New sheriff in town

I’ve been in my current position for about 5 years now and to tell you the truth at the outset I was intimidated by the shoes I had to fill. My predecessor had been with the company for 29 years, our guests knew her and loved her and she knew and loved them right back. I remember when I started as an intern I would see here there at all hours of the day and night working through reservations and doing her best to accommodate requests. On Saturdays she would practically be the first person on the job and the last to leave, still trying to work a miracle.

It was that dedication and determination that I found intimidating. The first year I spent countless hours emailing people and advising them she was no longer with the company and I was now in charge of reservations. Understandably there was some upset at the outset, everyone had to get used to me being the new sheriff in town.

The one thing that used to irritate me the most, would always be emails that would go “this is the assignment I want and I’ve always gotten it in the past.” It becomes quite difficult to tell someone who has become used to a certain accommodation over the years that it’s not possible this year. I’ve had more than my fair share of angry people in my office on Monday morning making comparisons between the way I do things and the way things used to be done. It used to affect me and weigh me down, but as time went on and people understood that our goal post had shifted we started to find our own routine.

It’s been a good three or so years since I’ve had someone make any comparisons about the job I’ve been doing vs the job done by my predecessor. Until about 2 weeks ago when during our Members meeting one of our Members stood up to complain that he hadn’t received the assignment he wanted and it was the first time in 30 year it had happened. He’d never had an issue with the former reservations manager. Someone helpfully pointed out to him she hadn’t been there in about 5 years so even under my oversight his request was still being met.

It was the last thing I was expecting to hear about in that meeting with everything else going on. However, where a few years ago my response would have been profuse apology, the more confident and steady in myself person I have become, explained that the company we were 5 years ago and the company we are now, are miles apart.

We used to be a company that did okay and were complacent with our business model. In the last few years we’ve grown and with that growth comes changes and not everyone will be happy with those changes, but they are necessary for our continued success. A lot has changed since I took over and I’m sure there is more change to come even beyond me.Q

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.