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Chronicles from a Caribbean Cubicle


Customer as Number Two

The Customer as Number Two
A few years ago, I was sitting and eating lunch while reading the
overseas Jamaican paper (name?), when I had to drop what I
was eating in disgust. I was stopped in mid-meal by a picture
of a mad-man, his head full of live maggots.

I happened to know the editor of the paper and I immediately
called. She was not in office, and I was put onto the head of
advertising, who I also knew, as I had recently placed several

I complained vehemently.

She exclaimed – “Mi know how you feel! When I went to the
printers and dem show me de picture… dat was when I know dat dis
week’s paper wasn’t coming anywhere near me!”

I was flabbergasted.

I had expected her to explain, or defend, and not to react as if she had nothing to do with the paper. The best that I could do was to ask her to pass on my complaint to the editor, and hung up -- but I have never forgotten her reaction.

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  • A similar situation exists within the civil service where there is a disconnect between the policymakers and implementers of projects. Consequently implementers are often unable or unwilling to convey the importance of specific projects to workers who often feel alienated and perform at the doing only so much level. The overall result is usually delays in project completion, cost over runs, pilfering from project sites or a lack of adherence to standards.

    By Anonymous K. Ford, at 11/21/2006  

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