What I learned about quality in Italy

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RP1030937ome has always been on my “list” of places to see .  When the very word once meant civilization itself, it’s something probably worth checking out.

Now, when you ask someone about Italian made products, it’s likely they are going to say they’re high quality.  I think of Prada, Ferrari, Italian suits, etc.  I’ve worked with a few Pro QC clients there over the years as well.  It’s true that nothing gets done in August, and it can be very frustrating if you’re not the one on vacation.

I’m sad to say that my perception of the actual quality of “stuff” during my travels there was not impressive.  My best example would be the poorly designed shower that would be considered dysfunctional to anyone else in the world.  I even noticed the news people are still wearing these prehistoric microphones and often read off the actual newspaper.  QVC was there, but it was nothing like our star studded performances.  Oh, we sat for hours in a closed-up train from Naples to Rome with no air conditioning.  Just stale, musty air for hours and not one person says a word.  Lucky for us, it clicked back on a few moments before we arrived.  There was a moment where I wasn’t sure if I’d make it out of there or not.  Nothing ever seemed to work right.  All of the cars and scooters had dents and dings… I couldn’t see the love.  By the number of tourists I saw, revenue shouldn’t be the problem here.

Disclaimer: I’m only referring to the current cultural conditions.  Ironically, at the same time I’m making this observation, I’m touring some of the most amazing sites of human ability that I will probably ever see.  Whoever built St. Peter’s isn’t at all in the same blood line of whoever designed those showers.

I realized very quickly that Italians do have a quality of “life” thing going on that is really very impressive.  While there, I heard that the average Italian consumes one bottle of wine per day and lives to the age of 80.  It was uncommon to see someone not smoking.  People were eating carbohydrate rich dinners at midnight… and, all of this seems just crazy to most of us. But, it’s true.  The cultural experience was so much more social than ours and definitely less stressed out overall.  They look happy.

The trip was amazing and absolutely met my expectations.  Since my return, I’ve tried to maintain a small part of that mentality. But, I do wonder if quality of life has to exist at the cost of reduced quality of stuff?

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