Oil! One of the bigger local expectations is that there will be a deluge of jobs. The harsh reality is that, in all probability, there will be only a smattering of jobs. A few dozen here, some more elsewhere; but not really aggregating to the employment avalanche anticipated for a society where many are without gainful work.
Expectations are high. Foreign suitors play the job marketing game well; it sells. Local pundits mean well, but there are more about arguments than what would really happen if the incoming recruiters throw out the red carpet. How will Guyanese–unskilled, untested, and unready–respond?
A priority requirement is time management: on time and in time. All the time. Movements, steps, and work synchronized with the clock; not with culture. It is a linear relationship controlled by hours and minutes that are proven by productivity.
‘Just now’; and ‘later’ will not work; highly unacceptable. Culture shock threatens.
Deliver at a high level; and then consistently improve upon that in measurable ways. Guyanese have a lament: like yuh ain’t truss meh. Well, get used to that environment. Those who produce are trusted. Proven commodity.
Locals like to complain about micromanagement; a patented copout and defensive fallback posture. Problem is this: left alone, little gets done, and less gets done right; reined in and monitored are resented. Call it environmental malaise.
A pointer may help: Europeans work to live; they scorn Americans who live to work. Taylor’s theories and practices about scientific management have been refined to the nth degree, and revolutionary technology facilitates monitoring, evaluating, and measuring just about everything and everyone.
Guyanese must inculcate that ferocious competitive edge; that relentless pushing for the next level, a superior stage of energy, endeavor and result. Comes from sustained commitment.
It is questionable as to whether Guyanese, especially younger ones, have what it takes to rise to the challenges coming to this land. Locals have accrued a deserved reputation for a shabby work ethic, and incomparably worse personal ethics. That will leave out in the cold -right here in the heat and flood.
Why slave away at the drudgery of eight to four, when a quick hustle means a cool ten grand. Depending on what is involved, it could be much more. Why punish self, when cash coming in from the outside where the older folks are laboring away to refill the family sponges in the old country? Or why go to any lengths, when the fast living with prosperous visions have worked out ways that make for life on easy street?
The surety of having money in the bank is of no appeal or comfort to the army of calculating; waiting outside the bank is more rewarding. A million (or several) in a minute is better than the most attractive wage scale to be offered by those arriving to capitalize on the oil finds.
The few ISO certifications thrill. But what about the mass of the rest? What about those many companies that are nowhere near to even applying or thinking of international certification as to processes and standards?
People are who have to make this thing tick, turn around, and race ahead. And people are where the problems begin: attitude, outlook, culture. Try to get a quality piece of work done on anything, and it is a horror story.
Try to obtain a quality service on something very basic, and it is torture. The private sector ought to be setting the benchmarks; some benchmark in some places. One would think that it is the nonchalant, much maligned public sector. It is more; it is nationwide.
Which businesses and people will be equipped to answer the coming calls?
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