Oh Panama, I’d Almost Forgotten

Maybe I am a horrible, culturally insensitive ugly American, but I find Panamanian customer service extremely irritating. I’m really not a demanding customer. I’m not picky, I usually don’t care if the service is slightly bad, but Panama brings it to a whole new level. I do not even feel the need to make a disclaimer about stereotyping, this being a generalization, et cetera.

Me to the 5 women working behind the reception desk: Can you please call me a taxi? I have a lot of bags and don’t want to hail one of the street.

One of the ladies: Maybe. It can take a while if the cab is far away.

Me: That’s fine, I can wait.

Five minutes later.

Lady: Well, I called the driver, he says he’s too far away and can’t come.

Me: OK, is there another cab company you can call for me?

Lady: No.

Me: So it’s impossible to call a taxi in Panama?

Lady: Yes.

Me: But I’ve done it before.

Lady: Shrugs. Goes to watch TV.


Me: Hi, we’ve been waiting for 15 minutes, do you think you could take our order?

Server: I’m on the phone. Give me a few minutes.


At a sushi place:

Me: I’d like option #1 but with no cream cheese please.

Server: OK, no cream cheese. Anything else?

Me: Nope, just please make sure the rolls don’t have any cream cheese. I really don’t like cream cheese. Order #1, no cream cheese.

And of course, the rolls arrive with cream cheese.

Me: I’d actually asked for no cream cheese….

Server: Acts annoyed.

At a fastfood place:

Me: I would like a grilled cheese sandwich with mozzarella.

Server: One grilled cheese sandwich with mozzarella.

10 minutes later. (There are about ten people behind the counter) My lady is standing there waiting for someone to order something.

Me: Hi, I actually ordered like 10 minutes ago…is it ready yet?

Server: Oh, yeah, hold on, let me make it.

Me: Ok…

5 minutes later.

Me: Ready yet?

Server: About to start it.

5 minutes later, hands me a sandwich with yellow American cheese.

ME: I actually asked for mozzarella…

Server: Oh, I thought you said American. Want me to make you another one?

Me: American will do.

Categories: Uncategorized


2 replies

  1. 😦 UGH… you should have thrown the sandwich and the cream cheesed sushi rolls at their heads

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