RGD not being truthful
The Editor, Sir:
I have just barely managed to close my mouth in absolute amazement long enough to reply to Dr Patricia Holness' letter published in The Gleaner on Friday, October 8, titled, 'RGD apologises ... again' wherein the chief executive officer (CEO) tendered yet another apology, and sought to rationalise the five-week delay in the delivery of a birth certificate.
While I must concede I found Dr Holness' correspondence quite informative, she was severely mistaken, misinformed and misguided on an important point which seemed to be the crux of her explanation: the inability of the Registrar General's Department (RGD) to secure the application tracking number from me until last Monday, October 4.
Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I had provided the RGD's personnel with said tracking number on two separate occasions - on October 4 and initially on Friday, July 30 (three days after The Gleaner's publication of my first letter in which I registered my disgust at the department's less-than-mediocre service). My submission of the tracking number was in response to emails I had received from the deputy CEO and acting marketing manager that seemed threefold in their intent: first, apologising for the rudeness embodied in a most obnoxious service agent I had to interface with; second, seeking dialogue with me; and third, enquiring the tracking number.
I have forwarded these emails as proof to contradict the good Dr Holness' statement that "the number was secured in October", which stands in stark contrast to the fact that the RGD received the number two months ago, albeit at their beckoning, not my own.
Suffice to say, furnishing the RGD with this requested tracking number several weeks prior surely meant naught as it apparently evaporated from their memories. Dr Holness further noted that "we were unable to search our application tracking system using Mr Tomlinson's name, as he was not the person who had applied for his uncle's certificate".
I wish to state here in your newspaper, as I did to the seemingly forgetful staff at the RGD, with which I had email correspondence eight weeks earlier, that I was unable to use my own name to initiate the application procedure as my wallet containing my photo identification was not on my person at the time I made the application.
Having to endure a torturous four-hour long wait at the RGD's Kingston Mall branch left me with hunger pains, and as such, mid-way through my most productive 240-minute sitting-down exercise, I made the decision to go have a meal and return. I was picked up by automobile, taken to lunch and made my way back to continue the waiting game, sans my wallet, which I absent-mindedly left in the car. Thankfully, a gracious gentleman offered to assist me when I explained my plight and the application was made in his name.
This shocking fact, I had already relayed to Dr Holness' extra efficient staff; so from July 31, they were collectively well-aware of the appropriate name and number to search by, which is why I am befuddled by the explanation that there was "a challenge with the information given".
Regarding the CEO's statement, "due to the inclement weather, resulting in impassable roads, the couriers were unable to make some deliveries on time", I am certain meteorological records should bear witness there was no Tropical Storm Nicole nor waterlogged roadways in the ninth, tenth, or eleventh week, when the apparent weather-challenged couriers could have delivered my uncle's certificate to the stipulated address.
Nonetheless, I thank the RGD most gratefully for finally receiving my uncle' birth certificate, which by sheer coincidence was delivered a day after a second letter lodging complaints was made within the pages of the newspaper. Might I use this opportunity to suggest another name to rename the organisation: the Registrar of Gilded Disinformation, perhaps?
I strongly advise that in the future, the good doctor consult her whip-smart staff before levying unsubstantiated claims and offering sideways apologies.
I eagerly await Dr Holness' response in her bumbling effort to justify ineptitude in our ongoing verbal volley in the public forum.
I am, etc.,