A Not-So-Good Week: Frustrations and Hope

Coffee break

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It was probably the most unhealthy, unproductive, depressing, down-to-the-lowest week I’ve ever had. All the odds that I could think of rotten what’s good that’s left in my innermost nerves. Everything fell where I’m not so good at — finding the antidote to my insanities and depressive moods. Then I realized just a moment ago, it was only a selfish reaction to the current reality around me.

The hotel was busy – technically is because of the major refurbishments of about 70 rooms – yet we had a restful shifts in a sense that besides we don’t have much rooms to sell, most of our arrivals in the past few weeks come between 11:00pm to 3:00am. Did I just say restful? No. I would say most of us were bored, leaving 1 or 2 hours early ahead of our shift (with supervisor’s approval of course). Some would just had to take 2 to 3 times smoke and coffee breaks in between. Apparently it is as close as getting bored most of the time but still we had tasks to finish and targets to achieve. So it was all just a manifestation of humanly lazy acts and attitude when the environment is so conducive to it.

It was also supposed to be a week when I am preparing for my plans on my local vacation. I decided first and foremost to get a 25-day leave this November to get my career plans materialize as much as opportunity allows. It took me the whole time although I know I need more to figure out which area in my present job and current industry will I be more productive and at the same time allows me to earn more — which is why I’m actually here in this country — while I would see myself enjoying the job itself. The best thing about our company is that it allows colleagues or staff to grow in their chosen career. One of the ways to achieve that is the opportunity to cross train in another department to learn and develop new skills that they think may would contribute to their personal professional career and at the same time help them contribute more to their present position and department. I have thought of going to Public Relations and Communications since it is an area where it’s close to my heart — communication, particularly writing. Unfortunately there are no doors open for me there yet. My second choice was Learning and Development but I thought it will not give me career and self-worth and satisfaction as I know myself more as a writer (frustrated one I guess), not a speaker and I don’t have the in-born talent and attitude of speaking to inform and inspire. I think I have a sleepy voice so it doesn’t make sense at all. I definitely don’t want my audience listening to a mellow and boring me and eventually sleep in my training sessions.

So I skip the idea of me becoming a trainer. My back-of-the-office skills is where I want to improve on — though I’m considering to mix it with my interpersonal skills and charm. It gave me an idea to shift on marketing. I urgently sent an email to the Director of Market Strategy department stating my interest to spend time to learn with them. But then again, I also immediately received a reply saying that they have a lot of commitments this month that they won’t be able to accommodate my request. Again, a failure to my side. I started to get depressed that this is now hopeless. I couldn’t move my career forward. I will be stuck in the mud until I get the time and opportunity to try it again.

However, there was something in the email that gave me an assurance. He said that he spoke to his colleague, the Director of Corporate Sales and Marketing and she confirmed that the department is open to consider my request if I’m interested to get a cross training with them. Although it seems a little awkward for me for some personal reasons that’s why I unlikely considered sales as an option, I thought it would also be best to try as it is the closest department in terms of its connection to my present position at the Front Office. So, I formally sent an email to the Director. Although I haven’t received a feedback yet, I’m a little frustrated now that I’m not getting to where I’m supposed to go. There is no clear sketch yet on my career blueprint until I receive a confirmation. Frustrations. I feel I’m so into the idleness of the situation. I’m just convincing myself that maybe the Director is busy or maybe because it’s a long weekend holiday in Dubai because of the Eid.

Enough of it this time. I still have a chance to call to the office tomorrow. This is what I hate when I’m pushing it so I just leave it for now. Maybe I’m just rushing things when there may be ample time for it.

Relationship. I miss my love ones. After all that I’m going through this is I’m sure the most that I need right now — someone to listen, understand and encourage despite the disappointments. However, they are unreachable right now. It gets worst when I wanted to feel them close to me and they’re not here, especially my son. But to tell you I have a so-called close friend who’s always been reassuring that everything will turn out fine. I talk to him once in a while when time and schedule allows. I just had a 10-minute talk with him while he’s on his way to work and I felt good. I’m just happy when I know I have him for now. I’m more contented and relieved after a not-s0-good week.

I wish this week will be better though.

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Respond the Five-Star Way

Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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The Front Desk is most often, though not always, the ‘hot seat’ for guests’ comments, requests, and complaints. Being in a five star hotel and as the main point of contact with the guests, it is important to know and practice dealing and responding to guests concerns the five-star way.

As the common quote “it is easier said than done” implies, it is frequently difficult for most of the colleagues to respond and handle even the most common guest concern. Why? Because of the driven attitude towards the guest himself and the situation at hand. Why do we often seem to fail the guest even if we think we have listened to them and assured them that their concerns will be satisfied? Why is it that even if we are constantly reminded that guests are the most important people that we have to take good care of, we still receive unsatisfactory feedback about their stay with us? I think it is all rooted to the fact that we tend to forget the basic characteristic a front-line staff should possess: strong interpersonal skills. If we embed in us the true meaning of this, we would be able to provide professional service to our clients.

I myself want to internalize how I may be able to religiously practice Interpersonal Skills. I want to think about the time when I didn’t demonstrate professional service and list ways to improve on my appearance, personal behavior and working attitude to be more professional. I’ll also try to note down the common factors why we are not behaving in a five-star way. It is best to understand and point out the areas of improvements when we are observant of our own behavior and keeping on track our daily job.