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Are We Part of The Problem


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Over the many years that I have joined this forum, rightly or wrongly I have gotten the option that a few contributors have this feeling of superiority of us/me Gringo's, who are not fluent in Spanish, and there fore they perceive to know the Mexican Culture better than us dummies and are very quick to point out the errors of our observations. In particular when it comes to what we should be paying our "help"

Also how many of "you" Gringo's(a) who speak Spanish actually think like a Mexican?, I would venture not many.

Recently a friend who lives in a Coto sent me this observation by a Mexican National. It is observation is on payment for services for local Mexican "help"

So are we part of the problem when it comes to destabilizing the "normal" salary structure for Domestics and Gardiners??? Do you think this Mexican person reflects the feeling of the majority of the Mexican community at Lakeside?

........in addition to the fact that we have no need to pay them for something that is their obligation.  You foreigners believe that with money you will change the idiosyncrasies of Mexicans, all you are doing is encouraging corruption.

 I will give you an example: In the city of Guadalajara a domestic worker is paid 1900 pesos per week and the work schedule is from 9 in the morning to 4 or 5 in the afternoon six days a week.  Here thanks to you we pay 100 pesos per hour, I do not want to exploit my compatriots, but that has created an inflationary problem in services......

 

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Guadalajara maids don't speak one word of English. There are hundreds of them in every neighborhood and many looking for full time jobs. Competition might not allow them to charge more or they would. Besides who cares about Guadalajara labor rates? Apples to oranges.

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Do you think Maids in Hollywood California or better yet Beverly Hills make more than Maids in South Central Los Angeles?

Less miles apart than Chapala and Guadalajara.

Let's not talk houses. You think the housekeepers get paid better (Including tips) at Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills or The Ramada Inn on Hollywood Blvd

I know several more places exactly the same all over the United States and other Countries.

 

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I wonder what a rich Mexican thinks when he travels to his condo in Houston, Texas and pays his maid at $30/USD per hour to clean his home?

I guess he is causing a problem for his neighbors who are only paying $15/USD per hour.  

If you want to pay 1900 pesos/week then move to Guadalajara.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Kiko said:

I wonder what a rich Mexican thinks when he travels to his condo in Houston, Texas and pays his maid at $30/USD per hour to clean his home?

I guess he is causing a problem for his neighbors who are only paying $15/USD per hour.  

If you want to pay 1900 pesos/week then move to Guadalajara.

 

 

That's a River Oaks Condo jeje

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1 minute ago, chicamysterious said:

That's a River Oaks Condo jeje

I got a chuckle out of that.  I couple I know from River Oaks just moved to PV because they could not afford their Texas property taxes any more after all of those California people moved in.

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38 minutes ago, Kiko said:

I got a chuckle out of that.  I couple I know from River Oaks just moved to PV because they could not afford their Texas property taxes any more after all of those California people moved in.

Yea I thought if you knew Houston You might know River Oaks it's just another good example. You can pay almost half for the same square footage house 10 miles from river oaks. I'm sure you know. It's not just Mexico. I traveled most of my adult life all over the World. I've heard this same discussion many times

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There are some things that ex-pat foreigners might do regarding purchases or tips that throw the economy out of whack and make things eventually unnecessarily more expensive for Mexicans and less affluent local foreigners. 

For instance, when it comes to tipping, some foreigners tend to overtip. They think they are being generous and being a good guy, but what happens is that service people them come to expect those kind of tips and get snotty when they don't. Tipping the gas pumper 20 pesos who washes or doesn't wash your windshield, which is obviously already quite clean, while ignoring the back window which is covered in a thick later of dust, is not the sort of tipping that makes sense. 

Or foreigners purchase something that has a price that the seller expects to go down on, as it is normally something that is haggled for, but just pay whatever is asked for, as it seems so reasonable to the buyer, compared to what they would pay for that up north. 

Comparing what you'd pay elsewhere for something, and therefore deciding it is really inexpensive, is what screws up the economy and shows a lack of understanding of the culture and economic reality one is living in. I've heard gringoes who've been living here for 15-20 years still say, "It's only $20". No it's not. It's 400 pesos. 

As far as that quote from the Mexican posted by the OP, what I know from the Mexican workers I have used for various things over the years is that many well-off Mexicans treat laborers, maids, gardeners, etc, like second class citizens and are really cheap with them. Those well-off Mexicans live in fancy homes, go out to eat in nice restaurants, drive nice new vehicles, have money to travel and stay in nice hotels. But they think someone should scrub out their toilets for not enough money to feed their families on or put gas in their own vehicles.

If you ask an average Mexican laborer if they'd rather work for a gringo or a well-off Mexican, they say a gringo. Not because they are charging gringoes some outrageously high wage, but because the gringoes are kind to them and treat them with respect. 

We offer them a beer or a sandwich if they're working hard for us, we don't consider ourselves of a class that doesn't fraternize with "the help".

I know nothing about that guy who wrote that, but I would take it with a grain of salt.

Until Covid hit, I rented out a room on Airbnb. All of my guests have left that space reasonably clean and tidy, some quite immaculate, both foreigners and middle-class Mexicans. But I had a young couple from Mexico City, who while they were very sweet, friendly, and well-educated, walked away leaving a total pig sty behind them. I was shocked when I went in their room to clean. All of their parents were lawyers for the federal government and they had obviously grown up with maids and had never been expected to clean up after themselves, just throw all the garbage on the floor, wet towels wadded up and mildewing, beer and pop cans with an inch of dregs, candy and cookie wrappers, discarded clothing, for someone else to deal with. 

 

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There are some aspects of the local culture we are not interested in embracing.  Viewing the hard working folks who help us in our old age with the chores of house cleaning and maintaining our property as second class citizens and paying them that way is one of those aspects. 

If that offends those who do, sorry.

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I would tend to agree that the large influx of foreigners here does contribute to the out of whack wages here.  I had lunch with friends the other day, they tipped $350 on a $1100 peso bill.  Sorry but that’s just flat out embarrassing.  Giving a server who came to the table probably a total of 5 times the kind of money that a laborer working all day would get for a days work is just gross.  And while maybe well intended, it seems patronizing when I hear folks say, well the locals have so little.  Pay what you feel is fair but don’t think you’re saving the world doing it.  

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I told people who told me I was overtipping when I came here that it was none of their f....g business what I tip. Still feel that way. As far as help getting snooty, then their tip goes way down. Pretty simple really. And yes. I believe folks who tip Mexicans 10-15 % are cheap, unless they truly can't afford more. but, it is their prerogative.

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I was  told by a restaurant owner that while the typical Mexican gives a tip of about 10% or less, when dining out, the typical snowbird pays 15% or more, and sometimes way to much.

Quote

 

 

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Why do some folks here try to make things so complicated...this is still a democracy, working on the free enterprise system. So you pay what think is fair (under a few government mandates) and the workers either accept it or move on!!! I have employed a great family part time for over 10 years and have a mutually accepted verbal agreement...no written contracts. There is a father and son, my gardeners who come by once a week and know what to do and get it done and collect MX500. The daughter and aunt, the maids, come every 2 weeks, go to work like a wind flurry, and get it done and collect MX500. Nobody is watching the clock however the time here for both is about two and a half hours. As  far as holidays, I tell them that they can make thier own schedules and if they want to take a day off for any reason they just substitute another day in the week to work. Vacation pay...no way...they are part time workers!!! Yes, I do give them a 2 week Christmas bonus (MX$1,000). Everyone is happy and have had not one complaint. A few times such as when the mother (she used to be one of the maids also) needed eye surgery I loaned them money that they repaid with work over the next weeks. I go by the old KISS format...keep it simple stupid!!!

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2 hours ago, elevator said:

I told people who told me I was overtipping when I came here that it was none of their f....g business what I tip. Still feel that way. As far as help getting snooty, then their tip goes way down. Pretty simple really. And yes. I believe folks who tip Mexicans 10-15 % are cheap, unless they truly can't afford more. but, it is their prerogative.

My Mexican wife and the Mexican people I know do not consider people who over tip as being kind and generous.  Rather they consider them to be condescending and stupid.

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I eat at the il Giardino in Chapala about once a week. On the bill they recommend a 10 % tip with a pre calculated amount. I always make it 20 %. rafterbr comments are confusing as many people live on 6,000 pesos a month and are more then happy to get extras. (I live in an all Mexican neighborhood so I have no contact with expats which has its benefits. 😊). 

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4 hours ago, elevator said:

As far as help getting snooty, then their tip goes way down.

They get snooty with the customers who don't tip them what folks like you have led them to expect. But you wouldn't care how what you do might affect others, it's apparent.

1 hour ago, elevator said:

So I guess we can mark down rafterbr as one of the cheap ones

Why, because you don't like hearing that the Mexicans you overtip consider you a fool?

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5 hours ago, gringohombre said:

Vacation pay...no way...they are part time workers!!! 

You are required to pay vacation pay regardless of whether your maids and gardeners are full or part time. You are breaking the law and cheating them out of their due. My maid comes every 2 weeks for 4 hours. I am required by law to give her aguinaldo and vacation pay.

Anyone who works for you on a regular schedule is subject to you paying vacation pay.

It doesn't amount to very much. For that schedule of my maid, who just finished her first complete year working for me, and who earns 100 pesos/hr., the vacation pay owed worked out to 181 pesos. Just pay them. 

I know people who didn't pay what they were required to, and even though they thought they had a relationship with their employee where that would never be an issue between them, some relative starts telling them they should go to labor relations, and the next thing you know, you have a labor lawyer on your case.

That's different from someone you pay for a one-off job, like some guys you hire to build you a patio. Those are classified as independent contractors, not employees.

 

 

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1 hour ago, mudgirl said:

You are required to pay vacation pay regardless of whether your maids and gardeners are full or part time. You are breaking the law and cheating them out of their due. My maid comes every 2 weeks for 4 hours. I am required by law to give her aguinaldo and vacation pay.

Anyone who works for you on a regular schedule is subject to you paying vacation pay.

It doesn't amount to very much. For that schedule of my maid, who just finished her first complete year working for me, and who earns 100 pesos/hr., the vacation pay owed worked out to 181 pesos. Just pay them. 

I know people who didn't pay what they were required to, and even though they thought they had a relationship with their employee where that would never be an issue between them, some relative starts telling them they should go to labor relations, and the next thing you know, you have a labor lawyer on your case.

That's different from someone you pay for a one-off job, like some guys you hire to build you a patio. Those are classified as independent contractors, not employees.

 

 

Here comes the Nun...with her ruler and sermons...Watch out for you knuckles...OOUCH. To make her happy I just changed the classifications of my part time workers to Independent Contractors!!! 

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24 minutes ago, Ferret said:

You may have changed their classification but did they agree and sign the written change?

They would agree because after 10 years they now consider me family and I treat them very well. It is a 2 way street and neither they or me need a written change or agreement since this is the road straight to Socialism. Thankfully this is still a Democratic country and believe in FREE CHOICE!!! I have the choice to pay them a fair wage and they have the choice to walk away and ply thier trade elsewhere. This is all BS and I do not even believe it exists. PLEEEZE just get a life and understand that here in my long time adopted country, the best relationships are not based on a piece of paper but on personal respect for each other. Thankfully, also most Mexicans I know want to get government out of thier lives as much as possible!!! ¡¡¡Viva México!!! 

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12 minutes ago, gringohombre said:

 neither they or me need a written change or agreement since this is the road straight to Socialism.

Socialism? The "nun" says you have zero idea what socialism is. FYI, it isn't just a catch-all term for anything that you disagree with. 

You can have any arrangement with your employees you want. But you stated that it isn't necessary to give vacation pay because they are part-time, which is patently untrue.

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31 minutes ago, mudgirl said:

Socialism? The "nun" says you have zero idea what socialism is. FYI, it isn't just a catch-all term for anything that you disagree with. 

You can have any arrangement with your employees you want. But you stated that it isn't necessary to give vacation pay because they are part-time, which is patently untrue.

Socialism is when the government runs your life. At least as of now that is not reality here, although it is starting to happen elsewhere close by. I have a very close relationship with this Mexican family for over 10 years that has worked extremely well for both of us. "We dont need no stinkin' paper". You live your life and we will live ours...Gracias!!!

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