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Melissa & Dave - Adventures at Sea

One person can spoil paradise

When we pulled into Paradise Village Marina yesterday on New Year's Day, the main marina office was closed for the holiday.  This wasn't surprising, but the fiasco with trying to get a slip assigned and no one answering on the radio was a bit of a shock for a marina that purports itself to be "world class".  We've pulled into lots of marinas from Seattle to Anchorage to Mazatlan in the past 6 months and they typically have security monitoring the radio and can at least get you a key to the dock in off hours.  You then just go to the office when they open and do the paperwork.  So imagine Melissa's shock when the following occurred.  This is as close to word for word as she can recall.  Dick Markey is the harbormaster here.  He is a big guy and was basically hollering the whole time this conversation took place.  Rumor is that the Office Secretary was maybe his wife.

Office Secretary: Can I help you?
Melissa: Yes, I am here to check in - we came in yesterday.
Office Secretary: Did you have a reservation?
Melissa: No.  Security assigned us slip E-9.
Office Secretary: Dick! <Dick comes out of his office> This lady here came in yesterday without a reservation.
Dick:  WHAT?!  Where are you parked?
Melissa: Slip E-9.
Dick: Nuh huh.  No way.  That slip is occupied!
Melissa: Well that's the slip security assigned us when we came in yesterday.
Dick: They aren't supposed to do that.  We are booked out for months.  You have to have a reservation.  You can't stay there.
Melissa: How would we know that when security assigned us the slip?
Dick: You can't just come in on a holiday in Mexico.  You should have known that.
Melissa: We'll we couldn't make a reservation because we didn't know when the boat yard was going to put us back in the water.  You see we didn't even know we were going to the boat yard till late the night of the 30th.  And then the boat yard got done much faster than we figured.  They put us back in the water on the 1st. 
Dick: So now you are making YOUR problem into OUR problem.
Melissa: What would you have us do?
Dick:  You should have anchored out.  How did you get security to assign you the slip?
Melissa: Well Dave hailed on the radio for 45 minutes and there was no answer.
Dick: Well OF COURSE there was no answer.  It was a HOLIDAY.
Melissa: Well, eventually he pulled into the dock in front of the Yacht Club figuring he would go look for someone.  When he docked security came over.  You don't have 24x7 service?
Dick: No one in Mexico has 24x7 service.  You should know that.
Melissa: Well the La Cruz marina told us that if we came back there after the boat yard put us back in that security would help us anytime.
Dick: <sarcastically> Well of course they told you that. <Not clear if he was implying La Cruz lied to us?>  What time did you get here?
Melissa: We pulled in about 11am.
Dick: <Dick now turns to the Office Secretary> Security has had plenty of time to tell us they arrived.  Find out who was on duty yesterday. <Was clear from this that heads were gonna roll.>
Office Secretary: What color uniform was he wearing?  Was it white?
Melissa: No, it was sort of tan colored.
Office Secretary: Dick - it couldn't have been <insert name I didn't catch here> because he would have been wearing white. <Was clear she was trying to prevent the wrong guy from being fired - but Dick pays little attention to this and starts yelling at another guy in the office to get him so and so.> 
Dick: <pointing at the marina key around Melissa's neck lent to her by friends on another boat> Who's key is that?
Melissa: <not wanting to get our friends in trouble> Friends from another boat lent us theirs.  Your security guy told us to do that till you opened this morning because they told us they couldn't get us a key.  We thought it strange at the time.
Dick: <reaches over the desk to make it clear Melissa is to hand over the key> WHO"S IS IT?!
Melissa: <handing over the key> Its from Angelina.
Dick: <takes the key and examines it> Angelina huh? Huruph. <hands key back to Melissa> When are you leaving?
Melissa: O dark thirty tomorrow morning.
Dick: <turns to the secretary> Check her in. <Dick stomps back to his office>

When Melissa arrives back at the boat still shaking she tells Dave she is very very very sorry we didn't just go back to La Cruz marina.  After she relates the story, Dave says "why didn't you just tell them that we are outta here?"  Well because we have plans with Angelina for the SSB seminar and then dinner and that would have complicated logistics.  Oh right.  Its still tempting though. 

There are so many things wrong with this interaction.  First - you never yell at a customer.  Second, assuming they really didn't have room, they could have said, "We are so sorry but we need you to move out of the marina because we have customer reservations we need to honor.  Could you move to La Cruz or anchor out?"  Third, you never reveal that your people messed up and make it clear there will be punishment meted out.  The problem is that Dick Markey is a well connected guy and this marina is one of the best hurricane holes in the area.  We discussed whether we should even publish this for fear of retribution.  But that rankled Melissa big time.  The fact that we even felt that way - intimidated by Dick - just goes to show why he is the way he is.  No one holds up a mirror for him so he can see himself the way other people do.

Trip Advisor review here we come...



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