Monday, February 24, 2014

Miami, On The Whole, Is Inefficient

We moved to Miami from Chicago in June 2013.  It's been an adventure, for sure.  There's so much to talk about I could probably start a whole new blog just devoted to life in the "The Sexiest Place On The Planet", as Miami likes to call itself.  For today though, I will focus on just one topic:  it takes forever to get anything done here.

Everyone who knows me well knows that I am not a super-hyped up, "Type A", go-go-get' em kinda guy; I am almost never in a hurry.  BUT - I do appreciate and expect efficiency.  Don't take three steps when one will do.  For example:
Hotwire Communications (our building provider, not to be confused with hotwire.com) installed TV and internet in our new apartment.  Since we never had DISH (never EVER get dish), I tried to ask the installing technician for a tutorial on how to use the remote.  He did not speak English.  After the technician left, I tried to make the TV work using the remote; sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't.  So the next day, Tuesday, I called Hotwire and told them I had a faulty remote and needed a replacement.  I was scheduled for service the following day.

The next day, Wednesday, a technician (not the same one) called me and said he was rescheduling the appointment for Thursday because he "didn't want to drive downtown".  I told him all I needed was a new remote.  He showed up on Thursday, 3 hours late, and tested my remote.  He definitively informed me that there was something wrong with the remote as it was not working correctly.  The look I gave him was nothing compared to the one that followed a minute later, when he said he didn't have an extra remote with him and would need to come back next week.  "But I told you on the phone that it was the remote.  Why didn't you bring one with you?"  Suddenly, the technician no longer understood English.

I heard nothing from Hotwire on the following Monday.  On Tuesday (one week and one day after the initial installation), I noticed a Hotwire van in front of our building.  I went to the building management office and asked for assistance tracking the Hotwire technician down.  It was a different technician (again) and I told him I needed a new remote.  He pulled one out of his tool belt and gave it to me, without knowing in which unit I lived or even asking my name.  I never did hear back from the 2nd technician who must assume that I just gave up.
I know I know - first world problem.  Poor baby didn't have a remote for a week.  It's not that at all.  It was the incompetence of customer service and 3 different technicians.  I had enough to deal with unpacking 200+ boxes while job hunting in a new, strange city.  This was a completely avoidable situation if Hotwire had just been efficient.

And this is just one example (there are many more) of how things just move at a slower, more "island time" pace in Miami.  It really took some getting used to for me.  I'm not really sure I have yet.