What started out as an exciting opportunity for thousands of jobseekers this morning quickly turned into a day of confusion and frustration for some and disappointment for others.
From as early as 6 a.m., scores of people had gathered outside the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre for a chance at getting a job with Sandals. And although the event was originally set to start at 9 a.m., organizers started an hour early because of the large crowd that had gathered.
By around 10:30 a.m. it was estimated that approximately 4,000 people had made their way to the location and police had to be called in to help maintain order.
During the job fair, which will run until Friday, Sandals will be seeking to fill 600 vacancies.
General manager Josef Zellner told journalists he did not expect such a large crowd, adding that they would only interview approximately 1,000 residents to find suitable applicants to fill the vacancies in the rooms division.
During what was a long wait for some, tempers flared and about three fights broke out at different intervals. Some of the hopefuls had to be rushed inside due to fainting spells or asthma attacks. One woman was taken away by ambulance.
The job fair was eventually closed for the day around 12:30 p.m.
“We have to close our doors a little earlier and we do hope that, based on what we see today, it will be sufficient for our rooms divisions area. Tomorrow at 9 o’clock in the morning we will then continue with food and beverage,” Zellner explained.
“What we are going to do tomorrow is we are going to put . . . a little more organization to it when the people come for the interviews. We are going to make sure that when people come that there is not that crowd. Despite the few small incidents today I really must commend the applicants for how they have waited patiently to be interviewed.”
Despite the announcement that the job fair was closed for the day, a large crowd converged on the steps at the entrance of the building, seemingly hopeful of still getting inside.
When Barbados TODAY spoke with some of the disappointed residents, they described the process as “ridiculous” and not properly organized.
One woman said she did not think the situation would improve tomorrow.
She also expressed disgust at the behaviour of those who were waiting to get inside.
“They came for a job and they were behaving worse than school children. As for the organizers, I don’t know what they are going to do tomorrow but this was not organized properly . . . The police came late, which was another issue. They should have been here from the beginning,” she said.
Some people said they would return tomorrow to take a shot at getting a position in the food and beverage division of Sandals.
On Thursday, interviews will be conducted for the revenue division and on Friday it will be the turn for those interested in entertainment, maintenance, landscaping and watersports.
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