Urgent! Our tradesmen-plumbers, electricians, masons, mechanics, joiners, etc-need to be more focus on their job. Almost every householder has a horror story to share on these self-style tradesmen.
Locating one is a challenge. I want a plumber and two were recommended to me by a hardware in my neighborhood. When I called the first number, it was ‘wrong number’. I then called the other number and it was a plumber. He promised to visit me the next morning and took some directions. I cancelled my appointments and still waiting! I called his number twice and it was busy. More than an hour has passed and he has not returned my call.
As for my search for an electrician, I called one who lives in my neighbourhood. Without giving a listing so that I can do a costing at three sales outlets, he called a figure for the materials and services. The first quote for the materials was increased by 50% after I tried to commit him and his labour cost increased by 42%.
I always wonder whether our people know that a car is a depreciating asset that brings no income but has a heavy expenditure-oil change, fuel and general maintenance. It is now that I have to visit mechanics that I understand why so many motorists have opted for new cars. In my view the average mechanic is guessing; he does not understand the value of diagnosing a problem.
Some of our mechanics must understand that electrical matters must be given to an electrician. But, an electrician does not have to be an electrician to interfere with sensors and other electrical parts. It is a Mr. Know It All mindset—mediocrity running wild!
Why is there this lackadaisical don’t-care a dam attitude? What is the genesis of this? I think the answer is in the welfare state that distribute grants so liberally to so-called needy households-old age pension, poor relief, disability grants, house repair grants, etc.
Many of our tradesmen are derived from such backgrounds enjoying this largess from the state. A grandmother’s pension usually becomes incorporated into household income and spent on the needs of the entire family, not just the pensioner. With meals secured, a functioning flush toilet and a room to sleep, why must these tradesmen go out of their way to earn a dollar.
But this is a culture not confined to the poor but affecting all classes including big business. Dependency and corruption are the modus operandi of doing business in this nation. I was told that a department in the Ministry of Agriculture had a non-functioning air-condition unit. None among the five engineers had the skills to fix the problem. Thankfully, a few Japanese were on a government to government visit and they were able to have the problem rectified.
Option trading? What do we know? That is the new buzz word. Every Man Jack and his mother are parroting the buzz word. And like a true parrot, their knowledge is not beyond a few words.
Another buzz word in the world of finance is crypto currency, bitcoin and wallet. And that ends the course! enough to bullshit!
It is time for us to have a program on the street to educate the people on basic knowledge of finance, investment and even knowledge of cars and electricity. I have no doubt that people know a little more than one fifth or 20% of the contents but enough to bull shit in a bar with a few friends, each with a 20% knowledge of the contents. May be these friends reasoned that when each of the five contributed their 20% there will be a 100% knowledge flowing around like electrons in current.
But I am hopeful. It is this environment that produces Nobel Laurates V. S Naipaul and Dereck Walcott. And yes! Had Walcott not lived and worked in Trinidad he would not have had the people to inspire and motivate his success!
With oil and gas out, sugar and Tan Teak sold, the country is nearing the end of the economic rope. Nonetheless, we will continue to have calypsonians and chutney and soca artistes to put out a few bulls to keep us entertained; and these mediocre clowns parading as tradesmen and financial experts.