The silly duty rosters!

Its an obsession of the unimaginative managements. A duty roster for all staff. The idea (in theory) is to arrange for the daily grind of workers and to plan it before and be ready. Another good reason might be to have written record of who might have worked where on a particular day, if the rosters are filed for future reference. But is a duty roster really relevant in our small beautiful island resorts? The islands being surrounded from water from all sides, and the staff firmly arraigned in the staff quarters?

The origin of the word duty roster shall ring a bell with those who are so obsessed with a duty roster. According to, the origin of the word goes back to 18th century and was used originally denoting a list of duties and leave for military personnel. So what is the same concept doing in the 21st century in the deluxe top brand resorts in Maldives?

The answers are always easily summed up by the saying that the least common of all things is the common sense. It does indeed make very little sense to stick to hard immovable duty rosters when this is being applied to the staff who have forsaken so much to provide service to the resort. Most local employees have their families in Male, or sometimes bring their families to Male’ and sometimes would have wanted an unscheduled break to be with the family which sometimes get rejected by these rosters for no other reason than that it only specified so. Most of the staff when requesting such a day swap on the roster would have had made arrangements for their responsibilities to be taken over by friendly colleagues and yet the “Roster” sometimes does not budge from its position. Small easily rectifiable grievances like these sometimes brew so much anger and helplessness amongst suffering staff that workers are sometimes left with no choice but to take ‘French-leaves’ or better still petition or organize strikes to get their voices heard. The story doesn’t even end there. The collective soul of a strike or a petition has a tendency to grow and by the time the staff would have the attention of the senior management, the focus would have shifted so much that the real cause of the commotion would have eluded them all.

Here are a few guidelines for resort life without duty rosters: (as everybody hates duty rosters!)

  • the first criteria is that nobody takes more leaves than is due. This could account for the public holidays and weekends etc.
  • the second is that a day swap on a schedule could not hamper the running of the resort or put undue pressure on the remaining colleagues who will work on that particular day.

As long as these few basic guidelines are allowed and nobody actually takes advantage of such liberties, resort life can become a little bit bearable for the workers.