So I hear this word time & time again, you HAVE patience when you come to Panama & if you don’t, you don’t deserve to be here OR, you won’t be able to stand it.
So when I heard this before moving here, I thought good, it will teach me some patience as I don’t have a lot of it, since I’m a very intelligent fast person when I work. (this has changed since I got here. Panama has decreased my brain activity which is scary!!!)
In my mind I thought instead of being served within 5 minutes at a store, we will have to wait 20 minutes or maybe an hour, but I NEVER thought patience included having to wait weeks or months to get my ISP fixed or installed which is ridiculous.
I didn’t think having patience meant that if they don’t fix the problem when they come, you have to play the same game over & over again by calling them back even though chances are they won’t be able to fix it at any time because of their lack of intelligence or the fact that many are lazy & don’t want to take responsibility for problems.
I’m STILL trying to get this used fridge I purchased fixed 100% so it’s in working order. The guy has come out (I kid you not) around 10 times to fix it. If I didn’t work from home I’d be freaking BIG TIME having to stay home & lose work or waste my time. As it is he interrupts my day, I have to make sure I’m here when he’s going to come & sometimes he shows up other times he doesn’t.
So how is this different than back in the US or Canada? Well back there if a company can’t provide you a reliable service, you look elsewhere, but here, there’s such a monopoly, you can’t go anywhere else. If you are stuck with that company whether it be the electricity or your internet service provider, you are basically at their mercy.
Yes there is a governing body (if you want to call it that) who overseas these companies (it’s called ASEP), but do you know how long it takes to get them to actually do anything (that’s assuming they do do anything for you once they make a decision)? 2 months minimum.
So if you think having patience means doubling the amount of waiting time for a Panamanian company to serve you, think again. Panama seems to go out of their way to make everything as hard as possible when you want to get something fixed.
I know that if I complain about a company back home, while it may not be done in 5 minutes, the powers that be will look into it a lot faster & it can sometimes be taken care of on the phone within 20 minutes.
And one thing I want to make VERY CLEAR… Most of the people who talk about how THEY are soooo patient & they try to make YOU feel bad because you aren’t as patient as THEY are, are retired seniors, OR, they have NO clue what you are going through. They hear me say one thing about the company & then judge. They don’t bother to ask to hear the FULL story, they just ALWAYS have to be RIGHT & make the other person look bad.
These retirees get their monthly check & don’t have to work for a living, or if they do work for a living, it’s part time & bringing in money isn’t as crucial then if they were relying upon working full time like I do.
So if my ISP goes down or I have no electricity, I’m screwed. I can’t work. I can’t make phone calls, NOTHING.
These “know it all expats” have talked to me as if I’m a little child & they are sooo much better than me.
So the next time an expat puts you down for feeling impatient because of how Panama treats its customers, don’t feel bad. And if you are the type that cares about companies that actually know what they are doing, give you a good product or service & they actually care about fixing problems & taking your calls instead of ignoring you plus they don’t hang up on you, Panama is probably NOT the country for you.
Had I known how bad it is here before moving, I wouldn’t have & while the expats said I wouldn’t last here, they never told me WHY. I’m the type that isn’t easily controlled, so of course a person has to give me examples so I can make up my own mind. And this is exactly why I’m very detailed when I talk/write, so you can decide for yourself. You know yourself best, NO ONE should tell you what to do or make you seem like you are nuts if you are contemplating moving here.
We almost all think “this will never happen to me” & for some things are always great. If you can handle all that I’m going through, I applaud you & really respect you, but that still doesn’t give anyone the right to put others down if they can’t handle it.
This is 2012, not the 1800’s.