MAVIS BECKLES: Bank holiday blues and bliss
WHEN I WAS GROWING UP, my father used tuh tell us a story ’bout some li’l boys who used tuh go down by the pond and pelt at the big frogs all the time.
They used tuh have a ball doing it and one time the big frog holler, “Boy, wha’ is sport fuh you is death fuh we.”
Dat is wha’ I think some employers does be saying at times when all o’ these bank holidays come up every year.
I ain’t gine tell you dat I doan look forward tuh and enjoy a li’l break sometimes but tuh be truthful, I think duh too close.
Okay, duh got some bank holidays dat ya cahn change, like the long Good Friday and Easter bank holiday, Whit Monday or Christmas bank holiday or even May Day. These is some o’ the ones dat does be celebrated not only in Barbados but in most o’ the Caribbean islands – some even outside o’ the Caribbean. Some o’ dem are religious or Christian occasions dat a good few countries does celebrate, so ya cahn change dem.
But the ones I talking ’bout are the ones dat the different Governments ovah the years introduce here in Barbados. I mean the ones like Errol Barrow Day, Heroes Day, Independence Day and dem kinda bank holidays so: I think one or two o’ dem could get shifted round tuh make life easier fuh employers and self-employed people.
Tuesday gone there after the last bank holiday, Easter bank holiday, I was boung-ing gine in the bank tuh get the cheque dat I had tuh keep from the Friday because the bank was, as the young people does say, burse. I see two fellas, nuh li’l young boys, one like he was delivering something in the building and the other one was standing up outside talking tuh a old guy.
Now remember, these wasn’t nuh li’l young lawless boys just sitting round the place. Both o’ dem had on duh company uniform and the one dat was passing hail up the other one and ask he how the lot o’ bank holidays treating he.
He replied, “Duh sweet man. Wha’ bout you?” Then, the one dat was passing tell him dat duh suit him just fine, dat he wish duh had one evah week, and he looking forward tuh the next one which would have been the one just gone there last Thursday.
Well, now the other fella start tuh laugh and tell him dat the employers doan like dah too good and the next fella holler back dat dah is dem business, duh either like it or lump it, duh cahn do nutten ’bout it.
I ain’t telling you nuh lie: I had tuh smile at the conversation as I pass the man who say dat the employers doan like it. Then it hit me dat duh got some people who doan realise how much these bank holidays coming suh close could and does really affect and disrupt production.
Some people does only see dat at the end o’ the week or month when dem hold out duh hand, as long as a pay cheque get put in it, dat is all dat matters. Duh doan realise dat the employer would have lost thousands o’ dollars because o’ bank holidays.
Look, I am a self-employed person in the service industry and I have a couple o’ people working wid me who I does have tuh find money tuh pay when the week come. So losing money two whole days in this week alone ain’t nuh mean sport. I still got tuh pay dem, and wha’ bout the utility bills?
You cahn go in tuh any o’ dem companies and remind dem dat we had a lot o’ bank holidays and I ain’t make enough money. I gotta pay dem duh money.
I know some o’ these bank holidays too close and I also know dat nutten ain’t written in stone, so duh could be distributed a li’l better in the year, so dat employers and small people like me doan be scratching out we hair when this time o’ the year come around.
• Mavis Beckles was born and raised in The Orleans. She has an opinion on everything.