Friday, April 19, 2024

IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST: We all make mistakes


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I KEEP LOOKING, but after more than a half-century I am yet to see a perfect human being.

I have seen a few who display such love and care I am willing to call them perfect, although I know they are not.

On the other hand I have seen many, many who go out of their way to give you the impression they are perfect. Well, perhaps I am not being fair. It is not so much that they try to project that they are free of error, it is that they try so hard to point out everyone else’s.

I make mistakes every day.  Most of the time I don’t need anyone to point them out to me. I pick up the paper in the morning, look at something I wrote the day before and try to kick myself in the butt while asking: “Where the hell was your head when you wrote that, Roy?”

Then I sit and wait for the experts, the perfect – those who have never made a mistake in their lives – to start. Then by the time the Facebook posse awakes, the error gets fresh wings, especially from all those who want to know where journalists were taught English.

What am I on about? When we make errors the whole world sees and we have to take the stick. So we are not about to take it when the error is not ours.

Last Thursday the Ministry of Transport and Works’ Information Unit sent out a press release which read in part:

“The Barbados Licensing Authority informs the public that printing of licences has resumed at their branches in Oistins, the Pine and Holetown.

“In response to a front page article in the Thursday May 5 edition of the Nation newspaper, Chief Licensing Officer, Mr. Virgil Knight advised drivers who were holding receipts that now that the printers were up and working, it was in their interest to have their licence printed.”

The next morning by 10 our Facebook page and website as well as our telephones were busy with people who complained we had misled them. They had gone to Holetown, only to be told there was no machine to print licences there and they should go to the Pine.

One school principal even called to let me know we had caused him to waste his whole morning – but he was nice about it.

Then on Monday morning MTW issued the following statement: “The Barbados Licensing Authority reminds the public that printing of licences has resumed at their branches in Oistins and the Pine. Printing at the Holetown branch has, however, not yet resumed, contrary to information publicised last week.”

Now, does that not give the impression that it was the publisher at fault?

Come on folks, when we make mistakes we have to take the heat, so please don’t try to be smart with your language so we have to take blame for yours as well.


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