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The Jamaican worker can be quite a piece of work. American friends arrived in Montego Bay at the weekend, and are staying for a week. Having discussed the distance to Kingston, it seemed that we wouldn’t meet. But chance took me to MoBay for the week, and we are staying just 5 kilometers apart.

I agreed to meet them today around their breakfast time. I went to the Iberostar, as agreed around 8:30. I’ve never been there before and was struck by the tight security. The guard told me that visitors were not normally allowed before 9am. That’s a first, for me. Anyway, after he’d called the room and got clearance for me to enter, I headed to their part of the large complex. A lady outside the entrance checked my name and told me to go to the lobby and wait for my friends. They arrived and we greeted each other. It’s their first time here and have come in a group of 10. They took me to the restaurant, where they were due to meet the rest of their party.

I talked to them about Jamaican food and explained items we saw on display. They were not sure about boiled green bananas, did not know callaloo (though, it’s close to collard greens). I showed them bammy and we talked about eating fish. I got some jack fruit and showed them how to eat it. They sampled a good range of things and I suggested things to look out for. I suggested that they come with me to see the resort where I was staying and look at some golf courses, as the men in the group wanted a chance to try them. So, we got ready to leave and headed back to the lobby.

“You left the lobby. You’re not supposed to do that,” said our lady security officer. I was startled and asked her how I was supposed to know that. Clearly, the guests did not know it, either. She tried to tell me that I should have asked. My gasket just popped out of the engine. I didn’t have much patience for this backward logic and just dished some sense on this lady. I could understand the concerns: the hotel is all-inclusive and outsiders should not get free benefits available to guests. But, that’s easy to solve if the staff just monitor the one thing that guests should have, namely, a wrist band, and anyone not wearing one needs to get one as a regular guest or holder of a day pass. It’s pretty simple. Someone else had had a similar experience and was still chuntering on the sidewalk as I decided to say “Hasta la proxima”.

We headed to my place, where security is tight and whatever amenities guest enjoy, their guests can enjoy, too. The set ups are not really the same, but there are easy ways to make matters easy with some simple communication.

I really did not have the energy to do what I should have, which was to have a word with whoever manages or supervises the security or general aspects of the hotel.

So often, we have people in front line positions who give nothing but grief to customers/visitors just because of some sloppy thought processes.

IMG_1421.JPGWhen it’s just at the corner store it’s annoying. When it’s in the heart of our tourist sector, we are doomed.