Jamaican Bus Conductors

Jamaican bus conductors – individuals who assist with the loading of, and collection of fares on public transport buses. They are usually very aggressive and try to milk as much money from one trip as is possible. Your comfort and safety is the least of their concerns and passengers are very plainly objectified.

Image credit: http://jis.gov.jm/holmwood-to-expand-bus-service-in-wake-of-tragic-accident/
Image credit: http://jis.gov.jm/holmwood-to-expand-bus-service-in-wake-of-tragic-accident/

Jamaica, based on data collected in 2011, has 179 vehicles for every 1000 persons. That means public transportation is quite necessary as that equates to almost 6 persons per vehicle. Public transportation in Jamaica is not the most comfortable or convenient service in any way. At times, depending on your location, it may be difficult to access transportation and when you do it is likely to be very uncomfortable.

I remember back in high school travelling to Spanish Town from Bog Walk and back, daily. It was very challenging for students as we were expected to fin in spaces that one cannot see with the naked eye. The conductors only accepted a few students per trip as the fares were half that of adults. We were also forced to sit at the back of the bus so that the adults can get the more favorable seats. I can recall very clearly walking like an old man as I exited the bus. I usually fail to feel my legs when the bus arrives at the Flat Bridge.

When in high school I was very active. I was the deputy head boy, vice president of the chess club, treasurer for the science club, player on the chess and science quiz team and much more. I had no choice but to travel at nights. I remember making attempt to board a bus in the Spanish Town bus terminus. I was asked by the conductor to step aside as he doesn’t transport students late in the evenings. I never forgot him. It is true that students idle and leave late unnecessarily but not all students are the same. Also it is important to note that his intention was not to discipline, my fare was just not enough for him. Years later when I started University, I entered the terminus and at that point there were more buses than there were passengers. I saw the same conductor running towards me, begging me to travel in his bus. I felt the urge to tell him to absorb himself but I was raised better. These guys are simply selfish and if I am not treated with respect, Interactions with me may not be favorable.

A few days ago I was stuck I  half way tree,  usually getting a taxi between 4:30 pm and 6:30 pm is very challenging. I needed to get home but the taxis were not sufficient and when one arrives, it is ‘survival of the fittest’. A coaster bus finally arrived and I raced to get a seat. In seconds the bus was full. The conductor entered the bus and said ‘di bus empty,  nuff space deh yah, unu shuffle up unuself, small up small up’. His request was for persons to instantly get smaller! I would highly recommend that the USA import some of our conductors to solve their obesity problem. The approach of the conductor lacked all aspects of customer service. Compliance was demanded and opposition is met with request for passengers to make an early exit. Why have we put up with this for so many years? Choice is very limited, you need to get from point A to B so one just accepts what they know is “temporary”, but if we all continue to do this,nothing will change. How can this be regulated? Can they be trained to deal with people?

Despite the corruption governing the system, despite the stained name, despite the frequent stops and confined location, I think the conceptualization of JUTC is very commendable. Your comfort and safety are at least considered and everyone is accepted. Much more regulation is needed for the other public transports.

– Aldeam Facey 2015

The Problem With Jamaican Time

Have you ever been invited to an event which claims to start at say 8 am ‘SHARP’? You set your alarm for 8:10 am, you wake up, get ready and arrive at 10 am and still you are early for the event? If you have done this before, then there is definitely Jamaican blood running through your veins. Most events do not start on time and everybody knows it. This is a big problem! The event will either start late or people arrive late.

We have a last-minute nature

We tend to save everything for the last-minute, then rush. For my Biochemistry class I would give them the outline with all the details of a required lab report and ask them to ask questions if they need help. I would wait all week for a question but receive none until the night before the report is due. Of course not all questions will be answered immediately for a large class. Inevitably the reports are usually substandard, whose fault is that?

Often times when advertising a party, you would hear them say “ladies free before x or y time”. This is an attempt to get an early turn-out which rarely happens. Others would use various methods to force persons to arrive on time. These include free giveaways for the first set of persons, subsidized costs or threats of reduced access for late persons.

I often try to calculate the start time of an event just so I don’t waste my time. Earlier this week I had a field trip and was sent an email stating bus leaves at 6am. This was highlighted but I woke after 5 and started some chores knowing they would be late. I was that confident about it! I started packing a few minutes to 6am. When I arrived, the bus, and most persons participating were not present. We left about an hour and a half after the scheduled time. But this is something we now plan for, if you want to start a program at 7, you advertise for 6 or 6:30.

Imagine how much more we could get done if we adopted a culture of punctuality. We can, but we need people to start the process. I hate tardiness and when given the opportunity and the level of control, I start my programs on time, independent of the tardiness of some participants. What I did with the Biochemistry students to achieve compliance is to refuse any late reports.

Let us be on time and erase this detrimental feature of our culture. Let us start right now, not one hour later.

-Aldeam Facey 2015

Here Is Why I Don’t Respond Immediately To Text Messages

The invention of the telephone has advanced the human race immeasurably. We are now able to constantly communicate and collaborate to accomplish tasks. Understandably, it is a necessity, a necessity that has conceived thriving businesses.

Customer Service

Everyone has a cellphone now and we talk constantly. We are always within meters of our cell phones. Is this a good thing? Call me old fashioned, but I prefer a face to face conversation. I HATE talking on the phone. Ironically the jobs I had in the past all required heavy telephone use. When I am on the phone I try not to talk beyond 2 minutes. I am trying to disconnect myself from heavy cell phone use. What I do is save every number I possibly can so I know if I’m getting a call I can ignore. I guess it has to do with culture.

Another issue I have is texting. This form of communication takes even more time than a phone call. To get a simple point across may take minutes. But worst of all texting removes the human feel of communication and one may misinterpret the tone intended. I also like multitasking but I find it impossible to do anything else when texting. I text much slower than the average female. I remember talking to my ex-girlfriend primarily via text messages, when I was young and foolish. For argument’s sake let us call her Marsha. A typical conversation is as follows:

Marsha: Its like you don’t love me anymore, I get no attention!

Marsha: Do you care about me?

Marsha: Do you want to be with me?

Marsha: Am I some kind of idiot for bothering you?

Aldeam: Yes.

Marsha: What! I can’t believe you would say that!

Marsha: After all I’ve done for you, I wasted my time. You are no good!

Aldeam: Yes

Marsha: Its time I moved on. I don’t know why I fell for you. I thought you were someone else, but you are just like the others! I was looking forward to a future with you. You are just a player! I hate you! I never want to hear from you again!

Marsha: Good bye!

Aldeam: No hon you’re not.

Aldeam: Huh?

Aldeam: Hey….wait, I was responding to your texts in the order I got them.

Aldeam: Marsha?

Aldeam: You there?

The rest is just a waste of time, trying to fix an imaginary problem.

During face to face conversations such petty problems are avoided and much more is accomplished. It may not always be convenient to meet face to face but it is always better to do so when the opportunity presents itself. Face to face conversations allows me to see if the truth lies in people’s eyes. It allows me to assess the body language, more accurately interpret the tone and allow for the use of gestures to support speech.

– Aldeam Facey 2015

How To Tame A Stallion

When I speak of a stallion, I refer not to the wild uncastrated male horse. I speak not of the beasts which roam the land, eating the flora, making huge strides and embracing the freedom. I speak of the men who cannot be captured and tied by the strings of any Fallopian tube. The men who have mastered the art of seduction. The men whose names are echoed in soft slow tones on the walls of random rooms. I speak of, the cheaters.


So ladies, your male partner has been cheating on you. You question his reason. You visit Aldeam’s blog to find out why men cheat. You simply can’t understand, you did everything right. You love him and refuse to let him go but you simply want him to accept only you and reject the very thought of infidelity. Well, if you want to keep him at home here are some things you should NOT do:

Get pregnant – Shotgun marriages don’t work when every man has a gun. Having a child may be a greater push factor than a pull factor for a man. Do not get pregnant if your only intention is to keep your partner.

Confront his partners – Tempting, yes I know but that will not prevent them from sneaking around. I have realized that women will approach men in relationships without any consideration of his partner!

Cheat as well – It is said that sitting on two wongs don’t make it right and it is true. He may feel what you feel but following that path is guaranteed to end your relationship and leave you feeling cheap.

Stalk him –  You may think it is a good idea to follow him around, search his Internet activities, his phone and question his friends. You are better than that, if there is no trust in the relationship, find a new one before your vagina gets old. Stalking is wasting your time and the result is never good.

Here is what you should do.

Play with his ego –  Men are very egotistical and can be manipulated by women so easily. Let him know how smart, how big and how strong he is, he will enjoy hearing from you.

Play ignorant – Don’t let him know immediately that you know he is cheating. Subtly let him know how faithful you are and your expectations of him considering your faithfulness. Nudge his conscience.

Research new stuff for the bedroom – Blow his mind in bed, if you already are engaged sexually. Be incomparable and unmatched, a pull factor won’t hurt.

Hold out –  If you haven’t started the demolition of the house with a wrecking ball then hold out until you are CONFIDENT about his faithfulness, considering you may never be sure. Get to know him and his history. Was he a run around in the past? Have him wait until he makes a bold commitment.

Counselling –  Get some professional assistance, together.


Talk to him – After you find out he is a creeper, let him know how you feel and have him give you his assurance that it will not recur. It is important that you hold out from this point onwards, primarily for your safety.

I have a zero tolerance to infidelity so the relationship would have ended the moment I find out my fish is in another pool but try these methods if you really want your relationship to work. If these methods yield no results, find a quick way out or accept the fact that you are not exclusive.

A true stallion cannot be tamed.

– Aldeam Facey 2015