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Mexico Whys
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Enchilada Potosina



Joined: 03 Aug 2010
Posts: 344
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why do OXXOs have two cash registers? At one of them you can pay, no matter how long the queue is, while the other one stands there and says, de este lado le cobran señor(a) and points to the other register... at least in SLP anyway.
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Enchilada Potosina



Joined: 03 Aug 2010
Posts: 344
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Dragonlady"]
canada_1986 wrote:
Yes!!! Two of the roommates I've had (both males) spent almost half an hour per day in the shower. In a country where access to fresh water is more limited, I find it very surprising.
I find it surprising that you find it surprising - given something you wrote on another thread -
Quote:
I can take half-hour showers with more hot water than I ever had at my parents' house in Canada. And it doesn't cost me a centavo extra.

Cleanliness being next to godliness and all that...
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Dragonlady



Joined: 10 May 2004
Posts: 716
Location: Chillinfernow, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MotherF and Guy,

I'll double check my sources - and check a few more.
What I wrote wasn't based on first-hand knowledge...

And I'll be the first to admit I was wrong (if I am)
... but I'm not so sure that I am Wink

DL
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1101
Location: 17°48'N 97°46'W

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.ref.pemex.com/index.cfm?action=content&sectionID=11&catID=19

It's up to each Franchise owner how they treat their employees.
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Phil_K



Joined: 25 Jan 2007
Posts: 1818
Location: A World of my Own

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Enchilada Potosina wrote:
Why do OXXOs have two cash registers? At one of them you can pay, no matter how long the queue is, while the other one stands there and says, de este lado le cobran señor(a) and points to the other register... at least in SLP anyway.


I've been told that one or the other is used regularly during the day for the incoming deliveries and associated administration, although I don't see that as a valid excuse if the company really wants to give good customer service.

OXXO is a well-funded and successful company, not a franchise, owned by the FEMSA Group, in which even Bill Gates has a shareholding! I think it wouldn't be asking too much to link a $6000 computer to the system to handle the administration.

It is a little improvement that is necessary in Mexico, where too many businesses are company-centrered rather than customer centered.
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Phil_K



Joined: 25 Jan 2007
Posts: 1818
Location: A World of my Own

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Samantha wrote:
DragonLady wrote:
Quote:
Funny how the things others find annoying after 6 months of living here, will be some of the things I'll miss the most after 9 years.


I totally agree. Mexico is what it is, and comparing the cultures, pointing out what we consider flaws, is a big waste of effort. Surprising as this may sound to some, they don't think the US/Canadian/other cultures are perfect either. Not sure when the turning point is when things here no longer seem strange, but I've logged 12 years now, and feel like a fish out of water when visiting north. (I don't do it very often since it's way outside my comfort zone). Pump my own gas; bag my own groceries, etc.? No thanks; what for?


I see your point, Samantha, and I've been here almost as long as you have, but there also comes the time when you realise that as a hard-working, tax-paying resident of the country, it is not a case of "comparing the cultures and pointing out the flaws", but wanting your environment to be better, just as many Mexicans themselves do.

I know that our little protests are but a drop in the ocean, but I've seen myself, for example, the reaction of someone I've reprimanded for butting in when someone is serving me in a shop; a reaction of surprise and no little humility. (The ones that answer with a stream of foul-mouthed abuse are beyond redemption!)

I think the very culture that you talk about is the thing that stops those who do want a better culture achieving it. So often I've been in the company of Mexicans who are complaining about the same things that we foreigners are, but when you ask what they are doing about it, well, that's where the culture gets in the way. The difference is that someone who KNOWS a different culture can see things from a different viewpoint.

You can continue to debate whether our culture is right and theirs is wrong, but I find that many of these problems are based on respect for others, and good manners, and these things are universal.
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1101
Location: 17°48'N 97°46'W

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phil_K wrote:

I think the very culture that you talk about is the thing that stops those who do want a better culture achieving it. So often I've been in the company of Mexicans who are complaining about the same things that we foreigners are, but when you ask what they are doing about it, well, that's where the culture gets in the way. The difference is that someone who KNOWS a different culture can see things from a different viewpoint.


Very good point, I've found in every country I've visited, local people complained about some aspects of their country/culture, and sometimes they are surprised to find that things are not that way all around the world. Many times it's simply a case of it not occurring to them that there are other ways to do things. That's why intercultural experiences are good for the world.
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Prof.Gringo



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 2003
Location: Paradise, Paradise, Paradise!

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MotherF wrote:
http://www.ref.pemex.com/index.cfm?action=content&sectionID=11&catID=19

It's up to each Franchise owner how they treat their employees.


I asked the workers at the local PEMEX station and they said they work for tips... I asked about the union and they laughed... Evil or Very Mad
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canada_1986



Joined: 23 Nov 2011
Posts: 44
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phil_K wrote:
I think the very culture that you talk about is the thing that stops those who do want a better culture achieving it. So often I've been in the company of Mexicans who are complaining about the same things that we foreigners are, but when you ask what they are doing about it, well, that's where the culture gets in the way. The difference is that someone who KNOWS a different culture can see things from a different viewpoint.


To me, whether it's Mexico or any other country, locals blaming "our culture" for the reason why they do things is a convenient excuse. For example, if a person lies to me, I won't accept the excuse of "oh, it's our culture, that's how we do things", because that's the person's individual choice to lie and to show disrespect for another person. And, respect for others including honesty is universal, that's not an American ideal. The culture isn't holding a gun to his head telling him to lie to me that he's going to come to my class today.
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notamiss



Joined: 20 Jun 2007
Posts: 853
Location: El 5o pino del DF

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Respect for others, including honesty, is universal.


That’s actually quite a culture-centric view. Our culture values honesty and telling the truth even if it hurts. We were raised to believe that this is a universal value, so we believe it is so.

There are cultures (like this one, at times) where the disrespectful thing is to tell someone something harsh and unwelcome, even if it is the truth. What is considered respectful is to tell them something they would like to hear. I’m not agreeing with that view, or advocating that we change, just pointing out that our values are shaped by our own culture.
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1101
Location: 17°48'N 97°46'W

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

notamiss wrote:
Quote:
Respect for others, including honesty, is universal.


That’s actually quite a culture-centric view. Our culture values honesty and telling the truth even if it hurts. We were raised to believe that this is a universal value, so we believe it is so.

There are cultures (like this one, at times) where the disrespectful thing is to tell someone something harsh and unwelcome, even if it is the truth. What is considered respectful is to tell them something they would like to hear. I’m not agreeing with that view, or advocating that we change, just pointing out that our values are shaped by our own culture.


Well said notamiss--it can be very hard for people to realize this.



A less personal example is sometimes easier. I don't know if canada_1986 read the diabetes topic where someone said that condiments and sauces are meant to enhance the food they are served on not over power them. That is not true of Oaxacan Cuisine. Mole is not designed to enhance the flavor of chicken. The chicken is mearly something to put mole on.
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Samantha



Joined: 25 Oct 2003
Posts: 2032
Location: Mexican Riviera

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

notamiss and MotherF; THANK YOU.
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Guy Courchesne



Joined: 10 Mar 2003
Posts: 9393
Location: Mexico City

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Allow me to put on the devil's advocate chapeau...

Quote:
respect for others including honesty is universal


This is universal...you won't find a successful society that doesn't feature it either in its people or in its laws to enforce it.

We're only really talking degrees of subtlety in honesty and I highly doubt you'll find any two Mexicans who agree on what is just the right amount of white you should paint a lie. You'll find just as many Mexicans who favor the direct brutal honest route as you do Mexicans who will lie to save face as you do Mexicans who will lie to be respectful then complain when someone else does it to them. Mexican culture is not so uniform to nail this question down so easily.
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Phil_K



Joined: 25 Jan 2007
Posts: 1818
Location: A World of my Own

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
You'll find just as many Mexicans who favor the direct brutal honest route as you do Mexicans who will lie to save face as you do Mexicans who will lie to be respectful then complain when someone else does it to them. Mexican culture is not so uniform to nail this question down so easily.


Exactly, so when I state what I state in my original post in this part of the thread, I am judging people as people, not as part of a uniform culture, and I'm certainly not Mexico-bashing.
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canada_1986



Joined: 23 Nov 2011
Posts: 44
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, here's another "why" question...

Why is age regarded negatively in Mexico, compared with some other countries?

Case in point - some of my English students were talking about the current election campaign, and one student commented that he doesn't like AMLO for no other reason than "he's too old". AMLO is 58 years old, a year younger than former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien was when he was first elected in 1993.

I also sense it in the hiring practices in this country - signs asking for job applicants to be no more than age 49, for example. There are very few, if any, people with grey hair working in the offices near my institute.
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