COVID-19 forces fish vendor to change his strategy

April 06, 2020
Thompson clearly outlines what customers must do at his selling spot.
Thompson clearly outlines what customers must do at his selling spot.
Customers wait to get served.
Customers wait to get served.

Rae Town fish vendor Namdi 'Ratty' Thompson has instituted new laws for his business following the spread of COVID-19 locally.

In the past, customers had the luxury of showing up any time to his shop to make purchases. But now, they have to keep their distance.

"Me nuh ask dem. Me tell them that it is a must! They must call and order! I have to do this to eliminate the crowd and the gathering. And if they should come here and have to wait, they have to wait in the car. And then we have a designated person who takes the fish to them in their vehicle," Thompson told THE STAR.

He also offers ground provisions like yam and banana and the same rule applies. People can stop, look, but can't touch.

Those who like to feel for firmness before purchasing will have to make do without that strategy.

Thompson said that his customers always had the option to call and order if that was more convenient. Now, in a COVID-19 Jamaica, there's no other way.

"This is the first time with these strict rules. Me usually get orders every day, because I always suggest to persons, that to save time, they can order. Sometimes they have other things to do and they don't want to come and sit and wait. If you save time, you save money. So me always recommend seh yuh order; but now me enforce it. It was an option back then but now it's a must," he said firmly.

For the most part, the customers have been receptive to the new, stringent rules.

"You know you a go have one and two people weh rebellious, but the majority of people say moving forward, they prefer this service," he said.

He started selling fish at a young age and has never been this stringent. But now, he has to do anything to keep the family business alive.

"I have been doing this for as long as I can remember. Me born and see me mother and granny in a the ting and me just take the thing from them and take it to another level," he said.

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