Its not my fault; I'm the real victim here

Adrian Bye

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Jul 7, 2002
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Lu and I were talking this weekend about the victim mentality in the DR; how whenever something goes wrong, the Dominican feels they are the victim, when they actually caused the problem.

Basically lets say you hire a Dominican to do a job for you. If they screw it up due to their incompetence, they will find a way to blame the problem on you and be upset with you.

Americans don't realise how this works and its something to be be extremely wary of. Its pretty hard to come across remorse, or people apologizing here.

Here's an example from another thread:

>> Originally Posted by jalencastro
>> she is really getting abused here....her boyfriend should be
>> ashamed of what he is putting her through....totally being robbed
>
> huh, huh! He even cried when she accused him of robbing her
> and complaining about the state of her house.

http://www.dr1.com/forums/legal/97802-house-horror-urgently-need-legal-advice.html

I run into this victim mentality problem from time to time and its pretty distasteful. Please be careful out there, especially if you're new to the DR.
 
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Chirimoya

Moderator - East Coast & Headline News
Dec 9, 2002
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Can these scenarios be summarised as "it's not the problem but your reaction to the problem that is a problem"?
 

donP

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Not Me

If they screw it up due to their incompetence, they will find a way to blame the problem on you and be upset with you.
Not necessarily you.
It could be the hammer, the nail, the sun, whatever.
"No tengo la culpa", is among the first sentences a Dominican learns.

donP
 

tflea

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Jun 11, 2006
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No es la culpa mia, sounds like a very honed response to me. Politicians around the world use it often, and it seems to work for them. Learning plausible deniability is worth knowing in a survival mode. Maybe the crux of that is unrecognized by the foreign eye in unfamiliar surroundings. That's leverage.
Who throws their hands first up in frustration, and walks away?

That would be the loser.
Happens everywhere, every day, not just here.
 

jrhartley

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Sep 10, 2008
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there are consequences if you lie somewhere else - so you learn to lie better, you dont have to be convincing here
 

pedrochemical

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When a Dominican contractor screws it up for his Gringo employer - who cares apart from the Gringo?
What are they going to do? Litigate? HA!

Also, when a Dominican employs a Dominican contractor the expectations are realistic and implicitly understood. (Lower)

And if a Dominican contractor screws it up for or rips off another Dominican then there will be repercussions for his business so he is less likely to do it.

It is the free market not working for you. (again)


Maybe??
 

Tallman1818

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Nov 19, 2007
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This is the national sport along with asking for money here in DR.
How about when you get into a car accident with a motorbike driver, when they see what type of car is involve in the accident and the way the people are dress.

(long post)

My cousin was here from New York last week, she owns an SUV here, about the 3rd day she was here she went to a supermarket in Gurabo, as she was pulling out of the parking lot, two guys in a motorbike crash into her right side back door, and she stops to see what had happen, she sees the two guys in the road and a lot of people stopping to see what is going on, one of the person who stop to look tells her to take them to the hospital as she has a US way of thinking she says in her broken down Dominican, let's call an ambulance (big mistake) the two guys who were injure with minor cuts on their head and hands and by the way they were both drunk!
staring asking her for money, but an AMET officer came by and said no both of you have to go to the hospital, and them she call me and I came and agree to take them both to the hospital in my cousin's SUV, so when we got the local hospital here in Santiago, the cop who is the hospital ask her what had happen and she told him, the officer them says to the AMET officer to let her go, that she has insurance and a driver license, the AMET officer call his "boss" and was told not to let her go and to take her to the AMET main station in Santiago so that they can take her statement, so the AMET agent takes both of us there, in the mean time she is getting upset, and asking why Dominicans treat an accident like a crime, I tell thats' the way its down here, finally we get into the AMET main station and they (AMETS) tell us that they have to wait for a phone call from the hospital emergency room to let them know that the two injure drunks were going to be ok!!!
So after insisting on the AMET calling the hospital, they finally find out that the two injure guys were going to make it!! (minor cuts to the head and hands).
The AMET took her statement and when were both ready to leave, they told her that her SUV had to stay in the AMET Parking lot overnight as insurance that she was going to come back, I told the officer in charge there that she had insurance and that they could find her if she did not come back, officer told that the way it was here in DR,. so we went home.

The next day we both arrive back at AMET at around 8 am sharp as we were told, well the one guy had spend the night there and the other with some relatives, I find out that the guys were from a place in Puerto Plata call Yasica.
So finally the other guys shows up around 9 am or so, them they are both told to go to the medico lesgista, (the doctor who tells how long it will take their injuries to heal)
so, they both go me and my cousin are told to stay there until they get back, so we wait about 2 hours in AMET for the guys to came back from the medico legista.
When they got back about 11:15 am or so, an office hands my cousin a paper ( the accident report) and tells her that she has to make 8 copies of it!!! (they don't have a copy machine) so we both go outside to make the copies and the two guys follow us while we do this, and the some due pops out no where and says to me "what type of insurance you guys have ( I guess he has see how my cousin was dress), I am their attorney ( the two drunks), I told the guy to f*** off, and go ask the officers at AMET (attorneys are not allow up in the AMET station), I never saw the guy again.

Back at the AMET, we were told to sit down and wait to be taken to the court house to see the Majistrado de PAZ, ( civil case court), I ask the office why do we have to go there if her SUV has insurance and she has a driver license, he said ohh its the way here, so we wait about 12:30, we get taken there, now the AMET had no vehicule to take us there ( the two guys, me, my cousin and the AMET officer) so we take my car and head there, when we get there we are told to sit and wait for the judge to see us.

About 1 PM, the judge steps into the court and wave at us to came in, as we sit on his office the first thing out of the drunk guy mouth was we want $30,000 pesos for the motorbike fixing and the compensation to us, the judge stop and look at him and said the motor its not worth $20,000 pesos!!.
So he listen to my cousin first and then to them the one drunk guy that was driving tell the officer that my cousin was going the wrong way, so he (judge) ask him ok if she was coming the wrong where did you guys land when you cash, in the curd or the middle of the road and the guy told him in the curd side, there was his error, the judge told us to leave his office to my cousin to call her insurance to have her car fix and the two guys were issue two violation tickets one for no insurance, driver license and the other for no helmet.

Now as we were leaving the building one of the guys ask my cousin for money, tell her look at me, look at my injuries, and the judge who was behind me, told well she is not injure because she was in large car that you, and then yell to the both of them to go pay the fines!!!
 
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Lambada

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Learning plausible deniability is worth knowing in a survival mode.
Absolutely. And in the Trujillo era if you hadn't mastered the art of plausible deniability then your mistake could likely have been a terminal activity.

The advantage I find in being a foreigner, is that all these 'no es mi culpa' instances are entirely predictable. Thus you know in advance what the catalogue of 'explanations' will be and can therefore prepare your rebuttal in advance. In fact it's probably better if you run through what you know will be presented as excuses in advance, since that way you can both present and dismiss them before the 'victim' does. Sometimes, if you do it with enough humour, you will get grudging recognition that you are smarter than the 'victim'. I've found over the years that you need to enter into the 'game' but be better at it than the other player. And word gets round, especially in small communities, and the number of times the game is played become fewer and fewer.
 
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Mr. Lu

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Mar 26, 2007
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There is a lack of accountability that permeates throughout this culture. It is a common theme in many developing societies, especially those who have gone through periods of dictatorial rule or heavy government influence. Societies with lower levels of self esteem (which I would argue the DR society has), lower income levels, unstable social / political histories and lack of educations are subject to this. But developing nations are not immune from this. Even in the US, the Democratic party has done a masterful job of 'creating victims,' because of its efficiency.

It has taken a real issue of victims, and created an underlying culture that plays the card because it works.

In the DR is the concept of the "victim" or making oneself a victim, in order to profit from it or diffuse a situation, is a societal norm. It's not out of the ordinary. "It's not my fault," is a much easier and more effective social tool than, "It is my fault."

The reality is that Dominicans, have been real "victims" for many years, and through no faut of their own. Every Tom, Rob and Joe with an idea and a fancy suit has stood on the podium with a bevy of promises and instead has delivered a dream full of rocks. Dominicans have been puppets in the game of "Me," where they are used as cogs in the machine to make every other individual rich and successful.

There is a converse to the original idea of the victim, where the reality is that the "victim" card has now become a pass to get what you want. It has been appropriated by the masses, some lazy and some ignorant, as a way of life. Those of us coming from NA or Europe may not understand it, but to those who live here and will die here, know it is business as usual. "I am the victim," It is not my fault," or "I can't do anything about that."

I read the newspapers everyday and can't help but think that our politicians, at the highest levels, facilitate this behavior in the international forums. They go out to the world, with their hands out and ask for money, money, money money and they get it. So what does a common Dominican of the masses interpret?

Here are some of my favorite examples:

1) It's not our fault the energy grid here is so bad.
2) It's not our fault all the drugs in the world pass through the DR
3) It's not my fault I hit you, the light wasn't working
4) It's not my fault I have no change to give you for your purchase
5) It's not my fault I didn't read the sign
6) It's not my fault I cheated, she was naked in the Cabana when I got there
7) It's not my fault Pedro can't read, the books are bad

The list goes on...

Politicians have managed to perpetuate this sense of the victim for personal gains, not realizing the over arching effects on our society. During every election period they make themselves out to be Robin Hood, while their opponent is the evil king. They tell their voting core, "He did you wrong, now I am here to help you. You were the victim of four years of 'his' oppression, so now I liberate you."

This deep rooted victimization has also created a sense of entitlement, which justifies the theft of public funds and corruption. "Since I was the victim, now it's my turn to get what's mine." That entitlement issue, based on years of faulty reason, has created the Dominican Republic we know.

Look at the campaign for Elias Serulle:

<a href="http://s95.photobucket.com/albums/l126/sdotr/?action=view&current=80-0835081001256925813-VALLA6800x60.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l126/sdotr/80-0835081001256925813-VALLA6800x60.jpg" border="0" alt="Dumbass"></a>

Do I need to explain more..."Now it's my turn."

Is this an overgeneralization? Yes, of course. Is this true of all Dominicans? No, by no means. Many Dominicans I have met do fall outside of the context I have painted and realize the dangers of a "victim" society. Yet, they also understand that you shouldn't kill the goose that lays the golden egg.


Mr. Lu
 

Expat13

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Jun 7, 2008
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Can these scenarios be summarised as "it's not the problem but your reaction to the problem that is a problem"?
Chirimoya- i know this is far from what you meant, but some may think it sounds a little like this.

So its not a problem to lie, cheat, steal etc. Its how the victim deals with it, which is the problem. Meaning in true Ladronican fashion-the victim is guilty of allowing the perp to accomplish his crime...The criminal is just trying to put food on the table.
 

Conchman

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Jul 3, 2002
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I'm amazed at this judge, are you sure this was in the Dominican Republic?


This is the national sport along with asking for money here in DR.
How about when you get into a car accident with a motorbike driver, when they see what type of car is involve in the accident and the way the people are dress.

(long post)

My cousin was here from New York last week, she owns an SUV here, about the 3rd day she was here she went to a supermarket in Gurabo, as she was pulling out of the parking lot, two guys in a motorbike crash into her right side back door, and she stops to see what had happen, she sees the two guys in the road and a lot of people stopping to see what is going on, one of the person who stop to look tells her to take them to the hospital as she has a US way of thinking she says in her broken down Dominican, let's call an ambulance (big mistake) the two guys who were injure with minor cuts on their head and hands and by the way they were both drunk!
staring asking her for money, but an AMET officer came by and said no both of you have to go to the hospital, and them she call me and I came and agree to take them both to the hospital in my cousin's SUV, so when we got the local hospital here in Santiago, the cop who is the hospital ask her what had happen and she told him, the officer them says to the AMET officer to let her go, that she has insurance and a driver license, the AMET officer call his "boss" and was told not to let her go and to take her to the AMET main station in Santiago so that they can take her statement, so the AMET agent takes both of us there, in the mean time she is getting upset, and asking why Dominicans treat an accident like a crime, I tell thats' the way its down here, finally we get into the AMET main station and they (AMETS) tell us that they have to wait for a phone call from the hospital emergency room to let them know that the two injure drunks were going to be ok!!!
So after insisting on the AMET calling the hospital, they finally find out that the two injure guys were going to make it!! (minor cuts to the head and hands).
The AMET took her statement and when were both ready to leave, they told her that her SUV had to stay in the AMET Parking lot overnight as insurance that she was going to come back, I told the officer in charge there that she had insurance and that they could find her if she did not come back, officer told that the way it was here in DR,. so we went home.

The next day we both arrive back at AMET at around 8 am sharp as we were told, well the one guy had spend the night there and the other with some relatives, I find out that the guys were from a place in Puerto Plata call Yasica.
So finally the other guys shows up around 9 am or so, them they are both told to go to the medico lesgista, (the doctor who tells how long it will take their injuries to heal)
so, they both go me and my cousin are told to stay there until they get back, so we wait about 2 hours in AMET for the guys to came back from the medico legista.
When they got back about 11:15 am or so, an office hands my cousin a paper ( the accident report) and tells her that she has to make 8 copies of it!!! (they don't have a copy machine) so we both go outside to make the copies and the two guys follow us while we do this, and the some due pops out no where and says to me "what type of insurance you guys have ( I guess he has see how my cousin was dress), I am their attorney ( the two drunks), I told the guy to f*** off, and go ask the officers at AMET (attorneys are not allow up in the AMET station), I never saw the guy again.

Back at the AMET, we were told to sit down and wait to be taken to the court house to see the Majistrado de PAZ, ( civil case court), I ask the office why do we have to go there if her SUV has insurance and she has a driver license, he said ohh its the way here, so we wait about 12:30, we get taken there, now the AMET had no vehicule to take us there ( the two guys, me, my cousin and the AMET officer) so we take my car and head there, when we get there we are told to sit and wait for the judge to see us.

About 1 PM, the judge steps into the court and wave at us to came in, as we sit on his office the first thing out of the drunk guy mouth was we want $30,000 pesos for the motorbike fixing and the compensation to us, the judge stop and look at him and said the motor its not worth $20,000 pesos!!.
So he listen to my cousin first and then to them the one drunk guy that was driving tell the officer that my cousin was going the wrong way, so he (judge) ask him ok if she was coming the wrong where did you guys land when you cash, in the curd or the middle of the road and the guy told him in the curd side, there was his error, the judge told us to leave his office to my cousin to call her insurance to have her car fix and the two guys were issue two violation tickets one for no insurance, driver license and the other for no helmet.

Now as we were leaving the building one of the guys ask my cousin for money, tell her look at me, look at my injuries, and the judge who was behind me, told well she is not injure because she was in large car that you, and then yell to the both of them to go pay the fines!!!
 

RUBIO4U

New member
Apr 1, 2008
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First of all don't stop. Keep going and if someone is hurt, go to a police station. While on your way there make sure you have someone of at least the rank of colonel on speed dial and that the high ranking officer is actually going to answer your phone. If you do not have connections, ensure that you tell several friends of what happened and make sure they are responding. Tell your high ranking good friend (s) where you are going and make sure he or someone he discharges is also going there. Do what they do, deny everything and point your finger and keep it that way. Two can play this game and as the saying goes "when in Rome, do what the Romans do".
 

Talldrink

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Jan 7, 2004
2,209
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I understand that having a 'Victim' mentality has nothing to do with being Dominican - I agree. However, I will add that my countrymen have the "what are the chances of this/that/or other happening" rather than the "in case it ever happens" mentality. Which means that there is ZERO preparation, planning and accountability.
 

MrMike

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Mar 2, 2003
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I have had a theory for a long time and still do, that the Spanish language itself is partly designed to deflect responsibility away form oneself and avoid responsibility, this is particularly noticeable in the use of the whole "me gusta" thing that so often confuses English speakers trying to learn Spanish.

You never really say "I like this or that" in Spanish. (though I hear it's theoretically possible)

Instead you say "This or that pleases me"

What does that mean? It means you don't accept responsibility for your own preferences, the onus is on the other person or the object of you admiration or lack thereof. The food, the girl, the house, the car, whatever better get busy and start pleasing you, cause so far you're just not feeling it.

My feeling is, if you don't own your own feelings, you don't own ****.

And what the hell is up with insisting that others refer to you in the third person until they've earned your trust? In the English speaking world we consider people who insist on being referred to in the third person to be a little insane, and certainly more than a little self-centered.

And since you need at least three good complaints to make a solid rant, since when is "licenciado" a title? Or "engineer" for that matter? What is this desperate need for recognition that makes people want to change their name just because they graduated from college?

Could it be the same thing that makes it seem like we need 2.5 generals to command each enlisted soldier? Or 525 executives to run each government entity? Isn't roughly 10% of the Dominican adult population working for the government now? Everybody wants to be a chief and it doesn't matter that there aren't enough Indians to go around.

OK done ranting. (for now)

I just wanted to prove that my lack of formality is not based on ignorance, but principle.