Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Caving to Incompetence?

Grab this related post Widget!
I was taken to task by a reader after my last post about not assigning values or judgment for caving to "incompetence and ineptitude."

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Accepting what is and dealing with it in no way implies acquiescence to sub par behavior or performance. In fact, one of the key aspects of Latin American culture in which I steadfastly refuse to participate is failure to execute as promised.

We went through three attorneys before finding someone who we found to be satisfactory. Craftsmen with great skill who were tardy or didn't show up have been summarily dismissed in spite of their talents. We scold our maid, who has been with us over a year, every time she is late.

This has nothing to do with cultural differences, in my opinion, and everything to do with basic respect. If you tell me you will show up, I wait for you, and you are a no-show, what you're basically saying is, "My time is more important than yours."

That is just not acceptable.

The older I get, the more I realize that time is my most precious, yet diminishing, asset. So if you waste my time on purpose you are showing a disrespect to me that will not be tolerated.

We gringos talk a lot about not trying to force our values on a culture in which we are guests. Sorry, this is one area in which I hope in a tiny way I do make a difference.

Agree or disagree?


Divinely Designed said...

Maybe you could post the comment about which you are speaking. That would give anyone wishing to make a comment have a more clear picture of the subject being discussed.
IMHO trying to change the people here by refusing to do business with them if their late, or whatever, is your choice, however, it may just frustrate you and not educate them, know what I mean? I agree that allowing them to treat you with disrespect is unacceptable, but because of the culture differences they may not see being late as a disrespect of your time; they may see it as an unavoidable thing that they had to deal with something more pressing. IDK, there could be lots of reasons for their motivations. All I know is that you can't change them, but you can sure frustrate yourself. Just sayin'

stocktalker said...

Divinely may have a good point, however, like YOU are saying, to be late for an appointment is disrespectful and I agree. That ONLY holds true for those of us in the U.S. though, to feel that way. It doesn't mean that the locals are going to agree with that point, as Divinely stated, nor will they learn anything or change their ways. Perhaps YOU will make a difference though, and being that I have the same outlook and opinion as you, I WOULD try to make a point to change that, and act accordingly, so Good Luck to you!

Dragonflyer said...

While there MAY be circumstances that create backlogs - it's the attitude that goes with being late that drives me nuts.

My time may not be that of a brain surgeon, but it is valuable to me and as a fellow human, I deserve and demand the respect.

As we live in other countries and cultures it is up to us to find the balance. Artesans are one thing and heart surgeons another - we will need to establish our personal limits and be clear about what's acceptable. A language issue? - Take help with you - don't settle!