In The Wine of Astonishment, Lovelace interrogates the public manifestation of faith during the passing of the Prohibition Ordinance from 1917 until 1951.
You are here
The death of decency
Recently I had some business to do at a government office and thought it best to get there early to avoid the usual traffic snarl and nightmare parking of Port-of-Spain. I walked up to the front desk, where two people were seated, one a security guard and the other a shabbily dressed young man. “Good morning, I’d like to deliver a package to the ministry,” I said. Both of them had their faces buried in their cell phones.
“You could give it to him,” the security guard mumbled, sitting shoulder to shoulder with the person to whom she is suggesting I hand the package. The young man hurriedly says, “It have no messenger here.” I suppose at 8.30 am it is a bit of a stretch to expect people to be at work in a government office. “Well can I leave it with you so that it gets to the relevant department?” “I nut attarize to collect nuttin’ here, you go ha’ to come back when de messenger reach.”
This seemed peculiar. Neither party would receive the package, nor would they “attarize” me to go upstairs to deliver it myself. Their reluctance to do anything that might even come close to rendering assistance obviated the need to have them at the front desk at all.
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff.
Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments.
Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.
User profiles registered through fake social media accounts may be deleted without notice.