There is this Akan proverb which speaks to my heart as one encounters large crowds every day outside the offices of mobile phone companies, ostensibly to register their sim cards or sort out a problem so related.
This proverb says: “The child who will not let the mother sleep also stays awake”.
Looking back, the announcement for sim card registrations came out over a year ago with deadlines as clear as unadulterated water. At every step of the way, there were education and explanations, benefits or otherwise, as one registers or not.
Since then there has been shifting of the goalposts by the authorities as deadlines came closer and the queues were getting longer. The cries from some of us to the authorities to give a human face to the situation always got considered and deadlines were pushed back.
Education continued. Electronic self-verification details were constantly shared by mobile phone companies giving directions to subscribers who needed to check and cross-check their registration status.
But how does one deal with a recalcitrant person who ignores all the education and advice and intentionally cries all night thinking he or she would disturb everyone’s peace forgetting that they are also losing out on needed sleep by so doing? And so it does baffle me as to why mobile phone subscribers are still queuing up to register their sim cards.
Indeed, there has been genuineness in some claims of bottlenecks connected with Ghana card issuances, a key requirement in the whole process. That notwithstanding, there are countless many who simply could not be bothered thinking their obstinacy would “punish” or “frustrate” some bigwigs, some political order or even someone’s business.
And see who is having the last laugh now? Indeed, that child who will not let his mother sleep is also kept awake, losing out on needed sleep. They are the ones creating and telling tales as to why their re-registration is still not complete as they shift the blame on all others.
Chamber of Telecoms
But let us face it, one needs to commend the Ghana Chamber of Telecoms for running to the aid of the mixed bag of genuine and recalcitrant subscribers knocking hard to be opened.
The members of the Chamber have done well with their encouragement they quickly put out via media releases, to all subscribers who had not complied with the directive to register sim cars to do so.
Even more than that, the members of the Chamber have succeeded in getting some of their selective offices or touch points to open for business even on a Sunday. The initiative is specifically to introduce extra days to assist those who needed help in the registration exercise.
I drove past one such touch point last Sunday after Church and was highly impressed to see one of the mobile phone companies opened for business. I needed to satisfy my curiosity and so stopped to find out what was happening by joining the queue.
As it got to my turn, a polite young man attending to customers explained to me why they were open on a Sunday afternoon when people were either resting, watching football or relaxing over family Sunday lunch. They were simply open to helping customers with problems.
Typically, we as Ghanaians like doing things at the last minute and want to run around blaming everyone but ourselves.
One wonders how many of those last-minute realisations have since turned around to thank the staff of the different mobile telephone companies who are working hard, amidst intense pressure from customers, and have sacrificed their precious Sunday afternoons to assist with the situation.
That is what one will classify as customer service. They see the customer in hard need as a queen or king. They sacrifice their comfort for others. They deserve honour where honour is due.
On this occasion when some genuine subscribers are in distress about losing the privileges, they stand to gain with their sim cards, including data, SMS, mobile money services, and emergency services, let us remember those who are making it possible for those in distress.
My salute this week is for those who would say no to sit-down strikes, wear red bands or publicly come out to demand some benefits before they work.
I am giving them respectable recognition and offering them honour where honour is due.
Kudos to all the mobile phone companies who are sacrificing to get some recalcitrant subscribers to register their mobile sim cards. We need to close this chapter with 2022.
This writer can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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