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It was a Monday morning, and a number of us were experiencing what some call the blues, which seem to occur for a protracted period in many Government offices in Barbados, especially among the younger members of staff.
We were in a queue heading towards the cashier around 9 a.m. This young male cashier asked to be excused, stating that he would be back in five minutes. That five minutes turned out to be about half of an hour, during which time more customers were joining the queue.
When the cashier returned without even apologising for the extended period of his absence, he sat and the next customer arrived to be served. In the interim the customers, like true Bajans, just mumbled to themselves.
My turn came to be serviced. I commented about his time away from the cubicle. He did not respond, but after performing his duties he said, “Have a good day”, which could well have been a subtle alternative to an expletive.
It is high time that we demand better service from public service officers, who are paid from the public coffers. Why can’t they be more polite, more empathetic, especially to the older customers, some of whom are busy? We are not equating service with servitude. But the time is ripe, especially with all the rumblings.
What has happened to all the training? There are countless complaints levelled about service in Barbados. In the private sector, in a profit-making organisation, you have to dispense good service or face the consequences. We are aware that employees who interface directly with clients can be pressured at times. We see it every day. This does not reduce the need for courtesy and politeness. Some workers definitely need training and supervision.
– PHILIP HUNTE