I’ve frequently mentioned just how important the personal factor is in Spain. In fact, it’s hard to achieve much without it. I’ve also said customer orientation here is not yet what it is elsewhere. So it’s both surprising and unsurprising the government should announce a law obliging companies to offer Customer Service phone lines manned by real people and not by ‘robots’, as the report calls them. Of course, it’s one thing to introduce a law and another to effectively police it.
I’ve very rarely suffered from bad service in Spanish shops. But, then again, it doesn’t often rise above what you might call neutral. It’s civil but neither very good nor very bad. This contrasts with the eternal pleasure of dealing with shopkeepers on Merseyside, where humour is more or less essential to the transaction. Well, for most of them.
The latest example of the Spanish penchant for conspiracy thinking is the belief - based on analysis of the royal family’s Christmas card - that the establishment is hiding the fact the 2 year old Princess Leonor has only one foot. Pull the other one.
The police in Tarragona this week arrested a driver for doing 170kph [110mph] on an autopista. They were then a tad surprised to find the car was being driven by a 14 year old girl. It’s good to see the old macho ways receding against the onslaught of female equality.
Galicians are reputed to be amongst the most superstitious people in Spain. So it should come as no surprise lottery ticket sales this year were twice the normal level in those towns badly hit by fire and/or floods between August and December. Being as religious as they are superstitious, they obviously believe in a just and compassionate God. So I guess they’re blaming it on their own sinful ways now that the booty hasn’t poured down from the heavens. As the Voz de Galicia put it - “A mere 15 million euros comes to Galicia”. This, they say, is only 10% of the value of ticket sales in the region. So much for justice and compassion. Ninety per cent of Galician money down the celestial drain.
Talking about things pouring down from the sky - In line with the comments I made recently about British weather, I’ve been in the UK for a week now but have not had to use an umbrella. In fact, I’ve seen very little, if any, rain. And none is forecast for the coming week. It’s not often you can go two weeks in a Galician winter without needing protection from the elements. On the other hand, it is 13 degrees in Pontevedra, against 4 or 5 here. Swings and roundabouts, I guess