Lack of courtesy hurts us
January 27, 2012 Dear Sir, This is perhaps my 200th visit to Bermuda beginning with Spring Break in 1969 through today. There have been some changes, don’t you think? At dinner last night with some Bermudian friends, my question was: Is it me who, over a 40-year period has visited for both business and pleasure, has noticed a change or has there been a change a real disturbing, debilitating, fundamental change in Bermuda and the character and attitude of its people and its government? Or, is it just me getting older? My wife and I were graciously greeted at the Bermudiana Hotel on our honeymoon in October, 1971. The greeting at the airport taxi stand yesterday was: “Where are you going, Sir?” I told him and then mentioned I needed to make a stop, perhaps two. He couldn’t manage that because he couldn’t park on Reid Street ... go around the block a few times, I suggested (I told him I was happy to pay) ... “I might miss a fare.” “Your problem, my friend ... I’m paying. Bring me to the hotel and I’ll walk.” “OK, no problem!” Arrival at destination: Cost = $23.50. May I have a receipt ? “Sure”, as I handed him $40 and asked for $10 in change. My receipt was totaled out at $23.50. Is this just a dumb taxi driver or was he putting me in my place? Oh, did I tell you about my greeting at Immigration? It was a bit frosty at first, to say the least. My first mistake, which was pointed out to me within seconds of reaching the desk, was that I had the wrong flight number on my paper ... oops, same as the airline said it was ... but no matter ... the airline was probably wrong! Why are you here? It’s on the card! How long will you be here? It’s on the card ! (These are questions on the customs card which require written answers.) Welcome to Bermuda, baby! Might I suggest that these front line, uniformed people and taxi drivers take a course in “simple courtesy”? You will get far more benefit and you will earn more money if you are gracious, courteous and willing to go the extra mile with visitors. Many years ago a well-known Bermuda hotelier told me: “All we have to offer is the sun in the sky, the beauty of our place and the smile on our face”. He was right. I refer to
The Royal Gazette of January 26 and Sir John Swan’s comment that Bermudians have this overwhelming sense of entitlement. No person on Earth is entitled to anything! Not even if you are Bermudian! Get off your butt, Bermuda, and bring back the traits and characteristics that once drew business and tourists, and their money and commensurate jobs; people who you don’t know, willing to put money into your economy, your pockets, food on your table, an iPod in each ear these are good things! Save your Island before it sinks beneath the waves.....and it is sinking.
LONG TIME VISITOR Atlanta, Georgia