Saturday, January 27, 2007

Pia and I went into town with Dolly yesterday, causing traffic jams with the other carts, and general hilarity. It was something of a struggle, since I am not an experienced donkey driver. 'Where are you going like that ? asked everyone, laughing and waving. 'We are on the way to the internet café'.
Meanwhile, back at the hotel....
We had yet another staff meeting this morning, this time called by me when I heard loud African quarrelling from the kitchen, where I found the whole staff gesticulating and arguing with the plumber and the plumber's mate, here on a trip from Mopti. It appeared that the staff were asking the plumber and his mate to judiciate various difficulties and grievances they experied at hotel Djenno Djenno, like for instance, why did Ali have to work yesterday afternoon when Seku was allowed to go home?
'Right Everybody. In the Reception NOW!'
1. What the Hell is the plumber and his mate doing in the kitchen?
2. What do you mean by discussing hotel business with outsiders?

After this opening salvo I decided it was time to create an hierachical structure in this hotel. So I gave Beigna, the barman overall responsibility if I am not at the hotel, and in effect made him my deputy. Papa, the chef, was given the title of 'Chef the Cuisine', and Baba became 'Chef de Service' which means he is in charge of the soap, washing powder, bleach as well as all the bits needed for breakfast such as jam etc.
This made an enormous difference. Everyone is walking around with a new spring in their step and looking unbelievably important. But the most disturbing and hilarious thing is Beigna, who has taken to speaking French to the staff, (even to those who don't speak French), walking around and saying things like' What is that bucket doing on the drive? How many times do I have to tell you to sweep the floor before it is done? etc. i.e. he is modelling himself exactly on me! Oh, dear.. Posted by Picasa


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