Thursday, March 20, 2014

Hotel's life

It’s a newly built hotel located in the heart of Singapore city, just few minutes’ walk from where I work. My bestie joined their workforce few months ago as an opening team. And few days ago she told me that she was going to stay there for a night and asked me to come along and stay with her. It was all free of charge: the room, Wi-Fi, and the breakfast. Whatever came free, who would resist? Wouldn’t you? :)

After work I walked towards the place. We experienced check-in by the front office staff, asking the facilities available in the premises and let her practicing the skill. We put our stuffs inside the room.

The room was quite small. Twin beds, one table facing the window and the road, small shower and toilet room, with cabinet and safety box inside. It was really a place only to sleep and rest only. Not big enough to hold a party :P

By the time we went into our rooms, it was dinner time already. We had it outside. We sat down and enjoyed our meals facing the Singapore river in one of the restaurants.


It was a great weather, no rain and there was cooling windy air blowing. We ordered a bowl of salad and one sausage platter for two plus two bottles of beer for each of us ;) We chit chatted on our personal lives (things were chatted more openly after finishing the first bottle of the beer ^^) and no ‘work’ related topic to be discussed as it would only spoil our great time.

Desserts to distress :)

To end up our meal, we headed to fast food outlet and bought one ice cream cone and one chocolate sundae. Both of us believed that ice cream would make our mood happy and our life sweeter :)

We walked back to the hotel. This time, I asked my bestie to bring me around the premises. After getting her superior’s permission (who was still working at 10.30pm!!), she was allowed to show me her office. Hm… despite my office was located in Basement two, at least it was much bigger, wider, warmer, and had chance to catch a glimpse of the weather outside. Hers was located deep inside, congested, a closed and small cubicles to be shared by three persons. Ehm… I was in fact, very grateful with my current office though hehe…

After that we went up to the Rooftop area. Once we stepped up from the lift, “Wowww!!! It was a great view out there!!" shouted me excitingly :)

Overlooking beautiful night life at Singapore city

"Look at the bright, round, and beautiful moon!!! I feel blessed!!!!" continued me. Tell you, the view was priceless!!!

We soaked ourselves up under the moonlight for a while and after, we took a look at the infinity pool, Jacuzzi, and the gym. It’s not fully prepared yet. Anyway, guests were advised not to swim after 7pm due to safety reason.

We visited the bar at the first level and sat outdoor for a while enjoying the night breeze. There were other guests entertaining themselves that night.

Hotel was really a place that people would never sleep. There were always people staying on duty at front desk/reception area and bar. Security guards, engineering and housekeeping staffs, were there too standing by and guarding the place around.

I was studying Hotel Management more than a decade ago. Despite I seldom stayed in hotel before and had no one inspiring me to work there, I chose the major, just because I was aiming to become a good stay-at-home mother one day. Hahahaha….. See? My thinking was very simple, all the time. I just thought of becoming a great housewife :) At the same time, I thought of studying something that was ‘easy’, not much theory to memorize or apply, but doing more practical things that could be used in the future.

But in real life, life inside the hotel was not that simple. You had to handle and communicate with people all the time, both external and internal guests (fellow staffs). Teamwork was very much required in order to produce a great service and result. Positivity was very much needed too to create a happy working life within each department. Great leaders were very important to give direction to each department on where to go, what to achieve, and how we could achieve it. Two-way communications were very important as we all knew that we needed both hands to clap.

Constant daily briefing, monthly meeting, staff monthly celebrations, members’ communication, and so on were part of our lives here. Just like what my Boss said, we were just like a palm with five fingers. We needed all five fingers in order to work in properly manner, producing the best result. E.g. the room facilities were perfect, however, the service of the F&B staff during breakfast could spoil your overall experience despite the hospitality offered by front office and housekeeping staffs were great.

You see, since people paid a great amount of money for a hotel night stay, they expected us to give them an overall great experience started from they stepped into our lobby until they checked out and even after they left the place. They wanted not only a clean place with all facilities working well, but also friendly and hospitable staffs to make them feel like staying at home.

When they were sick and needed any assistance, they expected us to be able to provide them with help required. And here, we had to attend trainings every year with minimum 24 hours required for office staffs and minimum 36 hours for operational staffs. We were trained to hone our skills in whatever things we did to provide an excellent service and work of conduct.

I was very glad and grateful that the place where I worked instilled and put a great emphasis on improving our skills, teamwork, and communication all the time. Workplace Safety and Health was also greatly implemented to promote a safe and healthy working place for all staffs and guests. Not all hotels had implemented or cared about all that.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away :)

This week, we had “We Care” week where guests and staffs were actively participating in the healthy lifestyle. Fruits were added in the room’s amenities. We had a morning exercise at our Gazebo plus healthy breakfast for each staff. Followed by “Vertical Challenge” where staffs competed to run from B2 to Level 12.

Organizers of We Care Charity Bazaar 2014

Next day, we held a “Charity Bazaar” at staff Cafeteria where we sold goods donated by staffs to other staffs and the money collected was given to Children’s Society (to help children who was in need). We were having great time together and managed to collect S$1,365 within 4 hours :)

A glimpse of the Healthy Cooking Competition scene :)

This afternoon we were served with Healthy Eating food at staff cafeteria and followed with Healthy Cooking Competition participated by staffs in six different departments (even security staff and engineering staff would cook). As to close the event, there would be “Tug of War” from eight different team tomorrow evening.

Back to the hotel’s stay last night. We both had a great sleep. This morning, as I was lazing around on my bed, waiting for my bestie to get ready for her morning duty (office staff required to serve breakfast – hotel was all about multitasking job and therefore, we were multi-skill staffs :D), suddenly we heard a loud announcement from the speaker, “Ladies and gentlemen, your attention, please. The fire alarm has been activated in the building. We are investigating the situation. Please remain calm and stand-by your speakers for further instruction. Thank you.” – twice.

I was jumping from my bed and cursed my friend blindly, blaming her to choose such a date to stay… hahahahaha…… I changed my cloth, briefly washed my face while listening to the second announcement, “Ladies and gentlemen, your attention, please. There exists an emergency situation in the building. Please evacuate by the nearest exit staircase and obey all instructions given by the Fire Wardens. Remember to avoid the use of lifts.”

By the time we were ready, both of us went out from our rooms only to find out that we had nowhere to run as all the wooden doors were locked automatically and no emergency staircase in our area. Oh mannn…. We went back to our room and resigned our life to fate, planned to sleep again, then we heard the third announcement, “Ladies and gentlemen, your attention, please. We have investigated the situation and found it to be a false alarm. We regret for any inconvenience caused. Thank you.”

Have a wonderful day ahead everyone! ;)

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to hotel’s life!!! :)

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