Faith in public service is restored

Sir, – The embarrassment of being put off the bus in front of my neighbours, with an out-of-date public service card, with very small print, was facing me, having not received a letter I was informed was posted to me pre-Christmas.

A quick internet search for a number to ring was easy. The pre-recorded message, interspersed with music I could dance a jig to, informed me that all lines were busy and an “agent” would be with me as soon as possible. Eventually my call was answered, followed by a number of questions, including what was my mother’s maiden name. I was advised to contact my local Intreo Centre (Department of Social Protection), yes another new name now! I didn’t relish doing so based on past experience.

I called in to D’Olier House in Dublin and in the space of five minutes my faith in public service was restored. I met the most helpful, professional woman with a wonderful smile that would brighten one’s day, Joan. She even offered to give me a letter to ensure my bus trip would be embarrassment-free pending arrival of my updated card. Joan clearly saw me as a fellow human being, not just a statistic to facilitate box-ticking. We clearly need people like her to help people feel they do matter, and there are a lot of people needing services in our technical-dependent age who feel they don’t matter. – Yours, etc,

Director of Services,
Alice Leahy Trust,
Dublin 8.