Jason's Jive June 2022 By Jason Inanga
Let me share this experience with you. You probably know about how tourists go down to the Caribbean and hook up with members of the opposite sex, for brief flings. Well, in 2004, I had a very crazy experience. I was based in the Caribbean (St. Kitts) at the time, managing sales for the company I worked for. I was responsible for 5 countries. One of the things I did was to enter into negotiations with the now defunct Caribbean Star Airlines (owned at the time by Allen Stanford, the Texan Billionaire). The negotiations surrounded an inter-line agreement between the airline and the air transportation company I worked for. In exchange for discounted shipping for their airline, as well as employee discounted shipping, employees of my company would get discounted air travel on their airline, within the Caribbean, up to Puerto Rico. From the inception, I had been liaising with a colleague in Miami, Miriam, whose department dealt with these Interline Agreements. Over the period, we had communicated very many times a day by phone and email. It was now time for us to go to Antigua, to meet with Caribbean Star’s Legal team, to go over the agreement and sign it into existence.
Miriam flew in from Miami and I flew in from St. Kitts. Now the fun begins. We had never seen each other before and it had never crossed our minds to exchange photos. So, we had pre-arranged to book into the same hotel and have a meeting over dinner, to go through our end of things, ahead of the formal meeting the next day.
I had told Miriam what color shirt I would be wearing so it would be easy for her to identify me. Apparently, she got to the restaurant before me and started walking around, going up to people who were in the same colored shirt, to ask if they were Jason.
So unfortunately, people now thought she was there to meet a romantic date named Jason. (I had no idea all this was going on). The dining room was filled with a lot of law enforcement officers who were there for a regional training workshop.
I had been delayed en route to the restaurant from my room as two British ladies stopped me in the staircase and engaged me in a brief conversation.
I made my way to the hotel restaurant, and as I walked in, a lady asked me if I was Jason. I looked at her stunned, and said yes, but I knew it wasn’t Miriam as the voice and accent were different. I confirmed to her that I was Jason and she pointed out Miriam to me. As I approached where Miriam was seated, the whole restaurant burst into a loud roar/cheer. I had no idea what was going on. So, I walked up to Miriam, we hugged and shook hands, and then there was clapping. As we sat down, she explained to me what had happened. I have never been more embarrassed in my life. I look back and laugh, but I remember a police officer from St. Kitts (Belgrove) looking at me with a strange look on his face, probably trying to figure out what was going on as he knew me. (St. Kitts is a small island of 40, 000 people so most people know each other, and to make it worse for me, I was still helping out the local TV Station, ZIZ TV as a newscaster at nights, so my face was well known).
My dear reader, I just thought I would share that experience with you. We closed the deal of course and both our companies benefitted from a great project that I am still proud of, to this day.
So, this month I turn 52 years old and look back and wonder where the years have gone. I thank God for life and good health. Let us remember to be kind to one another as we go through our daily activities. Pause and say a prayer for somebody. Pick up the phone and call a friend you have not spoken to in a while. Take the time to write a note and go to the post office and mail it to a friend. As a teenager, I had pen pals and would look forward to writing them every week. I had two pen pals in Alabama, one in Utah and one in Japan. I would do anything to get back in touch with them. Did you have pen pals back in the day? Well, have a nice month and till next month, stay safe, drink lots of water and exercise. That’s the Jive.