11 January, 2010


The gossip around The Valley was about the demand of Viceroy to bring in 70-odd Nevisians to complete the staffing of their Anguilla hotel.  Why Nevisians? you may ask.  Because Four Seasons Hotel in neighbouring Nevis trained hundreds of locals to run a hotel to the highest standard.  Four Seasons has been closed for a year.  It closed down thanks to Hurricane Omar.  As a result, there are hundreds of trained, unemployed hotel staff in Nevis.  Just 100 miles away from Anguilla.  What more obvious solution to the understaffed Viceroy Hotel than to bring the unemployed Nevisians to Anguilla?
The anticipated advantage for Viceroy was that they would be employing vulnerable, malleable immigrants.  At the slightest sign of stroppiness, or independence of mind, these foreign workers could be cowed into submission by threatening them with deportation.  That should keep them quiet!
The problem is that in Anguilla there are hundreds of young people who are out of a job.  They are demanding to know what their government is doing to look out for them.  Elections are around the corner.  Government was anxious to oblige.  The machinery of government was deployed in their defence.  Is that so wrong?
All that we asked was for our Anguillian youth to present themselves to any prospective employer in a reasonable light.  The problem is that the youth of Anguilla are unprepared for the job market.  The average Anguillian out-of-school young lady is tattooed from wrist to armpit.  She wears to the job-interview earrings that reach from her ears to her shoulders.  No one has taught either her or her brother how to handle a job interview.  Viewing the combination of her tattoos and earrings is guaranteed to frighten the s++t out of the average middle-aged, north-American guest at her hotel.  This makes her virtually unemployable.  Meanwhile, her brothers have lost the last trace of their parents’ Anguillian culture.  The present-day youth of Anguilla have been educated by BET jail-talk.  They speak a dialect, learned from US TV, that is closer to Folsum Jail prisoner-jargon than anything their Anguillian ancestors ever spoke.  They are generally unmannerly, semi-literate, and unprepared for the job market.  With their pants-waists dropping below their hips to reveal their dirty underpants, no employer, no matter how desperate, would ever imagine employing them.  They are, all of them, just not ready for the job market.  The average Anguillian High-School graduate is barely fit to be employed in the garden of a second-rate hotel, far less the front office of a Viceroy.
The joke of it all is on Viceroy.  As part of the deal for getting all the tax exemptions they were given by our generous, outgoing government, Viceroy had promised to have the necessary staff trained in time for the opening of the hotel.  They utterly failed themselves.  They dropped the training promise.  Such little training of Anguilllian staff as they provided, was perfunctory and last-minute.  The accountants who now run the hotel had decided that the promised training of Anguillian staff would be too expensive.  It would be cheaper to bring in Asians at one tenth the going West Indian rate.  Our government encouraged them to believe this was feasible.
They did not factor in the general elections that come every five years, and the ensuing upsurge in ‘patriotism’.  Sorry, it turns out that at this present time no imports are allowed.  An election has to be won first.
Good luck, Viceroy.


  1. I think Viceroy has no intention to hire or train Anguillians. Since they control things, they are under no pressure from the Government to do so. I understand that there are at least 2 1/2 million reasons and three men why this is so.
    They have a Philipino and another Asian working as barmen in the Bar. Since when Anguillans aren't qualified to be barmen? They have plenty of foreign workers doing jobs Anguillans have been doing successfully for many years.
    We forget that Cap Juluca's reputation was earned when it was managed and staffed nearly 100% by Anguillans.
    Why are these "Investors" allowed to bypass Anguillans and create jobs for foreigners?
    I can think of at least 2 1/2 million reasons and three men why.

  2. Don't judge everyone by earrings and tattoos, but do judge them by performance and ability. If they can make the guests feel welcome and comfortable, the guests will not care about their
    appearance. Guests care about service.
    The problem in Anguilla is, most of the young people have a surly attitude, and no amount of training can rectify that.

  3. A surly attitude in young people might well be due to shyness and insecurity. That problem is particularly amenable to correction by training. Once you know what is the proper way to do things you grow in confidence, and can be expansive and friendly even while under stress.

  4. Well said Don.
    The biggest turnoff to any employer or guest is to see tattoos.
    It is bad enough to see once pretty women on the beach now marked for life with tattoos.
    Pants that do not fit, hanging round the waist will never be accepted at any interview.

  5. Don,

    Tell us more about the upcoming elections and what we as frequent visitors should expect over the next month and who's going to win?


  6. Sorry, surly attitude cannot be excused away by saying that surliness is due to shyness or insecurity. Surly comes from bad attitude that bespeaks arrogance and lack of concern for anyone else. The surly attitude is indicative of the wannabee thugs and gangsters. They see their idols sporting all kinds of obscene gold chunks around their necks & they want to be like them with all kinds of money--who cares how they get it, but putting in consistent, hard work is not in their minds. It's all about soaking the rich guy any way they can. "Rich" unfortunately is in their minds as anyone who can afford to come to Anguilla.

  7. Tattoos (as long as they are not over-done) and earrings are a lot easier to accept with the attitude isn't surly. Attitude is all important. The visitors to Anguilla are far more appreciative of good manners and friendliness. They are not so easily turned off by appearances. After all, they have seen youngsters in their home countries with "style" that comes from the TV & music world. Attitude is most important.

  8. As an American who loves Anguilla and is planning a 15th vacation, I can tell you that tattoos and earrings mean very little to me. We see them everyday at home and they are just a sign of the times, as long hair was when the Beatles made their mark so many years ago. Competent, friendly service is all that matters, and part of that is dependent on we visitors as well. I always try to start a transaction or meeting with a smile and a polite greeting.

  9. I'm an American traveller ( a relatively young one too at 33) and I must admit that I do find tattoos & odd piercings to be neither stylish nor acceptable as professional behavior. If you want to be an artist, pirate or work in a skateboard shop then fine, but for anyone aspiring a to a management position at a facility that aspires to be world-class then it's not really acceptable.

    Speaking from experience, I find many of the middle-aged and older Anguillians to have the right attitudes & proper presentation. Many of the younger Anguillians could learn from them. It's a very competitive world right now when it comes to high-end dollars and if I start to feel like I'm in South Central or Detroit when I visit Anguilla then I will head elsewhere.

  10. On our vacation, we found many of the locals impolite, surly, and poorly equipped for employment in the service industry. Happy to take our money, though.

  11. Imagine that you had the misfortune to be the General Manager of Viceroy, and were forced by Government to hire these "impolite, surly, and poorly equipped for employment in the service industry" Anguillians.

    Viceroy is trapped by local party politics. They're going to have to spend a lot of money on what we call "training". How to you "train" people not to be angry, surly and impolite? Lectures on customer service aren't going to make it. When they figure that out, Viceroy will bring in the psychologists, and begin to confront the attitudes that have become endemic among our people.

    Thank you, Hubert, for teaching an entire generation of Anguillians that they are victims of the white man. By your greed for power you have destroyed the essence of what made us different from every other little island. We have become the racist pigs they warned us about.

  12. It is seriously offensive to don yourself for an evening of hopeful memories in a fancy restaurant and your waiter has half her breasts out AND tattooed. I am willing to look past the speech impediments and obvious roots in illiteracy, but I cannot look past a powdered neck bringing me my starter nor do I appreciate the disturbing jingles of the many bracelets needed to adorn the wrists of waitresses. It is in times like these I prefer to give a tip of advice and keep my money in my pocket.

    I dare not mention the many piercing and/or the exotic hair and the many colours. needless to say I won't dine there again :).

    I don't know about you, but I tend to loose my appetite when I have an ill-mannered, grumpy and ill-dressed server. I personally would never eat from English Rose again. I made myself that simple promise last summer.

    So you envision that if the AUF prove successful in the upcoming elections, the nevisians will be staffing Viceroy?

  13. I wonder how many of you who pontificate so wisely have actually interviewed anybody for a job recently. I have had to do so and while I only saw 7 applicants for 1 position I was generally encouraged by their attitude and appearance. My only complaint was that the skill levels should have been higher at the stage they were in life but this is a small Island and I suspect many of our more qualified people have already left.


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