Appointment at the padron - General Villamartin discussion - Villamartin forum - Costa Blanca forum in the Alicante province of Spain
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Appointment at the padron

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:58am
6 replies365 views6 members subscribed
barry53

Posts: 4

Location: Villamartin

I don't like moaning about this country as I am new but is this normal to have an appointment at 11.30 and the lady has said "I am going for a break". 

Its now 12pm 

jimtaylor

jimtaylor

Legendary helpful member

Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:40pm

Posts: 4341

Location: Mudamiento

5899 helpful posts

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:40pm

It's the norm in some places here. I've known our medical centre to be completely empty of staff between 11.30 and 12.00.

Kimmy11

Kimmy11

Legendary helpful member

Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:54pm

Posts: 1777

2140 helpful posts

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:54pm

Welcome to Spain!  :o)

We were at our local SUMA office in Rojales a couple of weeks ago, considering ourselves quite lucky that there wasn't too much of a queue and two staff were working.  The people ahead of us went to the desk that became available and started to explain their issue; the lady appeared to be investigating the matter on her PC, then stood up and said she'd be a moment - she left the office and never came back.  After the second lady became free, the couple had to move to her desk and explain it all again!

They're not being rude, it's just that the concept of 'customer service' is unknown, particularly in local and central government offices.  There are no performance management procedures, often because the senior managers would be the first to come under scrutiny if it was ever introduced.  For every one of the lovely things here in Spain, that we remember from our childhoods, such as before shops were allowed to open on Sundays, there's something not so good - like lousy customer service.  In fact, it's not even fair to call it lousy customer service, it's zero customer service, because they don't even know they should be doing it.

Unfortunately, this 'failure', as we would see it, also extends to other organisations, such as banks.  I was in my branch of Sabadell in Almoradi one day, just people watching as I was queueing when, one by one, each of the cashiers left the branch.  When the branch manager appeared at the front door, he couldn't get in because there was nobody to press the door lock release - I had to go to the door to let him in!  As I was returning to my seat, a personal account manager appeared from the back office; they both looked at the vacant cashier points, the manager shook his head and shrugged his shoulders.  But you have to say to yourself, whose fault is that?  If he was managing his staff in a way that we would think is appropriate, he wouldn't be waiting at the front door of his own branch and having to be let back into it by one of his customers! 

When we first went to get our Padron, we had a very similar experience to you; fortunately, there's a Dutch lawyer who works in our Ayuntamiento a couple of days a week and she sorted it out for us.  We passed the person who should have been doing it, returning from their break, as we were leaving.

As frustrating as it is, I'm afraid it's a part of Spanish culture that we have to live with.  Increased competition in some commercial areas is seeing a little improvement, but it's slow and I think government departments will be the last to change - I'm not expecting to see that in my lifetime...... ;o)

Hope you got it sorted in the end.

Kind regards,

Kim

Golandrina

Golandrina

Helpful member

Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:09pm

Posts: 277

Location: Almoradí

199 helpful posts

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:09pm

Any time between about 10.30 and 12 noon is when they normally go for their ‘breakfast’ break.   I was told by a Spanish friend that they don’t have breakfast just after getting up, just possibly a coffee, and then breakfast is later in the morning.

LeckyLes

LeckyLes

Very helpful member

Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:00am

Posts: 1036

Location: Cabo Roig

908 helpful posts

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:00am

I noticed similar in the Playa Flamenca Suma Office.

It was very near to Car Tax renewal deadline day this year. All seats inside the office were taken and a standing queue of people was winding it's way out of the Main entrance doorway and around the perimeter of the office.

I was inside the office and part of the standing queue, clutching my numbered waiting ticket obtained from the machine.

There were two members of staff at their desks dealing with customers enquirees. At about half an hour into my wait, one of the staff finished dealing with the  customer seated in front of her, closed down her computer, grabbed her handbag and off she went , passing the long line of people heading out of the office.

She returned about 20 mins later, but for that time slot there was only one member of staff dealing with the ever increasing standing queue of people.

That most certainly was an experience to remember.

LeckyLes

RayD

RayD

Legendary helpful member

Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:52am

Posts: 3636

Location: Catral

2586 helpful posts

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:52am

jimtaylor wrote on Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:40pm:

It's the norm in some places here. I've known our medical centre to be completely empty of staff between 11.30 and 12.00.

It's a good time to rob a bank as all the guardia civil officers are in the bar opposite 😉

RayD

RayD

Legendary helpful member

Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:59am

Posts: 3636

Location: Catral

2586 helpful posts

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:59am

It reminds me of post offices in the UK.

The Northolt office had 8 windows and the usual windy queue system for the single window actually open. Often you could see staff behind another window having a cup of tea with the closed sign up.

However, I never ever saw more than 2 of the 8 windows open, and usually only 1.

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