Monday, March 31, 2008
Friday, March 14, 2008
I finally got the taxi entitlement - but didn't have to do the taxi exam to get it. If you want to know how you'll have to guess, it's not something I'm going to advertise, but it didn't involve bribing anyone.
No more paying for parking at the airport.
I'll be celebrating this weekend.
Go into any Carrefour or El Corte Inglés here and you'll see what I mean. Staff who are supposed to be serving customers take a perverse delight in ignoring them and prefer to chat to their colleagues or on their mobile to friends and family or merely pick their noses rather than do the job they're paid for.
The concept that their salary is actually paid by their customers seems to escape them. I remember reading last year that of all Spanish companies that go into the export business, a third have abandoned it after just two years. Probably because they've pissed off their customers so much.
The crap service par excellence is of course provided by any state-run organisation or business. The complaints against Telefónica are legion, having passed into urban legend many years ago. They feature on expat bulletin boards on a monthly basis. However, even they are exceeded by the Health service, Town halls, Tax authorities, in fact any arm of the state.
Now I know why. In spain, to get a public service job you have to sit oposiciones, a sort of board exam. The interview is purpose-designed to weed out any extranjeros that have the temerity to apply. I know because I once applied for an English-speaking role at the local town hall (to deal with the english-speaking ratepayers). Needless to say the job was awarded to a local who could hardly string together a sentence in English, let alone communicate effectively. The impression I was left with was that this is racism by the back door, pretending to offer jobs to foreigners, only to exclude them in biased interviews.
And the photo? A colleague bought a car on French plates. It took 14 months to get the car registered here in Spain involving umpteen visits to the gestor to get it sorted. I even once had to go to Cádiz itself to visit tráfico there to check what the gestor was saying was true - he was lying out of his arse! Needless to say he won't be getting any repeat business or recommendations from me.
As you can see, Charlie is getting creative with her Christmas present (mobile phone). So far none of the children have come back to me asking for a credit top-up, so I guess they're not making many calls.
The only fly in the ointment has been Lulu's phone which did not come with a cable (or Bluetooth). I've been completely unable to find a cable for it so we are still waiting for her photos, and the phone memory is full.