Entering, Buying and Leaving, the Great Achievement Advertised by State Businesses in Cuba

“You should have called all the world’s news agencies. For the first time, good treatment was discovered in a Cuban store.” (Facebook/Caribbean Granma Stores)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Daniel Wilt, Holguín, 1 September 2022 — The Facebook page of Tiendas Caribe de Granma [Caribbean Shops of Granma Province] delighted readers on Tuesday with an unusual “story of the day.” The text began by clarifying that what was coming really happened, in a store in Bayamo, and that “the words used were exactly the same.”

Next, the story presented “a young customer” who went to the El Arte store, in Bayamo, to whom “instantly,” an extraordinary event happened: “The workers of the place welcomed her as she deserved,” because, it clarified, “at that moment she was the only one who was passing by there.” This detail wouldn’t cause a peep out of the people from Bayamo, because it’s one of the stores with the lowest influx of buyers in the municipality.

Without at any time revealing a spirit of mockery in the publication, the story continued: “The young lady walked in and was very interested in one of our garments. She went directly to a spandex dress of polyester, with a white color and fringes, very much in tune with the summer season.”

And it reproduced an excellent dialogue.

“I want to try a size 7.”

“Yes, of course, I’ll show it to you right away, and you can use the changing room in that corner so you can see it and choose the one that suits you best.”

Satisfied, the customer went to the cashier “to make the payment.” Then, the clerk “proceded to accept the payment.” With this, “the sale was successful, and the clerk gave her the receipt and put the merchandise in a plastic bag.”

After being told goodbye by the employee with a “thank you for your visit, come back soon!” the young woman, the only person in the store if we look at the narration, was subjected to the scrutiny of the receipt by the doorman, to verify the merchandise that was bought, and “to review and ensure the integrity of the shop.”

It wasn’t long before the publication, offering the story as “an example of a sale to a customer with great success and satisfaction,” was plagued by humorous comments that laugh at presenting an anodyne act like buying something in a store as an unprecedented achievement.

“This writing seems too short to me. The author got the exclusive scoop out of all the world’s news agencies. For the first time, good treatment was discovered in a Cuban store,” one mocks. “The tension, the mastery of language, the development of the characters… sublime,” says another, and one of many adds, giving free rein: “I think it’s a very beautiful composition. I was eager to know more. What would be the dramaturgical continuity of the story? What did her mom tell her when she got home with the spandex dress of polyester? What dreams materialized with her dress? Under what armpit did she transport it, by bike taxi, to her abode? With which bra (the latter bought in what other state store?) did she combine it for her Sunday walk? Please, don’t delay in giving us the rest of the story, so we can keep on living.”

“As we are in prehistory, we don’t know how to communicate and are learning. This is the first class on Customer Service. Thank you. I’m waiting for the second one,” says Madelaine Verdecia Enamorado.

Jotabarrioz, for his part, jokes: “Top 5 Cuban clients with the most luck in the world,” and others, such as Yaneth CM, get serious: “The clerk did nothing more than fulfill her position profile. I don’t understand the merit. The truth is, the only thing these publications promote is mockery.”

There is no shortage of those who, in the ten photographs that accompany the writing, all with smiles and in color, observe suspiciously that everything is a fiction. And certainly, only the words “once upon a time” are missing for the unforgettable, almost fantastic adventure in the socialist paradise of the Caribbean, of a correctly made sale.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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