This is Dan: So we are in Orlando. Our first time in the US in about 8 months. After living in other countries, you really notice what makes the US unique, right away. When you live here, you take it for granted. So let me tell you what you should appreciate living here in the good ‘ole US of A.
TRAFFIC SIGNS: We really take this for granted here in the US. In Panama, traffic signs are practically non existent for navigation. Here, if a road is coming up, you’ll know the name of it before you get there with a very clear and unambiguous sign. And it will be a fairly logical road name. In Panama (and I’m sure many other Central American countries) most roads are named after someone. So it will be very long and hard to remember name. I know why they don’t typically make signs for these roads. The signs would need to be 4 feet long.
BUSINESS SIGNS: In the US, business signs are clear and concise. At a glance, you can identify 3 or 4 business in seconds. In Panama, you would be hard-pressed to identify what a business does after standing in front of the sign for several minutes (if they even have a sign.) It’ll have a paragraph under a very small company name and maybe a picture of the owner’s family along with their phone number.
CUSTOMER SERVICE: There are a few newer stores in Panama that might have someone available to help you and you MIGHT get someone who spontaneously asks if you need help. But they won’t like it very much and you can be pretty sure that they won’t know the real answer to your question and unless you continue badgering someone for an answer, chances are you won’t get to the bottom of your answer with the first helper. We went to Target and I had two different employees come up to me and almost too excitedly ask if I needed any help. At Walmart, I had two different employees help me and they seemed genuinely okay with the fact that I needed help. Panamanians can take indifference to the bad customer service Olympics and sweep the medal round.
PRODUCT CHOICE: I stood in front of the ice cream freezer in Target and I’m sure I heard a choir. I was choked up. Enough said.
So why did we move to Panama, you may ask? It’s the little things. The adventure of it. It’s sooo easy to live in the US. Everyday is a mini adventure in Panama. And although it’s a challenge sometimes, it’s one with 365 days of warmth, a warm beach practically in our back yard and great friends to share the adventure with. Oh, and no federal or state income taxes and a full time cook that we can actually afford.
Yeah… great customer service is way over rated.