This morning, I called the High Commission for the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, London. I need to renew my TnT passport. My experience reminded me of the piss poor service one gets on that gawd-forsaken Rock.
First of all, the phone system is apparently dodgy. When one chooses option 1 to get passport/visas department, the phone stays on the main menu. There is no forwarding of the call. You have to choose option 4 to get the operator. Now, I needed some other information, so the conversation went like this:
Jumbie: “Hi, Good morning. Can you tell me how does a Ukraine National go about obtaining a visa to visit Trinidad?”
Operator/Rep: “Well, dey have to apply.” [Jumbie is a lil taken aback at the insolent tone, and thinking “Duh!”].
Jumbie: “I’m aware of that. Where do they apply?” (Thinking that the woman will give me a location in Ukraine or somewhere East).
Operator/Rep: “In de embassy.”
Jumbie: “But which embassy? The one in London or is there one in Ukraine?”
Operator/Rep: “De London one.”
Jumbie: “So the Ukraine person has to come to London to apply for a TnT visa? What if they don’t have a UK visa to come to London?”
Operator/Rep: “Well, dey eh go get it!”
I was then transferred to the passport department, but won’t you know…despite the working hours on the website stating 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM for Passport/Visas, at 10:30 AM, no one was there. At 10:55 AM no one is there… still. The operator just said to call back as “there is no one there to take your call at the moment”.
For me the experience is enough to conclude a few things:
- The Government (and by extension the staff at the High Commission) don’t really care about nationals.
- The same piss poor attitude from the Rock has been trans-located to London.
- The concept of ‘Trinidad time’ is also trans-located… the work ethic of the British has apparently not rubbed off on them yet.
- It is hopeless to make meaningful change in a Rock Crawler without a bull pizzle or some equivalent.