Friday, March 31, 2006

On doing business from and in a 3rd World Country

Getting used to a new culture is difficult. Dropping all expectations of what can happen in a day is almost impossible.

We have been planning our days for 30 years (okay, so our mom's planned for us at one point.) After that many years; it is odd to get up and tell yourself that your list is ... well, it is only YOUR list. It means nothing to anyone else.

If your list had five things, expect to accomplish one, maybe two. It would be better not to make the list at all.

Yesterday, I gave Troy a list with 7 things on it. As I sit here typing it has one thing crossed off. The only one he did was #6, which was "kiss me." He got stuck on another project, had trouble with it and had no way to go get parts ... so his day was sucked into the Haiti black hole of time.

We still have business to take care of in America. Our internet telephone is touch and go. Most businesses hang up on us before the connection establishes so we are having little success dealing with our U.S.A. issues. Lately, we write down what we want to say, email it to mom or dad and ask them to call the business for us.

Because we have had trouble calling to straighten out a few bills from before we left, I knew when the treadmill gave me trouble that I was basically out of luck. Sears is not known for their stellar customer service anyway, so to get them to help us from here, seems highly unlikely. The incline got stuck at full incline, no thanks. Troy was able to switch wires around and trick it into going down but now it is stuck down, no incline option. Troy emailed Sears to get a replacement part sent. This is their response.

"Sears does not ship parts outside the United States and Puerto Rico. We apologize for any inconvenience that this has created." (We all know they are not actually sorry, creating inconvenience is their specialty.)

Troy is considering swimming to Puerto Rico to pick it up.

And, for the record, I think Sears is one of the worst stores on the face of the earth. IF there were a Sears in Haiti, I would not shop there. I was under pressure to get a treadmill fast, to get it down here on the container. I make poor choices under pressure. I won't bore you with the details of how difficult it was to purchase this item, but you would think they don't actually want to sell their products based on this transaction.

We hear (and man, is it easy to forget from here ... what month it is, what day it is ... what is happening in the U.S. ...) that there are taxes due in a few weeks. We have not started ours, I think I see a few late, late nights in our future. Filing income taxes from Haiti is weird. Enough said.

I better go ... I have a to-do list to hurry up and ignore. Wish me luck.

"The hardest thing to understand in the world is the income tax." ~Albert Einstein