Tuesday, 17 June 2014


If Laurencia Bernard knew that her new boss was having affairs with both the landlord and his son, if Laurencia had any indication about a prominent Martinique Mayor turned legislator, a continental French official and a Trinidad-based Lucian who wife gave him a botin, she said nothing about it and did not make it an issue as tensions rose between her and the boss.

Even if those things were true, what bearing would they have on the professional relationship between a house slave and a field hand, anyway?

To this day, no amount of prodding can get Laurencia to utter a word about her former boss’ personal, but well-scandalized and rumor-mongered life.

The first time Walcott asked Laurencia for the keys to the residence was in October of 2012. Walcott said it was for a guest. Laurencia forgot to leave the keys, but the guest never arrived anyway, so, whatever.

The following November, Laurencia took two weeks vacation. On the first Monday of her vacation, Walcott called to say she needed the keys. Why she didn’t just cut new copies (or perhaps change the locks, if she wanted to keep someone out) is still beyond anyone.

The following day, one of the office staff called asking for the keys again. Walcott apparently needed those particular copies of the key rather urgently. Unfortunately for them, Laurencia was not five minutes away at her home but many miles away in the countryside. She told them, in the parlance of good French unionists, to stop harassing her.

Walcott, herself, left a terse message on voicemail: “I need my keys for my house and I need the keys to my gate.”

The next morning the keys were delivered.

“I gave the keys to Ali,” Laurencia has testified, referring to Walcott’s St Lucian boyfriend.

“I don’t understand why she has to be so,” Ali reportedly told Laurencia about his girlfriend.

There was also another incident in early November when Walcott had a visitor named Olaf whom she left at the residence when she went to St Lucia.

When she returned, Olaf had already departed.

As she returned to the residence, she reportedly worried that, “I hope Laurencia didn’t drink my Hennessey.”

“There’s Hennessey in the house?” Laurencia relied.

“Let me see,” Walcott reportedy continued. “You see the same thing. She drank my Hennessey.”

“How do you know she drank it?” her nanny inquired. “How do you know any is missing?”

“Because I marked it.”

How very early 19th century.

It was two weeks later when she finally got the keys while Laurencia was on vacation.

With the battle for the keys won, there was only one more confrontation left for the house slave and the field hand.

Near the end of December, Laurencia was told that it made no sense for her to go to work because Walcott would be spending the holidays in St Lucia and there would be no one home anyway.

A couple of days later, the driver called to say that Walcott changed her mind and that Laurencia had to report to work on the Friday following.

Laurencia was not understanding. She had already made plans with her family and for personal business that could not be done while she was at work. She complained that asking to return on short notice when there was no one in the house anyway was unfair and unwarranted.

Laurencia went back to work when Walcott went back to work.

Then came the end game.

Four days passed before the house slave summoned her field hand to demand why her orders had been not just disobeyed, but disregarded. The field hand replied that she doesn’t work for or take orders from the driver or anyone else. Laurencia pointed out that she had, in fact, obeyed the last direct order of her boss, the Consular General, Yasmine Walcott, which was to not to come to the house while the boss is away.

“You want to me to issue every order to you myself,” came the reply. “I told you already, I’m a busy woman. I don’t have time to talk to you. If I give you orders through others, you have to obey them.”

Laurencia was not impressed with the logic.

“I work under you. Not anybody else. How hard was it to call me yourself?”

That meeting turned into a confrontation and the confrontation turned into a meltdown on the part of both Yasmine and Laurencia. Yasmine ordered Laurencia to take leave and not to come back.

Laurencia replied, “Is not so it going, my girl…”

She knew that Yasmine was operating as though she was in St Lucia or America or one of those backward countries where workers rights are trampled on as a matter of mere expediency. Laurencia knew that she had a contract , a union and most importantly, she was in France, where shit like that don’t fly.

That happened on a Wednesday.

By the Friday, Laurencia had issued a letter stating that not only did she fully expect to still have her job, but she expected to get full salary, including the days when Yasmine sent her on leave and then changed her mind on short notice.

At the gates of the residence, Laurencia must have spoken to Ali and Yasmine’s nanny for an hour about the incident. They both knew that Yasmine was making a mistake, digging a potentially deep hole. But they were not allowed to let Laurencia into the house.

Laurencia was informed that there was some correspondence for her at the office. It was the beginning of the end.

Except that Yasmine Walcott has delayed talking to Laurencia’s union so much that the union advised Laurencia to abandon mediation and just sue the bitch.

Many months later, Laurencia is still deeply embittered by the entire fiasco.  Less than two weeks ago (Sunday, June 9th) she found herself heckling Yasmine during a speech to a Lucian association in Laba.

“Don’t listen to anything that woman tells you,” she shouted while sitting in the audience. “Whatever comes out of her mouth doesn’t mean anything.”

In addition to other assorted flavors of insult and criticism.

The event was over for almost 18 hours when the police showed up at Laurencia’s door and arrested her for endangering the life of Yasmine Walcott on the La Rocarde highway.

“She said I was zigzagging in front of her as though I wanted to cause an accident.”

Laurencia, meanwhile, claims to have witnesses and an alibi that she was far, far away from where Yasmine says she was at the time.

It’s a story in which someone is lying. Maybe everyone is lying. But like they say in the military, there are no bad soldiers, only bad generals.

In this case, this one Consular General has attracted more negative attention to her person and her office than any Lucian diplomat since Charles Fleming of the UN Funds Scandal fame.

The main difference between Fleming and Walcott right now is that when Fleming did his do, someone benefitted,  for better or worse. In this case, no one benefits and a young woman who was in a position to be light and a guide to other young women has engineered her own fall to disgrace and ignominy, all without having a single success to balance out her sullied legacy.

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