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.