This is also known as lying to you and it’s an institution here in Mexico.
Ever since I moved to Mexico I’ve been noticing that people would tell me one thing and then go off and do another. This happens with construction workers, with acquaintances, with store employees, it happens all through out society here from what I can see. The first few times it happened to me I was incredulous. Surely being culturally sensitive to and adapting to my new country didn’t mean I had to put up with this kind of bullshit?!? Ah, but it did.
After a few years I began to see that people here tell you what you want to hear because it’s polite. Or because it would be impolite to tell you what you don’t want to hear. Either way it amounts to people saying things are possible when they are not, and telling you that they will make things happen which won’t ever happen.
Recently my husband and I had two experiences back to back in which we were the very frustrated victims of people here telling us what we want to hear.
In one case numerous Bancomer bank employees promised us something over and over, which in the end, after waiting patiently for 4 weeks, didn’t happen. When we challenged the bank, telling them that x, y, z employees had told us this would happen Bancomer came back with “let’s review it again, it should happen,” which leads to another 3 week review process (which we are still in the middle of). At this point I’m just about certain that Bancomer’s strategy is to wear us out so we give up the fight.
We had another experience where we hired an attorney to do some work for us. There were 2 possible routes to resolving our legal issue. One route involved a slow-as-molasses process that involves filing gobs of papers with the Cancun city government. We decided against this route because the lawyer stated that his other proposed route would net results much faster. We met with the attorney on a Friday and he said he could do the needed work the following Monday. That was over 3 weeks ago. And so far the lawyer hasn’t done the work we’ve paid him for. But does he tell us what’s going on? No, he tells us what we want to hear (when he answers the phone).
Now I appreciate that people do not want to hurt me by having to tell me things are not possible. I appreciate that being the bearer of bad news is not polite in Mexico. But where I come from NOT telling people the reality of their situation is extremely impolite. And lying to people is RUDE. So it has been a big adjustment for me to learn not to just get mad when I find someone telling me just what I want to hear. I’ve learned not to believe things until I see them. And I’ve learned to listen for a “yes” that comes to easily.