Pleasant and Overly Familiar / Rebeca Monzo

Every day, in the establishments where they offer any kind of service, in the shops, schools and even in offices, one finds staff who lack the capacity, knowledge and skill, for you to deal with them with any confidence, to a point that borders on excessive familiarity. Could they possibly think that in treating you this way they are being pleasant?

Wherever you go, it’s gotten so bad it’s a joke, you find people who address you with expressions like “Aunty,” “Moms,” “Old lady,” “China,” and so on. They are incapable of respect, cannot respond appropriately to a question put to them, because for the most part the lack any understanding of what respect it. And in general, they don’t take any responsibility for the answers they give you.

For two months I’ve been calling the National Archives once a week. I signed a sort of contract with them two months ago, and paid in advance, as required, for them to do some research. Every time I call the same person — I know it’s the same person because it’s the same voice — tells me, “Nothing yet Moms.” When I rebuke them, stating my rights, she says, “We don’t have enough staff Moms, to do what you want.”

Today, once again mustering my patience, I called the Archive and the same voice answered, and said exactly the same thing. I asked her name and very quickly, as if I’d attacked her, she answered, “Sorry Moms, I don’t have to give my name.”

“What? Then you are working there illegally?” I said. “Look Moms, I have to hang up,” was her response.

Given the situation, I plan to go there to meet with her in person, her and her immediate superior.