Working on Maui


A picture perfect day on Maui this morning. Sometimes when I ponder what to write, I wish you guys would write and tell me what you’d like to know more about. Daily life? Moving here?

This past weekend I attended a symposium with Maui filmmakers at the college. One of the speakers said he’d like to create a group of people who got together to support each other in their creative endeavors. He’s been trying to do that, but it’s a challenge on Maui. Why? As he said, when everybody’s working two and three jobs, how do you get people together? It makes for a fractured society.

One of the biggest surprises for me when I moved here:  75% of the population works in the hotel/visitor industry. In California, almost every weekend my group of friends got together for brunch, games, or dinners. Here, unless you work a 9-5 job, you are working evenings and weekends.  How do you plan a group dinner when both wife and husband are working the night shift, or weekend shift? I spent a year working at a law firm on Maui.Those people had a normal schedule, but if you’re in the medical field you are on call for nights and weekends. So there goes another big segment of the population. That leaves government or city workers with 9-5 jobs. Otherwise, it’s like Mike and me. He’s a boat captain, so he works the sunset sail and is home around 9 pm. I was a concierge, which gave me 9-5 hours, but I worked weekends. We rarely had the same days off or the same schedules.

There are the waitresses and bartenders, boat crew, massage therapists (quote: “you can’t throw a rock on Maui without hitting a massage therapist),  the hotel front desk worker and housekeepers, the grounds and maintenance guys for the hotels and condos, realtors…the list is endless, and all of them have non 9-5 jobs. And guess what? They all work holidays! Guests come to Maui specifically for holidays, so everyone must work. Again, a fractured society, when families can’t even be together for holidays.

Then there is the phenomenon of being “off-island.” I am part of two different groups of women who meet once a month, and am amazed at how hard it is to get five women together in one place. When you live on an island, as nice as it is, one of the goals is to get off the island. It’s a rock in the middle of the Pacific,and it can get small after a while. Those who can, leave as often as they can. Also, so many people are from somewhere else…and they go there to be with their families. So you call them to get together and they are “off-island.”

The island lifestyle sounds good to many who want to live here. The reality is, you have a heck of a time getting together with your friends.

A hui hou! (til next time). If you’d like to subscribe to this blog, please click the follow button on the Home Page.

Aloha, Jamaica

5 thoughts on “Working on Maui

  1. Thanks for another reality check! I guess living in paradise comes with responsibilities and conflicts! Adam and Eve couldn’t eat from the forbidden tree, and Mauians can’t get together for brunch. =) I can’t speak to the topic of island fever–worthy of another blog by itself if you’re looking for ideas!–but I can offer an opinion as a New Yorker. The older I get (now 37) the more true the statement “if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere” is. When you live in an economy with extra work and effort needed to live there, then when you retire elsewhere, the payback is huge. Those friends/family who have moved out of state to the Carolinas, Florida, or elsewhere have all been able to afford huge houses and a more comfortable life. Maybe living in Maui doesn’t work the same way, but the rewards of the environment, air quality and temperatures sure must pay off when you’re free to enjoy them!

    Other blog ideas: 1) Share photos from around the island. Always going to be a happy sight for those already interested in your blog. 2) Review Maui restaurants, beaches, attractions, even roads. 3) Maui’s rainbows. 4) Crime and/or accidents. So much news out of Maui include death and traffic accident reports, so you’re take on stories would always be welcome. 5) More of what you already post. Love reading what you choose to share!

  2. We are working on a year plan. We are moving to Maui at least for part of every year. I love your blog and can’t wait to be there again.

    • Aloha, let me know if I can answer any questions that might help you. Thanks for writing, so glad to hear you love the blog! It keeps me going to hear nice things. Aloha, Jamaica

  3. What is the average pay rate for hotel positions? Like front desk, valet and such. Also, same for office positions for a good company. I am currently a Office Coordinator/Receptionist for a prestigious accounting firm in San Fran and have been trying to calculate living costs. We plan on moving to the west or south side. Is Kahalui considered south? That town is also an option.

    • Aloha, Kahului is considered Central Maui. Most jobs are on the West side and South (like Kihei) and that’s why so many people live there. A great job for someone with your skills is as an assistant to a GM (General Manager) at a hotel, but I don’t know the pay scale or how often those jobs become available. I would search Craig’s list and also call the hotels and ask how to submit a resume. They will direct you to the HR dept. GOOD LUCK! Aloha, Jamaica

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