« Restaurant Hunter: Market Ipanema | Main | Meeting Roberto DaMatta »

April 07, 2009



I noticed this same phenomenon in Argentina. I guess it's one way of keeping employment up, although as you said, an inefficient and bureaucratic one.


Hi "gringa" this is my first visit to your website, and the first post that i read too, you're right about some unnnecessary jobs.. but in the buffet restaurant examplified by you, how can you improve he process? the guy which take tickets stationated at the door is to check if you paied or not.
How this works in New York?


Some people say they fell more secure with elevators operators.

And soon, it will have a law to "terminate" with these jobs.

Algumas pessoas dizem que elas se sentem mais seguras com os operadores de elevadores.

E está tramitando uma lei que propõe acabar com esse cargo.


Elevator operators used to be more common in New York and there are still a few places where they can be found.

Eduardo Sant'Anna

Forgot to mention the "trocador de onibus", who is there inside the bus just to sell you the ticket so that you can actually use the bus. And if you have an electronic card, he's not even there to take the cash and give you the change.

Ohh... and then depending on the bus line there is the "fiscal de onibus", who goes into the bus once in a while to check with the "trocador" apparently to inspect if the number of people in the bus equals the number of people who paid for the trip.

So, basically you need 3 brazilians to drive a bus! :-D One to sell the ticket, another to verify if the one selling the ticket sold them properly (they don't trust him?!) and finally one to be behind the steering wheel!

Ray Adkins

Many of these jobs are secured by traditional and strong UNIONS, the bus folks is a solid example and the elevator operators also have a strong UNION which require buildings with high foot traffic to hire elevator operators.
Others like the restaurant instances, the low wages don't justify investment and improvements in the way things are handled.
If the minimum wage was raised significantly, you would see all those places becoming creative and more efficient making there systems more efficient.



I've mentioned this on here before, but the most extreme example I came across in Sao Paulo was at a drive-through McDonald's. First you drive up to a guy standing to the side of the driveway who hands you a menu. After you choose, he notes your order on a piece of paper, which he gives to you. You drive up to a window, where you give the paper to the cashier, who puts the order into the system. You then drive up to another window to pay and finally to a window to get your food.

And don't even ask how much I hated consumption cards and that mad drunken scramble to find my missing card.


You nailed it, you know. It's a problem probably not exclusive of Brazilians, but either way it's deeply annoying. And I wonder why they continue to sustain that kind of arrangement, since it's just so simple to cut it down. They're probably used to it in a way that's kind of internally accepted already, or they wouldn't continue to propagate that once they opened their own clubs or restaurants whatsoever. They probably just can't figure out another way to organise it.


Talvez vc queira ler essa materia que saiu ontem no Washington Post, sobre o caso David e Sean Goldman :


Isso nao é burocracia, é organização. Em todos os exemplos que você citou o trabalho só é dividido entre várias pessoas pra ser mais eficiente. Fica mais fácil pra quem está atendendo, e consequentemente pro cliente. Se voce atende centenas de pessoas por dia, faz mto mais sentido um sistema assim. Pensa no tempo que se perderia indo buscar o troco do cada salgado que voce compra. ia ser tempo a mais esperando pelo seu salgado. você não ia gostar.
E com certeza tinha algum lugar mais fácil pra comprar a sua lâmpada do que uma loja de departamento no quinto andar de um shoping, suficientemente distante da sua casa pra não poder ir a pé.
Sobre o ônibus, vocês obiviamente não pegam os mesmos onibus que eu pra dar valor aos trocadores haha a menos que criem algo tipo o Ligeirinho, de Curitiba, aqui no Rio, os trocadores sao fundamentais pra nao morrer gente atropelada porque o motorista tava contando troco. Já aconteceu.

Sorry for the non-english. I'm sure you'll understand. I just thought it would be quickier to write in portuguese and I'm on a little rush here..

Great blog, keep that way.


ps: Mas realmente no Brasil existe muita burocracia. E é um saco


You have to pay for parking when you go to the mall in São Paulo. When you arrive at the parking lot there is a machine where you can get your parking ticket, but sometimes there is someone beside that machine only to push the button and give you the ticket. At least the elevator operator takes you somewhere (to the floor you would like to go) but those people pushing parking machine buttons are the least necessary thing I've ever seen.
Well, have said that once, I heard from someone: "at least they have a job".

Ernest Barteldes

Sometimes I think Brazil has to streamline their services, but then again last Saturday I had to wait for more than 30 minutes to get my coat from a coat check
at a downtown Manhattan show venue... maybe if there were more hands to take care of business, things could have happened faster...


This post really portrays in a funny way our annoying bureaucracy.
Brazil would be a better place to live without that, and I think so much bureaucracy is highly related to corruption.
I'm really sure that if we cut down on bureaucracy we´ll have much less corruption in our state and society.


Hear, hear. Whenever I go home I find it really odd to pump my own gas...


hahah, this is awesome.


LOL, this is an awesome post! Sounds confusing though, I wouldn't know which person to go to at what time!


I have to agree with Junior : " Brazil would be a better place to live without that, and I think so much bureaucracy is highly related to corruption.
I'm really sure that if we cut down on bureaucracy we´ll have much less corruption in our state and society.".
I have lived in the US since 2006. I am married to a brazilian/american guy. I am his third wife (third time is a charm, right??). He has never registered his prior marriages in Brazil. So, in order for me to register my marriage in the Brazilian Consulate, I would have to:
1) Find his 2 prior marriage certificate
2) Take this certificates to a Brazilian Consulate
3) Translate these documents to portuguese
4) Get the divorce pw ( for both marriages) and translate to portuguese (an official translator FROM BRAZIL)
5) Beg his ex-wives to write and notarize a statement authorizing him to register the divorce in Brazil (o correto termo eh homologar) - we don't even know where they are!!!
6) hire an atty IN BRAZIL to file 2 suits (1 for each divorce) in the Superior Court of Justice in Brasilia to "homologar" each divorce.
7) Then, after 6, 7 months, I can have my marriage certificate registered in the Brazilian Consulate.
UFF!! My friends keep telling me to just go to Brazil and marry him there to avoid all this!
And I really need to register my marriage here because my dad passed away 3 weeks ago and I need to file the probate pw in Brazil and need to show my marriage certificate register in Brazil!!! AHH!!!
Eh por isso que existem TANTAS FRAUDES!!!!
E fora toda a dor de perder um pai ainda tenho q lidar com essa papelada toda...e o Consulado mais perto da minha casa eh em Atlanta, 5 horas e meia de carro!

The comments to this entry are closed.