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Monday, February 22, 2016

On Having Work Done

A couple of days ago wrote about four hours of work done by two electricians here and the incredibly low cost of it. One thing I'd to add is that the quality of the work can be quite good, but to insure that, one is advised to stick with these workers, check up on their work. Of course that's somewhat true everywhere but it's very true here. In terms of farming and handicrafts and working for each other, I'm sure they have traditional checks and balances that work quite well.
Almost everything the electricians did needed to be redone in some way. The outdoor outlet didn't work. The control for the new ceiling fan didn't work - all speeds were the same. There were two lights on one switch I'd asked to be changed to two switches so we didn't need to have both on. When I checked they were both on both switches. Each of these mistakes was fixed in a minute or two so that the final result was perfect. But without staying on top of it, it wouldn't have been perfect at all.

This is a tropical place without a Judeo-Christian or Confucian ethic driving things. When I was here in 92, I noticed that people tended to do what they had in mind or were expected to and then sit or lie down. Nobody seemed driven but they also seemed to have a positive, even cheerful attitude toward work and there's lots of good hard work done here. Today I also notice that, drivers for instance, don't seem to mind waiting, even waiting for hours and hours - without reading or doing anything other than chatting some with each other. Most don't even charge for that time. I know a landlord who's had a lot of work done on places he's renting and have listened to his exasperated complaints about the quality of the work. He's been here for decades. He should know he has to keep a close eye on the work and then all will be just right.