Column by: Shanella Pantophlet
From Aruba with Love
The one thing, I think many people overlook about the hospitality sector, is that it takes a special kind of person to want to work in this specific field. We serve as the representatives of our country, the ones who show why Aruba is One Happy Island. It is the dream job for extroverts and those who can pull off coming across as extroverted even if they are not. It’s a job that must be done with love.
During my time living and working in Australia, I had a boss and every team meeting he would go around the room and ask each of us if we still loved our jobs. It sounds like a ridiculous question, but he clarified, if you could look past the day or week, the hard times and at the end of the day still feel like you come to work because you want to and despite everything else you still love what you do, then you’re doing the right job for you. It’s something that’s really stuck with me over the years.
Love of the job, means it gets done well. It’s something that runs through every department as our job is to ensure that guests feel welcomed, safe and relaxed in their time with us. It means that for however many hours you are at work you have to put your outside affairs on pause and focus on enhancing someone’s experience during their stay at your resort. It is not an easy task, but it is one that hospitality professionals have mastered.
Going through school our teachers would call it the hospitality face and the importance of creating that persona, because even a smile can be heard over the phone. It’s probably not something you commonly think of, but really just from the tone of voice you can pick up on if someone is having a bad day or if they just don’t really care much about what they are doing. One of the local radio stations actually demonstrated this quite well when they called various hotels and recorded how the operators answered the phone. The thing they were looking for was a quick answer to the call, a crisp, clear introduction along with a chipper greeting, I am happy to report that all hotels that were called met the criteria and those answering the phones even added a touch of their own personality to the calls.
Every day in the hotel business is different, every guest has their own specific needs and we need to be able to read all of that and handle as needed. One minute you can have a guest screaming at you and the next you have someone who needs your guidance and assistance. As a hospitality professional you must be able to treat both of these guests with the same level of respect, warmth and efficiency.
I know for a fact that even on the hardest days, my colleagues and I come back to work the next day and can solidly answer yes, we love what we do and we want to make sure our guests always feel right at home.
Aruban born and bred Shanella Pantophlet is passionate about tourism. That is the world she studied and works in, so we might as well call her a specialist. Luckily for Aruba Today Shanella also loves to write. And together with the fact that the majority of our readers are tourists, we found ourselves a perfect combination for a column: Hotel Hustle.