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“Tico Time”; Call It As It Is…. Disrespect for Another

Costa Rica Living – I have been in Costa Rica for over 8 years and one thing I will not ever get used to is “Tico Time”. I am sure I will get the same old response from the retired gringos that live here that do not have to work and of course the locals, if you do not like it “Grin-Go Home.”

tico time costa ricaI know that things take longer down in Costa Rica and I accept that. I do not expect anything to happen overnight and that adds to the tranquility of living in the land of “Pura Vida.” It can be frustrating at times but it is part of deciding to live in a pretty amazing country.

When I speak of Tico Time, I am not talking about the fact that everything takes longer in Costa Rica. I am not talking about the slower lifestyle. I am not talking about the little daily frustrations we all encounter. I am talking about people being late or not showing up for scheduled meetings or appointments.

Why don’t we call the habit of being late and not showing up as it is…. blatent disrespect for another. What the person is saying when they arrive an hour late is that my time is more important than yours.

I have always show up on time for meetings and appointments not because I wanted to but because that was the time set and that person set aside time for me to meet with them. This shows respect for that other person and shows that you value their time.

I know people will say “that is the way it is and if you do not like it leave”. I love so many things about Costa Rica. I love the people here, the tranquil lifestyle, and the many beautiful things that you can see in the flora and fauna. But this is one thing I will never get used to and do not want to.

I am not saying that people will not be late to scheduled appointments…..but call and say hey I am going to be 20 minutes late. If you are not going to show up call before hand so a person does not have their thumb up their ass waiting on you.

Expecting someone to show up 15 minutes early like I normally do is a stretch, and I am even ok with the people that are 15 minutes late, but when it comes to those that show up an hour late or not at all without calling…..go screw yourself. Your time is not more important than anyone else’s.

One can try to make excuses for this specific part of the culture of Costa Rica, but when you talk to many Ticos they do understand that this is rude and disrespectful. 

Whenever anyone needs money they want it now, not tomorrow, not next week…..but the work for that money will be done when they feel like it.

We can all say that “Tico Time” is just part of the culture, but isn’t that saying that disrespect is just part of life in Costa Rica? I would expect this from a small child but I was brought up knowing that I am not better than anyone else and that my time is no more important than another’s. 

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