Monday, December 17, 2007

And So It Was Silly

I'm not sure what the lifespan of a Phillips 40-watt bulb (the bulb of choice in this house, as a 100-watt bulb would plunge half the city into darkness) is, but whatever it is, it's remarkably consistent. As soon as one blows out, the others start going out in the order in which they were screwed in, one after another, the house getting darker and darker until, after about 48 hours, it looks like Neil Simon died. Fortunately, there's a place down the street selling nothing but lightbulbs and lightbulb accessories. I went down there yesterday for my semi-regular bulk purchase. What's really charming is that there's a socket right on the counter, and before he sells them to you, he takes every bulb out of it's package and tests it for you.

Total cost, 100 pesos. We're the only people in the shop, and I have a 100-peso bill in my hands. But he can't accept it - I've got to pay at the cashier's window, he says, pointing at the window set at a right angle to the tiny counter. From where I'm standing, all I have to do it pivot 90 degrees, which I do. There's no cashier. Meanwhile, he walks from behind the counter, through the backroom, down a corridor that takes him more or less around the entire building, and into the cashier's booth. He sits at the chair behind the glass partition.

I hand him the note. He thanks me and wishes me a pleasant weekend.


Julie said...

That sounds an awful lot like an experience I had at my central administration -- I needed to make an appointment to see our H.R. director, so I called and spoke with Marilyn. Marilyn told me that I needed to submit my request in writing. I did so, and then MARILYN called me a few days later to say she had received my request for a meeting and would like to schedule it for me. She failed to see the humor in the situation.

JBSK said...

We've had that a couple of times.

The first was at the post office in Merida ( or was it Puerto Escondido??). My wife stood for quite a while in a short queue to buy stamps. When she got to the the wicket she made her wishes known in carefully rehearsed spanish. After grumpily grasping my wife's request the clerk looked a little exasperated and told her to move to the correct wicket two spots down. My wife moved and stood in front of the empty wicket with a cerrado sign in front not really sure if she had got it clear.

After about about five minutes dealing with another customer the same clerk came over to the wicket removed the closed sign and wearily asked how she could be assistance.

We got the stamps.

'Eddie Willers' said...

Typically shortsighted, stuck-in-the-mud Mexican subsistence business.

Reminds me of the story of the Zocalo fireworks vendor who wouldn't sell all his fireworks to a single customer 'cos then he'd "have nothing to sell".

The only time, in our stores, I get stroppy with customers and insist they get a nota de remision from a sales clerk, to present to me for payment, is when we are so busy and I can't see either what they bought or how many.