Happy 2013 Brazil!!!

Well here we are after “Carnaval” but not quite into March.  It is 40 degrees Celsius in Rio, with 80% plus humidity.  Around the country, it is toasty and still summer vacation.  So if you are in business in Brazil – relax – we are just getting started with 2013 so, Happy New Year.

A great thing about Brazil, once you get used to it, is the flexible view regarding time and deadlines.  This is perhaps more typical in the bureaucratic middle- and upper-middle class.  People tied to the public sector know how to get things done but they also know when things can get done.  Generally, if you need a report, a technical document, an invitation from the government or something of the sort, it is better not to press too hard between Christmas and the end of summer.

In the private sector, it is a bit different and the working class, at least the workers of the formal sector, don’t quite have the same luxuries of time off.  Still they are contaminated by the general atmosphere.  Production slows down, quality controls are relaxed, and things don’t quite get done as quickly.   Why should they?  The managers are out.

Check out the beaches in Rio on a summer weekday.  You will be impressed by the density of the crowds and this in a country boasting of record high levels of employment.  Everybody should be at work but …..you know, you have to play some futvolei (volleyball played with the feet and body, but not the hands), or just work on your tan lines as bikini style vary from year to year.

By the way, it is not only Rio.  It is also Brasilia and a bunch of other places as everyone needs to head for the beach.  Brazilians love to say that “ninguem e de ferro” (no one is made of iron) and that’s true.

Sitting here suffering through my Southern California winter (today it was 65 degrees and sunny at the beach), I have to admit my envy.

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