Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Mid-Week Madness: UN's Still Coming to Town!; Shoprite Disappoints -- and So Do Their Salesgirls!

It was always too good to be true: a high-power retailer like Shoprite coming to Accra, and not taking Ghanaians for a ride.

For the past few weeks, I have been through Shoprite to meet only a scene like this mostly at the margarine/butter side. A quick glimpse reveals a full house insofar as margarine/butter is concerned. Move down a few departments, like the biscuit section, and you find that the shelves have been empty for a while. I have only complained to one or two people who have assured me it would be full up.

No such luck.

I'll have to bring you picture of the empty stores I'm talking about some time--'cos there are quite a few! Who's monitoring these things?

I am sure they will not be losing sales by any stretch of the imagination, but they must be putting those who patronise the shop off quite a bit! Not that I mind that they lose or anything, but I do wonder about claims of quality, where the provision of it is next-to-none.

Whilst we are at it, is it a quintessential Ghanaian trait for sales-girls working in retail outlets like these to not smile at you, at worst, and greet you at best? How long does it take to say "good evening", or "good afternoon". I've ended up a couple of times asking: "so you won't greet?".

To which they will grimace, or feign a smile and say "sorry, you were distracted", or "sorry, but you didn't see it", or some such excuse.

Until Ghanaians begin to demand quality service from them--even if they are under-paid--we will be worse off. I sympathise sincerely about the bad pay, and probably bad conditions of service, but this takes the biscuit!

You would at least expect a greeting, not silence for your goods to be passed through like robots. Robots, we are not, thankyou!

UN Still Coming to Town
The UN Conference on Trade and Development is still coming to town! It aint going anywhere. There are a number of interesting conferences and interactive seminars that will be held during the time. It appears, though, that some of these will take place during the official UNCTAD conference, scheduled for 20-25 April.

The emphasis on "official" is important, because it means that if you are not formally accredited to the main conference--and frankly, it's too late now--you cannot attend. All is not lost, however, for there is the civil society forum, which I mentioned in the last post, which you can access here. That means that any one of you--be you journalist or non-governmental organisation, or citizen--can register here.

All that said, I shall be at the heart of things during the period, and be sure to be blogging as avidly as ever!

Today's edition of the NPP-sponsored Statesman newspaper has an editorial on UNCTAD XII, in which the title appears to be a thinly-veiled exhortation to be vigilant about globalisation.
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