I just returned from a vacation to the Mexican Riviera. Our second stop was in Mazatlan, a beautiful city but there’s a problem with the system used to lure tourists to the tour guides. Upon departing from the boat a shuttle takes you to the building where you can arrange for taxis and other tours. One of the interesting things when you get off the shuttle is that there is astro turf on the ground and the tour employees are not allowed to go beyond the limits of the turf.
When I declined the offer of the tour employees one tour representative yelled out that we (the tourists) should stop and listen to their pitch as if it were an obligation. After thanking him again and declining his offer he made a rather nasty comment. I informatively brought to his attention that his tone nor his comments were probably the best way to attract customers. His response was a surprise, he told me that it didn’t matter what I thought because there were a hundred people right behind me who he could try and lure into his space.
Are we really disposable? As a pilgrim in this world I work at treating each person with dignity, that’s why I kindly declined his offer, but to be verbally assaulted while this individual has a tantrum was saddening. As I look back I can see his desparation at making a living, but as he pointed out to me I was not the only candidate he would approach that day. The interaction could have been very civil, even friendly. As a visitor to a tourist destination I hope that he reflects on his approach and that tourists get to see him and his city in a positive manner.