Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 17th 2014 Contents A10
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, February 17, 2014
FOLLOW THE LEADER
J THE TEXTILE KING
Corner Queen & Henry Sts., P.O.S.
Tel: 625-2904/Fax: 623-2313
WHY PAY MORE
CARNIVAL SCHOOL BANDS
TAKE AN EXTRA 10% OFF
60" Satin in bright colours $9.95/yd
60" Clown Dot Satin $19.95/yd
60" Glitter Sequin Lame $19.95/yd
60" Velveteen $19.95/yd
60" White Drill $19.95/yd
6.1000 6.2802 6.4686
5.4746 5.7627 6.0796
9.9701 10.4948 11.0616
8.1761 8.6064 9.0798
****** 0.0618 0.0655
2.1175 2.3016 2.4627
* 2.5751 ****** 3.2802
for FEBRUARY 14th 2014
"You never hear about rat living in stove?" the
salesgirl says, staring incredulously at me and my
friend. We are in a household appliances store,
where I am looking for a new stove.
The salesgirl enlightens us to the fact that stoves
are warm and rats like to go into them, tear up soft
materials and make nests. She shows us how they
gain access through the small spaces in burners or
via the lower part just under the oven. She leads us
to a large stove emblazoned with a colourful label
that proudly lays claim to this being the world s only
I return a day or two later to buy one of the stoves
(non-rat-proof) and am promised that the item will
be delivered "after lunch." Knowing that after lunch
can mean anything, I m not too concerned when I
see one, two, three o clock sailing by. At 4 pm I call
the establishment to find out where the delivery van
is. I m informed that the delivery people were calling
me and got no answer.
Upon being told that my phone never rang and
there were no missed calls, the female voice asks
me to confirm my number and begins to recite digits
that are nowhere near mine.
With correct number now written down, she
assures me that the stove will be delivered before
their closing time of 5 pm.
(As I write this some time later, the clock ticks
When I moved to Tobago in October 2012, I was
so impressed by the great customer service I received
wherever I went (with the exception of the rare sour
face, mute stare or cellphone-more-important-than-
customer encounters) that I would talk about it often.
My glowing comments were generally met with con-
fusion, disagreement or questions like: "Which
Tobago are you living in?"
I m living in the same Tobago...where employees
in stores generally greet me with "Good
morning/Good day/Can I help you?" and part with
"You re welcome," "God bless" or "Have a good day."
Where, upon being moved to comment on the great
service at a particular institution, I m told by two
employees: "It s because we all love working here,"
and "because we all say prayers before we come to
work." Where I m greeted with a bright "Hello Sweet-
ie!" after only two visits to a particular paint
store...and other examples that would take me beyond
the word count of this article.
The past few days, however, with their mounting
service-related frustrations (plumber who never turns
up, technician who forgets to turn up, providers who
never answer phones or return calls, etc.) have been
an exception, illuminating what various people have
warned me about all along---the phenomenon simply
referred to as "the Tobago work ethic."
The stove arrives some time after six. A pleasant
delivery man brings it in, his smile disarming any
potential customer dissatisfaction. I ve been told
that the establishment just does delivery, not set up,
yet when I ask him to help me, he unhesitatingly
lifts the product from the box, peels the plastic off
the range, securely connects the hose from the back
of the stove to the gas tank, slips the new stove into
place and hoists the old one outside to be collected
by the gardener.
Meanwhile, the delivery truck containing two other
men rumbles patiently outside.
"That s it," he says, taking off his gloves.
I reach for the biggest portugal from the nearby
fruit bowl and give it to him. He smiles, puts it in
his pocket and says: "Thank you. Enjoy your evening."
Three young men join hands in prayer at the Heal Our Land walk, organised
by Operation Salvation and Family Focus Broadcasting Network Isaac98.1 at
Woodford Square on Saturday. PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
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