Hopde’s top-class service is rewarded
Hopde Burrows was packing groceries at the age of nine.
His mother, Tequilla Lathan, was a firm believer in hard work and instilled those same values in her son.
It all paid off this week for the Rubis East Broadway Service Station attendant. Organisers of Soca versus Reggae recognised his efforts with a certificate of excellence and gave him free tickets to the Cup Match concert.
It’s the first of three “random blessings” they plan to pass on to people they see consistently providing a high level of service.
“Mr Burrows is known for his enthusiastic and thorough service,” said organiser Vejay Steede. “The programme, in fact, was inspired by Mr Burrows. He served me several months ago and I was truly impressed.
“Once the organising process for [this year’s] SvR began to gather steam, the Random Blessings Programme was proposed by [myself] with Mr Burrows in mind and the committee unanimously approved. Good service is a blessing and those who provide good service deserve to be honoured.”
Mr Burrows cleaned his front and back windshields, inside and out, Mr Steede said. The standard of service was there each time he visited the East Broadway gas station.
The 35-year-old said he didn’t know Mr Steede and treated him just as he would any other customer. “I knew that my service was good with him but I didn’t expect [any recognition],” he said. “When he first came I didn’t do any extras but he tipped and his attitude was cool. Next time I gave him the works and told him, ‘Don’t worry about a tip’. If you don’t do nothing he’s cool; if you do everything he’s grateful. I like grateful people.”
Not everyone is as receptive, Mr Burrows said.
“Some people are like: ‘You didn’t do my windows; I hope you don’t expect no tip.’ I don’t expect nothing. I’m just a hard worker and working at the gas station is nowhere near the hard work I came up with.”
The father-of-three said he used to work in construction but changed jobs because he needed steady income.
“That, was hard work,” he said. “I give all my props to my mother, Tequilla Lathan.
“She was a postmistress at Paget Post Office and was able to retire in her 50s. She showed me hard work pays off. She worked at the post office and at Kentucky Fried Chicken at nights. I would get home and call her and tell her how much money I made packing groceries. It was all her encouragement.”
He said nothing about the honour to anyone at the gas station until Mr Steede showed up to formally present him with his certificate and a SvR 2015 goody bag on Monday.
Bosses Teddy and Michael Terceira then came to the East Broadway site to congratulate him personally, Mr Burrows said.
“Nobody knew nothing,” he said. “But I’m sure they expect that level of service from me. Before [the Terceira family] took over, they came down to watch us and only kept certain of us. I guess that’s the reason why they kept me — because I give that service.”
Soca versus Reggae takes place July 31. Mr Burrows says he’s a huge reggae fan.
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