Going Postal in Chile

How the chilean bureaucracy can kill your spirit

Vina del Mar, September 2014


I am a cofounder of Exosphere (http://exosphe.re), i am a southern italian, currently living in Chile, a wonderful country with wonderful people, but still with such excessive “burocracy” attitude which, being from south italy, i understand very very well.

Here, in Chile, I think that there is a lot of opportunities in the customer service industry, just follow me…

This is why i wrote straight this email to my collegues, in my typical funny don Vito style-english, as i went back after having spent almost the whole morning trying to set up an internet contract for my new apartment …i could not take everything which happened to me inside, I have to share this extraordinary experience to all my team.

All the names of the employees are fictitional but, believe me, the story is real…


Maria, the owner of the apartment where i was supposed to set up, this morning, the internet connection said that everything was fine, that she has already passed by the VTR local office to fix everything, i need only to pass by there and to sign the contract…indeed this is one of the basic point on why i payed already the rent!

The morning…at the VTR office

I approached the VTR office with my best spiritual/Zen mode, with my best stillness and calm, I looked like almost an oriental guru, I got my ticket to attend the VTR employee and approached him…he had that kind of “high intelligente” face that, you know, you would find easily behind the counter of such offices

me (with my best stillness and smile) : “I have to set up the internet connection in my apartment, here it is the contract, i am italian and i have a company here that teach entrepreneurship, etc etc …”

the smart VTR guys : “ok, please your RUT”

(RUT is a kind of ID number for your Tax payment, it is associated with the famous “Chile Paradox” which is : to get a RUT you should have a local bank account and to have a local bank account you should have a RUT, up to now noone has resolved the paradox, even Nobel price scientist and quantun computers! There are even stories which are saying that several foreigners become crazy in trying to resolve the paradox and now are living in menthal hospitals keeping to solve the Chile Paradox!)

me : “i have a passport here as it has been done in the contract, you could check in the paper in front of you , indeed the owner told me that it was ok with the passport as he has already talked with you guys of VTR”

the iper smart VTR guy (looking at me as i come from Jupiter) : “ I could not do anything for you, sorry, this is the rule, if you have not your RUT i could not do anything , bye bye, come back with you RUT ”

me (keeping my stillness): “ yes, sir, but i had already done several contracts here with some other collegue of you (indeed i have already managed succesfully such situation, of course still with a lot of pain) — indeed pointing his collegue out with my finger — may be you should ask her if there is another solution (indicating his collegue whith wich i have done the last contract succesfully)…”

the smart VTR guy (already starting panicking) : “ mmm…mmmm…ok, please, lets you go directly to my collegue Francesca (with a face as he suddendly has avoided a death penalty) “

So still picking up my Zen stillness I approached Francisca , the VTR collegue with wich i set up other contract in the past

Francisca (with her wonderful smile and of course not remembering me at all) : “please, how i can help you ?”

me ( regaining courage, power and stillness) : “hallo, I have to set up the internet connection in my apartment, here it is the contract, i am italian and i have a company here that teach entrepreneurship, etc etc… (the some story…)

Francisca (checking my papers) : “Ok, let me check…mmmm….but you have only the passport”

me (trying to anticipate her) : “yes, as you see, i am not chilean and i am in the process of doing the RUT…”

Francisca ( with no piety) : “yes but as you dont have a permanent RUT yet, i could not do any contract , sorry (with her best smile as she has started to see a little smirk in my face)”

me ( starting to loose a little bit of my Zen stillness) : “yes i know, but i am also the legal rapresentative of the company, Exosphere is the name, which has already done several contracts here, which as also the RUT , so, maybe we could do the contract with the company and not with my personal name “

Francisca (looking me as i asked her to solve the problem of the cold nuclear fusion) : “mmm…let me think…mmm…yes i think that we could do so! Let me check the RUT of your company. Please give me the RUT of your company ?

me (already knowing where we were going to go…) : “ i have just the number here . here it is the RUT number (with an expression of joy in my face)”

Francisca : “ no, sorry, i need the phisical card with the RUT”

me : “but, here it is the number, at the end it is the some thing to have the card and the number, isnt it? and eventually i could send you the copy of the card via email, or not?, please , or you can check the number… (now i was start panicking)”

Francisca: “ no, sorry i could not” with an ice face, £ this is the rule here…i need to see the physical card “

me (starting clearly to feel the pressure of my blood rising and even so trying to appear as calm as ever) : “ ok Francisca, please, i have already done here some contract in the past, maybe you have already the copy of the RUT card somewhere ?” (i tryed this last card in a last-desperately bet)

Francisca (looking at me almost with love as i have given her maybe the solution of the Big Bang theory) : “mmm, yes, let me check !” (her eyes were lightening of joy together with my eyes)

After almost the most long minutes of my life Francisca come to me smiling : “You are lucky, here there are the documents !”

me (without the capacity to hold back my joy and willing to kiss her for hours) : “Fantastic! So could we do the contract?” shouting like italy won the 5th world cup!

Francisca (almost falled in love with me) : “Sure, let me check all the papers :

- the copy of the RUT — here!

- the constitution of the company — here!

- the starting of the activity — here !

mmm…but, but…nooo! here it is still missing the Extracto de Sociedad” (now looking at me with fear and also a sense of guilty again)

me (also looking at her with the some fear…) “so, you could not do the contract now?”

Francisca (almost crying) : “no, i am sorry, we need this document! I could not do nothing for you”

me (starting to crying too): “but you did the contract in the past without this document, why you ask me this now, why? “

Francisca (without holding back her tears anymore) : “sorry, i know, but the company has added another regulation! I dont know why, they always do this ! (trying to get back piety from me) and, i am sorry, i could not do anything to change such sad destiny!”

me (by now crying with huge tears): “but, why, why ?”

Francisca : “ i dont know, sorry, i dont know…” (she wanted to hug and cry with me)

me ( now with a huge sense of piety for her soul and very depressed) : “ok, but please, please, in any case, could you check eventually if the internet band of your company arrive at the apartment? at least we will figure out how to resolve the contract issue later…”

Francisca : “yes, let me check”…but, but, Nooooooooooo” She said as she was stubbed in his hearth “but, I am sorry, sorry, sorry… but we have no internet there, we dont arrive with our cable there, i just discoverd it now…”

In this exact moment , in just one second i lost all my Zen stillness and Christian piety and i started shouting against my self meanwhile i gained the exit of the store sayng “Puta VTR! Puta Chile, Puta the owner of the aparment and even Puta myself!!! “

Then, after 5 minutes of madness, i breathed deeply and approached the other internet company, the Movistar office…

As always the some story, wait to take the first ticket from the attendant which “serve” the tickets, wait with your number the right counter, and then, finally, here it is the next Movistar obtuse-face-lady waiting to “serve” me :

Movistar lady (with a super gentle sexy smile) : “Hallo sir, how i could serve you?”

me : “I have to set the internet connection in my apartment, here it is the contract, i am italian and i have a company here that teach entrepreneurship, etc etc …”

Movistar lady : “ok sir, please give me your RUT”

me (almost resigned to get the some VTR story…sigh) : “yes, one second… anyway… i have the passport instead of the RUT with wich i signed the contract…”

Movistar lady (not even looking at me, as nothing was happened ): “Bueno! what kind of internet band do you want ?”

Wow! Really? Is it true? Am i alive? Is this not a dream? I could not believe it!!! She was doing the contract! She was doing exactly what she should have be done! Everything was fine!! Joy in me and fuck the VTR then! I was almost exploding of joy !

me (focusing all my power to not explode in a joyful explosion, but instead trying to keep serious and professiona) : “Good! ok, ok… what band?…ok, lets do the 20M contract then, ok, good, thanks!”

But meanwhile the lovely Movistar lady was starting digiting the internet contract i suddendly saw in her face a very imperceptible first signs of an hamletic dilemma? Is the passport right or not? right or not?

Am I doing something wrong here ? Then, as she was hit by a sudden lightneningh, she stopped digiting and she asked to his collegue :

“but… do you know if the passport is ok for the contract?”

Damn! Damn! I am fucked again now i was thinking…and praying…

His collegue replayed to her as he was stubbed in the stomach “mmm

“damn, no! I dont know! You should ask to the office director!”

Damn! Damn! I couldnt just imagine the face of Office director!

Then the Movistar lady replayed to me “Don Antonio (wow! she remember my name!) erything should be fine, anyway, i have just to ask to the director if the passport is ok.Please wait me two second and i will be back to you”

And she rushed from me, exactly In that moment i was starting to feel fear, again…

She come back after five minutes which seemed to me five centuries and with a funeral face she told me :

“ i am sorry don Antonio, we dont accept the passport, if you dont have a permanent RUT we could not do any internet contract, i am sorry, buy”

I was starting to feel a mixture of angry and depression, i felt all my Zen stillnes disappearing again and more fast now, bye bye meditation, bye bye spiritual practice, bye bye stillness…

awakening, my blood pressure was already at alarming level. I am alive! I exist! please touch me!!! touch me here!!! ( i avoid to say where) i am not a ghost, i am a man! Why you are saying that i could not sign the contract ?

“Puta Chile! Puta la duena! Puta internet! Puta VTR! Puta Movistar” I found myself shouting alone in the middle of the crowd of the store

“Ok, i will call the bitch of the owner of the department and then you will explain everything to here right now! right now! Before to sign the contract she guaranteed me that everything was ok for the internet and i have already payed all the rent with interner inside!”

Then i called the owner and shouting like crazy i tryied to explain everything to her ( yuo could imagine in which tone and with which sort of calm i was trying to explain everything to the owner in a mixture of spanish-english-italian-barlettano language!)

“Ok, ok, Antonio, tranqulizate hora, let me talk with the lady now…”

So the two ladies were talking among themselves and after 5 minutes the telephone come back to me , the owner was still online

“ok Antonio, tranquilizate, i think that some strange problem is here. I had the VTR internet connection in my apartment up to last month, so how is it possible that there is no internet there ? Here with Movistar is not good, it is more expensive and we need more time to set up here. So, please, let me talk with a friend of mine that work in VTR and i will check everything and then i will let you know. Ok, tranquilizate ahora, let me do all this work and wait for my call, ok…?”

I didnt replayed here, i closed abruptly the conversation, i need fresh air desperately so i was gained the exit shouting against my self…

“Puta Chile! Puta Movistar! Puta VTR and Puta the owner of the department!!!”

So i found myself again in the street, alone, breathing fresh air, seing all my like passing in front of me, but, then,as a miracle all my spiritual attitude went back to me and talked to me

my soul : “Antonio, be calm, nothing has happened, think about it, the owner told you that VTR was in her apartment, maybe Francisca has just made a little mistake, come on! Rise up! Go back to VTR, it is just a 5 minutes walking from here. Go Antonio, go…”

so i rised up my Zen stillness again and I found myself approaching VTR another time. This time without taking the ticket i went directly to Francesca

me (again trying to put in my face my best smile and calm) : “Francesca, i just talked with the owner, she told me that the VTR connection was working almost one month ago there, please, could you check again more carefully, maybe it is there the iternet band and you just had a little mistake (trying to show her that this kind of mistakes are the most innocent mistakes that a human being could do in his life…)

Francesca (conforted by my smile and calmness) : “ok, let me check…ah! yes, sorry! there is the connection there! Strange, it seemed that there was not our internet cable there! OK, so, yes, we could set up the internet connection there…but, but, mmm, the connection is still active, strange, strange…and it is in the name of the owner, so the contract could be done only by the owner!”

me (starting to feel the blood pressure rising up againg, this time with more speed and fast…): “you are saying that even if here there is the rent contract which show that i am going to live there, i could not do the internet contract even it is still active ?”

Francesca (starting to feel a sense of panick again) : “ Yes, correct… To do the contract in your name the owner has to come here personally and she has to sign the “contract name change” document with you together! And even if she do this you could still not sign the contract as you have not the permanent RUT here…(now she was looking at me with a full panick face !)

she has not even finished to talk with me that i was already calling the owner saying (almost shouting in the middle of the store) that or she talks with Francisca right now and fix the problem right now or i will fuckoff her, the apartmemt, festa patria, Chile and even Latin America!!!

So the owner started talking with Francisca and after almost 5 minutes of their conversation she come to me and said

Francesca: “Ok, i have talked with the owner and we have to do the “name change contract” now. She dont need to come here anymore but you have to take a ticket and go to the other counter there where there is the “nama change contract” desk… Then, when the “name change contract” has beed done you have to come back here and then we could do the internet contract with your company name…so, please, go there and then come back here”

By now i have lost all my energy, i were almost a dead or a brainless robot, the Chilean burocracy had just killed my spirit…so i went there , took a ticket, and moving as someone which was got under a huge lobotomy, i approached the new VTR lady

me : “Bunea Dias, I have to set the internet connection in my apartment, here it is the contract, i am italian and i have a company here that teach entrepreneurship, etc etc …”

New VTR Lady: “ Please give me the RUT…..”

me (still as under lobotomy) : “i have not RUT, only a passport…etc etc

New VTR Lady “ Yes, but i need RUT…etc etc”


I was starting shouting in the middle of the store like a mad psycopath schizophrenic




Suddendly Francisca, understanding deeply inside herself that this stroy could have ended in a tragedy, soon runned to the net VTR lady trying to stop her to say any even one only word and istructed her to change instantanely the naming of the contract, right now! and without saying anything!!!

Indeed, the name of the contract was changed onthe spot!…so we could go back to the Francisca desk to do the final steps

Francisca: “ Ok, Don Antonio” ( we were feeling a kind of deep sentimental union for having leaved the some tragedy today) “the name of the contract has changed, we have almost all the documents of your company…so what contract do you want?”

me (almost so exhausted to not have anymore energy even to talk) : “the minimum one…the 15M with wifi”

Francisca: “ so, yes, its is 40k pesos per month”

me (with the last drop of my energy): “what? so expensive””

Francisca: “yes, with TV and internet it is 40k pesos”

me (without voice): “but i dont want TV…please”

Francisca: “but you have to have TV as the contract has been changed with the TV included and we cant cancel the TV cable without the signature of the owner now. So in order to have internet you should add it to the TV cable…”

This was the end! The door of the hell was already opnening…i felt the pressure of my blood boiling, this time with an incredible speed…a strange feeling of tragedy was clear in my hearth, the pupil of my eyes become suddendly more large…then my voice become strident and as i started saying : “…

then soon Francisca in a tremendous death rattle told me :”No! No! Don Antonio!

Sorry, sorry, dont worry, dont worry, we could fix this, we could fix this. We dont need to do the TV contract, we dont need. Please let me talk right now with my collegue, let me talk right now, please, wait me here, wait me here…”

And she run away shouting of terror fearing for her life

She went back soon, swearing…

Francisca : “Ok Don Antonio, ok! Everything is ok! we dont need the TV contract anymore.

We have everything fixed now! You need only to send me via email the Extacto de Sociedad document that it is still missing. But you could sign the contract now and then send me the missing document via email. Everything is ok Don Antonio now. Please, let me print the document now….”

So I signed the contract, i said hallo to Francisca and shouting against my self I gained the exit

Puta Chile! Puta VTR! Puta Movistar! Puta la duena! etc etc

meanwhile the Extracto de Sociedad document is still missing…

Founder of The Ark Lab https://www.thearklab.net/