a proper Englishman", he said. "Yes, I think so because I was born in London" I replied. "Ok, can you come immediately to meet me and I will give you a job becuase we need drivers", the man said. "Yes, I will be there in 30 minutes", I said.
Well 30 minutes later, I arrived at the work place and the man came out to meet me. The look on his face when he saw me was incredible and he immediately asked me, "are you the person I was speaking to on the telephone about the job"?. "Yes I am" I said.
Well to cut a long story short, I didn't get the job because he was expecting a 'white englishman'. He even told me that he doesn't usually have foreigners working at his company. True story.
Just last week I went to one of these job recruitment meeting which was arranged by a well known consultant agency, we were told to put our names on the list when we arrived and that we would be called in for a short interview. Well after a short while, I started to notice a strange pattern occuring when each name was being called out. The consultant would call out, Svensson, Eriksson, Johansson, Bjorksson, Fredriksson, Nielsson, even when I was certain that Mr Habib and Mrs Abdul arrived before any of the Svenssons. True Story.
But you have gotta hand it to the Swedes, they are very clever. Whenever you mention the very notion that racism is at work, they act completely gobsmacked and surprised at the very idea that they could be in any way racist. Take for example this 'rule' that we have to be able to speak perfect swedish just to get a job. This in my opinion is rubbish and a very clever way of keeping certain people down and from getting a job because you cannot tell me that a man that drives a truck all day cannot do his job properly if he couldn't speak swedish.
In Sweden the best place to be sick is in the back of a cab..You can be sure that the driver is an unemployed doctor from Iran. Welcome to Sweden.
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post 3.Jul.2012, 10:21 AM
Post #2
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 2.Feb.2011

... I'm sorry to hear you're having a bad time but, um, did you have a question?
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post 3.Jul.2012, 10:36 AM
Post #3
Location: Gothenburg
Joined: 20.Sep.2011

I don't think there is a requirement to ask a question when starting a thread...
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post 3.Jul.2012, 10:39 AM
Post #4
Joined: 10.Dec.2010

Don't let the door hit you on the way out.
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post 3.Jul.2012, 10:41 AM
Post #5
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 2.Feb.2011

QUOTE (Snood @ 3.Jul.2012, 10:36 AM) *
I don't think there is a requirement to ask a question when starting a thread...

Absolutely not, but what kind of response was he hoping for? Outpouring of sympathy? Agreement? Is he just trolling? Or is the post itself meant to be cathartic in some way?
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post 3.Jul.2012, 10:48 AM
Post #6
Joined: 20.Sep.2011

A sleeper troll, 4 1/2 years before breaking cover, full marks for effort and patience. smile.gif

That said how many white English born cleaners, taxis drivers and takeaway workers are there in London as a percentage? How many of these would have got a job without speaking a word of English? How many fork lift truck drivers are there in the UK who don't speak English?

Once you give me a rough answer to these I'll give a more sympathetic reply to your cause.

ps. What industry were you looking for work in? Quals? Language skills?
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post 3.Jul.2012, 10:54 AM
Post #7
Location: Europe
Joined: 28.Oct.2008

Quick jump on him .. he must be a troll if he describes something that could lead to others to question their own self worth.
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post 3.Jul.2012, 10:55 AM
Post #8
Joined: 30.Jun.2012

Mr UK, welcome to the world we live in. Although it's only to a point this happens, once you get into the skilled labour market colour race creed pays ZERO part in things and it is entirely based on skillset. Because if what your saying was the case across the board, well the medical profession would be screwed.
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post 3.Jul.2012, 11:01 AM
Post #9
Joined: 20.Sep.2011

QUOTE (byke @ 3.Jul.2012, 10:54 AM) *
Quick jump on him .. he must be a troll if he describes something that could lead to others to question their own self worth.

well he post nearly an hour ago, has been online the whole time, but hasn't replied to anyone. Technically to be a troll you shouldn't re-post on a thread that you start. He probably isn't trolling, just hacked off.
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post 3.Jul.2012, 11:04 AM
Post #10
Joined: 12.Jun.2010

I have been living here for 5 years and I agree with everything he says. I am a white westerner and still will never be accepted in Sweden, ever, I can only imagine how difficult it is for others, especially noncaucasians. I for one have nothing negative to say towards the poster, obviously he has been on the board for many years and I am sure its a posting out of frustration and a need to vent, havent we all been there? Anyone that tells him to not let the door hit him on the way out maybe needs to look around a bit, nothing he said there is false, and I have seen and heard much worse from Swedes. Anyone that hasnt been so frustrated with this country to the point of wanting to throw a chair through a wall at sometime is full of crap.
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post 3.Jul.2012, 11:05 AM
Post #11
Joined: 15.Jun.2012

Different people, different experiences - life doesn't work the same for everyone for a multitude of reasons. One person's utopia is anothers hell and all that.

If the original poster has had 4 years of hell, then probably time to address it and move on as it won't change by now. Good luck wherever you end up.
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post 3.Jul.2012, 11:44 AM
Post #12
Joined: 9.Mar.2006


I have lived here for 10 years, and would not even consider returning to the UK.

It may help that I am white, and I do have a friend from Iran who had to change his name to "Dennis" so he could get a job interview here, but He now has his own business employing 6 or 7 people ( He is a mechanic) , and I have never had any problems at all fitting in. I have more Swedish friends than English and love it here!

It would probably help to learn better Swedish, cultivate some Swedish friends and network to find work rather than just gobbing off here hoping someone will feel sorry for you!!
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post 3.Jul.2012, 11:48 AM
Post #13
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 2.Feb.2011

QUOTE (Darwinder @ 3.Jul.2012, 11:04 AM) *
I have been living here for 5 years and I agree with everything he says. I am a white westerner and still will never be accepted in Sweden, ever, I can only imagine how diffic ... (show full quote)

What do you define as "accepted"? I ask because I was discussing this with some friends recently, and the opinions differed quite a bit (I was the only person living outside their native country, and needless to say I had a very different perspective on it than they did).
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post 3.Jul.2012, 12:23 PM
Post #14
Joined: 25.May.2012

QUOTE (Volvoman @ 3.Jul.2012, 09:55 AM) *
Mr UK, welcome to the world we live in. Although it's only to a point this happens, once you get into the skilled labour market colour race creed pays ZERO part in things ... (show full quote)

Using the healthcare profession in Sweden to validate your statement is misleading particularly when extrapolated to the whole white collar job market in Sweden.

Doctors in Sweden are not well paid, particularly surgeons compared to other western countries. Sweden compensates for this by allowing doctors from second world and third world countries to transfer their medical license here. For example, a fair number of countries medical boards, such as Romania, are approved by Sweden but not many other western countries. So, Sweden makes an exception in the area of healthcare in part to cut costs and fill staff requirements.

Sweden uses the French model regarding ethnic minorities and the job market. That is, it buries its head in the sand and says "we are all Swedes". So, since figures on ethnic minorities in white collar jobs does not exist on a historical year to year basis within the official government statistics it is difficult to criticize citing official sources.

From personal experience I would counter Volvoman's statement "once you get into the skilled labour market colour race creed plays ZERO part in things and it is entirely based on skillset" with its probably more like 70 to 80 percent part across the board in Sweden. Various reasons why:

1. In Sweden it is relatively difficult to fire someone therefore, Swedes are very careful about who they hire. Deferring to caution they often hire people with familiar backgrounds and similar schools. The discrimination is not really taking place so much at an employer level across the board but at a national level set by government policy and it is not direct discrimination, imho, rather a side effect of a labor system that encourages stability.

2. Some companies are very open to hiring foreigners. Typically those companies are characterized by:

2A. Doing business internationally.
2B. Developing and young technologies / companies. These companies need employees with an entrepreneurial or "intraprenurial" mindset who are willing to give there all.
2C. Companies owned by a foreign parent company. I have seen firsthand two such companies implement diversity programs within their Swedish branches due to the uniformity of the staff did not fit their sensibilities.

Unfortunately, only a small portion of the available jobs rest in the hands of such companies.

On the other hand, the older and larger companies with well developed human resources departments will fall back on the traditional hiring methods.

Regarding the lorry company the OP mentioned. This is all just speculation...Maybe the employer is not racist, however, perhaps the industry is? Maybe the thought of you representing his company would scare off some of his customers? Maybe he did not want the liability of you stopping at a truck stop and being the victim of a hate crime by a group of polish truckers? Maybe the sight of seeing a person of color driving a lorry is so rare in Scandinavia that he did not want to deal with his truck constantly being reported stolen? Maybe he often loads his trucks to heavy and plans his routes to avoid weigh stations and with a colored driver the chance of being indiscriminately stopped is higher? None of these reasons for not hiring you are fair and just but the world is neither a fair nor just place unless you fight to make it so...

3. At the end of the day life is a lot easier for foreigners if they just accept what Sweden is and is not. Basically, Sweden is a country wrapped in very pretty packaging but after opening the box one finds various ill fitting bits and bobs and a bag of manure or two along with an Allen wrench to put it all together. However, this experience is not unique to Sweden most countries mythologize themselves as something they are not and spend great resources "educating" their citizenry with that propaganda for about the first 18 years of those citizens lives. Those who defend their country are indoctrinated and brainwashed, those that attack another country will face a mob of stalwart brainwashed defenders...so your approach is wrong OP.

Instead, figure out what the Swedish psychology is and then design a product around it...as a primitive example, start a T-Shirt company with a local Swede. Sell, "F*ck Foreigner" T-Shirts at Swedish Democrat rallies and "I HEART foreigners" at all other rallies. Make your money and laugh all the way to the bank. In other words, play whatever strengths you have against the societies weaknesses and you will come out ahead...if you don't do that they will keep playing their strengths against your weaknesses...
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post 3.Jul.2012, 12:38 PM
Post #15
Location: Luleå
Joined: 4.Sep.2009

Replace the word "Sweden" in the title with the name of pretty much any other country on the planet and you've got the same tale from a group of immigrants in that country. I fail to see the uniqueness or newsworthiness of this.
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