On hot coals
A meeting has been arranged for 4:30 with the board of directors. Before that Johannes Bahr and I would like to take care of a few things in Cusco. We are on the road shortly after 4:30 am. My meeting with the director of the telephone company Claro develops to my satisfaction. Johannes is already in the hardware store “Maestro” for quite awhile and is working through our shopping list.
Around 11:30 we choose the lamps for the Medical Center together. Finally we are both waiting at the cash register. We want to pay and get back to Curahuasi as quickly as possible.
Scenario 1 in northern Europe: The customer can’t put the purchased articles in the shopping cart as quickly as the cashier rings them up.
Scenario 2 in Cusco, Peru: It is 1:20 and we ask the employees of the hardware store to speed things up. 3 employees begin to work. I look at my watch. The drive to Curahuasi takes at least 2 1/2 hours. Time is running out. We call the administrator Stefan Seiler so he can transfer the amount electronically. The leading cashier advises us to leave the items at the register and to go for lunch. I look at him flabbergasted and mutter that we are standing on hot coals because we are under time pressure. – The rash transaction is done and a bank crosscheck in the hardware store has confirmed the cash receipt of notice. Wonderful, may we go now?
Unfortunately not. We are informed, that another confirmation from the bank is still needed. “You just saw yourself, that the transaction was completed!”, I call out. Slowly I am becoming very impatient.-Less than a 1/2 an hour later the info. arrives- from who knows where- that everything is ok. Finally! Can we go now?
Unfortunately not. The cashier rings up all the articles a second time. They failed to save the list the first time. ” This can not be happening!”, I think to myself and look restlessly at my watch. Can we go now?
Unfortunately not. A third list appears to be necessary to be able to check the receipt. A 1/2 an hour later follows the next inspection. This time from the doorman, who wants to be sure, that we customers do not have the intent of criminally trying to smuggle out unauthoirised articles.
3:30 pm : Everything is packed in the car. I step on the gas. On our return trip, Johannes Bahr and I discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the ” Cashier – Customs”. What is better, to wait 10 minutes at a German register with time pressure and the next customer breathing down your neck- or 2 & 1/2 hours at a Peruvian register and to enjoy the day and drink a coke?
At 6:30 in the evening, it is already dark, as I enter my office and am allowed to attend the conference for 3 hours. /KDJ