Putting the “Tard” in “Tarde”

Posted: June 1, 2012 in Life, Stupidity
Tags: , , , ,

Last night we ran out of gas. The bottled kind, which heats our water and runs our stove. As there are several providers and RioGas and the others have consistently dropped the ball, leaving us taking cold showers for several days while we wait for the truck that never arrives, I called Acodike, who had until today never sucked total ass.

The call having been made in late in the day, I was not surprised to hear them tell me the truck would come “mañana, medio dia.” OK, no problem, completely understandable. We have a small reserve, enough to cook with but not enough to have showers more than luke-warm, maybe enough for another day or two max.

This morning I was sure to call them back and sure enough they had no record of our previous request. “Hoy, tarde” was the official arrival time of the truck. OK, no problem, but “cuando, mas o menos?” “Hora y medio, señor.” OK, excellent.

3 hours pass, still no truck. So I call back again. No record of our second request. “OK, I shall call again every hour until you send the tank.”

Each call, there is no evidence of my previous request.

5pm approaches and still no sign of the truck. I call them back, “Truck is in your area.” Uh huh. I wait a little longer, until 6pm approaches, and still no truck. There is no longer enough gas to take even a warm shower, and the cold weather last night guarantees an icy shower. I am starting to stink. So I start getting kitted up to go outside, remove the empty tank, and drag it into town on my own and do their jobs for them.

No sooner than my laces are tied and I have my keys in hand, the truck shows up. They bring the new tank down and switch it with the old one. TankBob opens the valve at the top and heads back to the truck with the empty, without even checking his work. Just standing there a few feet away I can already hear the hiss of a leak and can begin to smell the gas.

“It’s got a leak,” I call to him. He comes back and listens. You can even smell the leaking gas. He jiggles the valve a bit, tightens the fitting, listens, doesn’t seem to detect any more leak so he asks me to have a listen myself. I do. Still hissing.

“I think you’re going to have to change the tank. This one is no good,” I explain. He grumbles something about not having another tank but I insist, knowing full bloody well he’s got a truckload of them. And I make them change it. This time no leak, no hiss, no smell of explosive escaping gas.

This guy’s job is to make sure the stuff he hooks up is safe and not leaking. And to change tanks. Neither of which he wanted to do. Failure can cause the loss of life and/or property. Not cool. I’m no fan of government regulation but come on, man, that’s not only common professional courtesy; that’s basic safety any idiot can and ought to make sure of.

This is the constant situation here, and I was talking specifically about this with GermanBob last night over dinner: Part of the reason getting anything done here is Sisyphean, is because the culture keeps stretching it out as long as humanly possible for no reason, even at a loss in their own profit or loss of continued business. It keeps you constantly bouncing between “I’ll finish it myself” and “Oh, you’re here, please continue,” and we’re such suckers that we keep letting them do it to us. Here’s how it plays out.

The Uruguayan 12-step program for Progress:

  1. You contract a service.
  2. The guy doesn’t show up on time, so you start to wonder if you should have gone with the other guy.
  3. Then the contractor shows up, and starts work. He gets maybe 3/4 of the way through it and then vanishes.
  4. You call him and email him and ask when he is coming back to finish. He doesn’t respond.
  5. You contact your second choice and ask him if he can complete a job the other guy started.
  6. After he takes a look at it, he is nowhere to be found on planet Earth.
  7. You still have no contact from your first guy. You begin to plan out completing it yourself.
  8. You go out and buy all the materials and tools to complete it yourself.
  9. You get on your coveralls and everything put together, and no sooner do you lift the hammer that your first guy shows up to complete the job, so he says. Lots of excuses, sick aunt. Always a sick aunt. Uruguay must have some selective virus that only targets aunts of contractors and has a 100% infection rate.
  10. You leave him to it. He gets to 90% completion and then disappears again.
  11. You declare it done enough and feel ripped off every time you look at the sloppy work.
  12. Wash, rinse, repeat.
  1. BeelzeBob says:

    Lots of tards have kick ass lives. My ex wife was a tard, now she’s a pilot. Kick ass.

  2. La Gringa says:

    We own two tanks, one hooked to the stove, the other “full” in the storage shed waiting for tank #1 to empty. When tank #1 goes empty, within a few days, it is replace with a full one. Usually, we do the exchange process ourselves, at a local Almacen, but on occasion, we’ve had one delivered. Every little Almacen that pops up on every block not far from our “out of town” home, stocks and will deliver, if needed. No need for “RioGas”. Our gas station also has a Gas Filling station, although I doubt anyone uses it, since it is so easy to get gas to your home, out here in Nowhereville, Uruguay.

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