One of my favorite things about working in small hotel is that you know everyone you work with and they know you, except maybe the night shift people who we don’t see much, but still know are there and you’ll see at the Christmas party. They become an extended member of the family, people you get to know over time and care about beyond just your professional relationship with them.
People probably don’t realize just how deeply connected those of us who work in small hotels are. Whenever someone has been absent for a few days it’s not uncommon to start hearing questions about if the person is on vacation or if everything is alright with them or if their shift has changed. There’s always a hearty and warm welcome back once you see each other again and trying to get to your work station takes an extra bit of time as you see more people and spend a few minutes chatting and catching up.
Over the years I’ve gotten used to this little rhythm and routine and it makes coming to work a joy, everyone has their little greetings, jokes and stories to tell. Of course this means that when someone leaves the job for a new opportunity or retirement their presence is very much missed. Passing through the hallways or going to the office where they used to be hits you with a bit of nostalgia.
I experienced that the other day when visiting the housekeeping office and for the first time since I can remember, going up there was a quiet affair. One of our housekeeping supervisors, who retired earlier this year, would always be in the office, between breaks on Saturday cracking jokes and telling stories. On the days I would go up to check in and hand off anything that needs to go to the rooms, she would always make me laugh and tell me stop giving the ladies more work. I would offer my services to help in a room and she would often reject me on the grounds of being wholly unqualified to help.
Little moments of interactions like that are what get me and others through a hard work day. Sharing problems and having a listening ear, having someone there to back you up or make a joke with you when you need it most. All these things makes the bond stronger. Like any family we have our ups and our downs, but we’re always there for each other. We fight, we make up and we carry on working towards a common goal.
The genuine love, care and support we all have for each other is what make us more than just a company. We celebrate each other’s success and even if those successes take someone on a path away from our resort we are their biggest supporters. We may not want them to leave, but there’s no shortage of updates on how they’re doing and Aruba being a small island, we are guaranteed to see them again. When we do the reunion is beautiful and as if no time has passed at all.