How long have you been in the hotel industry? I’ve been in the hotel industry for 38 years.
What made you choose to join the hotel industry? I have always been someone who loves meeting people from all walks of life. That’s why my friend, who is also in the hospitality industry, recommended this job to me more than 30 years ago.
How has your career journey been like so far? So far, it has been good for me. As a room attendant, I have acquired strong time management skills and the ability to pay close attention to detail. I also have the chance to try out a variety of cleaning tools and techniques to improve my skills. The skills and work experience that I’ve gathered over the years are also transferable should I ever want to consider a move to another property in future.
What’s the most interesting thing about working in the housekeeping department? In the housekeeping department, we are actually exercising every day as the work we do is quite physical. There’s a lot of movement involved in keeping the rooms clean and pleasant for the guests. So, it’s actually a good way to keep fit and agile while on the job.
Was there a reason why you chose to work in housekeeping? I am unable to hear or speak, but since I was keen to join the hospitality industry, I thought that being in housekeeping was a good career fit for me. Despite my disability, I’m glad that I am still able to pursue a fulfilling career that allows me to contribute to someone’s happiness.
What do you enjoy most about what you do? Some may think that this is a basic requirement, but I strongly believe that a well-kept and tidy room is an important start to every guest’s stay. My satisfaction comes from seeing guests who have thoroughly enjoyed their stay at our hotel.
Are there any challenges that you face at work? If so, how do you overcome them?
Communicating with guests is the biggest challenge I face at work. The best I can do is to smile at them whenever I see them. I get a lot of help from my colleagues in housekeeping. They are always there for me whenever I need help with communicating with guests, or with other staff in the hotel.
I had a mentor who taught me how to overcome this challenge. He advised me to bring a pen and a notebook wherever I go so that I will be able to communicate with others through writing, and that has helped me a lot.
What motivates you to give your best every day? A genuine thumbs-up or thank you from the guests still fuels and motivates me. My family also shows constant support by enthusiastically celebrating my progress and accomplishments with me.
Congratulations on receiving the long-service award from the Peninsula Excelsior in 2017, and being the FDAWU-SHA 2018 Employee of the Year Award for your hotel. How do you feel about getting these awards? Receiving the awards gave me a strong sense of fulfilment. The Peninsula is like a second home to me. It was a very proud and joyful feeling, knowing that my hard work is still recognised, even after working here for over 30 years.
What advice would you share with someone who is interested in joining the hotel industry? Working in the hotel industry is an eye-opening experience, mainly because you get to see all kinds of people from different parts of the world. You also get to experience many different situations, so there are plenty of things to learn along the way. If you decide to enter this industry, you must have determination and a good professional attitude. Always remember that mistakes are part of the learning process and they do happen, but keep an open mind and adapt. Learn from your mistakes, move on and continue upgrading and deepening your skills as you go.