Tico Time

I write this overlooking the mountains in Costa Rica. This makes the 5th time my wife and I travelled here. Although we like the novelty of new locations, it is hard not to end up in Costa Rica – this place has a magic about it. This is the first time we have been here during their ‘rainy season’. I came to decompress, so maybe that is the reason I was not bothered by the persistent afternoon showers. It did thin out the tourists during our stay and that is always a good thing!

During one heavy downpour, I realized that this was the first time in nearly two years that the rain did not add stress to my life. Those of you in St. Louis are fairly aware of the volatile weather. These patterns have created a boom in the roofing industry from wind and hail storms. The rain storms no longer serve as a catalyst for business, which excited us in past years. Now, the rain keeps us from getting work done. This is what our customer base needs now – resolution!   The rain now creates problems for us, rather than opportunity to provide solutions we offer. The rain is just a reminder of how we are not delivering on the customer experience we are committed to. At least for a spell, I am in another place and am able to see the rain as peaceful and beautiful again.

It is fascinating how situational most events and actions are. Another wonderful phenomenon in Costa Rica is Tico Time. Tico is the slang reference to the amazing people of this country. Basically, Tico Time is “it will happen when it happens.”  Somehow, this actually gets everyone where they need to be when they need to be there doing what needs to get done. As an American, it is counter-intuitive to surrender yourself to this process. Being a veteran traveler to Costa Rica, it has become easy for me to transition. The hard part is to bring this attitude/lifestyle/paradigm shift back to the States.

I know that this is an impossible feat. The American culture is too different.  The demands on USA businesses are too strict and scheduled. We are too tightly wound to trust it will all work out. Regardless of our ‘sophistication’, I am committed to enjoying the rain, because ultimately, it WILL all work out.

– Jason Shupp