What gets your goat?

Discussion in 'Living in Cancun' started by V, Jan 30, 2010.

  1. v8eyedoc

    v8eyedoc Regular Registered Member

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    RG......!! I don't think that about Mexicans working in Mexico...regardless of where it may be - bank, resort..etc... A number of years ago, myself and a dear Mexican friend were going to start a BIG business....and before plunging headlong into it, I did extensive on-line research....and came across a very interesting website which revealed much about the Hispanic mindset and the nature of the people.

    Specifically, the article dealt with the difficulties that Americans have in attempting to do business with Mexicans.... Americans are taught from a very early age to be aggressive and to take charge and that carries over into the workplace.. If an American is working for a company and thinks of a better way to do his or her job..to save money and be more productive..they will go to their boss and discuss the proposal with them.. and most likely also be rewarded in some way for coming forth....

    In the Mexican culture, people are taught to obey from a very young age...and.."not rock the boat"..!! As they grow into adulthood and go into the workplace....this carries over. When a man or woman enters the workplace - they are given a "job description".....AND....they stick to it....never offering any new ideas to the person-in-charge as to how a job may be done better...

    Example: When we used to stay at the Royal Resorts every year - I needed a blank piece of paper to write on....so I went to the business office and simply asked the woman at the front desk for a sheet of paper.
    She understood what I wanted, but got up and asked a 2nd person..who asked me....what it was that I wanted.! The second woman..went to get a 3rd person...and she asked me...."May I help you..?" I was pissed by this time so i said, "NO...!!! You may not...ask what it is that I want.! Ask either the 2nd or 1st person I had asked." Which she did! AND......I got my piece of blank paper...... Apparently...it was NOT in the job description of the first two...TO HAND OUT PAPER..!! They take no initiative on the job and do only as they are told.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2010
  2. RiverGirl

    RiverGirl Guest

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    So you are saying they are not paid to think and are not expected to think either.
     
  3. v8eyedoc

    v8eyedoc Regular Registered Member

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    RG... This is a cut/paste from one of the websites I had mentioned..:

    Mexican Etiquette and Ethics
    "The key to understanding the ‘Mexican Way’ of doing business is to recognize that business management in Mexico has traditionally been an application of cultural attitudes and customs - not the objective, pragmatic function that is associated with management in the United States and other practical-minded countries."
    So, right off the bat, we’ll assume that the author doesn’t consider Mexico a practical-minded country. And he goes to considerable lengths to examine those cultural attitudes and customs and explain why.
    Mr. de Mente seems to make a specialty of this kind of interpretation. He has written 37 books, most of them explaining countries like Japan, Korea and China to business people and travelers. Now he’s gone to work on Mexico. One can’t help wondering if the same cultural imperialism that lies behind that quote also applies to countries like Japan, China and Korea. Or maybe he considers them "practical-minded" countries.
    After reading Mr. De Mente’s account of some of the problems that a practical-minded businessman has to deal with in Mexico, such as mordida, poor communications between workers and managers, workers’ negative attitudes to management, machismo, Mexican resentment of criticism, avoidance of responsibility, dealing with patrones and family run businesses, etc. etc., one wonders why any practical-minded person would consider it worthwhile even trying to do business south of the border. And yet, the same week I read this book I saw in the newspaper that my country, Canada, counts Mexico as one of its biggest trading partners and that a delegation of some 500 business people and politicians had arrived in an effort to drum up more trade. Driving around Guadalajara, one sees all kinds of new buildings and plants under construction. Business people, it would seem, can’t get enough of Mexico. And they seem to be managing successfully.
    Which is the crux of my dilemma with this book. If it’s so difficult doing business here, why are so many people doing it? Why are there so many passages like the following:
    "…it is still not routine for executives in Mexico to share information with their subordinates because such knowledge has traditionally been regarded as part of their appurtance of power and is used to demonstrate that power. As a result…lower management and employees in general are not in a position to make decisions even if they have the authority to do so."
    Or: "Generally speaking, it does not do any good to make a complaint or request to an ordinary employee or to a low-ranking manager in a Mexican company because they have no power to act and are not likely to pass either one on to a senior manager."
    Or: "Veteran expatriate business people in Mexico repeatedly emphasize that their Mexican counterparts are great at planning but not at problem-solving because it involves questioning, criticizing and changing things, all of which have traditionally been taboo."
    Or: "Another key facet in the traditional character of Mexicans has been a compulsive rejection of criticism…"
    There’s lots more of that in this book and Mr. De Mente makes it all sound so complicated. Maybe I’m making too much of this. I have great difficulty visualising American and Canadian business people reading texts like this and applying some of the advice that’s given. I suspect, too, that it’s not the gringos who have to do the adjusting but, rather, the Mexicans. Indeed, one successful Mexican entrepreneur is quoted in the book with his own personal recipe for success: "I work like a gringo and play like a Mexican."
     
     
  4. RiverGirl

    RiverGirl Guest

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    This is very true here. I see it in the managers I know here. And it goes completely against my own management instincts. In the end people don't respect you because you know what's going on, or because you are above them in the chain of command. They respect you because you lead well. And being a good leader means giving your employees the power and information they need to make good decisions.

    Well, it's cultural. And I won't fix it by ranting about it.

    But it bugs me that people here often manage businesses in ways that don't serve the client, but instead seem to serve the fragile egos of managers with self-esteem problems.
     
  5. Isla Zina

    Isla Zina Regular Registered Member

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    Good enough attitude! Few workers take pride in their work. If someone is painting your house, they rationalize it's easier to remove dried paint drips with thinner than it would have been to lay down a drop cloth and not overload the brush in the first place.
    I had a handy man who I asked to secure a can light frame. He Scotch taped it to the ceiling. The same worker was asked to paint raw cement near a replacement fluorescent bar in the kitchen. He grabbed spray paint and now instead of raw cement, i have a white spot on my lighting fixture.
    The notion that something is good enough seems to prevail.
     
  6. heatandsun

    heatandsun Guest

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    Agree to the litter and the animal issues already mentioned. As well as...

    Standing too close

    Cutting the line

    Apathetic cashiers who can't even grunt back "Buenas Dias" or say "Gracias"

    Kids working for tips who can't say "Gracias" when given a tip

    And the lack of respect of zoning, whether it is the inappropriate building on protected federal land, to noisy businesses opening up in 'residential' areas and nobody seems to care (except me)

    And oh yes, waiting for the gas truck to show up. How many days of business are lost because they can't cook? Ridiculous...

    Those are the ones I can think of that 'get my goat' (yes, I'm familiar with the term, must be the age?).

    There are also other things that charm me, but that would be another thread.
     
  7. T.J.

    T.J. I can choose my own title Registered Member

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    I keep my goat and my llama inside. They get along well and no one can get them.
     
  8. RiverGirl

    RiverGirl Guest

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    My neighbor has a sheep tied up outside his house. I'm sure he plans to eat it. I would steal it except I really don't need a sheep running around in my house.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2010
  9. Steve

    Steve Administrator Owner

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    I just remembered one (thanks guys)

    Mariachis that start up at 11.30pm at night and probably going to be there for the next 3 hours.
     
  10. T.J.

    T.J. I can choose my own title Registered Member

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    Hey Eye Doc,

    Just noticed your "Mexican Minute" post from a couple of weeks ago. Here is one for you.

    Definition:

    Mañana - Does not mean tomorrow. It just means "not today."
     
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