Sunday, August 18, 2013

Not Ready Yet

One of my cathartic rants as it sadly sums up the way Guyana is headed.

I dashed into work to sort out a few last minute queries and was dismayed to find out in the mere half hour I was there some fool had parked a shiny new SUV across my drive - no note  where they might be; requiring me to make snappy enquiries at the card shop below my office and the photocopy place next door. The  unhelpful, bored and slightly belligerent guard on the other side had her usual response that she did not see whose vehicle and she didn't know if it was anyone visiting their premises.   It was 10.30 and I had booked a taxi to take me to the airport for  11 and had only half-packed! Talk about cutting it fine!

Hasty enquiries to the staff revealed ignorance of what transpired outside but thankfully a schoolchild on some sort of work-study said she thought the vehicle belonged to the doctor, I expressed my doubt as naturally one would expect more intelligent parking, also presumably not starting a clinic in the middle of the morning. I restrained myself from stomping down the corridor but couldn't resist an acid comment that maybe the person ought not to be driving if they were capable of such stupid parking. I would have happily paid my mechanic to tow away the vehicle but he is such a laid-back character he probably would not get there for another hour.  Went back to see if I could squeeze through by angling my car and ripping off the left side... Nope.

To my surprise, the doctor was one of my friend's trainees - one of the bright new hopes for Future Guyana,  on a program my friend had spent considerable time and energy to get off the ground with an American university to try and reach one of the Millennium Development Goals of reducing the Maternal Mortality figures. Now I had met this child at the local Pub Quiz and noted her and the other (younger) Guyanese way of doing the quiz which consisted of using cell phones. There had been a past hoohah between teams who took the quiz very seriously indeed over that same matter and the quizmaster  had several times tried to tell the new Guyanese teams that the point wasn't to be googling the answers on cellphones.

I told her that parking obstructing a driveway was probably not a good idea,  and although she said 'sorry' her tone implied the usual Guyanese attitude of 'what you getting annoyed at, can't you see I am more important?'  She then went on to qualify her remark that there was no other place to park her vehicle when she turned up. I debated about pointing out a note indicating where to find her, allowing enough time to find parking if going to work and treating other people's time with respect - both mine and presumably those people waiting to be treated, the foolishness of driving an oversized vehicle on roads not designed for them; but precious minutes weren't ticking by. She jumped into her vehicle and sat there instead of reversing into an empty space to let me out, as the focus was entirely about her parking on the other side of the street.  How on earth can you be a good doctor with such lack of empathy and surfeit of ego resulting in a peculiar form of entitlement?

My brother who has a great sense of humor, had us all in stitches with the picture of teaching Guyanese the mental equivalent of coming out of the jungle and learning to stand on two legs instead of four, then the painful and frustrating process of teaching them to  put one foot in front of the other to learn to walk but this lot have a misplaced arrogance and can be summed up with the local expression - you ain't ready yet!

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