Green Musings of an Eco Resort

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Under the Big Top

No, the circus hasn’t come to Maho – though sometimes it does feel like one! You have likely climbed those stairs up to the dining pavilion and stopped on the first landing to reflect in the windows at your disheveled beach hair, checked on your tan (we hope it’s not a sunburn), or even watched a bannanaquit on the windowsill pecking at his own reflection, until you realize that you are gazing at a mirrored window, which could in fact have a spectator on the inside…?! This is the area we refer to as ‘Under the Big Top’ - the administrative offices of Maho Bay Camps. The supporting foundation of Maho: the Bigwigs, Number Crunchers, and several other folks who quietly help to run the show, all tucked in under the dining area, somewhat immune to the scraping of chairs, excited screeches or tired cries of children, or even the stomping of feet (just think about band night). Herein you will find the Resort and Resident Managers’ offices, the accounting office, and the brains (as well as all of the shipping boxes) of the Art department. Wander by in the wee hours of the morning, or late some evening, and you might glimpse the lights and shadows of a maho staffer diligently posting to your folio the effects of your day – what you ate, snorkel gear you rented at watersports, or the charter you signed up for that sails tomorrow. Staff in the office may not always know you by face, but we know often know you by name, and know that you are eating well and having fun. Repeat guests become familiar to many of us over the years, and it is always a pleasure when we get to meet the face that goes with the name.

The staff time clock marks the entry to the office – an age-old intrigue to some of our younger mischievous campers. While parents are happily dining above, groups of young children are somehow drawn to that electronic box on the wall, often daring each other to push those buttons (reaching them may be half the challenge) – only to be ‘busted’ by the office staff working inside if they’ve giggled too loudly!

If you’ve ever gotten home from your trip and called us with questions regarding your charges, you’ve likely spoken to someone in the accounting office. Several of these folks have both been with Maho for many years and are talented at resolving the nuances of guest transactions as well as the mysterious behavior of your credit card. Some of these staff started out in other departments, only to have their numerical talents discovered and lured into the accounting office….

Periodically, in preparation against heavy rains or a looming hurricane, the office gets completely packed up – boxes of records, file cabinets, computers and copy machine, hidden deep within double layers of plastic bags, only to be unpacked just as readily as things are needed. If the timing is wrong, a deluge of water or mud has been known to get the best of things. But somehow, things all keep functioning. An occasional iguana, resident cat, and miscellaneous other creatures have found their way into the office over the years, teaching each of us to always look carefully as you turn on the light and step in the door – especially if you’re the first one to open up in the morning.

The true Ring Master, Stanley doesn’t work in the office (I know you were wondering), but does always make sure to stop in and see us all when he is on camp. And he’s often on the other end of the phone or keeping in touch via email, checking on the pulse of what’s happening at Maho and Under the Big Top. So next time you walk by those mirrored windows, be sure to wave!

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