Resort life: its all about pretence… lots of it.

In resort life everyone tries to be what he or she is not according to circumstances. Sometimes this behaviour is required as part of the profession and sometimes it happens out of inclination. For example:

The managers: they come in all shapes and sizes. Some comes with a perpetual frown on their faces whilst others hide their true expression behind an engaging smile. But they all share in the pretence.

The guests: Most guests are also notorious at deception. Its ingrained cultural habit to smile and make light of everything however annoying. However there are those who are exactly the opposite– the realists and the con-guests who will complain at the smallest inconvenience to get a free champagne bottle or a discount on their stay.

The HR: The HR used to think and play god till the arrival of the dreaded labour laws. Now that mantle of power to terminate staff indiscriminately for whims and wishes can at last be challenged in the labour tribunal which thankfully is a little bit even handed.

The reservations people: Together with ‘sales and marketing’ people, they will have everyone else believe that if not for them the resort will close down for business in a few days time. Nothing can be further from truth. The fact is that most tourists just choose to come to our resorts having come to hear of our beaches and small islands from internet mostly via tour operators. Tour operators do not necessarily depend on reservations but sometimes they have agreement with the resort to allocation of rooms which is ‘handled’ by these pompous people. In technical terms they are just clerks and data entry people making a big fuss of their work. Of course there are some sweet down to earth people who do not aggrandize their work but in resort life such humbleness is exception rather than the norm.

the maintenance people: The maintenance people will include generally the engineers and the usually unseen crowd. They will be the happiest when something really major breaks down like an engine or a water plant because that’s the only time they can shine (like a star…) and their work will be valued or respected by their superiors. Also they are prone to make the smallest issue as big as possible just to get the attention of the managers because that’s the only way up on the corporate ladder at that level.

The waiters and room boys and girls: Generally honest and hard-working these gentle people have a tendency to make a purely service task a technical one, which is comical at certain extents.

The launch section guys: perhaps the most realistic in appearance and attitude are found in the ‘launch section’ team. They have a reason for that too. Extended periods of time spent in monotonous journeys between islands and airports wear them down which makes them difficult to please or irritate.

The IT guys: The it guys are all smiles and kindness until a computer terminal is said to be terminally ill and the IT guys is called in. From that moment the IT guy is bossy, unfriendly, talks in jargon and will generally look down on the rest of humanity. However a by-law of Moore’s Law have it that advances in technology will soon make them redundant as networks, computers and devices become more and more user friendly and intelligent. They had their day in the days of windows 3.2 and dot matrix printer era at which time being an IT guy is not for the faint of heart. Nowadays the IT guy is pretty much alive thanks to Microsoft’s windows and the uncommonness of common sense.

The Chefs and the kitchen crowd: There is unending war between the restaurant guys and the kitchen folks because all the hard work is done at the kitchen but all tips are received at the restaurant. However as most resorts are mindful of this war, generally their salary is higher than the rest which is some solace to the animosity. The kitchen guys generally do not subscribe to false smiles and half-hearted greetings cos their life is hectic and hard.

Gardeners, labourers and the like: At the bottom of the ladder they are resigned to their fate or position , and they automatically have the rubbery smile and artificial greetings for all guests and superiors. No such smiles for their peers and others. There is no saying that ambition is lacking in this department, there is as gardeners are frequently fond of watering the plants around the Gms office etc hoping he or she will take notice of the effort….

There is so much hypocrisy to go around in resort life but its worth the fun it is. If resort folks including the guests all are expressionless die hard realists,life in resort will indeed be tough..

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13 thoughts on “Resort life: its all about pretence… lots of it.

  1. Today I stumbled across this part of the Blog and I can only say: THIS IS AWESOME! Great style writing & psssstttt! I believe most of it is true.
    Keep going! Will come back!

  2. I am being ofered a job at Reethi Rah and wondered if anyone has photos of the staff village and accommodations available.

  3. Very true, Maldives Tourism Industry has evolved to a comic industry, nothing is real, and the expatriates are low level unqualified who come to Maldives for a very small salary. Show off and survive by appeasing unqualified General Managers and department Heads. The work ethic is zero, every one is involved internal politics and all decisions made on gossips

    1. correction! not all expatiates are low level or unqualified. Some of them cost more than twice what the resort would have to pay if a local was hired for that position. With unemployment and social unrest high in the islands its an irony why there is a big expat population in resorts. But hopefully things will ease a bit once the labour ministry deals with the illegal immigrant workforce which is going on..

  4. Hi,

    I do agree with most of this article, except for the part that says IT guys are prone to go extinct.

    For one thing, Computers are judged to be intelligent by means of its functionality and efficiency. Unless the said computer develops a sense of humour OR an Artificial Intelligence, every single industry would require least ONE IT guy.

    1. One it guy would not harm but most resorts employ a veritable horde or IT professionals who could easily be outsourced to IT businesses in Male etc. Would have saved lots of money to a resort.. no?

  5. Guess they are the same for every other sector, but may be more prevalent here with the degree of dedication and/or separation.

  6. As a frequent “guest ” of these beautiful islands I’m saddenned to read such a cynical article.
    We’ve been coming to a variety of islands for the past 13 years, I certainly hope these views are not shared by the wonderful staff that we’ve met, on the islands we’ve stayed on.
    With only a very few exceptions, ( guests & management) we’ve been met with sincerity from the ground staff to the management.
    Amongst the exceptions have also been, unhappy staff not being treated well by owners/management & that has shown all through staff groups.
    If they are putting on ” happy smiling faces ” for our benefit they should be praised for doing a good job.
    We appreciate there have been many labour problems in some resorts & would like to see things improve for the workers.How can we help ??
    Guests of course come in all shapes & sizes. I can only speak for UK residents who in my experience appreciate every little thing that is done to make our holidays so wonderful !

    1. Our apologies for any unintended cynicism. Our guests can also help bring on a meaningful leverage to resort owners and management to put an effort to improve workers conditions. Most resorts are happy to perform to the guests while the workers toil behind unappreciated, unloved and uncared for. These conditions are more acute in locally managed resorts than resorts managed by bigger hotel chains as they will have completed the bigger circle and learned from past mistakes.

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