March 18, 2007

Yes, we have no gasoline today

They had it. They just couldn't sell it. One of the gas stations in town was closed today. The gas pump attendant who couldn't pump gas told El Jefe that the cashier didn't show up for work today.

Can you imagine this? How much money did the gas station and convenience store lose today because it was closed? Will the other employees get paid even though they couldn't work?

I think that if it was my gas station or if I was the manager, I would be running the cash register or pumping gas, or whatever it took to keep the business going on a busy Saturday. Saturday is payday in Honduras! I would have also cross-trained employees or had a backup cashier, because surely you can't close your business every time the cashier doesn't show up?

Here in La Ceiba, managers usually don't step up to help out when things get busy. It's beneath their position in life. Bank lines can be 40 or 50 people deep, while managers and others sit around filing their fingernails or giggling on the telephone.

It's often impossible to even talk to a manager. They are usually behind solid doors and dark glassed windows and rarely ever deign to speak to a customer. Four times out of five, if you ask to speak to a manager, you will be told that they are in San Pedro Sula. Ha ha. We've heard that more than a few times. Employees are afraid to bother their managers with a question.

Owners are even a step above that. I'm not talking about the little mom and pop places. Of course that is different. Owners are rarely on site at larger restaurants or stores. They really should be. They might find out how rude their employees are to the customers or even that their employee is watching television with the doors locked to customers! I've seen this! And then eventually, I saw that that store closed down.

Only in Honduras.
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