Monday, September 21, 2020

Where did we go wrong?

Over the years, it has become quite common for our locals and their foreign counterparts to complain about the poor services offered at our local banks and most government departments.

It doesn’t even take effort for one to prove exactly what they mean by stale services. The queues at the hospitals, banks, school registrations are just ridiculous for a country with a population of only about 1.8 million people.

It becomes even more ridiculous if one were to go to places where about 20 million people lived in just one city, e.g. Mumbai, India.

Surprisingly, the service standards there are quite impressive despite the massive population Things get done quicker with constant jolts of enthusiasm, friendly smiles and good old humble customer service.

One would actually think that for a small country like ours, efficiency at public workplaces would be like second nature considering the obvious fact that a smaller population is easier to deal with.

I can’t tell you of how many times I have made my way to a certain local bank, which prides itself on being led by citizens and had to listen to customer complaints on the slow service and poor deliverance of promises that were made to them before they became customers of the bank.

But it kind of proves what was really meant by generations before us when they pointed out that you never really appreciate what you have if you never had to fight for it, or if you never had to go through hardships to be where you are.
We really can’t blame the staff that works for these public undertakings because they are at a point where they are comfortable in their positions. They are not threatened by job losses, they are safe.

They didn’t have to suffer to get to where they are right now. They are not under constant supervision; they feel indispensable and they know that no matter how long the customers complain, they are getting paid at the end of the month.

These are probably the people who started out bright, eager and full of ideas that got crushed with time, they realized that nobody noticed the late nights they put into work, the lunch hours they missed because they were helping out customers.

After accepting the fact that they are just part of one large organism that couldn’t survive without them but couldn’t really take them far. They start to think that they are overworked and underpaid.

They lose their enthusiasm and energy and take out their frustrations on the very person they are supposed to be serving in the first place: the customer.

But that is really no excuse to be offering the type of unsatisfactory service that we are receiving in the country today.

But that’s only in Botswana; countries like India have different scenarios.

The people compete for every available job, only the lucky ones make it big.
It’s not even about who is more hardworking or who is more intelligent; the criteria they use to hire people is quite different from ours That is why once most Indian people are given job positions, they give it their all.
They know they have prevailed to be where they are, that the moment they let their guard down, someone else could easily replace them, and they appreciate the opportunity they have been given to prove their potential.
And prove it they will.

That is not to say all Batswana workers are lazy and all Indian workers are hardworking, but to point out that we have been blessed to be given an environment where we can still manage our population and graduates can get good jobs.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “be the change that you want to see in the world”.

If we, as a country, are to look over our shoulders to see what the next person is doing so that we could do the same thing, then we are far from being developed.

If you stop working hard because everyone else around you has, then you are part of the group taking our country backwards.

You are also passing the mentality to someone else who too will pass it on, but if were to stand our ground and continue with your positive and hardworking mentality, it might rub off on someone else who too might pass it on to the next person!
It starts with you!

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Sunday Standard September 20 – 26

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 20 - 26, 2020.