A Nevispages weekly feature by Curtis Morton Sr
The way I see it, it is difficult to deal with any aspect of compliance.
Once you have to enforce regulations or laws, trust me, there are some persons who will always hate and despise you. These are generally persons who seek to circumvent the set laws and would love to do their own thing- WHEN and HOW they want.
Well I newa!
You know, I was doing an assessment recently and I recognized the fact that my professional life has been filled with major aspects of compliance and enforcement. So, it is nothing new for me to be getting WUD.
As I would have stated in another edition, I started at the Treasury, as a mere GREEN HORN-fresh out of school and within the first week, had to come face to face with my former neighbour Emily, who was not on speaking terms with my family and who had come to clear a box, during my very first week of work.
Well, Emily initially refused to open the box and when I insisted (being encouraged by a senior Clerk), she ripped open the box and yelled to the top of her voice: “Go ahead and search it. Ah, hope you find some soap to wash you tinking skin!”
Mind you, am telling you, the Treasury was packed that day. You know what a traumatic experience that was for a 17-year-old boy, the first week on the job? It could have broken me for life.
Thank God, it only served to strengthen me.
Then, as a Public Health Inspector, I was required by law, to ensure that individuals kept their personal and business premises in a clean and safe manner, in accordance with acceptable health standards.
I remember that day when I was doing ROUTINE INSPECTIONS in a particular village, (which will remain unnamed for the purposes of this class) and a particular gentleman, literally ran me out of his yard and vowed that if I did not leave, he would set his rather fierce-looking dog on me.
Several weeks later, he apologized profusely and explained that on the day that I came to check his yard, he had some Hammond selling in the back and he thought that I was going to rat on him.
Back of my head, I always kept in my mind that sometime prior to my time, a well-known Businessman in Charlestown had bitten off the finger of one Sanitary Officer, who had asked him to dispose of some spoilt foodstuff.
Then, I did an extended stint as an Inspector at Social Security, prior to becoming the Manager at the Branch Office.
Well, those years were as exciting as they were instructive.
I remember facing off with a particular employer, who had utterly refused to pay for his workers, prior to my becoming a part of the Social Security family. When he started to pay, my coworkers wondered how I had gotten it done. Well, I literally tugged at his heartstrings, when I asked him to think about his girlfriend and children, even if he did not care for himself.
He realized that it was not worth it to be dragged in front of the courts and pay thousands of dollars in contributions and fines. Money that could be better spent on his family. But, that day was one heated debate, I tell you!
I got a bit of a breather as the Senior Communications Officer within the Ministry of Social Development. Fortunately, I did not have to deal with any compliance issues really, up until my retirement.
Now having retired, I was asked to serve voluntarily on the compliance task force team.
Well, welcome back WUD!
I have had church people who say that I am harassing the churches and not the bars, supermarkets and restaurants. I have had a supermarket owner who told me that I am harassing the supermarkets and not the churches.
A Pastor told me one day that “I just took out a sermon on you all!”
Just Wednesday, I went into a particular shop and in came a youthful, teenaged girl – without a mask.
I said gently: “Good morning. Can you please put on your mask?”
Her response was as abrupt as it was crude: “Me nah gat no mask!”
“Then they should not serve you,” I said softly.
She gave me a cut eye out of this world!
‘Sell me three bread,” she said crudely, to the shop clerk and then she marched out of that shop, with her mouth pushed up as high as Mount Everest.
Well, I newa!
I believe though, that once we do the right things, people in their right minds, will eventually respect us.
We just have to be consistent and temper grace with law, as far as it is practicable.
Jesus is our ultimate example and we have to account to him for our stewardship in the long run.
That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?