A disgruntled librarian packs it up and leaves fabulous New York City behind,
going on random global adventures,
while simultaneously promoting literacy
and spreading the love of the written word.

Monday, July 5, 2010

everyone employed

there is something going on here in buenos aires that is kind of charming in it's inefficiency.  there seems to be a job for everyone.

now, i like that i buy my fruits and vegetables from a store that exclusively sells produce, and that we get our fish from the fish store, and our fresh hand-made pasta from the fresh hand-made pasta store. (what, you don't have a fresh hand-made pasta store?)  i even bought my teaching supplies from a stationary store, as it seemed to be the only place that sold things like folders and staplers.  that's cool.  i like specialty shops.

but i have noticed that there is a bit of an over-employment going on at some of these places.  for instance, at the supermarket when you walk over to the produce section (assuming you didn't buy your produce at the produce store), there is a man there whose sole job is to get you your produce for you.  so you tell him what you want and then he bags it for you.  seems a little useless, no?  i mean, i can get my own carrots.  i'm quite capable that way.

then at the electronics store when i went to buy a flash drive, one man helped me find the proper item and input my information into a computer (why is my personal information even necessary?).  then i was escorted to another desk where i paid for the item, declining any payment plans for this purchase (i was actually offered a payment plan for $25 item.  really?).  then, i walked over to another counter where a man stood beside a freight elevator and stamped copies of my receipts.  he made a phone call to someone, i assume at the bottom of the elevator shaft, who then put my flash drive on an elevator.  after i finally received the flashdrive, i was stopped by a security guard who checked that my item matched my receipt, and i was then sent on my way.  the whole process was rather time consuming.  and really, why do i need 5 employees to assist me in the purchasing of such a small inexpensive item?

have i mentioned that we have trash collection 6 days a week.  6 days a week!  it's so often that you don't even need to buy trash bags.  you just put out the day's garbage in little plastic bodega bags.  i can't even imagine how many garbage men it takes to collect trash 6 days out of 7 for a city of about 13 million people.  crazy.

have i mentioned that i am now in the employ of three different companies?  not to mention the various freelance writing gigs that i am now outsourcing to the bolshevik.


  1. That is crazy! But it sounds like Argentina needed an employment boost and that it is working to a certain degree. Regarding your trash collection, it is shocking when countries that have far less money than the USA can afford trash collection 6 days a week. In the UK it was weekly and they tried to make it every other week. And here in NYC we just had our subway service slashed (bye bye N express on Broadway) because of the budget crisis. Really?!

  2. no N train! oh no! whatever happened to that huge MTA surplus a couple years back? i know every gets up in arms about fare hikes, but i personally wouldn't mind paying an extra $.25 or so in order to save necessary train lines. wouldn't that make at least a million dollars extra a day?

  3. I personally have always had trouble selecting produce. Sometimes I can't even find those plastic bags. Maybe I should consider re-locating to BA.