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Smooth Day 2

Yvette Best

Smooth Day 2

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Tuesday’s bad behaviour was ugly, but it did not deter thousands more from turning up for Sandals Resorts International’s continuing job fair yesterday.

Reports indicated that job hunters descended on the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre from as early as 4 a.m., forcing an earlier start to the application and interviewing process by as much as two hours.

General manager Josef Zellner said they were forced to employ different strategies to avoid a repeat of the previous day, which included more uniformed and plain-clothed security personnel and not allowing any applicants past the main gates after 11:30 a.m.

“We started much earlier. We advertised that the procedure starts at 9 o’clock in the morning but we were here from 6 o’clock and started processing from 7:30 . . . . We will have to cut off again, because the number of people who are here, it is impossible to interview all of them. For the ones who cannot be interviewed today, they still can send us their resume next week to the human resources department,” Zellner said.

Still marvelling at the massive turnout from Barbadians, Zellner said Sandals had conducted a number of job fairs before but this was the biggest one to date. He said they normally had about 5 000 people overall but not in one day. That notwithstanding, he insisted they were prepared.

He advised people to come for the positions advertised for the given day and not to turn up on different days for separate things, so as not to slow down the process or be turned away.

Sophia Mayers was one of the many people who were nervous going in. She breathed a sigh of relief a few minutes later when she came out as the experience was worth the four-hour wait.

“The gentleman who interviewed me was a St Lucian and he was really nice,” she said.

While she was not in the crush on Tuesday, Mayers expressed her disgust with reports coming out of the previous day.

“To me it’s a disgrace to Barbados, because these people are not from here and they open Sandals here for us that we can have work and the way how I hear they behave it was like, oh my God,” the would-be Sandals Resorts cook said.  

Akila Ballantyne had an unforgettable experience. The 23-year-old got to the LESC around 5 a.m. and found a long line. She inched her way up, went through the process up to one interview and left the venue.

“The first interview was good, a lot of fun. It wasn’t anything to be scared about. We exchanged personalities, we got to know each other better and stuff like that, and the last thing we talked about was the job,” Ballantyne disclosed.

She was on a bus in Brereton, St Philip, when she got a call to return for a second interview. She had to get off and head back down.

“I told myself it has to be a good sign,” she said, while waiting to be taken back in.

As with the previous days, there was a mixture of unemployed and working people looking to be interviewed.

Zellner said they were looking to interview and process about 1 000 people throughout the day before cutting off.