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The Ponderings of SCsquared

The musings of my self-discovery

Category

Rants

My Wish

I wish you understood that the things I care about are not because they are my personal experience.
I wish you recognised that speaking about issues are not simply passion projects, that yes, they can be good business.
I wish you understood that my passion isn’t about promoting my self-interest.
My passionate cries are because someone has to speak up for the silenced.
I wish you understood that each time you say it’s not important, you enable an abuser, a cheater, a rapist, a racist, and yes, your own blindness.

If you understood that standing up for each other, even for those hidden in the shadows, meant standing up for yourself, maybe you would not be silent.
If you realised that silence enabled the Holocaust, Bosnian and Rwandan Genocides, but speaking up let the Nuremberg Trials happen, then maybe you would say something.
No, it doesn’t have to happen to you nor does it have to be the hot topic of the day, but if you say something, ask something, simply acknowledge it exists, then it doesn’t have to grow in the shadows it likes so very much.
Maybe if you said something, you could help to make it stop.

I wish you understood, I don’t care if you think I am but a voice in the wilderness because I know that I am a voice and I will use my voice until my very last breath.

(Nov. 2014)

 

The Education Situation

*This post has started & stopped many times, and is now being published as a smoosh of thoughts*

One night, one of the most popular shows on Jamaican television, Your Issues Live!, touched on an important topic: Tertiary Education. This is not a topic of low interest in this country, just as it is in any other country with tertiary education available within its borders. It is one that ignites passion on all ends of every version of debate on it, with only one point of common ground: Education is important. Continue reading “The Education Situation”

Retailers Fraud

The Dollar I used to get for lunch

PREAMBLE

Throughout my lifetime I have seen the Jamaican Dollar lose ground in value against the US Dollar (the current standard of exchange) time and again. I remember in 1985 when the exchange rate reached J$5:US$1, and how concerned I was – even at that age – about the value of my nations currency. I worried that we would become like Mexico with the peso :s . When I got to high school I remember it hitting J$14:US$1 and yes, I was still sad. This was happening with a lot of constraints on currency exchange by the government, so there was a very lucrative black market for the dollar – looking at an exchange rate of close to 20:1. By the time I graduated High School in 1994 we were looking at JM$33:US$1 I remember 50:1 (2002), 60:1 (2003) etctera. I have followed currency for so long, I was the only one in my high school with a US Dollar account (at Century National and we know how that went).

For as long as I can remember, the only trend the Jamaican dollar has had was down. Every so often there was a one week glimmer of hope with a dollar or two of revaluing but it was always around Christmas – I think the parties contribute to that but that’s another post. The devaluation would return with a vengeance after that. Gain a dollar or two for a week and then lose by four or five right after.  Like a fat chick and trend diets the Jamaican dollar would revalue and devalue and with it’s general loss in value came the loss of faith in it by the people. Eventually one understood why businesses didn’t move price points with the shifting of the dollar but with the general trend it moved in. We even understood why there was a buffer on our credit card and JPS exchange rates for a while.

However, something has changed. In the past 12 months the dollar has been relatively stable, (May 1, 2009 – 88.90 to May 4, 2010 89.03) there’s no real reason for that buffer padded onto our bills anymore. As consumers, however we had gotten so used to it that we didn’t even bother wondering why it was still there. Analysts didn’t even seem to notice much either, I don’t recall the news speaking of this economic indicator of stability. The news was caught up in a whole other matter, important yes, but this affected us too.

Then we had the Dudus incident, the nation froze for a day or two, but retailers froze altogether. No one cared that goods were short in stores, there literally was bread hunt going on by Wednesday with the accepted excuse – State of Emergency. Everyone worked with it understanding the national position at the time.

After this entire situation, and I believe as a result of this, the dollar suddenly gained against the US. As previously stated the beginning of May it was solidly chilling at 89 but it went as low as 85.83 and seems to have settled in at the 86 point. YAAAY! for the Jamaican Dollar! It gained and has pretty much held it’s revaluation for over a month! Let us celebrate, have a tax holiday, something!

Nope. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero.

Instead of a hurrah for our dear dollar it seems as though price setters are waiting on the dollar to lose it’s ground again. Claiming that the goods were bought at a higher rate. Really? Are you saying the imported broccoli is that pumped up with preservatives that it has lasted since May without ANY damage? or are those giant American onions just sitting on the shelves?

No, not every single imported good has such a limited expiration date. Clothes, Shoes, Sneakers do not have a high turnover rate, but vegetables, meats, canned goods and bottled juices do! We, the consumers, are not idiots. We may be lax in fighting against the status quo but we are not stupid.

As far as I can recall, only 3 companies have adjusted their prices, Jamaica Broilers, WISYNCO and Lascelles. Two reasons no one else has done this: 1. You are betting on the Jamaican Dollar to once again devalue; 2. You’re just running with the higher profit for as long as you can get away with it. This isn’t a good image. It is in fact bad for your image, both internally and externally. What you are saying to your employees and consumers is that you are not here for the benefit of this nation. That you really only are looking to make a buck (or 4 in this case) raping the economy much in the way colonization did.

Here is where the problem comes in…

IF you keep your prices up despite the gains made by the dollar then you are subconsciously telling your employees that you cheat people so they in turn cheat you. How? Simplest form is pilferage, then they buy stuff for family and friends in your employee stores, then there’s the extra sponsorships going out. It’s the little ways :)

Secondly, consumers will begin to view your brands as too costly when compared to other products with similar brand image previous to this. This means you will lose market share and value, not to mention the weakening of your brands strength. This does lead to poor sales – but that’s up to you.

In a nutshell: If you live or do business in Jamaica, do not discount the people of this nation, keeping your prices set at a former exchange rate will work against you. Fix it or suffer the consequences.

Hardly buys lunch at a patty shop now

For The Love of Food!

I Love Food! I enjoy everything about it, cooking, eating, smelling, observing, I love it all. I believe food is the ultimate expression of a person and their emotions.

What I can’t stand are people’s attitude towards food service. Both those in it and those outside of it seem to treat it with a level of disdain and scorn. This is unfortunate, because this is one area that your emotions affect everything.

If you are in food service:

Make no mistake, your customers can tell how much you enjoy or hate what you are doing when they see the plate or taste the food. When you love what you are doing, or at least are passionate about the industry, it shows. This is why some people have a favorite server or waiter or chef or bartender – we know when you are being mechanical or worse, sloppy. How? The food looks slapped onto to the plate as though it’s screaming “just get me out of this place”; the food is inconsistent or consistently blah; something is always off when you touch the food; in my case, the food upsets my stomach.

It may not be your dream job making me a whopper at Burger King, but choose to be happy that you have a job, good attitudes mean good business. If you become good for business then more opportunities will present itself. Bonus: The happier you choose to be, the easier those hours pass, the bigger the tips and the nicer customers are to you.

When you are the customer:

Do not get it twisted – food service is an honorable profession. No, I’m not speaking just about the owner of the place, I am speaking about all the people who make it work. Yes, it may seem homely to work behind a counter or to clean off tables but it is one of those things you have to do to understand. Simply put, Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it.

There are some things you should be mindful of as a customer: YOU are about to EAT what THEY are serving you – you have little control over spit entering your food; making food for 500 persons is not as simple as making something at home for yourself; anyone that’s been on their feet for 10 hours smiling at rude people deserves a medal; be rude today, get worse service tomorrow; remember there is more shame in sex for money than in food service.

I take food personal, I do understand it is because of how I think of food. I know not all people see food as a form of artistic or emotional expression or even as something to be enjoyed, however anything worth doing, is worth doing well. That includes cooking, serving or eating food.

For your Visual pleasure:

Fish with Bammy Sticks
Good Jamaican Oxtail
Sushi to my belly :)

Please note all pics are borrowed from random places – I use Google

LOCK UP HIM RAASS!

I am tired of this kind of thing (please watch first)

Why would you do that? She is your family, and even if she wasn’t that’s still wrong! I wish I could have sympathy on you, decide that your socio-economic background has taught you this or told you it is ok but I would just be lying to myself. You nasty disgusting worm! I wish my country believed in torture, legally anyway, so we could slowly slice pieces of your skin off and release you so no one would come near you out of fear. Or even if we had law that dismembers some part of your body that is visible so all would see that you are a disgusting bastard that does not deserve a conversation. I hope all people that do what you just tried to do suffer, and suffer for long, and for all the days of your life.

The rant being over, I have a personal issue with child abuse. Regardless of the form. I believe young people are to be protected and valued. Unfortunately there are members of society who believe the young are chattel. Protect them. Report Abuse where you see it. And if you’re in Jamaica, feel free to beat them in the mean time… JOKE! Do not beat them, report them, help the future be a little brighter.

To be or not to be, Jamaican that is…

Why does everyone always try to dash these mad people on our country? Why? Did we make them into the idiots they clearly are? Seriously, people think about it…

I first noticed this claim them as ours when they do well but blame them on you when they do bad mentality that the “first-world” media / people / governments seem to have with Ben Johnson. Who is Ben Johnson? Well, up until he tested positive for drugs, he was Canada’s star Olympian (Sprinter, record holder @ 9.83), he was the “best known Canadian on the globe“. If you go to that link, the intro for the radio clip even says “Toronto’s Ben Johnson” yet the in the Television clip you know where him come from.  Reality check: HE DID NOT GET THE DRUGS HERE! Check the COACH you gave him (who was later connected to Marion Jones).

Beyond that point, especially in athletics where there is more media attention I noticed it. Ours when they’re great, yours when they’re caught. I kinda got used to it, until these last two Olympics, hmmnnn suddenly we were hearing that so and so is of Jamaican heritage, yet they don’t admit that I see his sorry ass on the field up at UTech. But they do admit this is where he is from.

So here are some Jamaicans or of Jamaican heritage people who have done well for themselves:

Madge Sinclair (first female Starship Captain, Queen Aoleon, Sarabi, Belle)

Harry Belafonte (sang Day-O, actor in numerous movies, political activist)

Sheryl Lee Ralph (remember her most recently as Dee, the step-mom in Moesha)

Colin Powell (first black man to serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the USA)

Biggie Smalls (though I not sure if I proud of this one)

Sarita Choudhury (Mississippi Masala, Kama Sutra, Lady In The Water)

Marlon James (Author, University Lecturer, Blogger, NAACP Image Awards Nominee, Former CEO, Former Jamaican :P )

Sanya Richards (400M Champion)

Busta Rymes

Patrick Ewing

People I DO NOT believe their issues or crimes can or should be laid at our feet:

Al-Faisal

The child who shot people in DC aka Lee Boyd Malvo (I still feel bad for his Moms but somehow partially blame her)

The IDIOT who shot up the Subway in New York aka Colin Ferguson

and various other things like that…

I believe that crime is crime and must be punished, but passing the buck or ownership of blame or root of issue is unjust. The question a good journalist must ask and find the answer to, is “what was the catalyst?” Once that question is answered and the pattern reveals that you have trained all your enemies and created hatred within your own borders against your own people maybe then you will begin to recognise that you must first change so that you can become a more POSITIVE influence over the world and not simply a “force to be reckoned with”

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