Around a month ago, I was fortunate enough to spend some time at the Bitter End Yacht Club (BYEC) in the British Virgin Islands (BVI).
On my first day, some friends who were also in the BVI took a multi-boat trip from their island to the Bitter End to hang out and have a few cocktails. When my friends arrived, we chatted all day and into the evening until around 8:30 when my friends found out that the last water shuttle to their hotel left at 9p.
That’s when the bartender Bacchus (pronounced Back-us), shrugging his shoulders, said “I can take you, back to your hotel.”
My friends and I looked at each other confused while Bacchus continued in an East Indian accent, “just ride the later ‘workers’ shuttle with me at 11p. It doesn’t go all of the way to where you are staying but I can drive you there from where the shuttle drops us off.”
I was puzzled. Here I am in the middle of the Caribbean, which is a place that is known for its poor service, and the first bartender that I had was offering to drive my friends home so they could stay and hang out with me.
Its important to know that when I say the service in the Caribbean is bad, that’s really an understatement. At one point during my trip, I went to the restaurant at the resort and when I was checking in with the waitress at the front, she gave me the menu and said, “find something because I want to take your order before I show you to your table”
I pressed her with “why?”
“That way I don’t have to come to your table to take your order later on” she responded.
I was a bit confused, especially considering that everything on the menu was around $25 US. I heard at least a dozen similar from other people who were staging the “luxury resort”.
“It’s just how the culture is here” many would say.
Bacchus was different though. He clearly cared that people were having a good time and it showed. At one point during my trip, I dropped a glass of water and it broke behind the bar.
“Sorry, I’m making a mess” I said.
“If you don’t make a mess, I don’t have a job. So thank you for making a mess” Bacchus replied. Which again stopped me in my tracks. Eager to learn more, I started talking to him about why he had such unique perspective.
“It’s very easy for us locals to believe that the people who stay here are all rich people without any problems” Bacchus said while making a tasty drink called a Painkiller. “Vacation isn’t always easy though, a lot of people need to max out credit cards or have to work really hard back home to save the money to come here. These people work hard at their home, so I should work hard at my home.”
That’s when, thanks to Bacchus, it dawned on me that the difference between the rude waitress and Bacchus was their perspective.
Bacchus’s entire paradigm was based on the assumption that everyone who was at the BYEC worked hard to get there and needed some time to unwind. For Bacchus it was his job to help them relax, just like the traveler probably had a job back home helping people in some way.
To the the waitress, I was just another tourist who she assumed rich and never worked a hard day in my life.
The thing about this perspective is that it costed the waitress something in the end, while for Bacchus his mindset meant that he earned more — in tips!
What is your perspective on the world costing you?