Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Fooled again

Well, I suckered into believing an appointment with a Mexican would be kept last night. We were supposed to have a meeting at our house at 7pm last night with a local who does property management for gringos. (or I suppose anybody who can afford or needs him) We have known this guy since before we moved here permanently and he manages property for some of our friends when they are absent.

We intend to fully board up our house when we leave. For security reasons and also just in case a hurricane should decide to stop on by while we are gone. But our cabana next door is rented while we are gone and we need somebody to handle any emergencies that may pop up. Like when the water lines broke last fall. Or putting boards on the window and putting the furniture all up on blocks. Our rental agent will handle all the typical rental issues, but she does not handle physical issues like that.

So I had dinner on the table at 6pm last night. (a receipe from one of Rick Bayless' took almost all day to make!) Dishes were done and we were ready and waiting for this meeting at 7pm. We were still ready at 8:30pm. At 9:30pm we closed our gate, turned off the porch light and shut the front door.

So typical. Who knows why he did not show up. When he does, there will be no mention of the missed meeting, no excuse or apology offered. He evidently had something else to do that he decided was more important or fun than meeting with a potential client. I don't even get angry at this behaviour any more. It is nothing personal, just that Mexican mentality that we gringos have such a hard time understanding. It does not mean that he does not want our business or that he won't eventually do a good job for us.

He'll probably show up sometime today. Usually when I am in the shower or otherwise occupied and not ready for a meeting. Such is life in paradise.


jmonk said...

For what it's worth, my understanding of this behavior stems from a cultural feeling of inferiority. That coupled with not being able to control much in their own lives, time and/or timelieness is something they can control and are often late or no shows to act out so to speak. There is a short discussion of this in the book The Mexicans by Patrick Oster.

Hollito said...


I`m glad to see you are online (and your blog is up and running) again.
For me as a german it is very difficult to understand the mexican people. Not that I am always perfectly on time, no, I must admit: Most times I am 5 or 10 minutes too late - but I will be there.
What really gets me upset in MX is not that people are too late - as I mentioned, I tend to be late too - but that people are not reliable. :-(
They promise everything, but they give a shit on it.

A friend of my wife (from university) always talked of visiting Oaxaca, he would know a nice hotel there, he would take care of the hotel reservations, no problem. He said this when we married in Xochimilco a few years ago, he said it every time we were in MX. But nothing happened. :-(

He even missed an invitation for a dinner in a fancy restaurant, and called us the next day with a lame explanation (he had to do overtime...). We waited for him the whole evening, but he did not call.

So you can call me a typical german, but there are two very different things:
One ist to be late - that`s no problem at all.
Second is to be unreliable - that`s a big problem I am not able to tolerate.

Someone in MX told me:
The people in MX are not unreliable and they give their best - the problem is, that they think it would be very unfriendly to say "Sorry, I do not have time to meet you". So they think it is better to promise the people anything, than just to say NO.

Well, I have a problem with this kind of thinking...

And now to something completely different:
You mentioned to put a blogroll into your blog - I would be glad to help you with this. Just contact me.

Regards from Germany, Holger "Hollito"

wayne said...

Thanks guys. I am continually frustrated by the inability of people to keep appointments, yet I continue to make them! The guys in question did show up at 7pm....just 24 hours later!

Hollito, I am on a borrowed computer until next week. I would love to work with you on putting up a blogroll. Thanks!