(Auntie): As we start a new year, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the individuals at various government and private entities who helped answer the many questions my faithful readers sent in throughout 2016. I am so pleased to find that most of the people who read this column understand the purpose is to offer help and information plus the odd bit of advice (all with the best of intentions). At the same time, I have received the cooperation of many people, both in government and private organisations, who have access to the relevant facts and/or data to help me address a great variety of questions and issues.
I like to believe that the answers I track down provide a public service by getting out information without the various agencies having to do anything more than relaying said facts to me. I know that everyone is busy, which makes me appreciate even more those sources who continually seem to put down what they are dealing with to respond to my queries.
Of course, some answers are more complicated or difficult to attain than others.
I am sure that any reader who continually waits for an answer to appear must believe I have either forgotten or am ignoring them, but both are very far from the truth.
In some instances, the people I have sent your question to have either not responded, told me the answer was basically “soon come” or just stopped replying to my many reminders. Sometimes this process has taken months without resulting in a response. But for every one of those, it seems there are many more people who truly are committed to helping and getting out the answers to questions as quickly as possible.
Which leads me to the aforementioned thank yous. I have compiled my top five responders (in alphabetical order, to make it fair) for special recognition. Unfortunately, I am only able to name the department and not the person because most prefer to be anonymous and just get on with helping. They made my list because not only did they reply quickly (often the same day as the query) but also offered very thorough answers. They all seemed genuinely happy to help and appreciative of a way to publicise the information requested. Not only that, many readers’ questions needed to be directed to these same individuals, meaning I kept them the busiest of the lot. Plus, if they could not respond right away they would let me know and offer a time frame for a reply.
Thank you so much to the representatives (and you know who you are) of the following departments:
I would also like to give honourable mentions to a few departments who may not have received as many queries but provided speedy and helpful responses:
I hope that more agencies and individuals will qualify for these awards in 2017; the longer the list, the better.
Meanwhile, I hope everyone had a very happy Christmas and wish you all a trouble-free New Year. But if you do encounter a problem, you know who to ask.
Category: Ask Auntie