Home / View Point / Letters to the Editor / Dear Editor: Minister West should focus on better service at public offices, not dress code

Dear Editor: Minister West should focus on better service at public offices, not dress code

“[…] In many cases, there are just one or two cashiers out of a possible nine or ten to service very long lines while other employees casually mingle and make small talk in full view of the public, who are already agitated by the poor service! 

“The government might as well remove telephones from all public offices and save some revenue because nobody answers the phone! And I could go on and on…”

The following Letter to the Editor, which asks whether it is fair to demand professional attire from the public in government buildings when people are treated shabbily there anyhow, was submitted by Roger Mohammed of Oropune Gardens:

Photo: Are you being served?

At a function in 2018, President Paula-Mae Weekes said the Public Service in Trinidad and Tobago has developed a reputation for inefficiency and this stigma had to be remedied. 

For this, she was excoriated by then President of the Public Services Association (PSA), Watson Duke, who called on her to apologise to public servants. 

It was a most disingenuous position for Duke to take as, unless one lives under a rock, everybody knows that the service in public offices in Trinidad and Tobago is appalling! 

Workers in government offices shake their heads at members of the public when asked questions, instead of answering properly. In many cases, there are just one or two cashiers out of a possible nine or ten to service very long lines while other employees casually mingle and make small talk in full view of the public, who are already agitated by the poor service! 

The government might as well remove telephones from all public offices and save some revenue because nobody answers the phone! And I could go on and on. 

Photo: A public servant, played by a sloth, tries to process some documentation in Zootopia.
This might take a while…

So when I heard the Minister of Public Administration, Ms Allyson West, say that the dress code for citizens is not high on the agenda, I would like to submit that it should be. 

What’s the use of citizens being required to dress properly when entering government buildings when the service is so improper?

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One comment

  1. The word service seems to be a bogey word in this country. The behaviours you refer to are not peculiar only to the public service/government offices but are evident in the private sector and many of our more ‘successful’ enterprises at that. It is hilarious to hear businesses complain year in, year out that business is slow (mainly referring to profits, I suspect). With their poor service quality, not to mention atrocious after sale service, unwillingness to give cash refunds and just the sub-standard quality of the products many offer.
    It isn’t surprising that many are not meeting customer expectations and ultimately the full potential of their businesses–despite any profits some might make.