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Monthly Archives: May 2007

It’s About Time


While the email below in no way makes me feel better about my last Jamaica trip, I appreciate the fact that time was taken to write to me.
————————————-

From: Joseph Perrin
Sent: Wednesday, May 16, 2007 7:56 PM
To: Stefan Simmons
Cc: Frank Rosheuvel; Shante Brown
Subject: Re: Report for File Number: 4630216

 Mr Simmons,

 Let me take this opportunity to apologize for the inconvenience with the elevator. I will also be speaking to the Food and beverage manager about your experience in the restaurant.

 

I am happy however that Christel was able to “save the day” as you put it.  

 

We look forward to welcoming you back to the Hilton Kingston.

 

Regards,

 

 

 

Joseph Perrin
Front Desk Manager
Hilton Kingston

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WHAT??? No free nights or extra Hilton Honours points???? Steups!!!! Ok I guess my new name is number 4630216. So can I assume that the next time I go the the HIlton Kingston (no other hotel is approved for us to go to while on the island) that I can refer to myself by this number and expect better service? Yeah right.

Dream on, dream away………….

 
 
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Posted by on May 17, 2007 in Travel

 

Tags: , , ,

I Try


I was in Tobago this weekend for a very good friend’s wedding. My good friend and part-time muse during my student days in London, Stacey Leigh Hernandez got married to a Brit named Christopher Ross in a simple but really nice ceremony in the beach at Mount Irvine Bay Hotel. The reception followed afterwards at the Hotel itself then onwards to the pool for a cool down as the sun was blistering.  Overall, the weekend was good but as always with me, I have a story to tell. So let me begin.

Saturday 12th May 2007.
Tobago Express Flight 1532 arrives in Tobago ten minutes later that expected (12:10pm) due to a stupid woman who insisted that her garbage bag full of bottles could be deemed as “carry-on” luggage. Needless to say she did not make the flight after all.
I collected my bag and went outside to hail a taxi to the Mount Irvine Boy hotel. I spoke out loud to a group of taxi folk and they all signaled to one guy to take me. He then grabbed my wrist and proceeded to pull me towards his car (as if I was his 5 year old son). Not liking to be touched, especially by strangers, I pulled away and told him that I would seek another taxi to take me to my destination as I felt his contact with me was a bit inappropriate.  
 
He apologized profusely and said that I reminded him of his son (blah blah blah) and that he would drop the fare to $50 to my destination instead of the stated authorized price of $60. I had no complaints there.  Then he wanted me to sit in his front seat where there was newspapers on the ground (in a Nissan Cifero PCC License Plate – new car). I looked at him and the newspapers and sat in the back seat, much to his chagrin. 
 
Ten minutes later, I was at the Hotel and being told by the Reception Clerk that I did not have a reservation. I was just about to rip one into her when I remembered my promise this week. 
 
PROMISE: No complaining. NO antagonizing of hotel staff. Smile. Be nice 
 
She saw the look of utter frustration on my face and told me that she was “making a joke” (apparently I looked like someone in need of a comedy minute). So I signed up and she started to escort me to my room. While we were walking, a mature woman (I use this term sparingly) passed us and gave me one big smile. Too bad I discovered at that point that her teeth were a nice moss green colour. I returned the smile and prayed that that would be the last time I saw that creature. She wasn’t as wrinkled as she should’ve been for her age but I didn’t car to find out anymore about her. 
 
I get to Room 61 and turn on the TV. I only have 6 working channels out of a list of 97. I ponder for a few minutes and decide that I will have a short nap and then call reception to deal with the problem. I slept form 1:30pm to 5pm and then made the call. I was first asked if I interfered with the TV but I ignored that question. She told me that the guy would be up in awhile to check it out. He arrived at 730pm and had to change the TV. I left for dinner during this point only to return to my room at 10pm to discover that he had not changed the remote. I hesitated again in calling Reception but did it anyway. He came at 10:30 collected to the remote and never returned. I got a new one on Sunday from his replacement at 8:30 that morning. 
 
 Sigh………………
 
ROOM SERVICE – A Play in three acts???
 
Now when I had awoken at 5pm, I felt a tad hungry so I searched the room for a room service menu to “feed the need”. No menu was found. I called Room service and asked if there was a menu that I could look at.
 
Room Service Responder: Yuh know Room service will cost you $20
Me: To deliver it?
RSR: Yes, so is best yuh come down to the restaurant to get it
Me: But I don’t want to leave my room, can I not order something still?
RSR: is $20 yuh know? What yuh want to eat? I go clal yuh when it ready.
Me: ere r A Cheese Burger and Fries and a grapefruit juice.
RSR: Dinner starting just now yuh. Yuh doh want ta wait?
Me: No
RSR: OK I go call yuh when it ready.
Me: so yuh now (click) delivering it
 
She called 15 minutes later and told me that my food was on a table in the restaurant awaiting my presence. Living up to my promise I went down to the restaurant and had my meal. Strangely enough, the burger had no lettuce or tomatoes in it, only three small onion rings. When I asked for condiments, she brought out a tray of mustard ketchup and mayo and told me that I need to take what I want as she was not leaving it for me. (Hmmm, I didn’t realize there was a condiment shortage on the island? We need to call somebody now!!!)
 
After this meal, I helped Stacey’s mom and her cousins with some of the decorations for the event and in no time again I was hungry. I called the restaurant at 8:30pm for Room Service again. (I just don’t learn).
 
Me: Hi I’m calling to order Room Service. This is Room 61
RSR: Yuh know is a $20 charge right
Me: (internally :What is it with them and  this charge?) Yes.. I want the Chicken Salad with no Mayo
RSR: It comes with mayonnaise. We can’t take it out. Yuh hear meh with the $20 charge right.
Me: Yes, just put it on the bill. If there is mayo then don’t give me anymore dressing with it.
RSR: But de thousand island dressing does taste good wid it.
Me:sigh…..just put it in a container next to it
RSR: Well we not putting all of that in bowl. You will have to come down and take how much yuh want.
Me: What??? So what is the point of paying $20 if u can’t bring it up for me.
RSR: Ok so I will call yuh when the food ready to collect
Me: Yes but (click)…………………
 
(Don’t complain Stefan…they will spit in yuh food and Lord knows what else).
 
At 9:00 I get a call telling me that Room Service has finished for the night and that I need to come downstairs and collect my food. I answer with a smile on my face and sarcasm in my heart.
 
While collecting my food she tries to convince me to leave the food tray and just take the plate. I stare at her in abject horror and finally she understands what rubbish she just asked me to do. My glass of grapefruit juice that night tasted like orange juice but I wasn’t about to complain anymore.
 
I was at the pool around 11pm that night (since I had no remote and I wasn’t about to keep getting up to change channels) and the waitress that gave me my dinner asked me if I couldn’t have brought back down the empty tray when I was finished.
 
Me: Lady, I doh wuk here yuh know. Yuh does ask yuh white guests to do the bring back their trays?
She told me goodnight and left promptly.
 
 
SUNDAY- WEDDING DAY- MAY 13th
Breakfast passed smoothly but I saw the lady and she was speaking to the other waitresses. Hmmmm Thank goodness I saw the chef make my omelet that morning.
 
The beach ceremony went well and Stacey and Christopher were married and we all headed back to the Sugar Mill restaurant for the reception.  To make a long story short, whatever table I sat at during the reception got no service from the waitresses. As they refused to serve me. Too bad I pointed the fact out to the Manager of the restaurant and it was corrected immediately.
 
The Food was glorious.
Hors d’oeuvres
Pholourie in tamarind sauce and some fish thing called “Robinson Crusoe” (I didn’t eat that)
Appetizer:
Corn Soup
 
Main course:
Beef Pelau
Paratha
Curried Goat, potato and channa and mango
Fried Fish
SALAD – This day there was no salad for me
 
Desert:
Coconut ice Cream and Wedding Cake.
 
I’m sure we all know what I had for the main course and lots of it!!!!!!!
 
After the speeches and a bit of dancing. I retired to my room where I changed into my…..oh hell I slept after it……..It was too hot outside to even bother to leave my room.
 
I got up after 4pm and checked out. The weirdo taxi driver was outside of the hotel but I managed to get another guy. Weirdo nodded to me as I got into the other car.
 
I checked in for my 6pm flight that left a 6:30 due to some rubbish (my Ipod was on and I couldn’t care).
 
Got back to Trinidad at 7pm and visit my mom for a couple of hours since it was Mother’s Day.
Fell asleep at midnight only to be awakened by dogs barking and howling ten minutes later. After two buckets of cold water being thrown at then, they stopped making noise.
 
Got back to sleep at 1pm and awoke at 6 for work.
 
I must be a really bad person for all this stuff to keep happening to me…..hmmmm
 
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Posted by on May 14, 2007 in Uncategorized

 

If it Ain’t One Thing…..


Last week was a week to go down in the record books as one where I describe everyday as " A Series of Unfortunate Events". Of course most people know that there is hardly ever a dull moment with me sometimes. Last week was one of those weeks I wish was dull.
 
Monday April 30th
This day started off with a client of mine asking questions of me that he had asked multiple times the week before. In the spirit of "the client is always right", I held my temper. My boss was out and not answerng his phone for obvious reasons (his wife would’ve killed him if he did). So I continued along the road of repeating myself and forwarding emails to him that i knew he got previously.  Sigh….
 
Then the bastard has the audactiy to call me and tell me that I am being difficult and that he is going to have a word with my boss as i fail t answer his questions  as well as the new insignificant ones he keeps bringing up. I told him to hold on while i closed my office door from the noise outside and boy did i lay into him. I quickly pointed out the long time frame in which he had all the documents he keeps questioning and the fact that his attorneys had no problem with them. I mentioned the the time wasting exercise it is to be repeating myself when everyone else on the emails seems to understand what i am saying. He got quiet after this, told me that his seniors are asking these new questions and that he would take this up with my boss. I told him to please do same.
 
The emails stopped coming and the issue was resolved within an hour. Oh i did manage to get on to my boss and inform him of my little rant on the client and he had no problem with it. He did ask if i insulted the gentleman with any remarks on his intellect etc. I was happy to say "No" as I had avoided expletives and the belittling insults that I am sometimes famous for.
 
Tuesday May 1st
A holiday in Barbados and so no lawyer worked late the day before so I sit here in Limbo awaiting documents that will come tomorrow when i am travelling to Jamaica. Steups….
 
I joined a new gym, Bio Fitness, and an instructor called Deshawn told me that if i come tothe gym at least four times a week he can have me toned and cut by the end of the month. I asked what option was available for  three times a week. He saw no humor in my statement.
 
While this gym has way more equipment than my last one, this one suffers from muscle heads and bad accents. Everyone atthis gym is pretentious or has the potential to be. They speak with such messed up voices.
 
" Yahs, tell Jodie that I’ll meet her for drinks at Tiki village later Okay….."  (Nuff Said).
 
Oh, this gym is cheaper than the last one. The pains i have to go through to save a few bucks…
 
Wednesday May 2nd
My trip to Jamaica started off smoothly. I arrived early enough at the Airport.  Got checked in quickly and made my way upstairs only to discover that i had no time to eat as the plane was boarding early. Boarding early? But this is Caribbean Airlines not AA? Hmmm apparently the flight was full so they wanted to make sure all was handled before the final departure. Hmm efficiency with the new Airline? I’m impressed.
 
I get a window seat for my five plus hour flight only to discover that the two women sitting next to me want to talk. Not with each other but with me. The one in the middle seat keeps touching me on my leg to ask a question while the other one (Guyanese) keeps asking me what i’m listening to on my ipod. It gets owrse when i realise that with every transit stop we make, the aisle lady doesn’t want to get up so i can stretch my legs. She seems incapable of moving. Oh did i mention she was overweight? Hmm well i guess not.
 
We come to a close on these women when the meal is served during the St. Maarten to Jamaica route. Aisle lady pre-ordered a vegatarian meal (who she fooling?) and middle seat girl can’t seem to keep her food in her tray. Whatever drink I ordered, they both wanted as well. I ask for coffee, they both wanted. It was painfully obvious that middle seat girl didn’t like coffee. Trying to impress me? Hmmm she should’ve realised it was hopeless when she spoke about liking Lady Saw and Baby Cham and i had nothing to say.
 
Was i too harsh? Was karma going to fix me? I guess the answer was Yes to both questions.
 
On arrival in Jamaica, my luggage was not there. I filed a report with the Caribbena airlines rep who asked me for distinguishing things in my bag and all i can come up with is my Kenneth Cole shirt and a pair of shoes. (sigh i should buy more brand name stuff). He tells me that if they find my luggage it won’t be in Jamaica til Thursday. I smile and exit with my colleagues.
 
On arrival at the hotel, i check in and head ot back to back meeting that take us to 6pm. Thankfully an RBTT Jamaicasenior manager, heard of my plight and brought a shirt and new underwear for me at the hotel. The Bank did not approve of me buying a new suit since my luggage would be there the next day. ( Shucks!!!)
 
My hotel room’s air conditioning unit is not working properly and they promise to fix it.
 
Thursday May 3rd
6am: Caribbean Airlines calls and tells me that my bag remained in Trinidad and that it would be on the flight to Jamaica that morning and that I should get my bags by 4:30pm.  When i asked why it was not on the flight, no reaosn could be given and no apology was made.
 
8am:
 I am at Breakfast area atthe Hilton and i turn to this waitress and asks her politely for some Hot Chocolate. She turns to me and asks in a very gruff manner.
Waitress: Wey u sitting?
Me: Excuse Me?
Waitress: weyusiting? (honestly she ate the words this time).
Me: Right here and you better fix that tone.
Waitress: fdlkfjlkdjdkjgf (Something  under her breath in jamaican…..subtitles weren’t available)
 
My hot chocolate never arrived and she took away from tea cup midway through my breakfast without an explanation. I told a work colleague that even if she brought it, there was no way that i was going to drink it since I was sure that she had spat in it. He laughed. (I was dead serious).
 
1:30pm
After a series of morning meetings, I went back to my room to freshen up and i decided to be first downstairs for our 2pm meeting. i get into the elevator on the 16th floor all by myself and as the door closes, i feel the lift shake for awhile, srop a bit and then stop.  i look in the mirror of the elevator and say to myself.
 
"This elevator didn’t jsut stick right?" to which my mirror self said, "Damn Right it did!"
 
And so i was stuck in an elevator for half an hour. Half an hour? Why yes. The reason liesin  the fact that after the drop the elevator monitor was saying that i was on the 8th floor. I panicked slightly at the thought of me dropping 8 floors so quickly but the emergency repsonse lady on the line is tellng me not to panic and that they are searching for me since the can’t seem to find me on the 8th floor. (I say a few silen prayers right there).
 
In the midst of talk to her, i hear a work colleague calling my name and trying to tell me that i’m stuck on the 15th floor and not the 8th. I breathe  sigh of relief. He however begins to laugh at my misfortune and can’t stop laughing. (Note to self: Kick up his ass when u get out).
After all that time and polite chat with the emergency lady, i am let out and the maintenance person turns to me and says..
"That is a hard luck eh?"
I stare at him and take the stairs to the ground floor.
 
We are not late for the meeting but while driving there,  icall Caribbean Airlines and discover thatmy luggageis here and they reaffirm that it will be at the hotel by 4:30pm.
 
My luggage arrived at the hotel at 9:30pm.
 
I had been out to dinner with clients (haivng bought clothes just in case) when it arrived. On returning to the hotel, i go to the front desk and ask the girl politely if my luggage had arrived. She turned to me and said that she would not know that I had to go up to my room and check my room messages and then come down and tell her.
 
Me: Are you serious?
Hotel Clerk: Yes
Me: Listen you, if you don’t want me to go to jail for assault tonight you better just go in the storage rooma t the bakc and check for luggage for Stefan Simmons. You must be mad if you think that I am going up to the 16th floor and coming back to tell you something that you can figure out now!!!!!! Yuh mad in yuh ass tonight.
 
Hotel Clerk: One moment sir.
 
At this point she calls on eof the porters and asks them to check in storage for my luggage. It was there. I took my suitcase and retired to my room with the air condition that wasn’t functioning properly and went to bed.
 
Friday May 4th
8am:
Breakfast went smoothly. I got my hot chocolate and i kept an eye on the girl who served me while the evil on from yesterday kept staring at me throughout the process.
 
I was finally dressed in a suit and happy to attend my client meetings.
 
i got to the airport on time and ended up in theBritsh Airways CLub Lounge until my flight was ready….heh heh heh heh
 
The flight back home wasn’t as bad as going up except that i was seated way in the back of the plane and therefore food was served to me almost last so I inhaled it.
 
We got stuck in Barbados longer than usual because there were too many people on the plane. Then ground crew came on board and made everyone show their boarding passes. They wanted to take some old lady off the plane because she couldn’t find hers despite the fact that she was on the flight since Jamaica. The other passengers made some "old noise" and that issue was settled. In the end, they offered a passenger US$250 to overnight in Barbados to let some woman and her child on. I told the person next to me to wake me when they reached US$350.00. It never did. Some greedy woman jumped out of her seat as soon as they said it.
 
After leaving Jamaica at 2pm Friday afternoon, I arrived in Trinidad at 9pm, tired , beat and hoping that my luggage was there. It was. I wheeled that thing out of the airport so fast and headed home for some much needed rest.
 
The weekend wasn’t bad and i think my bad period is over.
 
MORAL: Smile…..otherwise somebody will die.
 
 
 
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Posted by on May 7, 2007 in Uncategorized