Tuesday, August 25, 2009

An open letter to TSTT Workers – particularly the members of CWU …


I went to hang out for a little bit last night and on my return voyage I had to pass by a political rally that was taking place in my neighborhood. I was struck by the size of the crowd, the colours, the noise … but the thing that really caught my eye was the presence of a contingent from the Communications Workers Union with flags and signs. One sign just JUMPED out of the crowd at me … it read ‘TSTT WORKERS OPPRESSED’.

Did I mention that the reason that I was returning home as early as I was, was because my head felt like someone had exploded twelve Roman candles in my frontal lobe? I didn’t? well that’s why … but the sight of that sign added twenty-four more of those suckers to my pain!

Oppressed??! TSTT workers oppressed??? These fuckers have got to be kidding! TSTT workers are the HIGHEST paid landlocked workers in Trinidad and Tobago, bar none. They have the best benefits, plus allowances … programmes that include their family members, incentives and perks! What the fuck do they know about oppression? Having spoken of the good that they do have, shall I tell you about some of the other things that they have as well?

 SOME OF THE MOST INEPT TECHNICAL SUPPORT STAFF (I say some because I know some of them are very hardworking, on point and knowledgeable – holla Allie and Deon )
 THE DODGIEST ROAD STAFF – DISHONEST TO A MAN – Talk to me about the ‘test’ calls maid to foreign countries … using consumers’ lines … like we don’t hear the conversations as we walk by.


WE THE CONSUMERS are the oppressed parties here and TSTT workers are the oppressors. I happen to be one of the few members of the public who have chosen not to use any other telecommunications company for my needs. I carry a BMOBILE cell phone NOT Digicel. I use BLINK for the internet, not FLOW, GREEN DOT, INTERSERV or anyone else. I have a TSTT landline not FLOW. I am loyal to this company to a fault and yet still I am constantly being handed the shitty end of the stick. And these ever lovin’, union prodded, cattle mentality havin’ folks want to stand in PUBLIC and declare that they are OPPRESSED???

Talk to me about oppression when I call Customer Service and am assured that all is well with my account and then I am ‘delighted’ to come home to find my service disconnected, and when I call yet again, I am greeted by the cold, attitude dripping voice of ‘Heather’ who informs me in the BITCHIEST way possible that ‘the information given you previously was incorrect, so yuh need to pay up the balance to get back yuh phone!’

Maybe it is that I may have gone to school in the wrong decade, but I seem to remember being taught that Customer Service is the backbone of the service industry; the other pillar being that without the customer there is no business … without business there is no money … without money there is no salary and without salaries there are no employees. Yet I am constantly bombarded by inept, unkempt (in-house) ad ill-trained staff. And this is supposed to impress me how???

Why should I and others like me be constantly subjected to this ineptitude?

The funny thing is that this is not the fault of Management. It is rather a culture that is nurtured and fed by a people who have no pride in their jobs or their company. And why not? Because the majority of them didn’t have to work hard to get their jobs in the first place. Between nepotism, the God-Father network, and the friends of friends who knew friends who were sleeping with the right people, TSTT, Blink and BMOBILE are all staffed by people who probably never had an interview, save being asked ‘WHEN YUH COULD START?’

And you want to talk to me about oppression when a TSTT Security Guard’s salary tops out at TT$10K monthly and I am not talking Officer here either? There are children coming out of high school and walking into TSTT’s hallowed doors only to walk out at the end of the month with TT$11K take home … children who spent less time in school than my generation did, only to make more money than us…

What is your version of Oppression CWU members? No increment for a couple of years? So what? You STILL make more money than the rest of the nation. No profit sharing? So what? You STILL make more money than the rest of the nation.

WHO CARES WHO OWNS A JET? It ain’t yuh damned business!

Over the years I have had conversations with others regarding CWU members and TSTT staffers and I have come to the stark realization that most of the older heads who work at TSTT have squandered their earnings on wine, women and song and at the end of their ‘careers’ they go into panic mode because they have accomplished nothing. That’s not management’s or the consumer’s fault either. They should have gotten their houses in order long before the ‘end toll’ was rung out.

As I see it, the only oppression here is self-oppression. Think about it … the CWU’s leadership live pretty well on your union dues don’t they … but what have they REALLY done for YOU lately???

Stop whining and get up off your collective fat asses and earn your keep --- or at least TRY to look and sound like you give a flyin’ fuck about the people you serve !

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