Tongsai Beach, Phi Phi Island
So I left Zeavola and the whole experience behind me, hoping to have participated with my best intentions. I moved down the beach to neighboring Tonsai Beach and signed up for a Dive Masters course. You might remember this tragic part of Phi Phi Island, the precise spot where the Tsunami caused entire Hotels and villages to be washed away. The devastation is still clearly visible. Now it’s re-living with mostly backpackers from all over the world, still attracted by the world’s famous diving spots. Becoming a Dive Master is quite a challenge and requires study and practice… It’s fun. Last week, a massive Whale Shark swam between our diving group, scarring me. Apparently, this is a big deal amongst scuba enthusiasts since divers with much more experience never get to see one of those. I’ve become a beach bum living in a little shack and talking “young dude” dive-lingua. My step-mom wrote something in her last e-mail about a midlife crisis… I ignore her comment.
Technically, I am still employed by Zeavola, cashing in my twenty-four-day overtime. I will be paid as regulated by the Thailand Employment Department. HR threatened to cancel my Visa before my legal work time lapsed in a last attempt to make things tricky! I could care less.
The incapable Resident Manager denied my promised return ticket to the US, although clearly a part of my contractual agreement with the proprietor. I have it in writing that this is a part of my coming to Thailand, and Zeavola accounting confirmed a return ticket with me. A ticket is a personal document regulated by aviation laws. The sugar mafia owning the Hotel treated me respectfully; that’s all that counts. I was dealing with respectful people. The ugly comments from HR and Resident Manager came to my ears but have no value. In every Hotel, you have staff trying to badmoth others. Knowing I have motivated and enhanced the lives of many chefs and other staff is rewarding. The RM (residence manager) should fully concentrate on preventing the entire Hotel from slipping through his fingers instead of bad-mouthing the only functioning entity he had with a very well-together kitchen. Some of my chefs are signaling that they will look for new jobs after I exit. I departed a week ago. For the last three days, the Zeavola facility had no fresh water or electricity, and the last group of guests left angry, complaining, and did not even receive their money back… With such severe problems, I doubt it is advisable to try damaging the reputation of your resigned Executive Chef while incapable of “leading” a Luxury Hotel of the World team. I stayed beyond the contractual time; I’m outa there, personally surprised that the Hotel owner never even contacted me. That, regardless of cultural differences, is a sad sign. He has a fantastic destination; he’d better keep it to the level I enhanced.
Richard Quest, CNN, came to produce a story at my recommendation, for which I received no acknowledgment from Zeavola’s leading team; I’m doing my best to promote this Hotel. Clearly, the people in charge of Zeavola’s management must consider adopting a more tourist-friendly attitude to stay competitive.
I will concentrate on my midlife activity and write in my journal, explaining that I am very content with my age and current state of mind. Back to the decompression studies on hand…
Greetings from Phi Phi Island