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?!