Half-Way-Tree stinks. No seriously it really does. The rectangle from Winchester in the East, Scotia in the South, Hagley Park Plaza in the West and just keep going North, what can I say… it stinks.  Truth is this is not new. But over the last few years it’s been allowed to deteriorate so that it now looks like West Queen Street, so it got worse. And recently the vendors have been given marked out spots, so it is continuing to get worse.

How can the capital of the parish look the way it does? Pedestrians have to walk in the road at several places due to the sellers and the buyers. In the mornings especially the taxis park in the driveways and people have to go into the roads to get past. Of course at the corner of most intersections or gateways is another source of the stink. Can you imagine… men stop at the gate of the girls’ school on Hope Road and urinate … over and over again. Not to mention the entrance to NCB’s car park!

One wonders if the KSAC folks, being used to downtown, think that H-W-T should look the same. Add to that the lack of pride and downright nastiness of many of the users of the area. Is this really what we want the city to look and smell like?

Ring Me Anytime

If I have your telephone number then you are obliged to speak to me when I so desire.

Do you remember the days when if someone asked for someone else’s number you would say, “Why don’t you give me your number and I’ll give it to him/her?” This is because you considered it not your place to give out someone else’s number without their permission, especially their home or cellular number. That’s all gone now. What happens now is the whole world calls your number, then demands an explanation from you as to why you did not answer. Of course you didn’t invite their call, you didn’t give them your number or you were on your personal time and could not or chose not to answer for any number of reasons. But they demand that you speak now because they want to speak now.

So your life is run by the people who have your number. Whether that’s your employer who’s calling on a public holiday or the bank marketers calling you on Sunday morning – they disturb your personal life then go into shock that you are upset. Of course this is not about the people who are validated by the number of calls they get, Yep I’ve seen people checking their phones on the hour and whining “Nobody called me”. That’s sad, and I do not mean sad that no one called …

But guess what, we are not all like that, and most of us do not work in an emergency service and deserve the right to downtime. I do not want to be on the end of some rope that you can yank when it pleases you and also please don’t give my number to anyone without my permission. I’m not flattered by it

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The Most Unkindest Cut of All

So the rain teared in most of Portmore yesterday afternoon into evening. When we say ‘rain pour’, we mean that it really rained hard. When we say ‘rain tear’ it’s even harder. So rain tear a Portmore on Tuesday.

Now it’s Wednesday morning and the people who wish to get into HWT early are out waiting on the 12A bus. For the 2nd morning in a row, the 5:30am bus is late. Then here it comes and no surprise it’s our favourite bus – yes that same one – the original articulated one, the old white one with the shredded roof, yep.

Well I give you one guess as to what the experience was like. To start with, water was on half the seats because all the rain that had accumulated in all the little roof crevices was now dripping down. Some brave and prepared souls wiped the seats and sat down. But the water continued to drip on everyone and each time the bus stopped or started or turned a corner a fresh shower fell both on the standers and the seated. Water was coming from the open roof area and also the sunroof sections.

Not for the first time I wondered what Cumberland people had done to the JUTC in some past life why they continue to get the worse treatment of all

Be Grateful you have a Job

This was the response of the Jamaican Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites, to a young teacher who complained to him of her overwork status because at her school she is required to be a cleaner not just a teacher. Seems he wanted to tell her more than that too as he said he had to ‘bite his tongue’ before he responded.

Well this kind of matter should be taken up with the administration of her school, it really is not a minister of education matter. But who knows, maybe she has been speaking to the administration to no effect. Plus when the top officials are shielded from what happens on the ground we get white elephants like the bus park downtown. So nothing’s wrong if he learns that this is what is happening in schools. Cabinet ministers may be responsible for policy but the day to day operations are determined by top level policy. Plus, for some reason ministers of education and this one to a great extent, seems pretty concerned about detailed, day to day operations in schools and are always dipping their fingers in it and making statements about it.

So the minister has this conversation with a single teacher, and because he thought this was something that all teachers should know he then related the first person story to those teachers assembled at the Diaspora Education Summit on February 20, 2014 in St. Catherine. So teachers listen, Rev. Thwaites is saying to you –

  • you are lucky you have a job and if you know what’s good for you, you just jump at any task assigned to you no matter how demeaning or irrelevant.
  • You are to model how to pick up garbage, sweep and wipe floors for your students because teaching this is a part  your mandate

That does bring several questions to my mind though –

  1. Does this apply only to teachers or should doctors, lawyer and engineers also be so grateful that they are employed that they agree to do the ancillary work too
  2. Who cleans the offices at Heroes Circle?

Japan Remembers

It’s one year and Japan has paused to remember the earthquake that went bad. The rest of us pause too, and once again extend our empathies to this who suffered loss on that fateful day.

White Lines

So the white lines were finaly redrawn on Hagley Park Road, but what was the point. Drivers pay absolutely no attention to them.  They stop way past the line and continue to creep forward as long as the light is red. Then they move off when the cross lane turns orange. They also drive on the divider line when there are two lanes and they overtake when there’s a solid line.

When are the authorities going to do something about the chaos and indiscipline on the road?