The way I see it, everybody deserves a little respect.
I am firm in my view, based on my experience in recording key events on Nevis, that there are certain events, when they are happening, that you should try your utmost to avoid ‘disturbing’ some of the key players organizing those events.
Such persons appear to be so focused and tense, while striving to ensure the success of the event, that even the most innocent of questions, may be interpreted as a hindrance and you can be literally blown out of the way, as it were by a Back-hoe or Bulldozer.
So, over the years, I try really hard to keep out of the way of such individuals, while they are in charge of their specific gig and enjoying their proverbial ‘fifteen minutes of fame.’
The big Inter primary event for 2017, was held at the ET Willet Park, on Wednesday 5th April. It was hosted by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education.
Incidentally, I officially work within the Ministry of Social Development, as Senior Communications Officer and so as an OFFICIAL of the Ministry, I was summoned to the Sports department’s office, on the afternoon prior to the event, to not only collect my OFFICIAL wrist band/pass but also those for my staff members who would be assisting in recording the event, for posterity.
I arrived at the ET Willet Park on the big day, early as per instructions given and went through the expected process of being searched at the gate by the Security officer and then proceeded to pick my spot, to set up my camera.
Shortly thereafter, one of the organizers parked pretty close to me. I knew that from past experience, she was one of the persons who normally distributed the T-shirts that are normally given to the working volunteers, during the meet. These are shirts sponsored by Gulf Insurance, mark you!
As has been the case in previous years (remember am recording this thing long time), I proceeded towards her and politely said ‘Good afternoon, can I get a t-shirt?’ She literally huffed me off, muttering something like ‘later’ or something like that.
I walked away with my ego slightly bruised, hoping all the while that no one had seen the exchange and I purposed in my heart that I was not going to ask her for any shirt again—ever and further, I would add her to my list of persons not to approach when they are having major events.
However, the Devil is real and so not twenty minutes later, as I saw the line grow longer and longer and shirts were been handed out left, right and center, I realized that she had moved away from the vehicle and an Education official was now handing out the shirts.
I again walked across and I again politely requested a shirt. The Education official, reached into the box, held the shirt momentarily and then released it saying: ‘I have to check with Mrs. ———-first.’
At the mention of the name, I said ‘ok,’ and walked away, back to my post.
About 15 minutes later, a relative of the first lady in question, came across and told me that he was asked to inform me that I had not been forgotten but that they were giving the shirts to the ‘OFFICIALS’ first!
Well I newa!
So what that make me? Did I tief into the park? Was I therefore unlawfully in a restricted area?
Now if you don’t believe me, ask Mr. Alsted Pemberton. He was there and he was as appalled as I was.
Now if I was desperately in need of a T-shirt, I had several options, I could have just reported the matter to anyone of my bosses in the VIP booth and that matter would have been easily resolved, but I figured that it was not worth it.
One of my co-workers later expressed shock that I was not wearing a T-shirt and I explained what had transpired and she too expressed amazement and offered to give me a shirt but I refused the offer.
Mind you, all this time, someone had indicated that all of the shirts had not arrived as yet but that there were many still in the box. Imagine, even the two little boys who were holding the tape at the finish line, were outfitted with the shirts. One of them looked like he was drowning in the thing!
Now, I figured that the fact that I was there working solo in the primitive years of the meet, that that fact alone should have qualified me for a little bit more respect.
I guess however, that that is not the way the world works.
There was a time when I was recording solo, I had to stop at intervals to replay close races for them to determine placements. Nowadays, they have more organizations; more cameras; photo finish equipment and so on and so I guess I am not really NEEDED anymore.
However, people should never burn the bridges they have crossed and should give people the respect that they deserve. Even if the shirts were not enough or something, a polite explanation would have sufficed but insults are definitely not the way to go.
That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?