Customs Crybabies

On March 16th of last year, I already wrote about the Customs strike in Barcadera. You will find it relevant if you read it:

Aruba’s Customs Agents are the biggest crybabies, they flip out every second week, they strike, they slow work down, they inconvenience tourist-arrivals on the island.

Last week again they went on strike. Over parking. Really? And before that over car-rental office space.

Crybabies, I decided. Then I thought about it.

The issue is probably not the issue, the strike is just a symptom of a deeper postema. They must not feel loved, nor appreciated, that’s why like kids they act out, on totally unrelated issues.

Many of them are MEP followers, now working in an AVP environment, why should it matter? I have no clue, work is work, but in Aruba, political affiliations defy logic, and the sacred party loyalty, is considered more important than work ethics.

Solution? Get all my blonde girlfriends, dress them up in short shorts and big lipstick, drive to the airport to kiss and hug all customs agents, who keep us safe from smugglers and wrong-doers, as a sign of respect and affection.

Maybe not.

Then I remembered who is at the helm of the DAA department and I get it, the agents realize they play an important role, but they suffer from complete lack of leadership.

It’s the complete lack of leadership, in this organization, that’s problematic, and the rank and file feel invisible and uncared for, so they act out in desperation in the media, and get engaged in matters that are not part of their core mission. It’s all an attempt to be heard and respected.

Dear MinFin, I know you are an occasional reader of this column: It’s unfortunate, that you don’t do anything about your people’s distress.

They are whining, and you gotta hear them, but hear what is not being said. Their Union Leader is completely incompetent, as I said before, he is trying to build himself an empire, with its own special rules and privileges. He is just throwing his weight around to demonstrate how powerful and influential he is.

Dear MinFin while you cannot fix the Union Leader you can fix the head honcho. Before you leave office, please select a better DAA department leader, and peace will be restored, take my word for it.

One of my diplomatic friends summed it up: “The people of customs deserve better, better management, and better union leaders, the current situation doesn’t represent the hard working agents at the department.”

Ban serio, about hard working. Most of the time they just hang out in groups, at the exit of the arrival hall, some check their phones, leaning against the x-ray machines, their backs to their crowd. But ok, as long as they don’t strike, I am powerless about their indifferent and/or sulking faces.

Such crybabies.

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May 15, 2017
Rona Coster