Yesterday involved a lesson in one of the many ways Mexican life differs from European.
Our fabulous friend Susan very kindly took us to Office Depot to buy a desk and comfy chair so that I’m all set to get back to work next week. Both Susan and I were buying office chairs and spent time trying out the huge array of chairs on offer. Surprisingly, the first one I sat on was the one we got.
Since our Spanish in non-existent, Susan was a god send, especially once we got to the check out. While we were waiting our turn we were observing the long convoluted process a woman was going through to return a faulty phone. Susan explained that in many stores in Mexico, the employee gets stung if items are returned (faulty or not) rather than the company – which seems like a very unfair business practice indeed. The cost of the item is taken out of the employee’s pay. Therefore, employees are often reluctant to process return claims for customers and you have to really state your case! Customer service isn’t embraced here in the same way as it is in countries like the USA.
Sometimes clocks seem irrelevant here and you can make an appointment or think that running an errand will take a certain amount of time, but it’s rarely that way. Life passes at a different pace…not necessarily always slower, sometimes frustrating because of bureaucracy. But it’s all part of the delicious way of life here and rather than complaining, we’re quickly learning to adjust and go with the flow! Back to that chair….
Due to a muck up in inventory, the wrong chair was brought down for us which then resulted in what seemed like a VERY long and drawn out process to make sure we got the right chair. We even had to go to the extent of dragging the showroom sample over to the service desk to ensure we got the right chair (remember what I mentioned about customer service earlier?!). Turns out that it had the wrong price label on it and was in fact $1,000 pesos more than advertised but thankfully the shop actually honoured the published price. I just hope that an employee isn’t going to get penalised for the confusion in product labelling. We then had to go through the process of having our receipts changed etc and what we thought would be a quick jaunt took us what seemed like a couple of hours! Such fun!
Now, if this had happened in the UK, I would be the first one to have words with the customer service desk and demand they sort out the problem pronto. But here in Mexico, where life ebbs and flows at a different pace, I’m learning to sit back and let is unfold in the moment. Whatever will be, will be.