Business of Happiness

Business of Happiness

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NG HANG WEE, JEFFREY

DRIVER

THE FULLERTON HOTEL SINGAPORE

How long have you been in the hotel industry? I have been in this industry for two years now.

What made you decide to join the hotel industry? I was in engineering for 43 years before I retired. After my retirement, I wanted to try something new. I wanted to work with people, instead of machines. I wanted a career where I can experience that human connection. That’s why I joined the hotel industry. I enjoy helping guests and making them smile.

Tell us more about your career journey. My career journey has been a very fulfilling one so far. I didn’t expect to be working for a hotel at this age, and I love what I do every day. It just goes to show that life doesn’t stop after retirement.

As mentioned, my background is in engineering, I was an Assistant Service Engineer for 43 years. I retired and worked part-time as a Taxi Driver. Then one day, someone who worked at the Fullerton Hotel took a ride in my taxi. We talked, and we enjoyed our conversation. She liked my service so much that when I dropped her off at her destination, she invited me for an interview. The Fullerton Hotel was looking for a Hotel Driver, and she thought I’d be the perfect candidate. After the interview, I got the job.

Can you tell us more about your role and what you do on a daily basis? My team and I follow a schedule. On a regular day, I make about three trips. On busier days, I drive a maximum of six trips.

When we’re not too busy, I assist our Concierge team to provide the best service for our guests, or I help to clean and maintain the vehicles. One of my favourite duties is collecting mail posted by our guests from our hotel’s famous red mailbox, which dates back to when the building was the General Post Office, and bringing them to the post office. It’s nice to see letters and postcards still being sent to different parts of the world.

How has your life changed since you started working in the industry? I have learnt many new skills since working here. My colleagues and I went for training in chauffeuring, personal grooming and communication skills to make sure that we could deliver the hotel’s professional service standards. In this industry, you can explore and develop new interests, passions and skills at any age, as long as you’re committed to the training sessions.

More importantly, I have developed a more positive outlook on life. I wake up every day with a goal to bring smiles to our guests.

What do you enjoy most about what you do? The smile of my customers and the appreciation I receive from them. When they are happy with my service, I’m happy too.

To me, this is more than a job, this is truly a place I call home. I like having a schedule, as it helps keep me active. Every day, I make sure I put my heart into everything I do. To me, that’s leading a good life.

What are some of the benefits of working in a hotel? The free delicious meals at the staff canteen, and having my uniform prepared for me daily.

Also, I feel very fortunate to have a stable job that offers a flexible work schedule. I would definitely recommend the hotel industry as a place to have a post-retirement career. As you get older, it’s important to stay motivated and to keep your mind and body active.

How do you think you contribute to a guest’s happiness during his/her stay? I try to offer the best experiences through genuine care and concern. I try to be perceptive to my customers’ needs, so I can provide them a comfortable experience outside the hotel.

As a Hotel Driver, I also like talking to guests about Singapore and the places they should visit during their stay here, such as the Singapore Zoo and Gardens by the Bay for family-friendly activities, or Orchard Road for shopping.

What has been your most memorable experience in your career so far? When guests take a picture with me! I feel appreciated. In a way, I feel I have made new friends from all over the world.

Do you have any goals that you hope to achieve during your time in the hotel industry? I wish to offer my best service, care and heart in all that I do. I want to be that person who helped make a guest’s stay memorable.

What advice would you share with someone who is interested in joining the hotel industry? You have to be committed in offer the best service experience to your guests. It’s your responsibility to make sure they leave the hotel happier and more relaxed than before. To do all that, you need a good attitude and a smile from your heart. When you do this, it will show in your work.

Watch Jeffrey's video here