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In a bit of a quandary........

Essex, uk
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467 posts
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In a bit of a quandary........

I wondered if anyone can help me?

I have been going to Sandals negril for 4 years have have booked to go back next year. We get on great with all the staff and have given our number out a couple of times however......

Last time when we were due to go back I sent the housekeeper a text asking if she needed anything to be bought to Ja from England. i.e bag, shampoo etc etc. She called me almost stright away and asked for a laptop. I said that we couldn't afford a laptop. I don't even have a laptop (Only for work) we aggreed that i would bring her a handbag. I have been back for not quite a couple of weeks and she has been phoning me 3-4 times a day, everyday. I got my hubby to anser the last call as I felt I was being harrassed and she has just asked for $100 to be sent to her. I simply don't have this money, let alone give it away. Now I am worried that I gave out my number to another person and they have already called to say Hi and that they will call every week 'to check how we are and to say hello'. I now feel that we I have got myself into a situation for being nice and not sure how to get out of it?

Has anyone else had a similar experiance and how did you get out of it. After 4 years I thought I had found friends and not someone who thought I was a cash cow?!

Please help!

Toronto, Canada
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1. Re: In a bit of a quandary........

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g147313-i70-k14228…

it's not uncommon... here's one of a few threads that come to mind

Chelle

chicago
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2. Re: In a bit of a quandary........

I've heard of others getting into this same situation, in the future don't give your number out.

This is really a shame as most people are nice and very grateful for whatever you give them and don't harrass you for more, but there are those like this out there.

Everyone in Jamaica is big on "respect." I would tell this woman you feel you have been generous and kind to her and that your now feeling disrespected.Tell her your happy to help out with small things and bring a small gift but that you are not rich and do not even have a laptop yourself.

If this continues after that I would then let her know you will tell the resort, I personally would no longer stay there either if this continues as it would be awkward.

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Deadwood, South...
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3. Re: In a bit of a quandary........

That's too bad. I've heard stories like one before and have learned from others' experiences.

I will usually leave a small monetary tip for the housekeeper daily along with a little gift like perfume, candy, candles, or some school supplies if they have children.

I would tell this person that you are unable to help her and to please stop calling you. If that doesn't work, I'd block the calls. That seems like a better solution than telling her employer and risk losing her job, because you did ask what she needed and have accomodated her requests in the past. Now it has just gotten out of hand.

Brampton, ON
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4. Re: In a bit of a quandary........

I made the mistake once of giving my number to some kids i met on the beach and hung out with for the week i was there (they were young and cute and said they wanted to keep in contact so i thought why not - how much harm can a 10 year old do)...well as soon as i got home the calls started coming asking for playstation 3, cell phones, laptops, computers, bicycles, scooters, ETC.!! i assume they gave the number to their brothers/friends so id get a call from a different person each day saying it was their birthday! lol, learned my lesson though! i find that if you just stop taking teh calls, they go away soon enough (probably move on to the next person!)

California
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5. Re: In a bit of a quandary........

Lesson learned the hard way! Just stop taking her calls and hopefully she will get the "hint" You may have to block her calls if this does not work.

I would not bring or send her anymore gifts because she will just keep asking if you do not put a stop to it.

You sound like a very nice person who just needs to get "tough" and stop being harrassed by somebody who thinks they found their "cash cow"

If she continues to harrass you then you may want to let her know you will contact Sandals and let them know whats going on. I am sure she does not want to lose her job so that may work, if it doesn't then contact Sandals.

Essex, uk
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467 posts
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6. Re: In a bit of a quandary........

Thanks for the advice. I only picked up one of her calls and that was the first one. I couldn't pick up the phone once because I was doing something else and she called 4 times in the space of a few minutes. This rang alarm bells which is why I got my hubby to pick up the last one. I have found out how to block numbers on my mobile so that will have to be a last resort.

CAN
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7. Re: In a bit of a quandary........

sorry you are experiencing this. Yes it's happened to many people. You're truly not alone.

Two things here: Yes generalizations!

"friends'in jamaica....umm means western union.

"respect" is a laugh (they don't know what that means)

It's a very fine line between being nice and being used there.

Again, Nothing is as it seems on the surface...that's jamaica!

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San Francisco...
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8. Re: In a bit of a quandary........

I am somewhere "in the middle" on this ....

I had something very similar happen ...a text message asking for $100- and I called her back and said " If I had $100 to give away, I would give it to my daughter in college" and we laughed about it and that was that...we are still in contact but that issue has never come up again- . Another time, in the past she told me her 10 yr old son wanted a PlayStation and I said " tell him to get a job" again , we laughed.

I have been asked for crazy things and also for sensible things like Flashlights and Fragrance or books, which I have always been HAPPY to bring...

They often think we are very wealthy because we take these vacations- it's easy enough to be honest and explain the facts. We save all year for this trip...Iwe have kids in college, business is down, etc etc...if you don't have that kind of relationship then nothing really needs to be said.Just say no, that you're sorry but you can't manage that.

Arkansas
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482 posts
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9. Re: In a bit of a quandary........

Withrespect..Question please...you said the jamaicans do not know what "respect" means - I have only been 4 times - not many times compared to others but I always tell my freinds about the respect I was given and returned. So that feeling I though I was getting and giving was just a scam/lie?...so NO jamaicains know what respect is or gives it? Sounds pretty harsh.

boston, ma
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10. Re: In a bit of a quandary........

it is sorta like this. you make say $10 a day working very hard in the sun and heat servicing a tourism industry where the customers are staying in rooms that cost $200 a night - they buy drinks with $20 bills, etc.

you may develop a genuine relationship with these tourists but after a time, it is not easy to overlook the fact that they appear to have so much and you are desperate just to get by. what would you be prepared to do to make a better life for your family?

we've met many warm and genuine people in our years of travel to jamaica. only a VERY scant few we call close friends. I know that no matter how bad my situation may seem to me, it does not compare to their situation at times. so i tend to be very generous within my means with my friends, and my friends open their house and their hearts and their family to me when i visit. real friends don't ask me for material things. i sense what they need or what would benefit them through conversation and contact and i take it upon myself to provide if i can do so. i want to avoid turning these relationships into import/export businesses. that's where feelings get hurt.

for those new to the island, jamaica is a country where everyone is your friend in a sense. first names are very important and even strangers working in the craft market will ask your name, give you theirs and call you by name for the remainder of your stay. they will share a ride with you, they will call you "my friend". sometimes people confuse this with real friendship when it is actually very good business. if the relationship progresses past this, you need to ask yourself why. would you behave like this in your home town? in another country or place on vacation? is the warm and welcoming charm of the jamaican people making you misinterpret the situation a bit? what do each of you stand to get out of this relationship?

i think it was BP who used to always say, if a friendly-stranger comes up to you as says "my friend, will you have a drink with me" you should tell them certainly, you buy the first round and i will buy the second.

when you befriend the staff at a hotel, you need to keep in mind that you are at opposite ends of the cultural and economic scale. you may not have anything in common outside of you being the hotel guest and they being your room service or housekeeping or gardening staff. small tokens or gifts that express your gratitude, appreciation, respect and admiration for the work that they do is certainly appropriate - in addition to letting them know you enjoy their presence and conversation. but you must realize that at the end of the week, you're gone and they have 40 or more new couples or families to cater to. don't let your generosity expand disproportionately to your experience. this will begin the mixed messages and lead to feelings of having your privacy invaded by letters and phone calls, feeling put out by requests for gifts and presents that are more expensive or luxurious than you feel your friendship warrants.

some examples. if i go to the patty stored in the morning, i'll often bring back a whole bag and share them with our housekeeper, gardener and other staff. i'll bring them a ting or ginger beer on a super hot day. i will bring the gardner seeds or the housekeeper costume jewelry. i will leave a little something each morning on the bed for the housekeepers to keep - a small purse or hair ties for the kids or sample sizes of perfume or hand lotion or bug repellant. what i won't do is email or call them before my trip and inquire on what they would like me to bring to them. i keep the gifts and tips respectable - generous but not ostentatious. i don't want to extend the wrong impression. because that makes it awkward for everyone and certainly not pleasant later on.

you really have to have extended contact and experience and conversation OUTSIDE of a worker/customer environment in order to build a real friendship. too many don't realize that until it is too late. don't mistake their job of making you comfortable with an obligation to reciprocate by becoming their "friend" and later on, financier. the super-relaxed and easy-going pace of negril doesn't help either in this regard. the casual nature of everything allows one to misinterpret many things.

rawlus

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