The Third World Experience

My first brush with the third world was in Mexico and it was one of those random sorts of things that remind foreigners they are no longer on familiar ground. I was getting some food and I could not help but notice that there were far more people working than the task required. In fact, they were banging into one another. In order to make up for it, they were frenetically jostling with one another, trying to get food to the customers. This was my first brush with the Latin Way.

In most of South America, and big chunks of North America now, activity is mistaken for work. Employees are always rushing about in a chaotic manner as they want to look busy. You see it in government bureaucracies as well as with the private business. Everyone always wants to look busy, which means working harder, not smarter. In fact, they may very well work dumber as that creates more work, which makes it easier to look busy. There is a strange logic to it.

With open borders and a flood of third world people into America, I am seeing this sort of thing locally. I had to get my prescription refilled the other day and the pharmacy I use is staffed by H1B’s from Lord knows where. Rite Aid is known for abusing the H1B program to hire cheap labor in their pharmacy. Every time I go in there, I see sub-Saharan Africans scurrying about, looking busy, getting nothing done. Invariably they screw up my prescription and it requires lots of hand gestures and mangled English to get it resolved.

That is the other thing about the third world. The dimwits you deal with at the retail level are both the cause of and cure of the inevitable foul ups. At the pharmacy, they usually lose my prescription, but sometimes they just forget to fill it. That means huddling around a terminal, walking around with their serious face on and then they finally figure it out. They are so proud of themselves and they expect me to be grateful for their help. I play along. It is the way it works. They waste my time and I thank them for it. Welcome to America.

Of course, things do not always work out for the best. I was in Texas last fall and when I returned my rental car at the airport, a surly, dimwitted mestizo scanned the car, mumbled something in Spanglish and then handed me the printout. The bill was $1100 for five days. I protested and he insisted it was right because the machine said it was right. I tried to explain the impossibility of it, but he just kept saying, “I’m sorry, I can do nothing for you. It’s what the computer says.”

Luckily, I was in a sporting mood at that point, having dealt with some third world zaniness on the way into the airport. An Amerind flag man was waving cars into what looked like a detour. It was a dead end. So, about ten cars were stacked up, needing to back out. I heard some irritated guy demand to know why the flag man was waving people into a dead end. He just shrugged and said his boss told him to do it. He had that stupid smile suggesting you should be happy that he answered the question correctly.

Anyway, I eventually tracked down a pleasant young woman who was happy to fix the billing problem. That is the big difference between a Western culture and the third world. In the West, we expect even the front-line employee to solve problems. The girl that helped me was happy to help and felt good about doing her job. Jose with the scanner was happy to do only that which he was trained to do and he felt good about staying out of my trouble. One is motivated to find problems to solve, the other is motivated to avoid problems.

That is the other thing about the non-West. There is a narrowness, a practiced obtuseness, that you see even in the professions. South Asians are hilarious with this. They are creative with quick fixes, often producing a solution that is both comical and practical. This seems to be a way to avoid anything resembling a confrontation. They call this “Jugaad.” This love of the quick fix means systemic problems never get solved. They just carry on forever with an elaborate array of cheap fixes and workarounds.

Here in the ghetto, we get to experience local blacks dealing with the third world customer service reps. Blacks are trained from conception to assume everyone is here to wait on them. The sense of entitlement is bone deep. Watching a welfare queen play the race card against a Kenyan pharmacy clerk is hilarious. Africans really dislike American blacks so I suspect there is some deliberate trouble making, but it is a good time, nonetheless.

Anyway, I suspect the valued social skill in the future will be the ability to manipulate people in a multi-cultural society in order to get anything done. The person who can finesses these people into doing useful work will have a high value, while the red-faced Texan I saw screaming at the flag guy will live a life of perpetual frustration. Or maybe it reaches a tipping point and it ends in a tribal bloodbath.

55 thoughts on “The Third World Experience

  1. In addition to Rite-aid, Avis, United, and a host of other multinationals import babbling third-worlders into customer-facing jobs. By “babbling,” I mean, “they don’t speak a lick of English.” As a result, their efficiency plummets. The customer eventually start leaving when they realize service is not only bad, but downright incompetent.

    It seems that the heads of these corporations are rotten, then a rot proceeds from the lowest levels upward. Eventually, mid and higher-level managers can’t resolve customer problems.

    I’ve noticed that as I begin to use fewer services from multinationals, I’m retreating to simpler modes of existence. For example, not wanting to eat at restaurants where third-worlders give me food poisoning has resulted in me cooking most food and saving money. No longer wanting to use Avis has left me taking the airport bus but made the ride easier as I’m no longer driving. It also saves me money. Not wanting to go to Rite-aid has saved me a fortune on over-priced placebos when soap and water would’ve sufficed to clean an abrasion.

    The bigger problem is the number of third-worlders being imported to work in the bureaucracy. How many customs and border patrol agents at international airports speak English as a first language? Yet they have control over whether or not citizens with Mayflower lineages get back into the country. One time I had to call the state tax agency and as the low-level blacks couldn’t answer my question I eventually got routed to a Hindu ESL manager (who did). How about Wen Ho Lee and the other Ho Li Fuks working with top secret clearances?

  2. Pingback: Importing the Third World to the First World - Daily Pundit

  3. I wonder if the Mongolians would take me in, teach me their ways and let this White devil live the rest of my days in peace? Where else is there for a Honky to escape to? It will have to be somewhere freezing. I think I can do it!

  4. Two weeks ago I was visiting Cuba with 23 friends and we were staying at an “upscale” resort. Compared to a resort in the USA they had about 3 people for every job, though they were the most inefficient bunch we have every encountered. Every time we walked into the dining room they stood looking at our group in puzzlement as if they were seeing us for the first time. Each time, we had to to put tables together to accommodate our large numbers, as the help just stared at as. While they stared at us, they all moved about while doing nothing. When one of us asked for a cup of coffee, the staff NEVER, and I mean NEVER, asked if anyone else wanted coffee, so they had to return to our table often accomplish the same task multiple times. I guess a $30.00/month average salary does not provide much motivation.

    • Joseph, did you enjoy your time spending your hard-earned capitalist money doing your fair share in propping up the Communist Castro regime? 

      Sure hope so.

      Sleep well.

      • Uno, why so snarky?

        Dos, many of us, including me, believe that the Soviet Union commies were seriously damaged by perestroika opening the place up to the west; that trade and exposure to reality do much more to destroy the commies than all the embargoes and blockades in the world. The US embargo of Cuba was a huge mistake.

        Had you sold them computers, fax machines and internet years ago Fidel and Raoul would hopefully have been Ceaușescued long ago. There is nothing wrong with the Castros that a hail of machine gun bullets could not cure.

        • You seem to have forgotten a critical detail: despite the US boycott of Cuba, the entire rest of the world has been free to trade with Cuba for over half a century– and yet somehow they still wallow in poverty. Computers, fax machines, etc. are all made in China anyways, and have been for decades…so maybe what you are really suggesting is, it’s the fault of the Chinese somehow, that Cuba doesn’t have anything? Hmmm, this logic doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Maybe Cuba is a shitty place because Cuba is ruled by shitty people, who have thoroughly ruined their subjects and turned them into useless sacks of protoplasm.

  5. This article brought to mind a Mexican restaurant a friend of mine visited some years back. The place had been in business for a few years but had just been purchased by some new arrivals from somewhere in SE Asia (probably Vietnamese as this was in the late ’70’s and people were fleeing the newly created Peoples’ Paradise in large numbers and settling in California – this restaurant was in Oakland). They had a large sign in the window proclaiming their specialty tacos and displaying a big picture of a nice, tasty taco all decked out with ground beef, lettuce, tomato and topped off with shredded cheese. My friend thought this looked good and he went in and ordered tacos for his lunch. After a few minutes the tacos arrived but there was something odd about them. It turned out that everything shown in the picture of the taco that hung in the window was there with the single exception of the shredded cheese. It wasn’t cheese but shredded carrot that was on top. When my friend asked WTF they thought they were doing there was quite a bit of jibber-jabber then one of the new owners explained that they had made the tacos just as shown in the picture in the window using carrot instead of cheese because that’s what it looked like in the picture.

  6. We are blessed with two excellent female pharmacists. They are always harried and stressed-looking because the multitude of “techs” (aka counterpersons) who surround them, scurrying about and achieving little, make such a mess of everything but actually filling the prescriptions. One is Chinese (dumb as a post and rather nasty, obviously kept on so that the multitude of non-English-speaking Chinese in our area can be communicated with). The others are just dumb. The scanning of the computer is what they do. What they don’t do is think and move efficiently. And they chat endlessly with some chatty customers while others are queued up, waiting. And waiting.

  7. The best part, in my experience, is what prolonged exposure to 3rd world work habits does to you as a white fellow with something on the ball. When I first got to India, the “employ 18 flunkies to buy a coke” thing drove me nuts. By the time I left, I was so used to it that when I got back to the USSA, I walked into a convenience store and stood in the doorway for five minutes, waiting for five obsequious wallahs to fall all over themselves passing me up the chain to the counter guy. It took that long to remember, oh yeah, just walk to the case, grab the thing, hand $3.50 to the surly ghettopotamus behind the counter, and leave. Very enlightening. I actually achieved lower consciousness.

  8. My first real experience of third-world-ery was a short visit to Tunisia. Lovely hotels, surrounded by building rubble. Sure, they built the places (maybe to western blueprints) but no one could be bothered to tidy up afterwards, so broken bricks, lumps of cement and mangled unwanted fittings lay next to the shining, new building. But maybe hotel users weren’t supposed to look around…

    • It’s that strange narrowness. Ask a Hindu to build a bathroom and they will build you a room with a hole in the floor and leave all their scrap material lying around outside. You did not say a “bathroom with western fixtures” and “tote away your trash” so they did not do those things.

      • I believe I can always tell how rich or poor a place is, how successful it is, or not, by looking at photos and videos of their public spaces. It’s my trash and rubble index.

        Where there is a high trash and rubble index, with litter everywhere, ancient construction debris and general shite everywhere, the place is poor. The trash and rubble do not cause poverty. People who allow trash and rubble, who do not even notice it, or who notice it but cannot be bothered to clean it up, they cause poverty. They are not capable of creating wealth on anything but a stone age level.

        I have been vacationing in Mexico on and off for 35 years and I am happy to say I have noticed some improvement in Mexico’s trash and rubble index.

        I am sorry to say that on my regular vacations to visit family in Holland and Germany I have noticed a deterioration in their trash and rubble indices. Too many Gastarbeiter maybe.

        • I was in Cairo a few years ago, 2010 to be exact, and the garbage these people live in is incredible. What was really depressing it was blowing all around the Pyramids. It’s a sad commentary, but even feral pigs don’t crap where they eat. Evidently a lesson completely missed by these people. One of their few national treasures, treated like a local truckstop. The fact they even have an Egyptian museum at all is thanks entirely to Europeans who built it and stocked it with artifacts.

          But then in all fairness, we Europeans forgot what the Romans brought us in the way of baths, plumbing, and public sanitation after they left; thus the dark ages.

        • Lee Kuan Yew, the late great father of modern Singapore, claimed he found everything he needed to know about doing business in a new land on his drive from the airport to the hotel.

      • Not a good sign, if true. I was talking with a very talented architect once, who was directing construction of what was intended to be a first-rate public building. We walked around the construction site for a few minutes. During that time he noted a room full of floor tiling and some drywall that he was going to insist should be redone.

        I asked him what was hardest to get right. Without a moment’s hesitation, he said “Concrete. No one has a feel for concrete any more.”

        This was in a moderately large city in the United States.

        • That is terrifying. Romans invented concrete and built many temples, coliseums, etc., which still stand (though not entirely whole) today. Then the Roman Empire fell and the “recipe” for concrete was somehow lost for hundreds of years. It appears that we will retain the recipe but not the skills to execute it.

          • There are many ways to cheat on concrete and only a few ways to get it right. Each of the bad ways tells you something about the breadth and depth of corruption in a locale.

  9. Interesting article.
    It motivates a question; is poverty the result of uncontrollable factors or is it the result of the cultural mores / practices / habits of a particular ethnic group?
    For individuals, poverty can result entirely from extraneous, unexpected factors and/or poor individual decisions and anything in between. .
    But what about those nations or groups that never seem to get ahead?

    Why is it that the English speaking nations almost uniformly have high standards of living?
    You cannot claim that New Zealand, Canada and Australia got wealthy by raping and pillaging the less fortunate nations of the world.
    And how about nations with very few natural resources; Holland, Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, for example.
    And why is it that in Europe, Spain, Portugal and Greece have persistently been at the lower end of the economic spectrum relative to the Northern European nations?
    How is it that Germany, that literally got destroyed twice within a 27 year period, got back on its feet within 15 years after WWII , whereas, say, Bolivia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, etc., have ALWAYS been basket cases?

    Culture matters; not all cultures are equal and not all cultures are willing to strive for the same outcomes (everybody wants to be wealthy, but many folks do not want to bother making the requisite efforts to attain that wealth).

    The incomparable Thomas Sowell has written several books dealing with culture, equality and outcomes. They are all worth reading.

    • Forget “culture”, it’s a nonsensical input to the equation. We have an objective measure that has wonderful predictive and explanatory power, it’s called “IQ”. National IQ averages are strongly positively correlated with almost every measure of national success. Stupid people are not successful at life, and nations composed of stupid people are similarly unsuccessful.

      • Among nations or various territories of similar IQ, culture means everything. Tocqueville called that distinction custom, “that collection of intellectual and moral characteristics which men bring to the social condition.
        It is impossible to pretend that the English have not won a huge dominance over all the other European races in the new World. They are much superior in civilization, industry, and power. Anglo-American laws and customs represent, therefore, the particular and predominant reason, which I have been seeking, for their greatness.” A good part of that too is genetic. Southern Italians really are born quite unlike Germans. :Separately, low IQ populations will always be of a different world, and a different discussion.

    • Here are a few things that contribute to a prosperous society: Being a reasonably-sized island or being surrounded by friendly more powerful neighbours, a stable energy source, a government that could be described as “not incredibly corrupt”, a culture that is dedicated toward sanitation and keeping shit tidy and well-maintained. Of course there are other factors involved when you look at first-world nations compared to seconders and thirders, the distinction becomes apparent.

      • “Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice.”
        …Adam Smith

  10. Expect to receive lesser service and lesser quality in everything. Finding hair in your pre-packaged food that has been high-quality in the past seems to be a thing now. And restaurants sickening people with ignored hygiene standards from start to end product. And health service, oh boy, you’ll probably be better off not even going to the doctor soon, and the hospital, forget about it. MRSA seemed to have a good go once Europe imported huge amounts of foreign staff. The list will go on and on.

  11. Can we please just go back to visiting the Third World (if we so choose), instead of importing their citizens? We have enough first world problems to keep us busy without inviting a whole other set of problems, like exploding Mohammeds. No mas!

  12. Hmmm….
    My first brush with the third world was in uptown Manhattan.
    Chinese take out restaurant with the “picture” menu’s in Spanish.
    Taking orders in Salvadoran and Ecuadoran Spanish.

  13. Try training or working with Middle Eastern Muslims if you want some real fun. Take that robotic obedience to orders without common sense and throw in a deep-seated religious laziness and indifference to just about everything.

    “Perform maintenance on the truck? Why? If Allah wills it, it will run.” Army instructors can’t even get them to aim a rifle properly – since the bullets will hit whatever Allah wills them to hit.

    • I sympathize. I worked with them over seas, in the military. Having to arm them and then train them frazzled my nerves more than having to ride out every day. Seeing them at their Officer Candidate School was like watching billions of American tax dollars burn up before your very eyes. It was a total lost cause.

        • They are schoolyard bullies. Give them your lunch money (or welfare), and they will keep coming around trying to intimidate you for more. A good hard punch does wonders for their attitudes.

  14. Work practices (or work culture) are often the result of limited resources in 3rd worlds countries more than ignorance or stupidity. We often laugh about the African construction workers throwing buckets of cement up to each other on a questionable looking scaffolding. But if they had a crane, and someone that knew how to operate it, they’d most likely use it. Their cultural is about lots of busy hands even if it means some men have to stand around until the bucket comes their way. Mean while in the west, one guy runs a crane while dozens of supervisors and managers stand around with clip boards trying to look busy.

    In the west, our work culture has highly skilled people and highly technical methods. However it is based around calculated risk analysis in the hopes detection is very low or the likelihood of catastrophic failure is almost zero; e.g. VW cheating on their emissions test or NASA’s famous failed O-ring for the Challenger space shuttle.

    A Mexican worker who uses one fork lift to pick up another fork lift becomes a funny YouTube video. But no one laughs when astronauts die.

      • True. If your culture or race still hasn’t figured out the wheel, metal working and an alphabet, you’re pretty much doomed.

        • But Karl, we, here in America, give the ancestors of those Africans cranes and all the First World inventions they could possibly use to get that construction job done. The outcome and work ethic never changed.

  15. The scam should have ended in 2008 but the endgame is coming, probably by the end of thsi year.

  16. “Or, maybe it reaches a tipping point and it ends in a tribal bloodbath.”

    Well, world history is pretty clear about what eventually happens to all multi-ethnic, multi-cultural states– Yugoslavia being the most recent example. Given that the “propositional nation” idea has proven to be completely bankrupt, I really don’t see how the USA will be an exception.

    • It’s not just Yugoslavia. The borders of many nations were created by England, France, etc., in Africa and the Middle East literally out of thin air to advance the political goals of these former colonial powers.
      In doing so, they immediately created “ethnically diverse” nations, for within these new nations groups of differing tribes, religions, and cultures were now pasted together.
      The results have been the never ending blood baths and exterminations within many of the nations of the Middle East and Africa.
      So much for the benefits of ethnic diversity.

      Belgium too was also created out of thin air; the northern Flemish and southern French do not particularly like each other and often have a difficult time putting together a new government (they have a parliamentary system so they must agree on a some sort of a coalition). But neither group has ever attempted to wipe out the other.
      Must be something to do with their cultures.

      • The conflicts in the former European colonies did not start as a result of the arbitrary borders. Arabs and Africans, etc. need no encouragement to fight. In fact, European rule tended to lessen conflict rather than promote it. Please study history more accurately in the future.

        • I never said nor implied that the internecine conflicts within the many of the nations created by the former colonial powers were the result of or caused by the creation of any “artificial” borders.
          I was just elaborating on the comments of Buckaroo that Yugoslavia is (was) just one of many ethnically diverse nations that fell apart or degenerated into conflict precisely because of its ethnic diversity. Clearly, the leftist, utopian dream that diversity will naturally lead to tolerance is a bunch of BS.
          Please pay more attention to what you are reading.

          • “The borders of many nations were created by England, France, etc., in Africa and the Middle East literally out of thin air to advance the political goals of these former colonial powers. In doing so, they immediately created “ethnically diverse” nations, for within these new nations groups of differing tribes, religions, and cultures were now pasted together. The results have been the never ending blood baths and exterminations within many of the nations of the Middle East and Africa.”

            Mmmm… pretty sure ya did.

          • Ah, no I did not.
            Note my quite clear statement in my original comment; ” so much for the benefits of ethnic diversity,” in which it is plain to see that I was referring to the ethnic diversity of these nations that was the CAUSE of the internecine conflicts.

            Pretty sure you should read my original comments and its follow up in its entirety.

  17. Pharmacists make $60/hour for counting pills and screwing up prescriptions?? What a racket.

      • Follow the link to the Rite Aid H1B filings. They claim that the prevailing wage for Pharmacists is $54-$60/hr.

        • Don’t confuse the Pharmacist with the pharm-techs. The pharm-tech makes $10/hour if they are lucky.

          • My step-son is a pharm-tech at a RiteAid in NYC;
            I can confirm that they make $10/hour.

      • @ James Once upon a time, it was very lucrative to be a pharmacist.
        The golden age ended in the mid ’80s, I think.
        The coming of PPOs & HMOs pulled the rug out. I called on those guys in those days, and saw pictures of Swiss ski vacations, second homes & trophy wives on the walls. Vettes & Porsches in their parking spaces
        Ahhhh… the salad days. Not now. Gotta work for Walgreens, etc. Or a hospital. Decent enough money, I bet, in flyover country. Maybe not so much in NYC or Frisco

        • ” Maybe not so much in NYC or Frisco..” Uh, yeah! Poor choice for any real comparison. Those two cities require an income north of $150K just to reside in 800 sq. ft. with indoor plumbing!

        • Old Codger, you have to remember that any average income figure is the total of high-end pay and low-end pay. If you want to see the true average income of any job, you have to look it up for the city you live in, not nation-wide averages.

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