New Shirts and Old Frustrations About Low
Everyone works very hard on board, and Dickinson has a better sense
now of just how demanding some of the jobs are. He learns the frustrations
of low pay are often compounded by other factors. On the pool deck,
for example, waiters wear pink shirts made from a heavy fabric that
doesn't breathe very well. Dickinson wears the same uniform himself,
and sweats right through it.
Alina often begins her morning shift cleaning cabins at 6:00 a.m.
But on a cruise ship, few passengers are awake that early. After
she folds the morning laundry and linen, Alina has to wait hours
before having access to cabins.
Dickinson's management team comes on board the ship to discuss the
boss's week. Dickinson urges greater flexibility and feedback in
scheduling cabin cleanings. "I think we end up with a lot of
idle time, people you know not with anything to do and I'd rather
give them back the time."
Everyone laughs when he takes aim at the pink shirts that he thinks
might be made of a polyester-lead blend. But Alina's not laughing
-- she did not earn healthy tips on this cruise. Could it be because
her partner, Dickinson, didn't hold up his end of the cleaning duties?
Alina comments, "To really do your job you must work very hard
and when you know that at the end of the cruise some of your guests
don't pay you any money that makes you feel very sad."
She'll have to get used to it, because Dickinson's keeping the system
in place. "We want that gratuity to be there because we want
the staff to be very highly motivated to provide extraordinary service,"
he maintains. "The process ensures superior service."