May 14, 2007

All Politics Is Loco

We all have our experiences with corporations and/or government agencies that are so huge and monolithic that it is simply exasperating to even think about them, let alone try to get a service out of them. In the US, we have numerous federal and state agencies, as well as a number of horrible private companies. In Germany, there were so many agencies that sucked so bad(Deutsche Telekom, Deutsche Post, Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Bahn) that we eventually started to suspect that "Deutsche" meant "rape" and not "German."
However, I have a new nemesis that may top them all: The ICE, or Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad. It's the monopoly government agency that controls not only the electricity, but also the telephone service for the country. So far, I've been waiting for a telephone line to be turned on that I paid for over three weeks ago. The best part is, they don't even need to enter the house to turn it on. They just have to turn a switch on the outside of the house. They've even come to the house two times, but I wasn't there. Of course, they asked for contact numbers, so I gave them Angela's phone number and her cell phone number. Neither of which they called. Also, Abuela even has keys to the apartment, so I gave them her number, so they of course didn't call that number, either.
Anyhow, I'm looking forward to yet another visit to their office, so that I can take a number, sit down for a half hour, talk to some sweaty bureaucrat, and eventually make another appointment for them to come when I'm not there.
So why is the title of this "All Politics Is Loco"? Well, there is a proposal for a free trade agreement between the US and Costa Rica, called CAFTA in the US, and TLC here. There's not a lot of support for it here, from what I can tell, and I try to not get too involved with the discussions. Basically, though, a lot of people think that the Americans are going to come in and try to take over and tell them how to run their country which, frankly, probably isn't too far off the mark.
But then one day I heard the argument that if the TLC passes, it'd threaten institutions like the ICE. Like that would be a bad thing. From this point on, I'm starting to support the TLC. I don't give a shit if Sprint and AT&T come down here in tanks and use F-14s to carpet bomb the ICE headquarters in San Jose. I just want a damn phone line.

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1 comment:

Kristen said...

Word man... It might make us sound like asshole Americans, but some places just have NO IDEA about customer service.