25 Feb 2015

Why Trinidad, Why?!!

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:

  1. The Government (and by extension the staff at the High Commission) don’t really care about nationals.
  2. The same piss poor attitude from the Rock has been trans-located to London.
  3. The concept of ‘Trinidad time’ is also trans-located… the work ethic of the British has apparently not rubbed off on them yet.
  4. It is hopeless to make meaningful change in a Rock Crawler without a bull pizzle or some equivalent.

22 Feb 2015

The case of the Walking Documents – 2

In an unseen twist, the report on the investigation into the box of court documents (found at the private office of an attorney) has gone missing. Now obviously, this raises all manner of questions, some of which, if asked, might embarrass all sorts of people in all sorts of places. For example:

  1. Where was the report stored/filed?
  2. Who had access to it?
  3. Was the hard copy the only copy?
  4. If the answer to Q.3 is yes, was no photocopier available?
  5. Why was it not in electronic form to facilitate reprinting/duplication as necessary?
  6. In whose interest is it for the report to go missing?
  7. Has an investigation been started to answer Q.5?

Now, these question may not sound like police work, but they are fairly obvious ones to ask.

In yet another twist, the attorney in whose office the box was found has written to the Commissioner of Police (CoP) to ‘clarify’ “whether the “file or the report” itself has gone missing”.

“The report of a missing file in these circumstances has the potential to bring the police service into disrepute and I would be grateful if you could indicate whether the file or the report or both or none are missing. It will do much to instill [sic] confidence into the Police Service if you could confirm whether the reports in the media are true,” Ramdeen wrote.

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that paragraph above. Since when does an attorney concern himself with whether or not the police service comes into disrepute? It seems to me that when these attorneys get their law degree, all common sense (critical thinking) goes out the window.

I suspect that there is a lot more to this matter than we have been exposed to and I’ll not be surprised if in future, the shit hits the fan and splatters on some high profile persons.

20 Feb 2015

The case of the walking documents

Matters involving a box of court documents belonging to the Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court appears not to have been resolved, despite Chief Justice Ivor Archie’s recent claim to that effect.

Now that Achie’s words in the public domain comes back to bite him in the arse, I keep wondering how dotish investigators and office holders appear to be. Jumbie’s First Law is an absolute.

  1. Mark Seepersad claims he was never interviewed.
  2. Asha Harripaul (judicial support officer at the time) claims she gave the files to Gerald Ramdeen.
  3. Gerald Ramdeen claims he knows nothing about the box of files at a police interview.
  4. Report submitted and hastily publicised by Ivor Archie that there was no ‘wrong doing’ by anyone.

I guess in the haste to make sure all appeared to be well, Archie never thought that the public would see through the mamaguy.

14 Feb 2015

Unbelievable

I’m a bit astounded this morning. I know when there is wrong doing, from captain to cook – or in this case, CJ to Judicial Support Officer (JSO) – cover their arses.

In case you still haven’t gotten it, I’m referring to the situation where attorney Mark Seepersad found a box of files in his office which he shared with Gerald Ramdeen – he of the copy and paste prisoner injury cases fame.

It seems Judicial Support Officer (JSO) Ms Asha Harripaul left a box of confidential files belonging to the Registrar of the Supreme Court with Mr Ramdeen… which she does not deny.

Harripaul said: “I then took the box and asked Mr Gerald Ramdeen if he would keep the box at his office for me until I get a desk so I could put the stuff back.”

I’ve never, ever heard that it was normal or okay for an attorney to keep confidential files belonging to a Court at his private office. Any sane or honest attorney would immediate point out the unethical nature of this and refuse outright. Oddly, and I personally find this to be the more suspicious bit:

The documents found contained letters and copies of Notices of appeals with respect to two matters that were heard and determined by Justice Peter Rajkumar, correspondences and Notices in relation to Civil Appeals and correspondences in relation to the status of notes of evidence.

Other court documents found included prisoner litigation letters. All of these were lodged in the personal office of the Registrar.

Given that Gerald Ramdeen was involved in several cases where he sued the state on behalf of prisoners, and in all of said cases the statement of injuries were identical, I find it more than a little suspect that he has in his possession said files from the Supreme Court. What are the prisoner litigation letters, and judge’s notes doing in his possession? Are they related to his cases, or to the investigation currently on-going (supposedly) into the copy and paste cases? Were they tampered with? There is no way to know, is there?

I wonder if Ivor Archie will think it is okay for client files from his office to appear in the home of… let’s say Anand Ranmlogan, while Ramlogan is suing the State on behalf of those same or similar clients? Do you see the idiocy Archie is perpetrating on the public?

swallowing a toadOf course, Ramdeen merely states he “knows nothing about documents belonging to judges” and the matter is dropped. Me, I have some serious doubts, given the number of suspicious and possibly illegal situations he has found himself in. Is this a merely a ‘conspiracy theory’ of mine? Of course not. In T&T, the corrupt nature of people is the norm rather than the exception, so I can fully believe this.

Ms Asha Harripaul now conveniently has left the judicial service. The situation is not explained satisfactorily but the matter is now closed. The public is expected to swallow a toad without choking. And life goes on…

13 Feb 2015

Cold calls

Cold calls are usually marketing calls made to a person without prior appointment, in hopes of making a sale. Cold callers in the UK are aggressive and very annoying. Many companies have automated dialling that simply dials numbers and wait for someone to pick up. If the number is not active (working), it moves to another. If no one answers, it moves to another. So theoretically, a system like this can dial and contact dozens of persons in a short time. The seller then makes an aggressive sales pitch, usually bullying a person (sometimes older persons who are vulnerable) into purchasing their product. On the other hand, the other type of cold callers are persons who turn up at your door out of the blue, with a sales pitch and a hard sell approach.

Both types are very annoying, coming at inconvenient times. Think middle of a shower, dinner, coitus etc. and you get the picture why annoyance is the first reaction.

This morning, barely awake, I had one such phone call.

“Hello, this is Ms _____________ from ______________”, the caller said, “May I speak to ‘Jumbie’?”

Jumbie: “What is this about?”

Caller: “Can you confirm you are ‘Jumbie’?”

Jumbie: “This number is unlisted. How did you get this number? I don’t accept marketing calls, don’t call here any more.”

Caller: “To proceed with the call, I need you to confirm your address___”

Jumbie, rudely interrupting: “Does it sound like I want to talk to you? Were you born stupid, or did you have to learn?”

Caller quietly hangs up.