10-MINUTE MANAGER: Lend a helping hand
Q: Are you where you’ve always wanted to be?
A: In some respects I suppose I am. Coming from a community where obtaining a clerical officer job in Government was a major success, I would have to say that I have exceeded career expectations. Financially I still monitor every cheque with miserly precision so clearly financial independence still eludes me. That has also constrained me to a simple social life, loving white soft salt bread and a take away from Baxters Road. That said, I am happy for a wide circle of family and friends. I am also happy about my personal achievements and continuous blessings from God. I am contented and live with the satisfaction that God has a hand in shaping who, where, why and what I am. I remain intrigued at His next move and keep an open mind.
Q: What is your biggest professional challenge?
A: Naturally the plight of Government workers on the verge of losing their jobs will cause some market ripples. There will be uncertainty, less spending and some sense of despair. People have a difficulty holding on to an intangible product like life insurance but my task would be to constantly ask them to answer the question “If things are difficult now that you are alive how would your family cope if you are not?”
Q: What is your biggest life challenge?
A: The ability to say “No”. Willingness to help has a price – I am at times very tired, involved in too many projects simultaneously and often late trying to attend all meetings. I need to decline some invitations.
Q: When you look to the future what do you see?
A: On the good side, I see a more resilient Barbadian emerging from the economic problems. I believe that the international focus on the environment will inspire locals into small business operations and creativity. I see a further explosion of technology. On the other side, I see a society gripped with fear because of increased criminal activity. I see further erosion of privacy with each technological improvement. I see more sinister and aggressive tactics from those who want to challenge traditional spiritual and moral values in order to implant their own.
Q: What is your favourite pastime?
A: A game of dominoes is always relaxing even though recently I have been on the losing end. It is a good opportunity to connect with the younger generation. I get my fitness from a bit of ballroom.
Q: What is your favourite meal?
A: Soup with a generous outpour of dumplings and some visible sign of pig tail knocks me out every time. I have been attracted to corn soup Trini style in recent years. Then grilled fish and potatoes with Patrick’s home-made tartar sauce.
Q: On Saturday nights where are you likely to be?
A: Most likely I would be attending some social event with family or if at home I would be torn between dabbling at a report and watching Q In The Community. I consider the show to be a remarkable concept and the scenes of dancing and images of Barbadian community life are nostalgic. It fills a void for many by providing wholesome social interaction, encourages the otherwise dormant competitive spirit in persons through karaoke and takes tourists on a journey of Barbadian culture.
Q: What upsets you the most?
A: A woman embarrassing her man in public – it is not right; a mother at the mercy of a defiant child in town – it must not happen; someone who is always right – this is unreal; and sensational journalism laced with mischief – it is disrespectful to readers.
Q: What is your guiding philosophy?
A: “If I can help somebody as I pass along then my living won’t be in vain”. The reason we rush to work, fight traffic, study hard and endure ridicule is often linked to serving humanity either by a service or a good. If after all of that my existence is one of self-centredness, while other persons suffer, then I failed. I must help somebody in some way – a kind word, a listening ear, a cup of tea, a visit, money – do or give something.
Q: If you had the chance to manage Barbados for a day, what would you do?
A: Begin the day with a prayer for God to grant me courage to change the things I can, for the strength to accept the things I can’t, and for the wisdom to know the difference. I would have a meeting with our men to appeal to their sense of duty and ask them to be strong because when our men are strong our women are safe, our children are guided and our nation’s future is secure.
I would enlist the help of all well intended citizens whose contributions to national development are right now sadly hindered by political dictates. I would finally invite the whole country to Queen’s Park for Dancing Under The Stars and have the Minister of Finance
and the Leader of the Opposition exhibit their elegance in a waltz, fully rehearsed, beautifully dressed and in harmony with the rich tradition of the park. I believe that we need a symbol of political unity in this country and until we do, every home, every community and every loyal Barbadian will lose hope of any economic recovery. We need hope, confidence and unity.