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  1. #1
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    Default Dealing with Dominicans in a Professional/Business setting

    I'll first give a little background. I'm a software engineer by trade. I work best with ones and zeros. I'm very logical and pragmatic. I'm all about the easiest path from A to B. I do okay in social settings but I'm not Mr. Personality. I'm generally regarded as a "nice guy but kind of shy". Unfortunately, my shyness is interpreted as rudeness here. As you might surmise, I have a hard time dealing with a lot of Dominicans when it comes to professional/business stuff (real estate, banking, lawyers, etc). I feel like it's a weird dance and I don't know the steps. I understand Dominicans are all about personal relationships but I just want to get the task at hand completed. I'm sure my directness is not appreciated.

    I'm trying to figure out just how much I can push people. A classic example. I'm working with a woman on a potential real estate transaction. I invariably have to ask multiple times before I can get a useful answer. Trying to schedule anything is a chore. She will say something like "We can meet in the afternoon". I'll text back "how about 2:00pm?" ... no reply. I wait a while and text again.... still no reply. I finally call (for whatever reason, we do a lot of texting instead of calling) and she says she couldn't text me back because she couldn't meet me at 2:00 and that she was waiting until she knew exactly when she could meet me before she was going to text me with the time. My logical/pragmatic brain just explodes when I have to deal with crap like this. It doesn't make any sense. Just tell me immediately you don't know what time you can meet. In my opinion Dominicans have zero critical thinking skills.

    This is just one of many examples of how this place makes me crazy. So, here's my question. How much can I bother and hound these people to get straight answers before they get fed up with me? I don't want to sabotage my efforts.

    Thoughts/Advice?

  2. #2
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    insanely, you will just have to understand that if you are dealing with the Dominican mentality, the norms to which you have been exposed during the course of your life have no relevance. Dominicans have no concept of organised behavior. sad, but true. always late, which is why they all drive like bats out of hell, trying to make up time, because they left an hour late . do not expect any kind of normative conduct. i wrote 3 emails to one of the principals of the trade board for some information, and gave up on the project after not getting any response for over a year. i wrote the Barbados ministry of commerce an email late last Friday afternoon, and by 10am monday i had 3 responses, which included links to other agencies which would be relevant. yes, Dominicans are party animals, but not serious people. there, i said it. now, stone me.

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  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by InsanelyOne View Post
    Thoughts/Advice?
    Get used to it.

    Not a smartazz answer, just reality.
    You will run into a lot of people who are neither logical nor pragmatic.
    Yet, they can accomplish a lot when they want to, however inefficiently from our point of view.

    Quote Originally Posted by InsanelyOne View Post
    In my opinion Dominicans have zero critical thinking skills.
    It's a rare and valuable commodity here, yes. Seek and you will eventually find.

  5. #4
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    insanely, you could offer to pay off someone. that always works. it seems to be the only motivation that is readily understood here.

  6. #5
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    But how much can I push them? If I keep calling and texting and sending emails, at what point do they get annoyed and will just screw me over?

  7. #6
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    People don't like saying no - her reply sort of makes sense in that context.

  8. #7
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    Yes, shyness and directness are considered rude here, been there done that.

    As in most things in life, things that can't bend will be broken.

    As far as non committal responses and general lackadaisical attitude towards deadlines, what I try to do is make sure the people I work with on a consistent basis understand my expectations and those that I have relatively few interactions I just make sure that I plan in advance adjust accordingly for any time delays or cost increases. I try to think of them as a "box" and always plan on the box being much "bigger" than they would have me believe. Also, I generally try convince people in a professional way of doing thing's the "American" way such as trying to be under budget and on time will make them more successful but what's perceived as sour attitude can defeat that purpose. Therefore, I urge anyone who spends any amount of time dealing with Dominicans to learn the art of conversation and always ask how they are doing and with a smile of course in person.

  9. #8
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    I work in an office where I am the only non-Dominican. It can be frustrating at times, but I find that the occasional talk with the person who is most likely to be "difficult" does wonders.

    Like you, I have encountered the "too direct" and "not friendly enough" issues. What saves things for me is that ultimate person-in-charge is solidly behind whatever I do - and the others know it. Even in this case,

  10. #9
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    I work in an office where I am the only non-Dominican. It can be frustrating at times, but I find that the occasional talk with the person who is most likely to be "difficult" does wonders.

    Like you, I have encountered the "too direct" and "not friendly enough" issues. What saves things for me is that ultimate person-in-charge is solidly behind whatever I do - and the others know it. Even in this case, I try to make the effort to talk seriously with the person about the importance of whatever it is that I need. Otherwise, it appears to her that I am "going over her head" to get the cooperation I need.

    My office is a non-profit and my work brings in a lot of the funds that keeps it going. Based on that fact, I do tend to get more cooperation than one would expect in this work environment.

    ETA: If this is a double post, I ran up against the 10 minute limit for editing.

  11. #10
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    Hmm, Am I Dominican??? I'm a very responsible guy I start working at 4:00 pm and every day by 3:30 I'm looking for a parking spot to park my truck at the parking lot of the company I work for.
    When I was driving for tourist in DR I was one hour earlier parked at the resort's parking lots.

    JJ

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