The trials of working in August in Spain
"Those that do turn up for work often spoil the effect by dressing for the beach."
OK, everyone needs a holiday but is it really a good idea to shut up shop altogether? What makes it so difficult for those who are trying to do some business is the haphazardness of it all. Firstly, some businesses close for the duration while some keep a skeleton staff. However, this often means one frazzled individual who hasn’t got the time to do anything well. Others operate an intensive ‘mornings only’ regime, starting early and finishing at lunchtime. Those that keep going as normal seem to be the minority.
Some companies put a helpful message on voicemail to say they aren’t there until September but others just let the phone ring so you are none the wiser. Are they open or not? I even went to one office where they had just locked the door without bothering to put an advice note in the window. Is anyone’s business really been that good that they can afford to shut up shop just when the place is jumping with visitors?
August is Good
Now, I know what everyone says, I’ve heard it a hundred times. Apparently, all these visitors are tourists and from a real estate point of view are ‘timewasters’. However, when I was an estate agent two of the biggest deals I did happened in August, within a couple of weeks of each other. I can’t help wondering how much business is lost in the month of August, not for lack of buyers because there are plenty around, but for lack of someone to do it with. They may not buy in August but it may be when they start their search. If your office is closed it won’t be with you. If Spain’s real estate sector wants to improve its image a good starting point would be sorting out what to do with August.
And don’t get me started on what some of them wear. Those that do turn up for work often spoil the effect by dressing for the beach. Shirts open to the navel doesn’t really work as business attire. The answer is to copy the Spanish. It doesn’t matter how hot it is, even in Seville you see people dressed for the office in lightweight suits and they always look great. So I am done with working in August, at least until next year.
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