Opinion: Power cuts

POSTED: 11/9/11 12:53 AM

Power cuts are making a comeback in St. Maarten and it ain’t funny, especially because we no longer have William Brooks around to blame.
It is rather irritating that the utilities company on its web site blamed yesterday’s lengthy power cut on a contractor who supposedly ripped a cable during work in Indigo Bay. That turned out to be incorrect, so we really wonder how such information ended up on Gebe’s web site.
The last power cut took a large bit out of the working day, since most businesses depend on electricity to run their computers, their cash registers and last but not least their air conditioning systems.
Without a bit of cooling, any office quickly becomes clammy and uncomfortable as a working environment.
And when the power comes back, appliances might be unable to take the fresh infusion of power and give up.
But all this is not Gebe’s problem. It’s our problem. The utilities company has said in court cases in the not too distant past that people know there are power cuts every now and then. Yep, we noticed. But because we noticed, Gebe has argued, businesses ought to take measures and buy a generator. And they should also buy surge-protectors to prevent their appliances from blowing up.
It’s not exactly a customer-friendly approach (maybe Gebe could learn something from that friendly female security guard at the airport; see on this page: No waiting rule) but it’s all the company will ever offer.
In this sense it reminds us a bit of the Rosenmöller report which was aptly titled Doe het zelf (Do It Yourself). We accept that Rosenmöller chose this title in a positive frame of mind. In Curacao they have a different opinion but that is beside the point.
But in the Netherlands the term doe het zelf is often used in a derogative way by people who refuse to do something somebody else asks them. That’s the feeling we get from Gebe’s attitude towards the consumers it is supposed to serve. But like with many other things, we could be wrong here.

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