GRA, CANU, post office and life in Guyana
Kaieteur News – I want to make is prodigiously clear; this column is not a comment on the lady at the parcel section of the general post office (GPO) downtown that dealt with me yesterday. I have no complaints whatsoever against her. But she has to understand by writing about my experience, I am fulfilling my obligation to my country.
I want to be enormously pellucid that this column is not a personal note on the GRA officer and the CANU rank at the parcel section of GPO that dealt with me yesterday. They were courteous and respectful. But they have to understand people expect me to write on irritating things in their country so they can avoid the pitfalls themselves.
I pulled up at 6.20AM with my dog in the car outside the North Road entrance to the GPO. I was going to send a parcel to my daughter studying in Europe. The parcel section opens at 7AM so I wanted to avoid the rush.
I waited for 40 minutes listening on the car stereo to the romantic, Mediterranean voice of a Greek singer that my wife and I enjoyed when we were dating in the seventies – Demis Roussos. His magnum opus is “Forever and Ever,” one of the most romantic pop ballads ever written. I will forever and ever be in love with Janet Kissoon.
GPO opened its doors at 7AM and in I went to the parcel section to send my box. The window was closed. After waiting for about 15 minutes, I asked a post office cashier why the parcel section is not opened. She advised me to knock on the window. I did and a lady opened it and informed me that no customer could be attended to unless the GRA officer and the CANU agent are present. Why wasn’t the window opened at 7 for enquires? 7 is the opening hour. Why the window was still closed at 7.15?
At 7.30, GRA and CANU officials arrived. Just a slight digression. GRA head, Godfrey Statia published a reply in this newspaper to one of my columns in which he expressly stated that if I write he will respond. This was after I complained that he refused to reply to my letters. Since then, I wrote Statia again but he has not responded.
The parcel official informed me that I needed to produce three copies of my proof of address and three copies of my ID card. I did not know about that even though the day before I rang the parcel section to enquire about the requirements for posting parcels overseas since I last did so in September 2018.
Why the parcel section, the GRA office and CANU office at the GPO do not have photocopy machines to compile their security data on citizens posting boxes to overseas destinations?
What you are about to read is the soulful truth. I bought a photocopy machine with scanning facilities at a place named Riaz Computer Store on Church Street for $5000, Guyanese. The two ink cartridge replacements cost $7000.
I know the great philanthropist, Nazar Mohamed – aka- “Shell” reads this column. I hereby appeal to Shell – please buy a printer each for the parcel section of GPO, and the GRA and CANU offices in that section. My God! When will Guyana enter the modern world?
Please read on because you are about to be introduced to the world of the incredible in Guyana. To enter the room to present your package for inspection and payment, a GPO security rank has to open the door from the outside. It appears it cannot be opened from the inside. The security rank was nowhere to be found.
After my box was examined, the parcel official enquired if I had scotch-tape to seal my box. I dropped dead momentarily. Do Guyanese know that a cheap item like a roll of scotch-tape, the parcel section of GPO does not have? Once more I appeal to Mr. Nazar Mohamed. Please buy a few dozen rolls of tape and donate it to the parcel department of the GPO.
So if the GPO does not have tape, how was my box sealed? Janet Kissoon dissolved that predicament. She insisted that I take tape with me. Like an amateur magician when I was asked for the tape, it popped out of my pocket.
I went into GPA at 7AM and I left at 8.20. At that time, the postmaster-general had not arrived for me to transmit my complaint. I spoke to her deputy who offered an apology for the scotch-tape scandal. Please President Ali! Please make sure public servants serve the public and arrive at work on time. I pay my taxes Mr. President.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)