Is it really "island time" or is it rudeness?  

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lunkerlou
(@lunkerlou)
Advanced Member

I'd like to hear some feedback. I have sent emails and calls out to realtors, attorneys, and other business people pertaining to our move. A few in particular have taken over a week to get back to me. and some don't respond to my emails or calls at all. I know internet can be shady in some areas on the island but c'mon.....a week?
Granted, I can be impatient at times and am still in speed mode living in the states, but would you say this is "island time" with people just being soooo laid back, or is it rudeness? I am trying not to jump to conclusions but wow......

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Posted : May 6, 2011 3:39 pm
Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
Trusted Member

It is island time and it depends why you are calling these people. Many people get burnt out constantly answering newcomers questions Who Are Not On Island. Many have been burnt out by doing a lot of work for newcomers that never come and they never get paid.

If you are trying to get hired from stateside, it's prolly not going to happen. If you are trying to rent before you come, many landlords will not take you seriously till you are here.

Other then that its island time and you will have to get used to being frustrated. Always be polite and friendly! But always be Persistent. Do not wait for people to call you back if you are serious about your move here.

It gets easier after a while, but you do learn to carry a book or computer of some type with you everywhere on island because everything moves slow and better to be prepared to wait. Slower pace of life is NOT always a good thing.

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Posted : May 6, 2011 4:02 pm
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member

A lot of the 'business' here in the islands takes place face to face - emails and phonecalls, especially from offisland are not often a high priority unless you have already established a personal relationship - having a 10 digit call back number - [not a local call] - may mean long distance charges and is a detriment even if you are on the island - also it is Carnival this week and a lot of businesses and most Govt. offices are closed or running at low manpower.
Island time is slower in every case and responding to requests from offisland is commonly well down on the 'To Do' list.

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Posted : May 6, 2011 4:19 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

I called information to get a phone number this afternoon and no one answered! 😉

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Posted : May 6, 2011 9:41 pm
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

It is island time. Which I find to be rude. But when in Rome. You won't change it so you'll have to decide if you can live with it if you move here.

Sean

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Posted : May 6, 2011 11:32 pm
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

It could be any number of things. Many people don't have a back-up so if their computer or internet is down, they can't respond until it gets fixed. Many people don't check their messages, because they feel if it's important, the person will call back or they'll see them eventually somewhere on the island. Many people are small, maybe one-person operations, and they just can't do everything as much as they'd like to.

To them it's not rude - whatever the reason it, makes perfectly good sense to them, and they don't think it's a big deal.

Also, many people here go off-island every now and then, so they might not even be here to answer e-mails or return messages.

Those who stay here long-term learn to adjust.

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Posted : May 7, 2011 12:45 am
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member

Luckily island time is endemic here and depending on how you express your dissatisfaction about it-- it may stretch out even longer - I am inclined to go even slower when the eye rolling and steam starts boiling out of someone who comes on as a 'we don't do it that way in the states' customer - someone who doesn't start with a pleasant "Good Morning" but blurts out their staccato pushy statements - That is what I personally find rude , not island time, which I find relaxing and well suited to a slower , and less competitive lifestyle. Many people here go well out of their way to help, when the customer explains the problem in a polite and personal way - the people behind them in line who have to wait might find this rude and get irritated but the ones who recognize this individual level of service as a way of life get their problems solved just fine -- on island time. Where are you rushing off to and why anyway? It is something to consider if you want to live here - and the airport is open each day - on island time there too.

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Posted : May 7, 2011 12:46 am
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

We live here, and our friendly phone messages and emails are frequently ignored, even from doctors' and dentists' offices, even when the gist of our message is, "We want to give you money." It's island time. It's best to call back later and talk to a live human. On the plus side, anybody who moves here, opens a business, and runs it with a stateside mentality, can do well.

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Posted : May 7, 2011 4:11 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

also, carnival was this week too

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Posted : May 7, 2011 10:48 am
SunnyCaribe
(@SunnyCaribe)
Advanced Member

Excellent points made here. I would add two things: there is an art to getting what you need courteously and in a timely fashion. Mastering that talent is part of what separates those who succeed here from those who do not. Second, the popular notion that "opening and running a business with a stateside mentality will be successful" is born out of wishful thinking on many of our parts, but it is demonstrably false. We can all name businesses which have tried that at their peril.

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Posted : May 7, 2011 12:28 pm
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

I said that anybody who runs a business with a stateside mentality "can do well" not "will do well." Whom would you do business with? The guy who returns your phone calls, shows up on time, and does the work well, or the guy on island time?

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Posted : May 7, 2011 1:33 pm
SunnyCaribe
(@SunnyCaribe)
Advanced Member

Bob I wasn't singling you out, it's a common and understandable sentiment. The problem in the scenario you offered is that in most business sectors on the island no one embodies all the criteria you mentioned. The guy who does the job well will almost never be the one who returns phone calls or who shows up on time.

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Posted : May 7, 2011 3:16 pm
piaa
 piaa
(@piaa)
Trusted Member

Maybe it's time for a new Realtor - we always respond same day and hubby has even gotten up at 3am to call a customer who was in Europe as it was the most convenient time for him.

Pia - Realtor on St John 🙂

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Posted : May 7, 2011 7:11 pm
independent man
(@independent_man)
Advanced Member

The guy who does the job well will almost never be the one who returns phone calls or who shows up on time.

This has not been my experience. Quite the contrary. The trades-person who is most irresponsible with returning phone calls and showing up is usually the person who is least skilled (except, perhaps in his/her own mind).

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Posted : May 7, 2011 10:50 pm
poorthang
(@poorthang)
Advanced Member

Most ,not all "locals" enjoy having power over the white customers..... so please take a number and sit jo ass down." I'M on my break"

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Posted : May 7, 2011 11:18 pm
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