Posted by: nastylittletruths | April 23, 2008

Lines And Never Ending Lines

What is it about us and lines? I mean, anywhere you look there’s this line of people waiting to get something done. Licensing office (all of them), registration office (on South Quay!), any random Government office and a lot of private businesses. The new appointment system at the passport offices is supposed to eliminate the lines there that started in the ungodly hours of 3:00 and 4:00 in the morning, but knowing us – I don’t think so…

It’s as if there’s this perverse pleasure in seeing people wait patiently to be attended to that it gives the one behind the counter some sense of an all powerful deity. Now I can understand how a peak demand can cause some inconvenience where you have to wait, but if something is causing long lines day after day, month after month, what are you waiting on to implement some changes? I have a problem especially with Immigration Division and the passport offices.

In 1994, everyone in Trinidad had to get a newly designed passport as the old ones were being tampered with and copied quite easily. The standard validity was 10 years for adults, so one would think it logical that they will be prepared for the mass renewals in 2004. No they weren’t. They even admitted publicly that new books were not ordered. To compound that mess, which wasn’t resolved fully, by end 2006 everyone was then told that a new machine readable passport was going to come into force. This passport will be valid for only 5 years and the one that you just renewed in 2004 will be invalid after end of 2009. Can you imagine the brilliance?  Oh, and by the way, don’t apply for one if you don’t have a new electronic birth paper… Double line up…

On the private business side, MovieTowne is probably the biggest culprit. All kudos to Derek Chin for creating an environment that I enjoy with my children, but getting food is nightmare. He knows the expected number of people showing up every evening night after night, yet still not enough staff to man the concession stands. And you know the policy about getting food elsewhere to go into the movies – forbidden.   

So how have we as a people rebelled? We overtake traffic on the shoulders to show that we can cut lines. But that’s another story…

As a daily side, I am going to start entering a car number for the person who won the fool’s prize of the day for antics on the country’s roads. And this morning it goes to PCA 3954 – a silver grey Nissan Almera – overtaking on the UBH and CRH shoulders and then overtaking the line of traffic at the lighthouse to turn into the city. Seriously lady, how late can you between 6:05 and 6:35 in the morning? Just by me writing this shows that you really didn’t reach much faster because I was driving legally, saw everything, and eventually passed you on Wrightson Road when you were waiting at the lighthouse traffic lights…

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