5 Things about Jamaica That Drive Us Crazy

Bad roads, government bureaucracy, dirty politicians, shoddy service – there are lots of things about Jamaica that drive us crazy enough to make a good Christian curse. These are just a few hair-raising examples that may draw out a few colourful pieces of fabric.

  1. Customer service – It seems the Jamaican hospitality tourists often speak of is a rarity for locals. Jamaicans often complain that our customer service is the worst. It could be the bank, or the supermarket, Jamaican businesses thrive on driving us crazy with poor service, stupid policies, and untrained employees.
  2. Long lines – Speaking of poor service, we seem to have a love affair with long lines, at a time when the rest of the world is going digital. The worst part of long lines? The idiot who wants a ‘bly’ or the worker who is on go slow totally oblivious that customers are waiting to be served.
  3. Anytime you have to do business at a government office – Government bureaucracy is a big problem in Jamaica. Here’s a common example: You go to one office, wait in line for an hour, then told to visit another office to get one document signed. After you do that, you have to visit two more offices, then return to the first office where you’re advised that the document will be ready in 6-8weeks, which you know actually means 10-12 weeks if you’re lucky.
  4. Access to information – Even with the passage of an Access to Information Act, some persons still act like they’re guarding state secrets. Even asking for the name of the head of a department can trigger a wall as thick as the Rock of Gibraltar and the reply “We’re not allowed to give out that information.” Why? Is he/she wanted by the FBI?
  5. Politicians and their promises – From one P to the next P, the two parties drive us crazy in and out of election season. They curse at each other in parliament, and throw words at party meetings, while the country sits and waits for them to do the work we voted for.

About the Author
Denise Clarke is a freelance journalist based in Kingston, Jamaica. She has written for print and online newspapers in Jamaica, Barbados, and the British Virgin Islands. Email her with feedback at [email protected].