Too Much Love
Limited space does not allow me to share even the half of the love I received last week. However, I can share some of it.
I received a letter from the bank that manages my retirement savings plan. After working for over 30 years, I was scheduled to receive my retirement savings this year on my birthday. Since the bank invested the bulk of my retirement funds in Government bonds, I cannot receive all of my money until 2033. Thanks BERT.
Our dog got an ear infection, so we took him to his vet. The vet noted that he was short on supplies. The supplies were stuck in the Bridgetown Port, because the Port decided to switch to a new generation of software called ASYCUDA World without properly testing it.
The vet noted that because it was stuck in the Port for so long, the medicine had gone bad, so he left it there. The Port wants to charge him duties and charges for the spoiled medicine.
When updating software on your personal computer, you should back-up your working files just in-case there is a problem. A well-managed business will certainly back-up all working files before updating its computer systems.
If the software will affect the main operations of the business, then there is normally robust trial testing of the software before it is permanently installed. If this critical pre-testing is not done, the business risks frustrating its clients and employees with unnecessary delays.
For the Bridgetown Port to have rolled out such a major upgrade, without the critical robust testing, is extremely bad management. Unfortunately, we have devalued public sector management by using it as a reward for political party loyalty.
Despite over 40 years of evidence to prove that this is a failed method of procuring management talent, we persist with this lunacy. We then tolerate the sorry excuse that this is the best that we as a small county can do.
The Government came for my pension, savings, and dog’s medicine, but they would not come for my garbage. After one month of no collection, the bags of garbage normally spill onto the ground. At that time, the monkeys and dogs try to do the SSA’s job, but they are not very successful.
While they collect our garbage more frequently than the SSA, they do not carry it very far. So, I must repeatedly clean it up, and return it near the bin, until the SSA comes at week six.
I try not to complain about the rare sightings of the SSA trucks, because we were all supposed to be in the same boat. Then I learnt that some were in a little Moses, where they had to wait for 2 months, and I felt guilty. I also learnt that some were on a cruise liner, with weekly collections.
This is not like water outages where water distribution is dependent on the levels in the nearest reservoir. These are trucks with routes that can be scheduled. Why are some benefiting from a weekly garbage collection, while others are suffering with a two months service? Why not share the trucks equitably, so that we all get, perhaps, a 3-week collection?
My car insurance expires next week in November. So, I paid the insurance premium and took the cover note to BRA to get the sticker. After spending one hour in the line, where only 2 of the 5 cashier positions were active, the cashier politely explained that I paid my insurance too early. She said that I must return on or after the expiration date.
First my pension, then my retirement savings, then my dog, then my garbage, now I must return to BRA, waste more time in a line, and risk a $5,000 fine if I am late? I did not realise that a reckless comment had escaped my lips until I heard my own voice.
I told her that I had been standing in line for the past hour, only to be told to return and stand in the same line. Her response was that she did not tell me to stand in the line for one hour. She was correct of course, so I thanked her and left.
As I walked to my newly insured car, I finally appreciated how much the Government loves us. I recognized that the Government’s public sector policies are designed to ensure that no Barbadian is left behind. They have accepted a new mandate to get us all into heaven – by frustrating the hell out of us while we are on the earth.
Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer and President of Solutions Barbados. He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com