A Great Crime…..in the name of Customer Service

A Great Crime…..in the name of Customer Service

Frankly I am not surprised by this poor customer’s letter. Speaking for this island the culture here in business is they are a Product business first and a customer service business AFTER or rather not even in their mission statement. It’s not just JPS- its all the big boys- Digicel, Lime, Flow, I can go on- customer service is not a value to customers, its a bother. Why? because they hold the death sentence to our life- no power for the customer who dares to challenge our way of life. The monopoly is stifling the people of this country and the Govt. is hand in hand with them. When they gave them monopoly of power in the country it was making their jobs easy, putting a different head on a cow that is still technically owned by them. No one looks after the people in this country. The rich pays little taxes, the poor none and the middle class pays all the taxes. Its a cesspit of mediocrity. Behind every large company in Jamaica lies a great crime.

Best Kept Secret in Oracabessa- SALZ & PFEFFER

View at night as you enter through the gate

There are a lot of places in this small island that when discovered you wonder why haven’t you been there before? These places are not mega Resorts, or richly styled places of business. Far from it. They are  usually the regular mom and pop joints,  the ones that you hear from a friend who discovered it before you and felt compulsed to spread the word.  and when you discover it you also feel compelled. I discovered such a place and felt it was my duty to spread the word  as far and wide as everyone should visit this plsce. It’s called Salz & Pfeffer, thats the German translation for Salt & Pepper. No,  its not a rum bar on the road, neither is it a typical Jamaican entertainment hole where locals gather.  Rather it is  a quaint little eatery and retro lounge just as you pass the Ian Flemming aero drome, about 400 yards later you arrive on this gem of a place.

Operated by the charming host Shirley you drive into this 1930s fashioned house with well manicured lawn,  rustic trimmings and props. Tables are placed on the lawn. You step into the cozy eatery and immedaitely you can feel the warmth of the place as the host welcomes you with the biggest Jamaican smile. The tables are duo, small enough for a comfotable romantic evening  and big enough for friends to sit and let their hair down. The eatery is equistely fashioned from old theatrcial furniture, soft velvet curtains, crystal candelabras and silver candle holders reminiscent of the faily tale Cinderella.  The mood is theatircal , classy yet comfotable allowing you to snuggle in the large oversized sofa chair if you wish. You are at home. Its a  feeling you cannot buy or express. You have to experience it yourself.

No pomps and circumstances here. The new staff is attentive and friendly. The menu has just enough for adequte selections but a word with the chef/hostest will confirm your selections. Everything is cooked to order. While you are waiting you are served appetizers with delicate flavored butter with a selection to suit anyones palate. The potato soup was the best I ever had and when  the entre was served, pork with lemon sause I was now in heaven. My friends were already in heaven. Grandma has just cooked a meal and no one can cook like your grandma! The food was simply delicious. The price – under US$80 for 3 persons. Who could have asked for a better way to pamper  yourself. We left the restaurant at midnight unaware of the time  entertained by the gracious host. Salz & Pfeffer is now at the top of my favourite eatery. Finally a place that is small enough for comfortable social gatherings, hip enough with the best jazz and standards by world famous artiste, great serivce and fantastic food all rolled into one. It is a gem that hopefully will attract the right clientelle to sustain its existence.

I am spreading the word. If you are in the Ocho Rios area , rush to this place.  You  are best served if you call and make a reservations – 975 3717.  It opens from 12noon everyday until the last person leaves and it serves pizza for lunch , and not the dreadful Americanized pizza hut type and various sandwiches of sorts. This is not a paid or authorized advertisement. I hope the owners read this review. It is one person who discovered a gem of a place sharing it with the world. It a classy place, nestled  on the highway of the Port Maria road  where anyone can eat exquisitely and at the same time eat and  feel like a local.  I  love the feeling of having a place that is thoroughly entertaining and yet  you have the feeling that you never left home. THAT to me is a special place. You get class and warmth, service and relationship all at the same time creating something very special. Thats what I am looking for when  I go out any evening.  No need to get pompos here, you will loose everything.

As you enter the eatery you experience this cosy setting

Quick thoughts on Jamaica

I recently read an article written by a blogger with the heading Jamaica…mad to rasa. Fr the benefit of my foreign readers RAAS is a Jamaican patois slang that is used to emphasize the seriousness of a situation. Here is the link to the article. Below is my response.

Einstein once said – Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. As a returning resident I have witnessed Jamaicans becoming insular – well to do people cloak themselves in their own world with a sense of belonging, the not so well off constantly creating their own war amongst themselves, the church preaching to their own choir, the business people delivering service under heavy taxes, the tourist industry an insular institution unto itself and I can go on. You notice I left the Govt. out of the equation. I respectfully ask – What government? This country is a rudderless ship. I say all this to invoke that when we begin to restore Jamaica as a country of laws, a country of tolerance, a country that has a mission and goal , a country whose government believes that all Jamaicans are equal and that everyone must have the same opportunity to succeed, a country that supports entrepreneurship, until we as a country know who we are and what we stand for then Jamaica will continue to be a mad man walking in the wilderness of time, with her people behaving like savages.

Quote for today..Fitting Out

I think fitting in is highly overrated. I’d rather just fit out… Fitting out means being who you are, even when people insist that you have to change. Fitting out means taking up space, not apologizing for yourself, and not agreeing with those who seek to label you with stereotypes.”

— Golda Poretsky

jusFlex- A new social network launching soon

A new way of networking is coming to the internet. TES Jamaica Ltd. is launching http://www.jusflex.com  a location and event tracker service.

jusFlex is an entertainment social tracker giving you information on all entertianment in your city. With this information a user can TAG any event and with his Flexpals  enjoy the experience and even make reviews or post pictures on his Flexline and also integrate with the site’s twitter feed to give live tweets on an event. jusFlex bundles your lifestyle in just one click.

Entertainment is our lifestyle. It is the things we do when we are not sleeping. Socializing, working, shopping, listening to music, going to the theater, watching TV, surfing the internet.  We do thesee things daily wihout thinking about it. Once we have everything to live then everything else is Entertainment.  jusFlex is providing a service where it organises your lifestyle and allows you to share your entertainment experience with the ones you love.

No one lives without Entertainment. Life and entertainment are not isoalted. Entertainment is in life as air is to breathing.  jusFlex is only the channel through which the air flows.

Go to http://www.jusflex.com to sign up and be informed on the launch. Like us Facebook www.facebook.com/jusflexjamaica and follow us on twitter https://twitter.com/jusflex.

Leaders Must Lead

I thought I would post my comments in my blog to this age-old question. The question asked was how to stay cool, calm and collected on the day of an event.

My response was :  Writing more comments after all the ones posted seems futile as they all have merits for you to stay calm and collected. The funny thing is in Event planning there is never a calm and collected moment. I am assuming you have THE BEST team beside you. Well USE THEM. No man is an island in event planning. It takes a village to make an event successful. So use your team and be the last go to person not if but when the problem starts. The matter could be as small as the AC is not on to the disaster in Christchurch New Zealand but no matter what you have to be in control after months or weeks of planning as you are the visionary and your team is creating the vision. So be just that – the vision. Dont blink, don’t compromise, don’t get side tracked. Stay focused and the team will be focused. And when the last lights are off , props and sets cleared, tables rolled back , banquet facilities returned to storage it is only then that you will truly feel relaxed. Take a big breath in, let it all rush out of your lungs and get ready for the next chapter. All the best.

My response was from years of experience being an Event planner. The most important thing is you are the leader. Leaders must lead.  They must be the vision, that bright light in the dark pointing the rest of the team to the goal. So far all new event planners don;t get alarmed. Stand up and lead.

Insider’s Tip

I recently participated in an open discussion on the topic of how do you direct the natural need of persons attending a meeting or convention to sit at the back of the room leaving the front seats empty. My response was :

“For me people will instinctively want to go to the back as it is the place where they feel most
comfortable. It’s like they are hiding in an open box hoping not to be seen. I never try to reinvent the wheel on this one. Use lighting to your benefit and only light the area of seating as the audience comes in. Yes have your staff there and as the room fills the lights go up. Using only one door for entrance also helps to ‘herd’ the attendees 
in and as the room fills close that door and use the rear door to fill the seats to the rear. As a Wow moment at some point in the conference offer the first row of  persons a small gift for being the first attendees. It encourages them. It could be anything but it must be small and inexpensive. It really is all about the acknowledgement rather than the gift.”

People will be people and nobody wants to sit at the front,  maybe an exception or two but most tend not to want the spotlight. Tips- set your room up so there are no back seats. Put the stage in the center and have the seats flow around the stage. It gives the speaker the opportunity to be closer to the audience, it is good theater in the round and it makes everyone feels equal , remember Arthur’s round table. Same concept. Always make your audience feel comfortable. That is the start to a successful meeting without the first word being spoken.

I invite you to share your thoughts or ideas on this topic.