AS TOLD TO BC PIRES
My name is Shae Jack and I am a bellboy/front desk agent at a luxury Tobago hotel.
I’m from Patience Hill in Tobago. After Signal Hill, is Patience Hill.
I’m going to the University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad, doing a BSc in leadership and management, with a minor in tourism.
I went to Goodwood High School and then UWI Open Campus, located in Signal Hill.
But not Signal Hill School.
I would say I come from a small family, based on Tobago average – I only have four siblings, two sisters and two brothers. Small, by Tobago standards.
I don’t have any children yet but I really want a family. I am longing for that!
In May, God spare, I will be finishing UWI.
I’m feeling kind of demotivated in the tourism at the moment but I really want to move up in the field.
That’s why I’m doing leadership and management! Is something I really want to do.
I believe you have to born with the qualities of leadership.
Not everyone has the humbleness, the patience and et cetera, to be a leader.
You could be taught leadership techniques. If you’re born with those skills, you can have them enhanced by education.
But that doesn’t mean you’ll have the passion for leadership in you!
I would say I’m in an entry-level position in tourism.
I started in 2015 and then started UWI in Trinidad in 2017.
But I’ve worked, part-time, but continuously, at the same hotel ever since. So I have a fair amount of experience in the tourism industry already.
My job involves helping people get settled from the front desk into their rooms.
And the number one rule in hotels is, no matter what, the guest is always right!
In my job, you always have to be persistent, consistent and always keep a smile.
The best part of the job is interacting with guests.
The guests are using money to pay, so it is a loss for them if they don’t feel special and comfortable. I always try to give them their money’s worth!
No. I’ve thought about it some more.
The best part of the job is driving the golf cart carrying guests’ bags to their rooms.
Sometimes I drive slow to make the trip longer!
But then, the rules and regulations say I not supposed to drive fast anyway.
The bad part of the job is when guests are not satisfied with the service. Front desk could affect them and I, as the bellboy, could try to make them happy – but it really wouldn’t work out!
That could be very frustrating for me, dealing at the most intimate level with the guest.
I also multitask, sometime, help out other departments. Which is good. But sometime can be frustrating.
There are certain things you can’t change in a country but what should always be a rule is how you deal with people.
No matter how the place or the environment, tourists coming to the country.
So always treat a guest properly and keep a smile.
I would tell any youths interested in the tourism industry to always stay focussed, no matter what. Don’t let nothing derail you.
We know that, in Trinidad, everything is done at pace!
In Tobago, at the same time, everything is very slow.
So you really have to put yourself as a Trinidadian when you’re in Trinidad and a Tobagonian in Tobago.
You can drive fast in Trinidad, if you have no traffic.
But you cannot drive fast in Tobago any time, because Tobago is a very small country.
Tobago is a very safe country.
You cannot behave as a Tobagonian in Trinidad! You have to keep your door closed and so on.
I used to be a party man. When I was young, I used to run away.
I went a few times but I’m not really a party person currently.
I was never in (Buccoo hookup public street party) Sunday School. Never went that, no, never went that.
There is no relaxation for me. If I have free time, it’s not free time for me. I’m always helping out somebody or in the gym or something.
I ALWAYS have something to do.
But you could say gym is my hobby.
And also helping out others. Especially family.
A Tobagonian is somebody who is very humble, very willing, very honest. And why I say those three, is because we care for tourists’ safety.
When we give directions, if we say, “Go there” – is really there to go.
TT, to me, in a nutshell, is really home. And paradise.
It have certain things you can do in TT that you cannot do away.
If I had to choose, Tobago is more paradise and Trinidad is not that, so I cannot be Judas.
Read a longer version of this feature at newsday.co.tt