Welcome

Dennis Jones is a Jamaican-born international economist, who has lived most of the time in the UK and USA, and latterly in Guinea, west Africa. He moved back to the Caribbean in 2007. This blog contains his observations on life on this small eastern Caribbean island, as well as views on life and issues on a broader landscape, especially the Caribbean and Africa.

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Service with a snarl

What service providers in Barbados seem to fail to grasp at almost every opportunity is that satisfying the customer is the name of the game. Latest example. This morning, after an hour's walk on Browne's Beach, I needed to use the toilets; it was about 6.30am. A lady sat in the "office", and I asked her if the toilet was open. "No. I's not 8 o'clock." she indicated, arms folded. So, I asked, "Would you prefer that I relieve myself anywhere outside rather than open the toilet?" "Yes." she replied without hestiation, and added "Dem is de rules." Thankfully, for most of the walkers and swimmers, the outdoor showers don't need to be opened, and no one has the water locked off till 8 o'clock.

If the Dems want to take Barbados to a new level, I suggest that they look at the issue of training and service provision very seriously. I could defend the lady in that if she broke the rules and someone used the toilet, damaged something or themselves, or soiled the place, then her job would be at risk. But the attitude and approach is perhaps what we need to look at. Discretion is something with which a lot of people do not seem comfortable. This lady either had none or did not know how to exercise it. My wife asked whether in the case of a real emergency the responses would have been the same. Tomorrow, when I go for my walk, I will try to bring my toilet with me!

The lady told me that the facility is run by the NCC, which I take to be the National Conservation Commission (formerly the Parks and Beaches Commission). Let's see if any of their officials read this blog and get back with some comments.

Finally, what is the woman doing at her "office" from 6am in the morning if the bathrooms are not going to be open till 8? Ok. She might like getting to work early and avoid the traffic, or watch the walkers, or watch the sun rise by the beach, or all of these.


3 comments:

ESTEBAN AGOSTO REID said...

Yes,the service in many of these Caribbean islands is extremely atrocious.Customer service is virtually non existent and most individuals,agencies, and businesses do not understand that the customer is essential to the viability of their organization, and for that matter their livelihood.RESPECT!!

zanne said...

You could make a whole blog of these stories, at least once a day I am the victim of Customer Dis-Service! I try not to let it get to me, but I am really not certain as to how anyone would attempt to turn around generations of people who know no differently.

Dennis Jones said...

There is a very funny slant on the "dis-service" business on last week's Notes from a small rock blog.