By This As I See Them
People have complained about the undesirable and unacceptable standards of customer service in our country for decades. I, too, am appalled by the quality of it, not only in the government sector but also in the private sector.
However, an unplanned and unintentional observation has dawned on me, and that is, the general shabbiness and appearance of most of the persons who sell and serve food from makeshifts outlets, those who sell agricultural products and produce and those who sell fish in Kingstown.
As to those who are carting agricultural produce, other goods and people’s groceries, they are among the shabbiest of self-employed service workers.
The condition of some of these carts and trolleys are truly unfit for the transportation of edibles of any sort, not to mention the personal hygiene of the carters.
The shabbiness does not end there. Many persons who sell drinks from the roadside bars simply do this: find or acquire an old or discarded refrigerator or freezer and without any work on it except for a bit of soap and water, I hope, it is laid with drinks ready for sale and hence consumption. Many of these vendors do not use proper toilet facilities (the main ones, of course, being shabby, too), instead, they opt to relieve their bladders publicly, some in plain sight of the general public. With the lack of running water and soap to wash their hands, the shabbiness continues. The shabbiness goes even deeper especially on the outskirts of capital Kingstown and further away. Many barbecue grills are left unattended at the precise spots where they were last used and are only looked after when the next event is due. Only then would you see some feeble attempt to “clean” only the grill. This is sickening and generally goes unnoticed by many consumers who unceremoniously consume meats from these dirty grills as if they were given to them freely. Yes, the same grills which were left for rain, sun and God knows what else.
Every city is supposed to be regulated as to keep certain standards. It is clear that Kingstown has no standard. Instead, the government seek ways of taxing persons who ply their shabby trade on its streets as if to say we welcome more so we can collect more money. This means that it is up to the people of this country to lift their standards. The onus is on us. If you are a shabby vendor, then it is hard for you not be a shabby consumer. For those of us who are not vendors or producers, we need to set high standards. By this, we should not buy or consume any goods that is presented to us either by a shabby person, from a shabby cubicle/container or in a shabby way. Our action or stance would force those shabby persons to lift their game. For those vendors and service providers who are above shabby, I applaud you, continue to strive for excellence. Your effort is worthwhile and is a much-needed one. Our country needs you. For those shabby persons in authority and for those who thrive on the shabbiness of others so you become a beneficiary, it is time you put our country before your own ego, be it power or money or both. For those who are in deniable of the widespread existence of this shabbiness, on your next visit to Kingstown take a good look and you will decide whether or not our town could be easily passed for a shantytown. I am certain you will see other evidence of shabbiness I have not cited here.
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The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.