There are so many “different ways of doing business” that you must navigate when you move somewhere new. One of the things that I did not realize I would miss about the United States was the ease of getting phone numbers or addresses or just information in general.
There is no directory assistance here. (Well there might be – but it is a well kept secret.) If you want a phone number, you have to know someone who knows the phone number. It is really crazy. I am yet to see a telephone book (except for the school’s directory – God love them). But what we all do have is a flippin’ stack of business cards. Literally hundreds of them. Everywhere you go, you get a business card. And you are hesitant to get rid of them – because you just might want to call that vendor one day. And when you do want to call a vendor, good luck figuring out which card is who.
And the internet is not always that helpful. Many of us have shared our frustrations of trying to find a business or address on the internet – you can literally get lost for hours in the land of nothingness.
Heck, most stores still calculate the bill by handwriting it and then doing the math manually – then rechecking the math with a calculator. So the fact that they don’t have a web presence really is not surprising.
Just the other day, I asked our cook to order some groceries to be delivered (yes, that is back when I had a cook). I knew that he was rewriting receipts so I did not want him to go himself. But the market delivers and then I pay the bill. Fabulous.
Now, just so you fully understand – this is the same market that we have been shopping at ever since Francis started working for us – 7 months ago. And they have delivered groceries many, many times to our house.
So a whole day goes by and no groceries come.
The next morning, we have this conversation…
Francis: Ma’am, I could not order groceries.
Me: Okay, why?
Francis: I don’t have the number.
Me: Of the shop we have been ordering groceries from for months?
Francis: Yes Ma’am. But I have the number of his brother’s shop.
Me: Can you call his brother and get the number?
Francis: I tried. No one is answering.
Me: So, you really don’t know the number? That you have been calling for 7 months?
Francis: No Ma’am.
Francis: Yes, Ma’am
Me: I’ll get it for you.
So, I went into the pantry where we have about 15 canvas bags (all of which Francis put away) from this market shop. Each bag has the address, phone number, and name of the store printed in l.a.r.g.e. type right on the bag.
Francis: Oh, thank you ma’am. (awkward laughing)
Me: Make sure you get their card.