Originally found via this BFP post. It seems that the folks over at the Living in Barbados blog are wondering why it is that in some establishments in Barbados, white customers receive far better treatment than their fellow black customers.
Many of the BFP readers (I really like those BFP readers) offered up several reasons, and also mentioned by name, several Barbadian companies where examples of this double standard take place. Below are a few of the comments (the rest are here.)
In a restaurant, employees seem to feel that it is more likely that they will receive a tip and a “decent” tip from a white person, moreso than receiving from their own/black person. There have been times I wish I were wearing a hat that I can take it off and tip.
As far as departmental stores, such as Cave Shepard, the employee feels that s/he can charm the blouse/shirt off a white person and a sale is produced; but when it comes to a black person, that individual may have them go back and forth, and in the end leave without buying anything. These same employees act as though whenever they walk into a store, they purchase something; steupse. Ignorance at its peak.
Some of these employees got the attitude that when a customer asks for/requests service, there should be some form of gratitude at the end of the transaction — sale or tip. [But then again, not all customers utter the words, “thanks,” which is also a form of gratitude.]
Bjans seem to have an inferiority complex especially if thier customer is a black person from overseas. Don’t expect change anytime soon.”
Only last night I heard Pizza Man Doc on the news saying there is every likelihood that he will have to close two of his eight outlets because the attitudes of some of his employees is “running the customers”!!
I tried to get the link to the story on CBC but for some reason that site was giving trouble. Go on the cbc.bb site and search for pizza.
The exact same problem, it was how his staff treated “black” customers.
I don’t think this is any legacy of slavery. There were shopkeepers in a district who did perfectly well and treated people, old and young, black and white like people.
They even extended credit.
The problem is comparatively recent. There was a time when we had risen to a level where manners were shown to each other as a matter of course.
We are in a downward spiral. We are worse off than before!!”
I am no longer surprised when I hear my fellow Barbadians talk/behave like that, but it does sadden me. To think that in this day and age, we treat our ‘own’ people in such a terrible way. I remember a friend telling me that back in the days of slavery, you had different types of slave. There was the ‘house slave’ and the ‘field slave.’ If I remember correctly, he actually used the word ‘n****r’ half jokingly, instead of ‘slave.’ The ‘house slave’ was higher up the social ladder and therefore, more ‘elite’ than the lowly ‘field slave.’ Mind you, both of them were still slaves. Lo and behold, I found this comment:
That is the legacy of slavery. Remember the house negro and the field negro, In the field, the horse back negro and the planting negro?”
If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times: Barbadians are like crabs in a bucket. Each scrambling atop the other and at the same time, trying to pull the other down, all in an attempt to make it to the top. Sad but true.
But let us get back to the title of my post. I say the colour green should matter. Not black, white, nor polka-dot-pink. And not green as in little green men from Mars either. Green as in the colour of money. Even though our currency isn’t green, you get the idea.
To the businessman (or woman) that is reading this, may I humbly suggest the following: Make sure that your business remembers that the customer is always right, even when they are wrong. The customer is doing you a favour (unless you are a monopoly) by giving you their money (the green) in return for your product or service.
You do not have to suck up to us , nor kneel before us (although it would be greatly appreciated every now and then) but you should at least be polite and professional. You are a producer, you produce goods and services. We are consumers, we consume them and you make money as a result. So be nice. I don’t know about the rest of the people living and working in Barbados, but I work damn hard for my money. So if you value it and if you want it, then respect me as the customer, because it is mine to spend as and where I see fit.
Another reason why some businesses get away with this is because although many of us could easily choose to spend our money elsewhere, we are simply to lazy to bother. As a result, some of us are willing to tolerate the bad attitudes and disrespect.
It’s funny. We are such a small, tiny island. Only 166 square miles. And yet some of us couldn’t be bothered with hopping on a bus, or driving around to find an alternative. We are a paradise, it’s true. A paradise for businesses who make their living off of us, our laziness and our indifferent attitude when it comes to dealing with poor customer service and finding alternatives.