Poor customer service at public offices
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Dear Editor,
LAST week I visited the GBTI bank on Water Street, Georgetown, at 1 PM just after lunch. I made a line with just six people but only one staff member was working. I counted 10 booths, but just one staff member was working even after 20 minutes.

I saw lots of staffers were walking about in the bank “gaffing,” just idling away, but only one teller was working. The remaining nine booths were empty until the bank was closed at 2 PM. I took 35 minutes in a line with just six persons; if all the booths were occupied, I would have taken less than five minutes to just make a deposit.

From my observations in all the banks in Guyana, they are all basically the same: inefficient and incompetent staff fill them just to waste citizens’ time; their managers and CEOS need to be fired.

After the bank I hurried to the Commercial Business and Registrar Deeds Registry just to uplift a document I had filed the week before. I saw a security lady just sitting and there was no order, people just came and “bored” the line to file and uplift documents. They have no proper numbering system or any decency and order; that place falls under the Ministry of Legal Affairs.

What I saw was just one boy busy doing most of the work while the other staff members just sit eating, “gaffing,” laughing and chewing gum. I even saw one staff just talking loudly on her phone on speaker while myself and over 40 others were waiting for them to go occupy their booths. I asked the security guard what was really going on. She told me to sit for one staff to come to booth 2. I sat waiting; one staff came to “gaff” with a girl 20 minutes and left the booth never to return.

I was still waiting until I saw the person who had handled my documents the week before I called her and she took my slip and gave me my document in two minutes. A simple procedure that was supposed to take just two minutes cost me 65 minutes of waiting. In my personal opinion more than half the staff at the Business and Commercial Deeds Registry should be fired, they are just a waste of space obtaining the government’s money by false pretence or just square pegs in round holes. I then proceeded to the GTM office after that boring and despicable experience. I was the only person there just to pay a premium and the staff just looked at me in disdain and said nothing until I called and made some noise, a female young staff came and dealt with my payment.

I took another next 35 minutes there. When I observed all the incompetence at most offices in this country, I am flabbergasted at these people who are working in these offices, most of whom are competent idlers just to waste citizens’ time. Real leadership is about putting others before ourselves, but it seems to me as if people just showed up to work just to collect a salary at the end of the month they never worked for but were idle. If this government is employing staff to work, then they must work for their money and don’t idle.

In most offices I have visited, I see long, stagnant, stink, sweaty lines until you are told to come back a next day. I waited nearly two hours not long ago at the GRA then was told to come back another day because their printer had run out of ink. What nonsense! They were supposed to have over a dozen cartridges of ink to replace empty ones.

In Trinidad you can get your birth certificate the same day in minutes; here you have to wait months and years. In Suriname I got my ID Card in five minutes, here it is months and years. Even if you lose your ID card here, it is months of waiting. Where are we heading as a nation? If we can’t evaluate simple staff performance at our offices, then how are we going to manage this whole nation?

Rev.Gideon Cecil

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