Wednesday, January 21, 2009

They Wouldn't Know Efficiency if It Bit Them In....

yeah, you know the rest.

Here's my experience in buying a needle and thread yesterday. I tore a hole in a garment, I thought I'd just do a quick mending job on it. Easy, right? Normally, I have one of those traveler's kits in my luggage, but for some reason, this time I forgot.

So out I went searching for a little repair kit. Out of luck. Stores here have limited selections. And each store only has a limited, specialized merchandise. For example, you have to go to a Papeleria to buy paper. No Walgreen's. Not at the local grocery store, either.

Brilliant idea....there is a fabric store downtown (actually several). Women still sew their own and their family's clothes here, so it's a big market. Surely, Rod can find a simple needle and thread in a fabric store, logical, no?

It works like this: You have to go to the notions counter. Everything is behind a counter, just like in the U.S. in 1910. Very Model T. You wait for a sales girl. You explain to her you only want one small spool of black thread. She goes to a cabinet to select it for you. Then you need a needle. She goes to a different cabinet, and grabs a packet of 12 needles. Only need one, but that's the way they are sold here, and you gotta take the whole enchilada (so to speak). I stuck out my hand to take my 2 purchases from the girl. But WAIT! Not so fast. You can't have them. She, instead, gives you a itemized slip of paper. You then take the slip of paper to the cashier and wait in line to pay. The cashier then gives you a receipt. You then go wait in another line to pick up your items. Yesterday, there were 15 people (yep, I counted) in line in front of me. And you wait.

I got to the head of the line, and showed my PAID receipt. But, alas! The damned purchases hadn't made it over to the pick-up window. So she had to go over to the original counter to get my little needle and thread. She brings it pack to her window, bags it, and gives it over to me.

Now, doesn't that strike you as a major pain in the TRASERA?
Full-employment lives in Mexico. Ah hem...if anyone is listening in Mexico....wouldn't it be a bunch easier to let the customer get what he wants himelf, then pay for it (preferably at a self-service check out)? Silly me.