Lifestyle travel

A days shift in Mexico

Service with a sigh and a smile: all in a days work for holiday resort staff.

 

mexico article
Elizabeth Ruiz, AFP/Getty Images

10am: “Would you like another drink Madame?”

I open my eyes to a woman at the end of my sunbed, paper and pen at the ready. The sun streams past her tired face.

“No, thank you” I say.

She smiles respectfully and walks towards the next vacationer, her hand rummaging in her apron pocket.

I revive myself from the relaxing day on the sunbed and stand up. Exhausted from the heat, I finish my refreshing mojito and make my way to the bar.

12pm: “What can I get you Miss?”

The staff welcome me like royalty.

I wait for my my Sex on the Beach, soaking up the rays. For me, there is nothing more relaxing.

I notice the sweat dripping from the bar staff. Each one of them are being swarmed by sunburnt Europeans desperate for their next sip. Reach for the bottle, pour in the glass, pass to the customer. And repeat.

I walk off to the pool, sunglasses in one hand and my drink in the other. Sitting on the edge of the water, I melt into the sun again. I focus on the relaxing glisten of the water, its cooling effect against the skin on my legs, the laughter in the background.

After however long, and not a worry in the world, I bring my legs from the water and walk back to my sunbed.

The same woman reappears, doing her next rounds. As time passes I hear the same thing on repeat.

4pm: “Would you like another drink Madame?”

This time, instead of watching the clouds pass the sun I watch the woman pass the customers. She is ignored by many and ordered around by others.

Strolling carelessly upstairs I wonder what to order for dinner. I shower in the refreshing water, get dressed and walk to the all-inclusive a la carte.

8pm: “Just over here Madame, take a seat and let us know if you need anything.”

The staff tend to customers almost constantly, and clear tables with such enthusiasm. They will check the bill, sometimes smile, sometimes sigh in relief, and sometimes just shrug. No matter the outcome, onto the next customer.

11pm: After an exhausting day in the sun, free drinks and an impeccable dinner, I walk back to my freshly cleaned hotel room.

The woman from the sunbeds is counting her change from her apron. Distressed, she wonders what she can have for dinner.

The row of restaurants lining the beachfront are no longer filled with happy-go-lucky customers, but weary workers. They hold their limbs, powering through, ready to finish and start again in 6 hours.

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