If you know, you know.
I’ve been in this industry for almost 4 years now (exactly 4 years in March, woohoo!) and I realize there’s a lot of things people don’t know about the working environment of this industry. We often immediately think of auditors as individuals who often have to work overtime and if someone says they work in Google you think of all the nice pantry, game room and fun they have. But what about hoteliers?
Here are 7 fun facts about being in this industry
1. FREE FOOD
Yes you read that right. I’ve gotten responses from people who were shocked to hear this before so I guess not many people know about it. We have a dedicated cafeteria for hotel staffs where we can have breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s far from luxurious and is nothing like what Google’s office offer but you save a ton of $$ by just eating here daily.
You’re not obligated to eat in the cafeteria if you don’t want to but it is free and unlimited so it does help if you’re tight on cash for certain months / weeks. The deliciousness of the food served would vary from hotel to hotel and it depends on what the HR Department has budgeted. Did I mention, there are dedicated chefs who specifically only take care of the cafeteria and are not from other parts of the hotel’s restaurant?
2. Daily briefings
I don’t think this is practiced in other industries but in a hotel it is a norm to have daily briefings. At the start of your shift / work day, every department would meet with their department heads to go through their task for the day. And if you’re a Head of Department (HOD) or Executive Committee (EXCOM), you’ll meet with the General Manager every morning for daily briefings as well.
In some cases, there will also be a debrief in the evening before the end of a shift / work day. This is less common and usually up to the Department Head.
A hack that every hotelier uses is to prepare a list of things you’re doing for the next day to avoid being seen as “doing nothing”.
3. Sleeping Rooms Exist Before Start-Ups Made It Cool
Again, this would vary from hotel. If you’re part of a large International chain and in a 5-star or luxury hotel, you’d probably have this facility.
It’s nothing glamorous but it serves the purpose for service staff who work split shifts. It’s either a dim room of bunk beds or a row of single beds in an air-conditioned room.
4. You Must Always Be In Heels
This applies when you’re in public areas of the hotel ie the lobby and restaurants. Some hotels are more strict than others but generally it’s an unspoken rule that you need to be in heels if you’re entering public areas of the hotel because grooming matters and looking polish is utmost important.
5. A Maze Awaits You On Your First Day
All you’ve ever seen is the front end of the hotel. Ever wonder what it looks like at the back of the reception door?
If you’re working in a hotel which was built in the 1980-90s or even older, chances are the back end of the hotel is a huge maze with plenty of sections and nooks on various levels.
I remember getting lost on my first few week in both the hotels I worked in. I couldn’t get my bearings rights and finding my way to my office was so exhausting.
6. Drama Is A Norm & It Spreads Like A Wildfire
Be it between staffs or guests, there’s always drama and it has become such a common act that doesn’t take anyone by surprise any more. Sometimes it evens involves the police lol, those guests are usually our nightmare.
People say hotels are full of life. And with that, drama follows. I don’t actually remember a time which is drama free but I’ve gotten so used to it that it doesn’t bother me anymore.
7. Discounted Rooms
I guess this is a given, especially in large International chains. All staffs get to enjoy discounted room rates across the world when they stay in hotels which is part of the chain. I would say this is the only benefit I truly enjoy being a hotelier.
Traveling the world just got much cheaper, unlocking destinations just got much easier and I can’t wait to escape once this pandemic is over. I once booked a 5-star hotel for under RM200 because there was an opening special. That’s the best deal to date.