2/10/2009

How things are in Panama 1



Here's a day in the life of doing day-to-day errands in Panama City. First stop, Cable Wireless. Take a number, sit down, and watch something akin to "America's Funniest Videos" (ooh, another groin shot -hilarious!). This keeps the waiting masses occuppied. Meanwhile, five to eight workers behind the counter play on the computer, talk, wander around, or try to look busy. Everybody, just keep enjoying the HD TV... Notice the picture: no customers being helped. Or when they do help you and you ask to change the internet speed. They say okay and type alittle on the computer, pause, send a quick text message on their cell phone. Type a little more on the computer, answer their cell phone, make dinner plans, type a little. Repeat cycle for 15 minutes or so.

シリーズでお伝えします。パナマの日常。まずはこのオフィス編の例として、インターネット&携帯電話のサービス会社。どこに行っても異様に従業員が多い。なのに、だれも働いてませーん。こんなに沢山待っている人がいるのに。でも、パナマ人はとても我慢強いです。だれも文句を言いません。



But we got a little ahead of ourselves. The number, you need a number first. Numbers make sense, you need numbers to keep track of who is waiting in line. The great thing is, getting the number is a free-for-all. No line to get your number you just go up to the counter and try to be the first one to get it while the person working is chatting on the phone. Then there is those times when the worker is waiting on the customer to get off the phone, but my favorite is when the worker and the customer are on the phone at the same time. Who needs the DMV when you have Cable Wireless.

携帯電話のマナーはありません。見て!4人中、3人は電話中。サービスをする人も平気で私用電話をするし、サービスを受けている最中の人も平気で携帯電話にでます。だから、なかなか次の人に番が周ってこない。あ、それから、パナマ人は列を作るってことをしません。割り込んでいくのが常識です。

こんなパナマが嫌にならないかって?すでに1度なりましたが、今はもう、受容の時です。アメリカなんて比じゃないですよ。イライラしない秘訣は、まず待ち時間のための本と冷房対策の上着を持ち歩くこと。そして1日に2つ以上のモノゴトを済ませようとしないこと。

2 comments:

Jesse said...

Is it like Caracas where, in addition to all that, the worker looks at you with utter contempt the whole time like, "fuck you for making me get up and do work. I'm gonna make this REAL difficult for you by answering you questions with half truths, making promises to do things I have NO intention of doing, and generally acting like I have more important things to do."? Is it something like that?

Naoko said...

Jesse,
Yes, something like that. They are not too rude, but not pleasant. I do think they don't like to have a customer giving them a business. They are annoyed when I make them work...