Why do Guyanese have to always fight for what is rightfully ours?

Dear Editor,
Guyana has some sick people in privileged positions. These people make you fight for everything that belongs to you. My friend, Carla, just lost her son in a very tragic accident on the Linden Highway.
Her son was a Police Officer stationed at the Soesdyke outpost and was rushing to a Police function in Linden when the car tire blew out. It was his mother’s car he was driving and it was totalled.
Immediately after confirming the accident, Carla contacted the insurance company where she had comprehensive insurance on the vehicle. One would think that they would have been both understanding and sympathetic to her cause but no.
From the beginning of her reporting the accident, her hell with them began. At one point they told her that the investigation of the accident involved her finding out if her son had any other insurance on any other vehicle/s.
They told her that she – yes, she Carla – must make sure that nothing is missing from the car during the time it was at the Police station, until it got to their holding facility.
As Carla was explaining her frustrations with the company to me – and there were many – I offered to accompany her to the insurance company on Monday last. When we got there, the car had just been towed from the Soesdyke Police Station to the insurance holding facility on Mandela Avenue. I watched as the company’s investigating officer placed his report on the desk of one of his colleagues; that young man never touched it or acknowledged that the report was placed in front of him. We were standing there (they never even offered us a seat) right in his line of vision.
About 15 minutes later – we were still standing – a young female employee asked us if we were getting through. Carla explained that she was waiting to know what next she should do. The young lady went to the desk of the employee that had the accident report in front of him, they spoke briefly and she returned to us. And here is where I almost lost my cool.
She said to Carla, “You cannot get your letter (to take to the bank) today. You have to wait three days”. I asked her why and she explained. She said that the title of the vehicle needs to be taken out of Carla’s name before she can get her letter but they cannot put the title in the name of the insurance company.
She explained that if they put it in the name of the company, they would have to then transfer it into the name of whomsoever will buy the vehicle. So the “normal”, “usual” policy of the insurance company is for them to have the customer wait until someone buys the wrecked vehicle, so the title could be transferred directly into the name of the buyer.
I listened to this explanation in utter shock and total disbelief. The insurance company representative actually told a grieving mother, that she had to wait until they sold her vehicle to some yet-to-be-identified buyer, before they could give her a letter to take to the bank. Carla could take it no more and she went outside. While she was gone, I sought to explain the gravity of Carla’s grief, pain and frustration but the representative would not budge. She maintained that that is the “normal”, “usual” policy of the company.
At this point – my anger barely under control – I asked to speak with the Manager. He was out. So I asked to speak to whomever was higher than the Manager. I was given the name for someone at the main branch.
Carla and I immediately went to the main office. The General Manager was out of office, so I explained to his Secretary why we where there. I told her that I thought the insurance company was unfair to Carla. I also noted that every day that she does not get her letter, is another day that the interest is being accrued on her car loan.
I finished by highlighting to the Secretary that it would be reasonable to have Carla seek a refund for the interest that has accrued on her loan, plus cost for her inconvenience, plus compensation for her emotional distress, plus lost of pay for the time she was away from work, plus any and all other cost that might be reasonable and that a court of law would allow.
I am not naming the insurance company only because Carla got a call the very Monday afternoon from no less than the General Manager himself. He apologised for the inconvenience and promised to have the letter ready the next day. She got her letter as promised.
Editor, last week I highlighted in your newspaper the fact that my phone line was not working for two months, even though I had called several times to report the fault. Two days after the story was published, they came and fix the problem. Why do Guyanese have to always fight for what is rightfully ours?
The Guyana Teachers’ Union is in a fight for an increase in teachers’ wages. The Public Service Union is in a fight for an increase in workers’ wages. It seems like all Guyanese need to be Members of Parliament. They get to double their wages, without any fight.

Wendell Jeffrey