Sunday, January 21, 2018

To survive we must strive for excellence

As things continue to go downhill, as petty robberies fade away into the shadows of professional assassinations, I deem it necessary, as a young citizen and patriot, that I try to suppress the feeling of despair and share some humble advice.

The immigration office on Frederick Street, Port of Spain recently closed its doors to the public because the building was deemed unfit for work under the provisions of the OHS Act. As a result of this closure many were unable to attend the appointments given to them by this office.

Its indefinite closure is at best a great inconvenience to thousands of citizens and visitors alike. Take, for example, foreigners who have approved stay in the country for a limited period, and whose appointments for consideration of their indefinite permanent visa, come up during this period of closure. What is to happen to them when their approved stay has expired? Are they now illegal immigrants working illegally and subject to be arrested, deported and banned? Are these people to leave their jobs for fear of breaking the law? Are they to be classed with those who attempt to enter and stay in the country illegally? Or will they have to repeat the process because by the time a new appointment is set the documents are too old? What arrangements have been put in place?

Could the authorities not foresee the disruption of lives that would occur by closing the building? Or was it too much trouble to serve the public interest and make alternative arrangements?

A few simple initiatives could have avoided all this inconvenience and reputational damage:

• If government buildings had regular maintenance there would be no need for sudden closure.

• Interim arrangements should have been made.

• A timeline should be available to the public as to how long services would be “suspended”.

We all stare googly-eyed at the US but we fail to realise that it is the little things that make all the difference.

The US is a disciplined nation. Customer service is of utmost importance and losing your job is never far away. Ruling the nation is a vocation and your term in power is finite.

T&T, don’t you realise that you are destroying your country? Or don’t you care? It is simple, it requires commitment from each individual to do your job, strive for perfection and accept no mediocrity.

Then and only then would we achieve the model nation we seek.

P E Taylor

via e-mail