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Adrian

Jun 28, 2005, 1:57 PM

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Concerning Criticism

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Further to Bubba's posts concerning the prevalence of the ad hominem attack, it seems to me that a good many posters here on MexConnect will brook no criticism, no matter how gentle or constructive, of Mexico, its people or its culture. Indeed, we have witnessed the opprobrium heaped on those who have dared make such perceptibly negative comments - such as Talosian's standing on principle over the issue of 'redondear', or my own musings on the nature of rudeness.

Furthermore, it seems that a good many well-intentioned folk appear to believe that what holds good in their particular patch of this fair land is good for the whole of Mexico. Clearly, this cannot be the case, given the inclusion on a continuum that includes the 'bohemian colony' of San Miguel Allende and the 'hardscrabble oil town' (as Bubba put it) of Tampico.

In my mind, these two issues spoil a good deal of the discourse on MexConnect. Aside from the fact that it is a useful repository of information (despite many of the pleas for help having common themes), I would expect to see more reasoned replies to some of the illustrative shortcomings of this country, rather than the speciousness, ad hominem attacks and pure emotionalism that so often passes for response.

For example, Talosian took great care to stress that it is the principle of rounding up one's change without asking (on the assumption that one will not object), rather than the monetary amount, that gives offense. For this, the summation of the responses seemed to be, 'Learn Spanish, you moron! That's how it is. Don't be a miser. If you don't like it then leave''.

Yet, in the absence of an organised charitable effort within that store, what is this rounding up if not theft? How is it acceptable for the store clerk to simply put that money (no matter how small the individual amount) in to his pocket or leave it in the till? How are we to trust that store in their business dealings? What integrity is displayed by their employees? What loyalty can those same employees give to their employer in the face of such dishonesty?

From this, it is but a short step to the rationalisation of any kind of theft, fraud, bribery or corruption - they all begin at the lowest level and with the smallest amount. To not criticise such actions for what they are - moral wrongs - is to give one's implied sanction to such acts. A wilfully blind attitude that accepts such moral turpitude as being natural, normal and, even, desireable is as despicable as the thief - more so even, for it attempts to inculcate guilt in those who would criticise such wrongness..

I like this country. I honestly believe that I and my family will have a better life - materially and spiritually - than we could have had in England. For that, I will accept much and still my tongue over much else. Yet there are still many things that exasperate and infuriate me about the place and its people. There are things that disgust me and things that make me want to scream, rant and post harshly illiberal messages on MexConnect. When such illiberality is made public (by myself or anyone else who wishes to post), I for one would appreciate a response that clearly deals with the issue under discussion and NOT the character of the person making the remarks.


Sincerely

Ayn Rand

PS...
Coming Soon:
" 'The White Man's Burden' - Kiplingesque Fantasies On Kafkaesque Failings"
:-)



Bear

Jun 28, 2005, 2:36 PM

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Re: [Adrian] Concerning Criticism

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Whew!


Esteban

Jun 28, 2005, 2:40 PM

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Re: [Adrian] Concerning Criticism

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" For example, Talosian took great care to stress that it is the principle of rounding up one's change without asking (on the assumption that one will not object), rather than the monetary amount, that gives offense. For this, the summation of the responses seemed to be, 'Learn Spanish, you moron! That's how it is. Don't be a miser. If you don't like it then leave''."

Yes the idea of the principle was expressed but the response takes into consideration that "talosian" may not understand the language and that the idea of donations being taken from him without his consent is suspect. The line in the supermarket is quick and decisions are made like in an auction with a little body language or by a miscommunication between two unlike cultures.

From my experience, it's very easy to miscontrue when you don't understand the language and even easier to phuck up when you really don't have a grasp of the culture. I would tend to call it "allegedly" took my money without consent. We don't have the opportunity to talk with the clerk and have both sides of the story.

If you want to clarify any of this with the store manager, you definitely have the right to do so. To think you don't have the right to complain is just ignorance of the laws and of the system. Before you come here and complain, you should, at least, take your complaint to the next level and see if, in fact, you have a real beef.

Esteban


(This post was edited by Esteban on Jun 28, 2005, 3:12 PM)


esperanza

Jun 28, 2005, 3:45 PM

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Re: [Adrian] Concerning Criticism

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Quote
Yet, in the absence of an organised charitable effort within that store, what is this rounding up if not theft? How is it acceptable for the store clerk to simply put that money (no matter how small the individual amount) in to his pocket or leave it in the till? How are we to trust that store in their business dealings? What integrity is displayed by their employees? What loyalty can those same employees give to their employer in the face of such dishonesty?



Except, of course, that the major supermarket chains here in Jalisco are participating in the redondear and the money is slated to be donated to education of children. It's an official program, and no one here, including Talosian, suggested that the money was being pocketed by store employees.

If you have knowledge that money earmarked for charitable donations, either in your part of Mexico or elsewhere in the country, is being misappropriated, please let all of us know so that we can say NO to the question, "¿Quiere redondear?"

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Ed and Fran

Jun 28, 2005, 5:03 PM

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Re: [esperanza] Concerning Criticism

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Adrian: "Yet, in the absence of an organised charitable effort within that store, what is this rounding up if not theft? How is it acceptable for the store clerk to simply put that money (no matter how small the individual amount) in to his pocket or leave it in the till? "


Actually, not only did Talosian not suggest that the money was being pocketed, he actually stated that it was for the school charity, saying:


"I finally checked and found the market had a "policy" of rounding up the bill to make it only pesos. I later learned the retained centavor were for donations to the schools."


So we're dealing with a situation where there is a known policy of charitable rounding up (or 'stealing' if you prefer). At this point, since the policy is known, whether the customer is asked for his consent or not is moot. Seems to me there are two principle choices in this case, either accept it, or do your purchasing elsewhere. You can, of course, continue to beat your head against a stone wall and try to convince the store that their policy is wrong but it would seem to be less than a productive use of one's time, at least to me.

There was a point in my life when I was probably willing to give myself an ulcer over a small point of "principle". That God I grew out of that stage before moving to Mexico.

Regards

E(&F)


MARIA CUERVA

Jun 28, 2005, 5:35 PM

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Re: [Adrian] Concerning Criticism

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No wonder all those bad things happened to you.....


Jerry@Ajijic

Jun 28, 2005, 5:41 PM

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Re: [Ed and Fran] Concerning Criticism

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I know that they do this "rounding up" and think it is a good idea which I support But what if they decided to round up to 10 pesos or 100 pesos. I that the key thing here is that you should not have someone make a donation out of part of your money unless you knowingly give them permission.


esperanza

Jun 28, 2005, 5:50 PM

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Re: [Jerry@Ajijic] Concerning Criticism

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The point is not that they 'do' the rounding up. The point is that, in my experience at Soriana, Gigante, Mega, and the other stores in Jalisco that participate in this project...

They always ask. "¿Quiere redondear?"

If the purchaser doesn't want to round off the centavos to the nearest peso, the store will simply charge you the cost of your purchase. If the purchaser doesn't understand what he/she is being asked, it doesn't mean that the store is doing something wrong. It means that the purchaser has failed to understand, period.

The first time they asked me, I had to say, "Huh?" Not because I didn't understand the word 'redondear', but because I hadn't heard of the program. Now I know, and I always say yes.

If the principle is about 2 centavos on a purchase, what is the value of the principle? Bubba's points in this regard were extremely well taken.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









MG Rabon


Jun 28, 2005, 6:01 PM

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Re: [Ed and Fran] Concerning Criticism

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Myself I think that Redondeo is a fantastic idea. It is nice to think that such an insignificant amount of money (to me) can do so much good for those less fortunate. It doesn't bother me if they ask or not. Who among us would say no if they did ask anyway? Anyone?

Mexican currency doesn't have small enough units for them to always give you the exact change, it's going to be rounded one way or the other - I'd much prefer that it went to a good cause.

Unless my math is off today it appears to me that a centavo is right around 11 hundreths of a US cent. Geez, I think the poster wasted more money in electric charges posting his PROBLEM on this forum than the Redondeo program will ever take from him.

Just think, it could have gone to a good cause.

Back in the good old USA they tax the heck out of you, then they take the money and spend it on things that many of us SERIOUSLY disagree with - not just fractions of a cent but thousands of dollars - nobody EVER asked me if they could, and they could care less if I say NO.

Compórtate bien, y si no puedes, invítame!
MG Rabon


Carron

Jun 28, 2005, 6:05 PM

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Re: [MG Rabon] Concerning Criticism

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Ah, the voice of reason. De acuerdo.


johanson


Jun 28, 2005, 7:38 PM

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Re: [Carron] Concerning Criticism

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I was at Soriana's today and my bill was rounded up to the nearest peso, and they didn't ask me if this was OK. Of course I knew of this habit because when Soriana's first came to town (Chapala) a clerk asked me to help her write a short message in English explaining the rounding up that could be posted. I never did see my efforts posted anywhere.

Although technically I guess the clerk should explain this rounding up to every customer, I bet they just assume that everyone knows about this, by now. Or if the customer is a NOB type that s/he wouldn't understand the explanation in Spanish anyway.

So technically, although I guess the clerks should let you know, I bet if I were that clerk and I didn't speak the language of the foreign customer, I wouldn't take the time to try to explain this 1 to 9 US cent donation, unless someone asked.



jacpowell

Jun 28, 2005, 7:52 PM

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Re: [Adrian] Concerning Criticism

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Is it the rainy season? Or is it so relaxed in Mexico that you have time to sit at your computer (hopefully a wireless laptop in a zocalo or plaza somewhere) and spin out these wonderful long conversations? If the latter, I'm booking a flight right away.

Jackie Powell
Salida, Colorado


Ed and Fran

Jun 29, 2005, 6:37 AM

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Re: [jacpowell] Concerning Criticism

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Well it actually is the rainy season. In fact, Tropical Storm Brett is just now coming ashore right over us in Tuxpan. We're getting our yearly allocation of rain in one night and day. (see: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ )

But it's pretty relaxed down here anytime. Being retired helps.


Regards

E&F


jennifer rose

Jun 29, 2005, 6:46 AM

Post #14 of 20 (3362 views)

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Re: [Ed and Fran] Concerning Criticism and Hominy

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Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, Bubba and Talosian,

Let's get back to discussing MEXICO instead of personalities.


Bubba

Jun 29, 2005, 10:24 AM

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Re: [jennifer rose] Concerning Criticism and Hominy

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Hold it right there, Jennifer:

Bubba has not submitted even one comment to this absurd thread nor given it any passing thought except to wonder if there is a full moon and they are spraying Tampico with Agent Orange. I am hurt.


gbatrucks


Jun 29, 2005, 10:44 AM

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CONSIDER THE SOURCE

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I always prefer to do some research on posters so I know where they are coming from. When I check a posters Bio information and find nothing listed, his credibility is immediatly cut by half. So on this rainy afternoon (an assumption I realize) curl up by the fire and read a good forum...like all the postings by Talosian since he enrolled. When you finish you will understand why the fear of being ripped off for 2-4 centavos is of such great concern to him.
"The trouble with life is there's no background music."


kirkswig


Jun 29, 2005, 11:36 AM

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Re: [Adrian] Concerning Criticism

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Just a couple of points re: redondear.

I am not always asked by the checkout person if I would like to do this. It never really bothered me before, but, I see talosian's point. Personally, I'm grateful when they don't ask, it means I'm spared (and the community is spared) another conversation where I don't know Spanish and they don't know English. My ignorance here was amusing at first, but now it is positively embarrassing... I have to take the time to learn the language.

And no, it's not that I don't speak Spanish so I'm missing the fact that I am being asked. Sometimes the only thing that's said is "Buenos Dias" and "Gracias."

Another thing to consider here is the impact this has on beggars. Rounding up to the nearest peso sounds fine, after all, who wants all that extra change in your pocket? Well... the beggars do. Sometimes I'll dole out a five or ten peso coin but usually, if they get money from me, it's the little change.

Less little change in my pocket = less change going into the cup.

I'm not saying good or bad, I'm just saying, there is more of an impact to this policy than is immediately apparent.

To boldly go where no wig has gone before.


gpk

Jun 29, 2005, 11:44 AM

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Re: [kirkswig] Concerning Criticism

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I understand Spanish well enough to know that here in Irapuato I am always asked if I want to "round up." My problem is that I would like to know if the money really goes to charity or into the corporate coffers. My cynical old age makes be believe the latter.


dtracy8671

Jun 29, 2005, 1:39 PM

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Re: [gpk] Concerning Criticism

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So much ado over penny's? Unbelievable to me that so much energy has been wasted on so little. Principle of it? Sometimes not having any principles to worry about can be a wonderful thing. How many times do we throw our penny's into the "penny" pot at the local 7-11? Now, just where does that money go? I know it's not the same thing, but we are not talking dollars here. To me not having all that change in my purse, and believing it is going for a good cause helps make my day. I don't think the local grocer is donating to the corporate pot. I guess what I am trying to say is, "I would be more than happy to give my extra change, whether asked or not, to help someone who needed help."


Bubba

Jun 29, 2005, 3:08 PM

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Re: [Adrian] Concerning Criticism

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Boy, I showed those sons-a-bitches at Soriana this afternoon after having been alerted to the blatant ripoff innocuously known as "redondear" which, as Adrian so eloquently explained, is the beginning of the descent into "moral turpitude" that will eventually destroy civility and bring universal corruption to the land. I raided my centavo jar and went to the market with a pocket full of centavo coins down to and including numerous 10 Centavo pieces and, as I waited in the checkout line I couldn't help but notice the thinly disguised smirk on the cashier's face as she observed the fat gringo approaching and anticipated the extra tortillas on the table that night courtesy of this clown who was about to be parted from his spare change and sure enough the bill came to $1,110.12 Pesos and you should have seen her face when I came up with exactly $1,110.10 Pesos and looked her in the eye as if to say, "Take that crooked jerk clerk!" and she meekly ran up $1,110.12 giving me the benefit of the two centavos for which coinage does not exist here and I thought; YES! - Strike a blow for justice. Now, two centavos may sound like chump change to some of you but, by God, it's the principle of the thing and don't you forget it weak, unprincipled rationalizer.
 
 
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