Is laziness a virtue in Buenos Aires?

arty

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Attorney in BA said:
For the "estatales" (State employed workers) laziness is not only a virtue, its a job requirement (no kidding); if they work too fast the co-workers will complain because they make them look lazy.

sounds exactly like the u.s. post office
 

nikad

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Attorney in BA said:
For the "estatales" (State employed workers) laziness is not only a virtue, its a job requirement (no kidding); if they work too fast the co-workers will complain because they make them look lazy.
heheh this nis true, but I believe State employed workers are a very special subtype all over the world...;)
 

nikad

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kre8ivelyXposed said:
I think that it is not so much laziness that we North Americans observe here but rather a lot of "busy, misplaced energy". That is, I often see people "very busy" doing things very inefficiently which results in a lot of frantic activity while getting little done. For example, constantly honking the horn in traffic looks and sounds really good (as if the driver needs to hurry up and get somewhere); yet, upon arrival, the driver is likely to take his time doing whatever he wanted to do anyway! Hence, why the hurry for nothing? I just think all of these things are part of the culture. Not lazy.....just grossly inefficient from a time management point of view. I don't think Argentines in general really want a "calm and ordered life". It would just be too "counterculture." It really is more of a more organized chaos they want. Conversely, the US is a land of hyper productivity which just leaves people completely exhausted at the end of the day.
I partially agree with you, some people are inefficient, but the whole system is, if you are an expat you have probably experienced it already: customs, to get your id, UBA, etc. Some companies and institutions have inefficient methods for everything. On a brighter note, something you cannot find in most countries, and here you will see in abundance, is the ability people have to improvise "lo atamos con alambre" despite inefficiency, this is a very positive and distinctive thing most Argentine workers have and as fasr as I know is welcome in other countries.
 

gusgutier

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Some statements from Argentine culture :

- You can`t earn big money by working. (so work is just a matter of survival)

- If you got big money, you are a thief or a cheater (nice translation for garca). There is a subtle embarassment in having more money than others, so some people hide their welfare or constantly repeat that they are the same person that born in the barrio.

- It doesn´t matter to do things right. Nobody will acknowledge that. The one who knows less will be boss. (El que sabe, sabe. Y el que no , es jefe).

- The boss will always try to exploit you.
 

emilyr

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I have met some of the laziest (and I don't mean in comparison to a US productivity is king standard) people along with even more of some of the most hardworking people. Case in point: the 60 year old cartonera woman pulling a cart nearly the height of a one-story building. I have seen that. Then, my old landlady - a fully healthy woman in her 30s who made money re-renting a house and for whom juts the idea of labor or cleaning....or even physical movement seemed to pain her incredibly.

Yet, ALMOST everyone I knew at UBA had at least 2 hours of commute every day, a full-time professional job, courses at night, and studying into the wee hours and on weekends...some with children to boot. Now, there are a lot of working students in the US, but not nearly at the same rate. Though I am willing to bet big the story is a different one in expensive, Argentine private universities.

My boyfriend says there is this idea of being a "sucker." A "sucker" is what you don't want to be...if you pay someone on time in some business-provider transaction, we might call that efficiency, but that is being a sucker. If you can take advantage of your situation, whether to work less and still be paid the same or otherwise get something for nothing, that is the ultimate. The belief is that everyone else is trying to swindle you, so being a better swindler ...or at least not a sucker ... is highly valued.
 

Diskosis

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kre8ivelyXposed said:
I think that it is not so much laziness that we North Americans observe here but rather a lot of "busy, misplaced energy". That is, I often see people "very busy" doing things very inefficiently which results in a lot of frantic activity while getting little done. For example, constantly honking the horn in traffic looks and sounds really good (as if the driver needs to hurry up and get somewhere); yet, upon arrival, the driver is likely to take his time doing whatever he wanted to do anyway! Hence, why the hurry for nothing? I just think all of these things are part of the culture. Not lazy.....just grossly inefficient from a time management point of view. I don't think Argentines in general really want a "calm and ordered life". It would just be too "counterculture." It really is more of a more organized chaos they want. Conversely, the US is a land of hyper productivity which just leaves people completely exhausted at the end of the day. Do you know how tiresome it is to work all day and then go to the grocery only to have to ponder which of 50 boxes of cereal to buy?
In spite of all this, I do think the Argentine sense of humor is one of the best in the world. I don't think US citizens would be laughing at all if they had been dealt even a tenth of the adversity that the Argentines have seen in the last decades.
Yes I agree with this viewpoint. From my personal experience, Argentineans are not lazy. The spend very long hours working and studying. They are very inefficient. Disorganised. As somebody else mentioned, hours are wasted standing in lines and doing tramites. There is a lot of what I call "hurry up and wait" going on. Everybody in a rush to do things, which in the end slows everything down (the traffic, for example - everybody breaking road rules, cutting in front of each other, blocking cross streets, creating bottle necks - which in the end means everyone arrives later than if they had all just followed the rules).
 

hannstew

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My boyfriend says there is this idea of being a "sucker." A "sucker" is what you don't want to be...if you pay someone on time in some business-provider transaction, we might call that efficiency, but that is being a sucker. If you can take advantage of your situation, whether to work less and still be paid the same or otherwise get something for nothing, that is the ultimate. The belief is that everyone else is trying to swindle you, so being a better swindler ...or at least not a sucker ... is highly valued.
This is quite possibley why the OP questioned the laziness of people here. Is your boyfriend a local?
 
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