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What is Wrong with these People??
Old 11-23-2012, 08:25 AM   #1
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What is Wrong with these People??

So, I am renting an apartment for 15 months starting January. I have been living in Latin America and will be returning after the 15 months. Dealing with people the last few weeks I have almost come to appreciate how formal and serious business people take themselves down there.

I have dealt with 3 different apartment complexes and each and every one has been so incredibly unprofessional in their emails to me. Most of them have numerous people on staff, all under 30, and they almost NEVER sign their emails. I have to actually ask who I am talking to. They send me one-liners filled text acronyms, they don't even attempt to punctuate their sentences and they write in cute colors. My last email from an apartment manager ended in: Hope 2 C U soon! I can maybe see this if I was another 20-something peer of theirs (although I still don't think it is correct business practices) but I am NOT a 25 year old.

The manager of one building, bad mouthed his previous manager, who he told me was fired because she did nothing but sit around on her fat @$$ eating snickers bars all day long (his exact wording) then went on to bad mouth another complex I was looking at then flat out lied to me about a couple of things to do with his complex. Later he emailed me several times lowering the rent each time (although never once actually signing his name) and making promises I knew he couldn't fulfill. I forwarded his emails to corporate hoping they might give him a little advice on how not to handle a potential client....

Oh, and I went furniture shopping Wednesday and the first store they hovered over me to the point I gave up and left. However the second store was even worse, as I walked in 2 salespersons where having a screaming match over one stealing the others customer. Right in the middle of the sales floor. I turned around and walked out. Ordering online is seeming more and more appealing.

Yes, I used to think it a bit funny how Latin Americans would be so formal and serious about themselves in their jobs but now I see what happens when it goes too far in the other direction and it is not pretty.
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:17 AM   #2
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I suspect a big part of that is the likelihood of continued employment.

In my experience, pretty much everyone in Latin America (regardless of social status) considers him or herself a "professional" at his or her job, and expects to keep on doing it (probably at the same place) for many years to come.

In the USA, OTOH, many people think of their job as simply "what I'm doing right now" and there is no serious expectation of making it a long term thing.
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:41 AM   #3
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An interesting mix of cultural expectations in the OP. Just one example, hope 2 C U soon could have just as easily been proper vs hope to see you soon in another time/culture. I am sure the English thought (and probably still) Americans butchered their language at one time, but Americans don't see it that way (anymore) - which POV is "correct?" Manners are also cultural norms...which POV is "correct?" Only yours?
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:44 AM   #4
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When your 'schooling' is comprised of courses in "The psychology of LGBT Underwater Basket Weaving and its Environmental Effects on the Oppressed" it really doesn't prepare you for the world's actualities.
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:56 AM   #5
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:02 AM   #6
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:41 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
An interesting mix of cultural expectations in the OP. Just one example, hope 2 C U soon could have just as easily been proper vs hope to see you soon in another time/culture. I am sure the English thought (and probably still) Americans butchered their language at one time, but Americans don't see it that way (anymore) - which POV is "correct?" Manners are also cultural norms...which POV is "correct?" Only yours?
Well, I aint even axing what de lowist comen denumerator be for what U would be finally like "this isn't so gr8 as I 1st imagined"

Also, remember that there are more people speaking English as a second/third/fourth language than those who speak it as their native/only tongue. I've heard that English can be very difficult to learn, given the (relative) many nuances and inconsistencies with pronunciations. Adding in things like "hope 2 C U soon" can be even more of an obstacle for communication, whether a true barrier for non-native speakers, or even just very irritating for those who expect proper usage (or, as the case is more and more, just even an attempt at proper usage).

And I sure hope that if someone ends with "hope to C U soon", as they type with 2 fingers and look for the "C", hopefully they don't accidentally mistype by one key, considering that the "F" key is right by the C key, given the lack of proofreading that many people use in business communication...
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:48 AM   #8
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Maybe that's just the way apartments are, in the location you'll be living in temporarily? Are they economical digs? Elegant apartment buildings exist, and they tend to carry elegant rent prices.

I lived in various rented apartments for a number of years a long time ago. They were run-down, and some tenants undoubtedly were Section 8. I bought a car which got "keyed" down one side the first week. One building was infested with cockroaches. As for the "managers," your contact's description of the fired female manager would have been straight on. Not sure about Nemo2's "underwater basket weaving" course-takers; I doubt any of the women I dealt with even finished high school.

Best of luck re-adapting to the U.S.

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Old 11-23-2012, 11:04 AM   #9
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OMG, WTF, LMAO...
And to think.... I was expecting.......HFWR!
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:28 AM   #10
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Well, I aint even axing what de lowist comen denumerator be for what U would be finally like "this isn't so gr8 as I 1st imagined"

Also, remember that there are more people speaking English as a second/third/fourth language than those who speak it as their native/only tongue. I've heard that English can be very difficult to learn, given the (relative) many nuances and inconsistencies with pronunciations. Adding in things like "hope 2 C U soon" can be even more of an obstacle for communication, whether a true barrier for non-native speakers, or even just very irritating for those who expect proper usage (or, as the case is more and more, just even an attempt at proper usage).
And who is the arbiter of proper? Are you certain your proper is proper? Probably not according to the original English. Interesting how Americans presume what's proper English when the language originated elsewhere - that's the point I was trying to make.

Interesting you acknowledge the nuances and inconsistencies in "proper" English. Some of them really make no sense at all if you think about them.

The abbreviated words were prompted by texting and Twitter 140 character restrictions as you may know, nothing to do with lowest common denominator.
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:55 PM   #11
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I can maybe see this if I was another 20-something peer of theirs (although I still don't think it is correct business practices) but I am NOT a 25 year old.
Luckily you can qualify for curmudgeonship at any age...

Oh, and "welcome home"-- if that's how you think you feel!
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:32 PM   #12
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Not sure you have anywhere near enough data to make a generalization about U.S. vs. Latin American (and are we talking all of Latin America?) professionalism using two furniture stores and three apartment complexes, but still. Perhaps part of it is that the US has a bigger (and broader) middle class in its workforce that deals with the public vs. where you live in Latin America? Maybe the rental agents are used to dealing with younger people (maybe more average people buy homes in the US vs. Latin America and therefore aren't in the rental market to be dealt with)? Who knows.

Suspect this is just the beginning of your culture shock for the next fifteen months--hope you can manage to see some humor.
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:34 PM   #13
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Oh, and "welcome home"-- if that's how you think you feel!
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Old 11-23-2012, 05:46 PM   #14
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When your 'schooling' is comprised of courses in "The psychology of LGBT Underwater Basket Weaving and its Environmental Effects on the Oppressed" it really doesn't prepare you for the world's actualities.
I'd wager these people that the OP is complaining about are Americans born and raised here. Today's kids (oh brother here it comes ) are clueless, and let's be honest we all were clueless, but today it is clueless squared. All these kids have been told in the so called educational system is they are the crown of creation and how lucky the rest of us are to have them on the planet.

I think there's going to be a huge wake call for them or maybe it really is TEOTWAWKI?
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:02 PM   #15
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OP here. I am glad to be back home for a while. I was dragged to Wally World over night and truth be told in a bad mood when I made the post this morning, sorry <head hanging down>

Anyway after my long night of Black Friday shopping I walked in to another email from one of the apartments Here is the EXACT copy and paste of the email I received, and it was in PINK no less

Hey u were approved with a 100 deposit, you like us to go ahead and charge ur card the 100.00 plus the application fee? For move in around Christmas! we r flexible with your move in date also , when you tell me you move in date I can tell you how much you need for the month of December Hope 2 C U soon!

This is the entire email. No greeting me by name, no signature to tell me who it was that sent it. They all use a general apartment email address, and seeing as how there are 3 of them in the office it could have been any one of them, surely it is not to much to ask for them to sign their name as I would like to know which one I am talking to, right?

* just to clarify, all 3 in the office speak English as their native tongue *

This is not some section 8 apartment complex but probably one of the nicest ones in the city.

The comparison to Latin America was because I used to say that it annoyed me how everyone got dressed up to go to the grocery store and that business was so formal. Now that I am used to it, I suppose the casualness of the USA is bothering me...
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:03 PM   #16
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So, I am renting an apartment for 15 months starting January. I have been living in Latin America and will be returning after the 15 months. Dealing with people the last few weeks I have almost come to appreciate how formal and serious business people take themselves down there.

I have dealt with 3 different apartment complexes and each and every one has been so incredibly unprofessional in their emails to me. Most of them have numerous people on staff, all under 30, and they almost NEVER sign their emails. I have to actually ask who I am talking to. They send me one-liners filled text acronyms, they don't even attempt to punctuate their sentences and they write in cute colors. My last email from an apartment manager ended in: Hope 2 C U soon! I can maybe see this if I was another 20-something peer of theirs (although I still don't think it is correct business practices) but I am NOT a 25 year old.

The manager of one building, bad mouthed his previous manager, who he told me was fired because she did nothing but sit around on her fat @$$ eating snickers bars all day long (his exact wording) then went on to bad mouth another complex I was looking at then flat out lied to me about a couple of things to do with his complex. Later he emailed me several times lowering the rent each time (although never once actually signing his name) and making promises I knew he couldn't fulfill. I forwarded his emails to corporate hoping they might give him a little advice on how not to handle a potential client....

Oh, and I went furniture shopping Wednesday and the first store they hovered over me to the point I gave up and left. However the second store was even worse, as I walked in 2 salespersons where having a screaming match over one stealing the others customer. Right in the middle of the sales floor. I turned around and walked out. Ordering online is seeming more and more appealing.

Yes, I used to think it a bit funny how Latin Americans would be so formal and serious about themselves in their jobs but now I see what happens when it goes too far in the other direction and it is not pretty.
That's has almost universally been my experience in the third world. The exceptiom is usually when the companies are run by business savy outsiders.
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:36 PM   #17
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I do not know how businesses are run in other countries, but the email quoted by the OP is certainly not what I would expect.

And talk about how some young people - and I meant some, not all - lack respect for anything, I was shocked yesterday when I saw on the Web the news about what a 30-year old woman did at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Search the Web for "Tomb of the Unknown Soldier disrespect" if you are curious.
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:48 PM   #18
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Hey u were approved with a 100 deposit, you like us to go ahead and charge ur card the 100.00 plus the application fee? For move in around Christmas! we r flexible with your move in date also , when you tell me you move in date I can tell you how much you need for the month of December Hope 2 C U soon!
After you move in and put your rent on autopay, are you planning to have a relationship with any of these people?
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:55 PM   #19
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Unlike all my other bills I will NOT put my rent on auto pay. One of the girls in the office admitted to me that they had messed up with numerous tenants payments, one lady they had somehow managed to draft 3 times in one month. No thanks, I plan on paying my 3% extra fee and paying online by credit card.

I hope that everything goes smoothly once I move in and I do not have to deal with them at all.
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Old 11-23-2012, 07:51 PM   #20
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I All these kids have been told in the so called educational system is they are the crown of creation and how lucky the rest of us are to have them on the planet.
Nonsense! Please back this up accusation with some facts.
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