Thursday, January 8, 2009

A lower standard?

DSC04857 It’s the downside of the gezellig lifestyle: things get done slowly and often need to be done twice.

As the cold and the holidays stress local businesses and services, I’m finding that more and more seems to fall through the cracks.

* Ten weeks after putting in an order for (4 week) guaranteed Internet installation, KPN has yet to deliver a working ADSL connection.  They do, however apologize for continuing to bill me 43 euros per month for my lack of service.

* The parking garage at the local fitness center has a gate, requiring me to ring the front desk with a special code to get in.  The attendant is usually in the lounge, so this can take a while.  The exit requires a paper pass from the front desk, which seldom works.  I finally agreed to put a ten euro deposit for a fob that opens the gate.  It doesn’t work so far either.

* The Mayor’s Office has notified me that my declaration to change address within the Netherlands was denied because the agent filled in the wrong form.  They have sent new forms and a return invitation to visit City Hall.

And so, in many small daily ways, I lower my expectations of the local services.

I accept that tasks will not be completed quickly, so I allow extra time.

I understand that tasks may not be completed correctly, so I pack along extra patience and oversight.

And, thus, I find that life becomes, if not strictly more gezellig (amiable), at least more traag (sluggish).

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