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Culture Question...

Which Punta Cana hotels are on sale?
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New Hamburg, Canada
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140 posts
36 reviews
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Culture Question...

My wife and I returned from a 2 week vacation in Punta Cana early December and have a question of the destination experts.

Last year we vacationed in Punta Cana and we met the most lovely young woman employee at the resort we stayed at - at the time she was pregnant and my wife and I thought it would be nice to give her a small monetary gift to buy something for the little one. Unfortunately she was on her days off when we left so it didn't happen. Fast forward to this years vacation and we were very happy to see this young lady still working at the resort - she remembered us by name and was so happy to see us. In conversation she gave us the exciting news that she had a boy!

My wife and I wrote a nice note and put a small gift in an envelope and gave it to her that evening explaining that we had wanted to give her the gift last year. After we gave her the gift she started to avoid us and acted strangely. It made us feel like we offended her. One evening we were at the bar and she happened to walk out by us not even acknowledging we were there; I walked up to her and explained we were leaving the next day and that we wanted to say good bye - she hugged me and seemed so happy. After that things were back to normal; chatting with us; smiling and made sure she took our drink order.

Does anyone have any ideas on what might have happened for her to react the way she did when we gave her the gift?

Much appriciated.

Silver Spring...
Destination Expert
for Dominican Republic
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7,832 posts
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1. Re: Culture Question...

I could only think that maybe she was having a bad day. Most are very grateful for the acts of kindness.

Cornwall, Canada
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4,007 posts
4 reviews
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2. Re: Culture Question...

Not an expert on the culture by any means, but from someone who bartended for many moons, I can offer a possible explanation. Could it be that as appreciative as she was of the gift you gave her, she didn't want to make it look like she was giving you special attention, "falling all over you" so to speak, JUST because you'd given her this gift. As a humble young lady with certainly a sense of integrity, I would venture to say she maybe didn't it want it to appear that she would give special treatment - maybe the nonchalant attitude you experienced from her, was simply her way of not crossing the line from appreciation and her general good service, to "you paid me now I must fawn all over you" - not that you expected that of course!!!

LOL, this is difficult to get across in a text like this, but hopefully you can tell what it is I'm trying to explain... just my thoughts anyway :)

Edited: 02 January 2014, 15:33
Brooklin, Canada
Destination Expert
for Punta Cana
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13,001 posts
23 reviews
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3. Re: Culture Question...

tpal,

I truly believe that poster "laceyblue" summed it up exceptionally well.

Staff, certainly are very humbled by such gestures and so appreciative - what you have shown - you followed your heart and I am sure she was quite taken back this - as they definitely do not expect such signs of appreciation.

Sounds to me like you are "very special people".

John

Brooklin (Bubba King)

New Hamburg, Canada
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140 posts
36 reviews
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4. Re: Culture Question...

lacyblue, I completely understand what you are saying and you did sum it up nicely. You are so correct in that it is difficult sometimes to communicate a message on a text like this. My wife and I were figuring it was something like that but we just were not sure. We didn't want to insult her or get her in trouble; just give her a little gift for the little one. We know they don't get payed much and if it made a little difference in the little guys life that is wonderful!

John, thank you for such kind words - I agree the people are so humbled and appriciative of simple kind gestures.

Thank you both for helping me understand.

Tom

Cornwall, Canada
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4,007 posts
4 reviews
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5. Re: Culture Question...

Oh no problem Tom :) Just glad my thoughts weren't "lost in translation", lol.

The Dominican people are truly wonderfully warm and gracious - our trip was enriched simply by spending time with them. It got to a point where we felt weird being served, if that makes any sense, as we'd come to know them so well - spending time laughing and conversing as friends, made times of "service" seem odd, lol.

As John says, your gesture was kind and most certainly VERY appreciated by that young lady. I hope you get to see her again. We are looking forward to our return visit in July, and while we are aware we may not have the good fortune to run into the same staff from our first trip, we hope there may be one or two, as it would be amazing to see them again. Even at that, we are sure we will make new friends and enjoy our stay just as much!!

London, United...
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2,757 posts
28 reviews
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6. Re: Culture Question...

Only that lady will know, but remember the staff at these hotels are well trained and very professional. It is there job to be "truly wonderfully warm and gracious" the reality is that Dominicans are the same as anyone else - there are good and bad no need to give them super human qualities. To assume you know the individual well enough in a holiday situation after two visits and then give a cash gift is a tad bit presumptuous IMO.. Giviing a cash is not always appropriate however good your intentions. Would you do this in similar circumstances back home.

Pittsburgh...
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6,365 posts
26 reviews
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7. Re: Culture Question...

<< Would you do this in similar circumstances back home.>>

would we give some money as a gift for a baby of a young mother who had been friendly to us and who served us well? YES!!!!

Please explain why you say it is "a tad bit presumptuous"?

York, Pennsylvania
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6,623 posts
34 reviews
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8. Re: Culture Question...

We would also do the same at home, and have. AND we have also done the same in PC. Whether it's money or an actual gift it is just that...a gift for the child. I don't see that as presumptuous.

Cornwall, Canada
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4,007 posts
4 reviews
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9. Re: Culture Question...

Not to speak for the OP, or for anyone else, but would I do this back home? Yes - and I have. I was raised to help others, when and where I see fit. This might mean being part of our school staff who discretely supplies a gift basket to a family in need over the holidays (they'd "won" it in a raffle), dropping off a gift for a server at our local bar who just had a baby, privately giving a gift card to one of our new students who is due to have her baby, is on her own and money is tight, or attending a fund raiser for a friend's sister (never met her) who had breast cancer and was having financial difficulty with arranging transport for treatments. No one asked for these things, no one expected these kindnesses - it is just what people do.

And of course not to argue that people of the DR are not "just like everyone else" with good days and bad, but in that fact, it is silly to say they are not wonderfully warm and gracious people, just like anyone anywhere could be. As trained and professional as they may be, they are who they are as people, and I believe that is most often what we see when visiting. Just like customers at our local pub experiences when they walk in and are treated well, with smiles and conversation by the friendly staff there. Or the amazingly helpful and accommodating guys who work on my truck, or the man who owns the corner store or the guy who let 10 people exit a parking lot on a busy street when traffic was bad or the ladies who volunteer to cook an entire school pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. Some people are just nice because they are...

While now a high school teacher, I was also a trained and professional bartender for a long time - I loved that part of my life and my enjoyment in that career had a lot to do with the fact that I was kind, respectful, friendly, warm and gracious with any and all customers because that's just me. Presumptuous to say that is NOT the case with this young lady, or any other resort employees. Presumptuous to say that this couple did NOT make a connection with this young lady, for whom they felt a desire to reach out with kindness.

There's enough selfishness and discontent in this world - how would it be if people DIDN'T reach out and extend small acts of kindness as they see fit, even more importantly to those they do not know well? What about the guy up here who recently gave the drive thru girl at Tim Hortons $300, to buy coffee for everyone who showed up after him?

It's not about labeling anyone as super human - it's about appreciating people for who they are - it's about being human...period.

Rant over :) And as always, the views stated here reflect the opinion of the poster only and are no reflection on this station, lol.

York, Pennsylvania
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6,623 posts
34 reviews
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10. Re: Culture Question...

Good girl Lacey............well "spoken" rant......keep up the good work! :-)