Sunday, December 19, 2010

Missing jeitinho

I am having a serious case of the missings.  What am I missing?  Jeitinho!  Jeitinho, if you do no know already, is a sassy Brazilian way of bending laws, rules, and boundaries.  While it's not always the best thing for a government, it's pretty awesome using it day to day.

You see, I'm in the US, the consumer capital of the world.  I would like to buy things. Normally, that is not a problem, unless you want something you need a prescription for.

I, myself, would like to stock up on contacts. I can save a pretty penny buying them here. I basically get 4 boxes for the price of 1 back in Brazil. Awesome! So, I talked to my Brazilian Optometrist and got him to write my Rx out exactly like Americans do. Everything was perfect.

That was, until, I spoke with 1800 Contacts. It appears that the contacts prescribed for my right eye are discontinued.  No, they can not switch it to another brand. No they do not want my money.

Helly! Jeitinho? Switch it. What's the big deal!  I even went into Walmart and asked there. They were going to just switch it but the computer wouldn't let them add my doctor. Again, Jeitinho! I don't know about them, but when I worked in sales, I made the sales happen.  Get creative. Put a local number.  Mess with the address a bit.

Of course my All American family reminds me they could get in trouble for doing that. Why?  Because I'm going to get high off my contacts? Oh no, wait, it was an excuse to charge me $200 for another check up, just to make sure they could switch to an equivalent.

Youuuu Whoooo, I'm the buyer here.  My Doctor isn't the one who should decide the brand, I should. I should be able to switch based on saving a dollar or getting a free sticker if I want.  It's like prescription and generic.

Oh well. 1800 Contacts, you can kiss your $100 goodbye.  I'm taking me, my crappy eyes, and my Brazilian Rx to a small local Optometrist and see if I can Americanize the jeitinho and get me some cheap contacts.


  1. Gentle reminder of the joys of Brazil. Good luck getting the local guy/gal (optometrist?) to join you in simple reality.

    Trying to explain jeitinho usually just digs the hole deeper...

    I heart Brazil. Go sister -

  2. Yep Jim, optometrist is what I meant. Not doing anything fancy, I just want contacts. I can see a Opthamologist not wanting to do what another doctor says.

    Yes, in Brazil there is a lot of bullshit when it comes to some things, and the cutting of bullshit in others. I enjoy my trips home but I also always enjoy my trips back home.

  3. Rachel,

    I know many pharmacies in New York city, around the canal street area (Chinatown), you can buy anything without prescriptions, they enter all the information in Chinese in their computers, so who knows what they write down? But I asure you they also have the jeitinho in New York (Chinatown and parts of Queens).
    There are busses connecting Washington DC, Philly and Baltimore with New York city's canal street, Chinatown's area for 10, 15 and 20 dollars round trip, people come in droves to buy everything from fake Vuitton, Rolex for 25 dollars to drugs without prescriptions.
    The bus companies get kick backs from the stores that is why they charge so little.
    You are right about putting zeros or nines on the computers to allow you to jump to the next screens, sales people always know those tricks to bypass anything in a computer screen...
    Enjoy the cold, you will be home to Rio soon!



  4. That sucks, and you tried so hard to synch things up! I'm with you on this 100% I get my contacts here sem receita. They aren't cheap, a box of 3 pairs for R$120, but they're the Acuvue Oasys and I swear, I stretch the life out of them until they tear, 6 weeks or more, until my eyes can't bear it anymore. Gone are the days of "vision care coverage" when my contacts and glasses were free...oh how I miss those days! But at least I can just pop down to the local oculos store and ask for a new box, sem receita. OH, and a comment on another post you did, I was pretty sick this week and lost my voice completely and there was NO WAY for any farmacia to deliver an antibiotic sem receita, even when I had the specific name of the antibiotic from a Dr., no way. On the phone or in person. Only with a prescription in hand. This change I am not happy about.

  5. There is "jeitinho" and "jeitinho". I do enjoy the Brazilian flexibility with certain aspects of life (when it doesn't envolve corruption or breaking the law). It could be also called "common sense". The Dutch are very restrict about the laws - but they also have a "gedogen politiek" which means " closing an eye" in order to speed innocent things up. The world would be a better place applying jetinho / common sense or having a gedogen politiek.

  6. You explained it 300 times better than I did Anita. Exactly! That is exactly what I miss! Turning a blind eye to the innocent stuff.