23 January 2014

Modern Technology

True story of Pura Vida in Costa Rica -- The other day we went to the Correos (Post Office) to pay the annual fee for our post office box.  The clerk listens to our request, reaches into a drawer at her waist level and pulls out a sheaf of stapled papers.  "What's the box number?" she asked.  We told her.  She flipped a couple of pages, read off our name, which was typed next to that box number and then made an "X" next to our name and number.  That meant "Paid" apparently.  Easy peasy.  Elapsed time ... 30 seconds.  I handed her the money and she walked across the room and sat down in front of a tower-model PC sitting up on top of a desk.  Typety, typety, typety, type.  {L-o-n-g pause for a new screen to pop up}  Typety, typety, click, click, typety, type.  {Another 1980's-era pause waiting for their system to update and flip up the next screen}  This was repeated through several screens and pauses.  She hits the Enter key and a dot matrix printer fires up (YES! Dot matrix.)  A little receipt spews slowly from its bowels.  She comes back to the window, stamps the receipt and makes change.  Elapsed time ... 5 minutes.  Couldn't they just junk the computer system and stick with the stapled papers?


  1. Then there wouldn't be enough bureaucracy to justify it being government run.

  2. Five minutes and your're complaining? :) Go with the flow man or this country will drive you mad.

    1. Didn't get the comedy? I guess I should do disclaimers so that people who don't know us can get more enjoyment.