Written by Tasha Strond
While vacationing in Jamaica in August 2012 I had the pleasure of meeting a very nice housekeeper while staying at the Iberostar Beach Resort in Montego Bay.
On the 2nd day of our stay I was returning to our room after spending the afternoon on the beach. We didn’t need room service but we did need new towels and wash cloths so I walked the hall and found a housekeeper and asked her for clean towels and wash cloths for our room. She smiled and said “I am coming to clean your room now”. I told her that we didn’t need our room clean and she said are you sure? She was very serious about her job and wanted to make sure that we were ok. I assured her that we were fine so she gave me new towels and wash cloths and I tipped her $10.00.
I returned to my room and thought nothing of it. The next day we left our room and went to breakfast and then we returned to our room to change. We were going on a boat cruise that day. While sitting in the room waiting for the time to meet in the lobby for our shuttle pick up, we heard a knock at the door. She said Housekeeping so I opened the door. She walked in with a huge smile on her face and the 1st thing she said to me is I want to thank you so much for the money you gave me yesterday. She said she was surprised I had tipped her and she didn’t even clean my room. I told her she was very welcome and that she was doing a great job. She then told me that I made her day that day. She said that it was her birthday the day I gave her the tip and she hadn’t received anything for her birthday until I gave her the $10 tip. That melted my heart. Something I felt was so small was so big to her and I was so happy that I was able to make her day.
We continued to talk and I found out her name was Evelyn and she was a single mother of 4 children. She had been working for the Resort for 5 years and she was very passionate about making sure all the guest she had to deal with were happy with the Resort as well as her service.
I told her that I could never do her job because you had to have a certain level of patience
to deal with so many people with so many different personalities. That is when Evelyn
smiled and said you are so right.
She then began to tell me a story about another guest who was staying in the Resort the
week before she met me. She told me how everyday she would go to this elderly ladies room and clean it and the lady would never speak to her. She would just sit there and watch her. She told me how every time she went to the elderly ladies room the lady would tell her that she didn’t leave her toilet tissue and she needed toilet tissue. Evelyn told me that she knew she checked the toilet tissue every time she cleaned the room because this was part of her job, but she never told the lady this. She would go to her cart and get two rolls of toilet tissue and place them in the bathroom.
She said the next day she went to clean the room and the elderly lady told her again that
she didn’t have any toilet tissue and that she didn’t leave it there again. Evelyn said she
thought she was going crazy because she knew she put two rolls in that bathroom the day before and she didn’t know what the lady was doing with the toilet tissue. Evelyn said she didn’t say anything to lady she just apologized and went to her cart and this time she got her four rolls of toilet tissue.
The next day Evelyn returned to the room and this time it was not just the elderly lady there. There was another lady there with her and a teenage girl. Evelyn said she became a little scared. She said she knew the lady was going to tell her she didn’t leave the toilet tissue and the lady there with her she thought was someone from the Resort that was going to tell her she was fired for not doing her job.
When she walked in the room area of the suite the elderly lady looked at Evelyn and told her to sit at the table because she ordered her lunch and wanted her to have lunch with her. Evelyn told her she couldn’t because it was against company rules but the elderly lady insisted so she did.
The elderly lady then introduced her to the other woman in the room who was her daughter and the teenage girl was her granddaughter. The daughter told Evelyn that she had heard so much about her from her mother and she wanted to meet her personally. Evelyn said she was shocked because the elderly lady never spoke to her and the only time she did was when she told her she didn’t leave her toilet tissue.
The elderly lady then told Evelyn that she wanted to thank her. Evelyn said she didn’t understand why she was thanking her and the Elderly lady told her she was thanking her for her patience and kindness. The elderly lady then told Evelyn that she was testing her. She told her the average person would have been upset about the lady saying everyday that she didn’t leave the toilet tissue when they knew she did, but instead Evelyn remained kind and would just give her more toilet tissue.
The elderly lady showed Evelyn all the toilet tissue she was hiding in the closet while testing Evelyn’s patience. She took Evelyn’s hand and told her she see big things coming her way and there will be someone else that will do something kind for her for no reason at all. Evelyn said she cried. She had never had anyone tell her these things. The elderly lady then gave Evelyn a pair of diamond earrings and a gold necklace and told her that she was special and to never take it off.
Evelyn then told me that I was that someone else who did something kind for her for no reason at all. She said the elderly lady knew what she was talking about. She did admit that she thought the lady was a little crazy when she kept telling her she didn’t leave the toilet tissue but she wouldn’t dare say that to the lady.
Evelyn looked at me and told me that I was a beautiful and kind person and that made my day. She said we never know who is testing us and why, and she’s right. Sometimes a little patience can go a long way and Evelyn showed me that when she shared her story with me.
I will be returning to Jamaica next year June and I hope to see her again. She is someone I will never forget. Oh yeah she came to my room the day we were leaving and she wanted to wish us a safe return home and to thank me again for allowing her to talk to me. She said most of the guest don’t acknowledge the cleaning staff or even take the time to know their names but once her and I talked I made it my business to see her everyday just to say hello and wish her a good day and she did the same.