Enchufe: NFS Spain Glossary

The other day I was telling my sister-in-law about a relation of mine who has just landed an important job at Reuters UK, a job gained entirely through hard work and personal merit. “In Spain”, she replied, “that job would only be for the son of someone important”, (‘solo para el hijo de.‘ were her exact words, and no, she wasn’t swearing.)

The point is that nepotism is rife in Spain. From getting a decent job, to finding your way onto an oversubscribed course, to having your internet connection up and running faster than anyone else – if you have a friend or relation in the right place, known as an Enchufe, you’re sorted.

The interesting thing is though, that no one in Spain really seems to mind. There is very little resentment of the enchufe system (until it’s your turn to loose out). This is probably because everyone is enchufado (plugged in) to some extent, and as long as their pizza is arriving hotter because their mate rides the delivery bike, or their son gets a better promotion because daddy knows someone who knows someone in HR, then everyone seems quite happy to let this little bit of sociological corruption run and run.

And if you are worried that as a foreigner in Spain you’ll never get Enchufado, just how many good reasons do I have to give you for getting an intercambio?! ;)

5 thoughts on “Enchufe: NFS Spain Glossary

  1. greytop

    I found a similar problem in Italy in the 70′s. A phone connection “shared line in 3 months” became “your own line next week” with the right non-telephonic connection! I’m sure it exists in any country. We’d all help a friend or family member if we could, even if the jamón turns out to be a favour for us when needed.

  2. N.

    No one is Spain really cares??
    I ‘m spanish and really concerned about that crap..the”selection process” it is only a fake to make ppl believe they have a chance cos the system is “fair” ffs

  3. JR

    Many Spaniards like me mind, sure, though I think it’s not an endemic problem but it’s generalized all over the world in various forms (cronyism, nepotism,social networks,. . .) . But, anyway, it’s evident that this stress on social relationships to achieve goals in Spain (and hispanic ones, in general) is firmly rooted. May time and development help to improve social mobility, equality and meritocracy, stagnated by contact networks.

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