I have decided to pen this letter on moral standards and ethics from personal experience with people in Guyana, as well as those out of Guyana.
The word ‘ethic’ can be defined as follows: ”a set of moral principles, especially ones relating to or affirming a specified group, field, or form of conduct, as the basic concepts and fundamental principles of decent human conduct. It includes study of universal values such as the essential equality of all men and women, human or natural rights, obedience to the law of land, concern for health and safety and increasingly, also for the natural environment. ”
Let me begin with work ethic with the question: How many people in Guyana go to work on time? How many managers, supervisors, CEO’S and clerks can you meet at 8:30am in their offices? I have visited several offices in Guyana and observed most workers going to work late and the bosses are never in office on time. I also observed that many workers just idle their day away collecting the government money by false pretense, including their bosses.
If you call many offices to talk to a person in position, they are always in a meeting or not in office or too busy to take your call. They never return a call or replied to your email, Facebook or Whatsapp messages etc. I have seen these activities in most of our offices in Guyana more than 35 years now. Over two months ago I saw a vacancy at the University of Guyana. I sent an application online and I got a reply after four days that my application was received. After a month I sent them an email of inquiry about my application.
They replied in a few days saying that my application is still under consideration. It’s over two months now, I sent them another inquiry in a week, I got no reply. Here is the highest academic institution of learning taking months to process a job application, and don’t have the moral standard to write to me to say if my application was NOT accepted or to go for an interview. I may suffer a heart attack if they invite me for an interview.
My next experience is with the Ministry of Legal Affairs, they wrote me a letter dated 28th November 2017 informing me that my ”Application of Appointment as Justice of Peace and Commissioner of Oaths to Affidavits is now at The Minister of State for Final Deliberation.”
That letter was only sent to me because I wrote about it several times in the newspapers, questioning why my police report took over two years to be sent to the Ministry of Legal Affairs.
After several inquiries by calls to the office of the Minister of State, to date, it’s about eight months now and I have not received an email, phone call nor letter pertaining to the status of my appointment. This procedure of my application started since 2003, since the PPP administration, it’s about 15 years now to date, it would be better if I was told I am not appointed and reasons were given. (I did over six police interviews in those years)
What I have discovered in this country is that, simple matters that can take a week or month will take years because of incompetence and lack or morality and ethics. Sometimes managers and ministers are in their offices but they refuse to answer calls, they just tell their secretaries to say they are not in office. What are they telling their secretaries in simple terms is ”to lie for them”. a gentleman told me in Brazil you can buy a property and get the paper work done the same day or less than a week.
Here in Guyana it is months and years and the royal run around at the GRA for the Compliance. In Trinidad you get your Birth Certificate same day here is weeks and months.
I wrote a book and sent it to my publisher 1:35 am I got a reply in five minutes. I sent Warwick University an email and I got three replies in 10 minutes back and forth. How do we compare ourselves with these institutions abroad? Why can’t we be competent like them?
I haven’t seen the great change of this country since modern technology, all over you go is tons of old books and papers that should be replaced by CD’S and Flash Drives. We don’t have much work ethics in Guyana. We are always late and used terms like ”it’s better to be late than never” we go to work late, watch TV late, wake late, and laze around our jobs doing nothing and people in this country have a real drinking problem they are always drunk even on their jobs. Most times people are pushed into offices because of political affiliations and they get `FAT CAT’ salaries for doing absolutely nothing.
We must ask ourselves many questions like, how competent is this person holding this office? What did he/she ever run efficiently before? Are they honest? Are they punctual? Can they run this office? Do they have a stable family life? Are we very principled when it comes to keep our WORD AND TIME with people? You are a manager, you invited an applicant for a job interview at 9 AM but you showed up at 12 noon. What example are you setting for that new applicant? NONE! You need to be fired.
Simple evaluation of people should not take us long. But in this country people `dragged their feet’ on their jobs, even our schools have teachers who need teaching themselves because they are never in class and they can never complete the CXC exam syllabus on time. Our character, morality, integrity, punctuality and speaking the truth at all times are keys to the foundation of a person of exemplary character and attitude.
Mahatma Gandhi had this to say about character: ”In times to come people will not judge us by the creed we profess, or the label we wear or the slogans we shout, but, by our work, industry, sacrifice, honesty and purity of character.”
It’s about time that we as a people wake up to these truths about morality and ethics and inculcate more efficient work ethics.
Rev. Gideon Cecil