Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 8th 2017 Contents tobagotoday.co.tt September 8 - 2017
Dr WENDELL C. WALLACE
A protest is an expression of dissatis-
faction conducted by an individual or indi-
viduals using words or actions to highlight
and express cause regarding particular
events, policies or situations and can take
many different forms.
The commencement of a protest action
is often viewed as a noble effort undertak-
en by a host of individuals inclusive of
ordinary citizens, aggrieved individuals,
incarcerated persons and politicians.
However, it is not uncommon for protest
action to be undertaken by individuals for
political mileage, for narcissistic, egotistical
reasons and in some instances to seek pub-
licity by using the protest action under the
guise of representation against societal ills.
With this in mind, the history of Trinidad
and Tobago is replete with instances of
individuals taking protest action in support
of causes that were considered worthy and
include Hulsie Bhaggan, Dr Wayne Kublals-
ingh and Choc'late Allen.
We must also be cognizant of the fact
that some individuals have the propensity
to utilize protest action for their own self-
Residents of Belmont will no doubt
remember the Keith Noel 136 protest move-
ment which was started to protest the mur-
der of Keith Noel in 2005. That movement
propelled a certain individual from relative
obscurity into government. Thereafter, there
was a deafening silence from the said indi-
vidual as he was never heard of, thereafter,
making any real contribution to controlling
crime and deviance in Trinidad and Toba-
go.Importantly, for a protest action to be
effective it must have media coverage, must
be sustained, must have an impact on ordi-
nary passersby, must have substance, the
action(s) or word(s) used to effect the pro-
test must be realistic and the protester(s)
must complete the protest action. Notably,
the protesting individual(s) usually set out
a protest mandate that they follow reli-
giously as any deviation from it will cast
aspersions on their effort and non-support-
ers will gladly view the protester(s) as pub-
For a politician and his band of laconic
followers to attempt to 'swim' from Toba-
go to Trinidad as a form of protest to high-
light the transportation woes between both
islands is both clever and intuitive, but, to
swim for one per cent of the protest action
and complete the rest of the journey by "a
cocktail of means" according to Dr Winford
James, is the greatest publicity stunt ever
attempted by a local politician who lacks
incumbency bonus as well as real support
(far reaching and intellectual). Yet, more
glaring and misleading is the pronouncement
of the swim protest team that the "swim"
was a success.
Indeed, based on the criterion for a suc-
cessful protest action outlined above, the
"swim" garnered one out a possible six
marks -- media coverage and is, therefore,
an abject failure.
It is never difficult for politicians from a
political party in government to be men-
tioned in the media, but this is not neces-
sarily the same for politicians who are out
of power, in opposition, lacking incumben-
cy bonus and in need of publicity. For some
political commentators, the phrase "there
is no such thing s bad publicity" is a phrase
that we are all familiar with, but interest-
ingly, after the "swim publicity stunt/fias-
, it turns out that it probably is untrue
-- at least for politicians.
It is my submission that the 'swim stunt'
by the Minority Leader of the Tobago House
of Assembly is simply a publicity stunt
ahead of forthcoming elections. I, therefore,
urge all forward- thinking Tobagonians not
to be fooled by the shenanigans of Politicians
Demanding Publicity and who are willing
to use self-mediatization (a process where-
by politicians and their advocates tailor their
messages to the perceived news value/news
worthiness) to satisfy their hunger for power.
Dr Wallace is a Barrister/Criminologist
Of Politics, Politicians, Protests and Publicity Stunts
"Good enough" is not good enough
This week, we're looking at an essential
ingredient of good service: quality. In busi-
ness, quality is about meeting the needs
and expectations of our customers. If a
product or service does not meet those
expectations, then our business can suffer
in various ways:
Cost -- fixing a problem for an unhappy
customer is an additional cost that reduces
our profit margin. It also takes up valuable
time that could be better spent keeping other
customers happy or looking for ways to
improve or grow our business.
Lost customer -- the unhappy customer
might go elsewhere and not come back.
Bad reputation -- that unhappy custom-
er might tell other people, who then also
decide to go elsewhere. A bad reputation can
take an awful lot of time and money to undo.
There are several factors that customers
use, consciously or unconsciously, for assess-
ing the quality of our products or services,
and these include:
• After-sales service
It is essential, therefore, to systematically
consider all of these rather than focusing on
just one or two. This is where quality con-
trol and quality assurance come in.
Quality control, or QC, is the process of
checking that all of our products and services
meet the expected standards. To achieve this,
we have to define what those standards are
and then implement a method of checking
them. A simple example might be deciding
that communication to our customers should
be free of spelling mistakes, and then having
a colleague check everything before it gets
sent out. A more complex QC system is often
found in engineering, where the finished
product might be examined by laser, x-ray
and various stress tests to measure certain
criteria against defined benchmarks.
Quality assurance, or QA, is the natural
partner to quality control, and arises from
the desire to prevent errors occurring in the
first place, rather than spotting them and
fixing them later. Again, this can range from
the very simple to the very complex, and
the most appropriate system must be defined
for each business. One of the most common
methods of implementing quality assurance
is through the use of defined procedures that
explain how to do a job in the best way.
People who are trained in the proper pro-
cedures are more likely to be efficient and
productive with their time... but this holds
true only up to a point. A balance has to be
struck between following procedure and
allowing creativity and individuality to flour-
ish; where that balance lies depends on the
individual business and its people.
What is true for every business, and indeed
every person, is that meeting expectations
should be the absolute minimum you aim
for. To differentiate yourself or your business,
you should aim to exceed expectations
because, in this increasingly connected and
competitive world, "good enough" simply
isn't good enough.
Next week, we'll be looking at how service
can make the difference between sale or no
sale. Until then, have a good week.
If you would like to comment or contrib-
ute something, we'd love to hear from you.
Please send us an email at email@example.com.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT OR CONTRIBUTE SOMETHING, WE'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU. PLEASE SEND US AN E-MAIL AT firstname.lastname@example.org
BE THE SERVICE YOU WANT
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