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THE LOWDOWN: Theirs not to reason why

Richard Hoad

THE LOWDOWN: Theirs not to reason why

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Here’s a little ditty to start us off.
It’s called Beware The Bajan Spring:
Julius was a mighty Caesar, if yuh hear the things he do; he came, he saw many, many peoples, he conquered not a few. He made great laws with many a clause, added two months to the year; but he tempted fate when he got too great, and people began to fear:
That he was . . . .
Autocratic and obnox-I-ous, that couldn’t work ’bout dey; autocratic and obnox-I-ous, people couldn’t have their say. So when it looked like he might be king or maybe dictator for life, Brutus and the rest, rip off ’e vest, and out ’e lights with a knife.
Saddam and Gaddafi, large and in charge, ruled with iron fists; they did much good, and much more bad, and some in between I miss. Some worshipped them, some hated them, some probably did not care; but Sad and Gad got the people mad and next thing big war declare.
Because they were . . .
Autocratic and obnox-I-ous, they had to have their way; autocratic and obnox-I-ous, nobody else had a say. They got the flu in the Arab brew but it was too late to fly; one get hang, the other get shoot, what a way for big men to die!
Sandi, no dictator he, a gentleman of class; he built us the Sherbourne Centre, but couldn’t finish the (back part). He miffed the nation to stop devaluation, docking an eight per cent; but the Duke of Old felt he was too bold and Sandi’s days were spent.
He seemed to be . . .
Autocratic and adamant, he rubbed people not the right way; autocratic and adamant, he spoke and we must obey. Position and power may make you a tower but like Babel you can come down; Sandi made the call but he lost it all and the Dems were eddoes bound.
So if you are . . .
Autocratic and obnox-I-ous, modify your tricks and trade; don’t tell some call you “Uncle” and “Bro”, while others only get tirade. Your role as a leader is to unite, not to divide and hamstring; so mark the word of a wise old bird and beware the Bajan Spring.
What I’m saying here is that leaders should beware of treating people like dirt. For when the high wind comes, dirt gets in your eyes.
Today let’s look at bosses and employees in the Bajan context. I was frankly amazed at comments by Anthony Davis in Barbados Today:
“The principal’s job is to manage the school. If someone does not like his management style, he/she is free, like in private entities, to leave!”
Simple so, right, Davey? Sounds like the Light Brigade all over again: “Not tho’ the soldier knew, someone had blunder’d. Theirs not to make reply, theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die, into the Valley of Death rode the six hundred.”
In other words, Davey, if you were a head of department and the principal made teaching arrangements not in the students’ best interest, you would go along with that? Even though it falls within the H of D’s purview to allocate teachers?
We have serious problems in education.
One teacher was telling me of protracted pleading with a principal for minimal modifications to improve teaching conditions. Ignored.
A lecturer at UWI told how for four years a department head refused to consider requests from any lecturers except his favourite. In both cases the students suffered.
Some teachers say they are no longer motivated to perform. But if that’s what the principal wants, so be it, right, Mr Davis? Like it or lump it. Or go look for another job.
Where, Mr Davis? If you have children and a mortgage?
Since this email thing started, I get heart-rending tales of employees getting cursed in filthy language, getting felt up by their bosses, getting fired if they won’t spread, forced to tell lies or be dishonest.
Worst of all, if they leave, those bosses make sure they see hell to get another job in little closed-circuit Bim. Many are traumatized and living on headache pills.
But that’s management style, right, Mr Davis? May God help you.