Island Time

Sunset in Sint Maarten

Spending a good deal of time over the next two weeks in the Caribbean trying to see what life is like and find a place for Christine and I to live this fall.

I’ve heard a number of people here use the term “Island Time” which was a difficult concept for me to grok until I saw a wonderful illustration in the lobby of my hotel earlier today.

A man was livid with the person behind the front desk because he had asked for extra pillows twice, but still didn’t have his extra pillows. The employee at the front desk was very calm and told the man that it would be no problem; she would make sure he could sleep with extra pillows tonight.

She placed a phone call and about ten minutes later, another employee arrived at the front desk with two pillows. When this other employee met the desk clerk, they began to converse about how the morning had been going and isn’t this nice weather, and maybe they should join the group going out after work.

The customer, who had been sitting in the other side of the lobby, got up and interrupted the conversation.

He told both employees, in not such a friendly tone, that he had asked thrice for extra pillows and still had no extra pillows in his room and if it was going to be so much trouble he would just take the pillows to his room himself!

The employee with the pillows said, in an extremely polite tone, that he was just on his way to the customers room with these two extra pillows and it was no trouble at all.

The frustrated customer took the pillows from the employee and left for the elevator, all the while going on about having to ask three times for extra pillows but nobody seems to care.

The two employees could not figure out what the man was so upset about. It wasn’t that they thought he was overreacting, or that he could have been nicer; they absolutely could not figure out what difference it would make to get extra pillows at 10am versus getting extra pillows at noon.

Island time.