If you don’t have anything nice to say…

This year when I went to my Timeshare in Mazatlan I knew we were going to be hit with a hurricane. My husband and I were looking forward to that. He grew up in the Pacific Northwest where it rains like a banshee, but not with real-life thunderstorms with lightning, wild winds, storm surges and the whole shebang. I love a good hurricane, especially with wind. I was sound asleep when it hit. My husband woke me up as excited as a 5-year-old on Christmas morning. He was begging me to go out on our patio to watch it. I will admit it was simply thrilling.


The hurricane winds and rain ripped sideways in front of our patio so we could be outside and dry. Earlier that day we’d also hoofed it about 2 miles to the nearest Super Market to buy valuable vitals: peanut butter, strawberry jam, bread, chips, chocolate chip cookies and Cokes. It was a great feast for a hurricane.

Turns out we didn’t need all that food. For, while the resort was closing their waterfront restaurant when the storm was approaching, the resort had a backup plan. They told us they would feed us for free for 2 days working off generators. Waste, not want not; we made PB&J sandwiches for rest of the week for midnight snacks. The food they served was authentic Mexican fare. Absolutely fantastic. They really could have charged $15 per person, per meal and it would still have been a bargain. I was absolutely amazed at how well they took care of us.

Meanwhile, all we had to do is climb to the third-floor banquet room and go through the buffet. All the staff ate with us which was a great way to brush up on our Spanish. Also, they were running cartoons in Spanish for the kids. How gracious and lovely to be cared for by these dedicated people who should have been home with their families during a storm. But they volunteered to take care of us. In fact, the hotel had made a makeshift shelter in another ballroom for the staff to sleep if they couldn’t get home.

So wouldn’t you think foreign guests (read Americans) at the Mexican hotel would be gracious? Hmm, not so much. What a bunch of complainers. They didn’t like the food, the music, the beverages. They didn’t want to walk up three flights. Granted if they came down for dinner from the penthouse it was 16 flights back up. But of course, a Penthouse comes with a full kitchen and full-size fridge and they had a week’s notice that Hurricane Pamela was coming.

One Super-Whiner actually kvetched that there was no toast for her breakfast (did I mention the food was free and all restaurants in town were closed). She stood there blocking everyone else in the buffet line, screeching at the server who, luckily for him did not speak English. Our affable hotel manager came to the rescue. He went over to the buffet line, picked up a toasted tortilla and gently said (and I think at this point it was sarcasm), “Madame, this is Mexico, this is our bread, it is toasted. There is butter on the table.” Needless to say, there was mild laughter. Even the Spanish speaking staff got the drift. How wonderful to see a leader who’s got his staff’s back. The customer is not always right, especially when they try to bully your personnel. BASTA (enough).

Her reply, true to character (or lack thereof) was, “I want toast, now!”
Our mild-mannered manager smiled kindly and said ever so softly, “I can see how very unhappy you are here. I strongly suggest you go home as quickly as possible. We do not want you to stay if it makes you unhappy.” And that ladies and gentlemen is how you stop a bully in their tracks.

Sally Franz and her third husband live on the Olympic Peninsula. She has two daughters, a stepson, and three grandchildren. Sally is the author of several humor books including Scrambled Leggs: A Snarky Tale of Hospital Hooey and The Baby Boomer’s Guide to Menopause

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