Our Readers' Opinions
April 28, 2006
We will all have to pay the price?


Editor: I wish to raise a few points regarding a letter captioned “Anomalies, Ironies, in the Public Service” in your newspaper dated April 13, 2006.

I empathize with the writer for some of the frustrations experienced. One does get the impression that this situation is widespread in the Public Service. I do share, to great extent, similar sentiments regarding the attitude of some public servants and their gross lack of professionalism in executing their duties. I wish to emphasize that there are still those who perform exemplarily and very often without due recognition.{{more}}

However, I want to disagree with the writer based on the statistics quoted, that the lack of professionalism displayed is an anomaly. Ironically, the converse is true. It is the behaviour of the one who performs that must be deemed anomalous and the other nine who do not perform satisfactorily considered regular or standard.

Let us not fool ourselves: “perception is reality.” I want to highlight something very real. Due consideration must be given to the importance of esprit de corps or teamwork in any organization. Is it not ironical that the other nine constitute the team?

This surely sounds confusing but in reality, if this is the case, can the one who really performs receive promotion and bigger pay, based on a combination of factors relating to team work, feedback and so on? In any case, according to the hierarchy, who does the performance reviews if the team comprises ten?

Experience, they say, is a perfect teacher. There is an old adage which says “no man is an island.” Can there really be so many benefits here, especially in the short run, to be the one out of ten? Consider the results if the nine were to paint a negative picture of the one and place it in the right art gallery (as happens frequently) and no opportunity is given to erase it. Very often this situation is as a result of efforts to correct much of the lack of professionalism highlighted in the article.

Many of the popular forms of entertainment that occupy the time of Vincentians inclusive of public servants include spreading rumours, cell phones, talk shows etc during the time we should be engaging in productive and meaningful work; hence the reason why it is so strenuous and frustrating for those like the one out of ten.

Let us not fool ourselves; we will all have to pay the price for this. Take the problems in our agriculture for example. The time will come when many people in our society will have to play “catch-up” and we all will be affected in one way or the other. Think about it.