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Entered By: Mark
Entry Date: 2007-10-09 11:13:35
Subject: Tuesday October 09, 2007

      Yesterday Jose and I drove to Comayagua to get the appropriate permits needed to open the hardware store. Surprise, surprise, the government agency was closed for a six day "Day of the Soldier" holiday. It will open today and we will return. While there, our van was long overdue for an oil change. So, like all missionaries we know, we took it to Omar (the English speaking mechanic in Comayagua). Off we went to grab lunch and wait for the three hours of repairs to finish (we needed new glow plugs also).        So, we had plenty of time to talk. We spoke a lot about the boys, our children, the hardware store and our respective cultures. Meanwhile, Paula was having a talk back home with the ladies that clean our house. It turns out that employees down here expect their bosses to be frequently if not constantly interacting with them. Anything less is taken to mean anger. They think you are not satisfied with their work if you are not speaking with them frequently. Jose did not have any fear of talking to me when he first started working for me, but the other workers did. Yesterday I explained to Jose that in America we hire people so that they can do a job and save us time. Every successful job interview I had in America had the question "do you like a lot of interaction while working or are you someone that likes to work by yourself?". If you know me, you would know that the only honest answer would be "I like to work by myself". That answer never disqualified me. If we need to constantly interact with an employee, we might as well do the job ourselves. Jose said that is smarter. Jose is from a large city so he probably understands this better.        Therefore we are still in process of cracking the code on the culture down here. Hopefully we can make our future workers and business partners understand our philosophy. Hopefully they will see some wisdom in that. And hopefully we can better understand and comply more with the culture so as to build bridges down here.

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