Stamp and go! A taste of another Jamaican bureaucratic dish

So, off to Stamp Office, I would go. What could possibly go wrong? 

The entrance told me much. I’ve seen government agencies like this in many countries. Dark. Dingy. Looking like no one loves or cares. Uninviting. 

Stamp Office, Harbour St., Kingston

Fortunately, I love downtown Kingston and will tolerate much.

Bearers are here in numbers, bearing the brunt of waiting; things grinding along like rusty gears.

Systematic queuing, like tickets, haven’t reached here, yet. Instead, officials call out names through a small mouthhole–their voices barely audible.

People waiting are obviously unhappy, even though it’s not long past 10, and the office opens at 8:30. Lots of grumbling, muttering and speculation:

“I don’t know what is so slow, them or the system, or both…” One of a group of women vents.

A name is called, a lady approaches the window. Another lady, still waiting, says “You ago mek me mek noise inna here…!” Not a happy camper.

After 25 minutes I hear my name called. I’m happy. I get back my papers: “Tek it to the cashier!” I walk across the hall and present papers and $500. Moments later, a receipt appears back on the counter. Silence. I ask if that’s it. While cleaning her ears, the cashier tells me to take a seat and wait to hear my name. (What infections might have been passed on my receipt?) 😩 

More names are called and bearers come forward.

Meanwhile, on the street, men ‘manage’ the few free parking spaces. Empty buckets mark spaces and a ‘consideration’ will get them moved to free the space. The economy is working😏

Proof of payment and ready for another trip
But, I’m not done. I hear my name again, get my stamped documents and am ready to leave at 11:15. Not, too much time.

The grumpy ladies are still waiting. Changing name is relatively simple.

Maybe, Jamaica News Network needs to do some infomercials like ‘Inside the Stamp Office: what’s going on’. It couldn’t hurt? 

Now, I have to trek through the mess of road on Marcus Garvey Drive to get to Spanish Town. Someone is being excessively cruel to us.

What an ungodly mess!

Author: Dennis G Jones (aka 'The Grasshopper')

Retired International Monetary Fund economist. My blog is for organizing my ideas and thoughts about a range of topics. I was born in Jamaica, but spent 30 years being educated, living, and working in the UK. I lived in the USA for two decades, and worked and travelled abroad, extensively, throughout my careers and for pleasure. My views have a wide international perspective. Father of 3 girls. Also, married to an economist. :)

2 thoughts on “Stamp and go! A taste of another Jamaican bureaucratic dish”

  1. Dennis! Doesn’t this remind you of our conversation about my experience of the Tax Office. It’s not good. People are grumpy because they have been through this so many times before, and they know what to expect.


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