Memoir of a Hotelier

I’m woken up bleary-eyed by the frantically buzzing alarm. My hand scours the bed-side table for the little noisy monster and stops it. It’s 0500AM! I had hardly slept for 5 hrs. I had evening shift the previous day and had gone to sleep only post midnight. I struggle to get up from bed and stagger into the bathroom to begin my day!…… It’s 0600AM now and I’m in the locker room getting ready for my Morning Shift. The draping of designer saree, the foundation, the compact, the eye make-up, the lipstick; everything’s got to be perfect! I quickly poke the last hair pin inside my neatly made bun. I’m ready! I look at the mirror for a final check, and I see a professional, ready again to make people’s day with a beaming smile and warmth. Hi, I’m a Hotelier!!

Life of a hotelier is such a roller coaster ride. Erratic shift timings and loooong working hours (I have done 3 shifts back to back too) can make it a real Nightmare! It can be compared with the life of a movie actor. Lights…Camera….Action..and the actor is a different person! So is a hotel employee once she steps into the front-of-the-house area. You see a guest and you have to smile and wish them the greetings of the day! Sounds easy? Try doing it 12 hrs a day!

The larger the size of the hotel, more are the chances of encountering guests with bigger egos. Dealing with these people with high stature is walking on egg shells. You miss one single detail or information pertaining to their stay, you are doomed! I have known colleagues getting a solid poke at their face while refusing the guests something which they are not entitled to because these guests can’t take NO for an answer.

Service recovery is the scariest part of this job. Imagine offering an Apologetic Fresh Cream Cake to a guest, fuming in anger, at the Front Desk for missing his wake up call; chances are the cake would be smacked back at your face in full view of the public! Asking a regular guest for his credit card upon Checking him in; asking a Long-Stayer whether he would prefer his coffee with or without milk; refusing the preferred Pool Facing Room to a regular fussy guest; offering a Smoking Room to a non-smoking VIP guest; Checking In a Male guest into an already occupied Single Lady room; can all open you into throes of raw murder let alone losing the job!

It’s tough Art! No one said it was easy at the first place! Chefs work under tremendous pressure to dish out an exquisitely plated dish in time. Cutting the perfect Fillets, the technique of use of knife in chopping Vegetables and Meat, cooking Steak to its perfection and pairing it with the perfect Wine; needs finesse! A housekeeping personnel would make the bed, smooth the sheets, plump the pillows and still fuss over its perfection.

You have to be passionate about food and wine; the decor and upkeep should keep you awake at night, and if you are congenial to the bone then you would not be able to see yourself settling for anything other than Hotels.

Your heart will fill with a sense of Pride when a guest leaves the hotel satisfied, with the stay experience surpassing his expectations. It’s indeed a WOW Moment!!

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