What Really Happens when Junior Hotel Managers start Work in a Hotel … (read on or watch the video)

I’ll never forget all of those I came into contact with – including Guests, Staff Members and the Hotel Managers – who showed a little empathy and patience to me during those first few months. I only hoped that I could do the same in the future. Many people dread their first day left on their own in their Hotel.

We have an induction period during our first few days in the Hotel. We are suddenly surrounded by an increasing amount of Chefs and Housekeepers, as well as Engineers and Waiting Staff, all of whom had a wealth of knowledge compared to me …. then all of a sudden we are in charge of them?

I was on-call that day, which means that in addition to working a normal Hotel Management Shift I had to stay in the Hotel overnight until 7.oo hrs. dealing with out-of-hours Management problems ….

I remember being called to see a guest who had fallen out of bed and vividly recall that moment of realising that for all the lectures, revision and exams that had characterised Hotel School, I still had no idea what to do with this human being or how to solve the problem of him being on the floor.

But, thinking back to it still induces a run of palpitations. Thank you Night Porters for saving my shift.

Later in the Night I got bleeped to see a dying patient and talk to their family. I remember them all huddled around the bedside. They turned out to be very nice and greatly appreciative of my efforts despite their own grave situation as I’ve since learned is generally the case.

All in all it could have been worse and I emerged from the day (and night) with my mind and career intact in the same way that I’m sure all the Trainee Hotel Managers do who start working in a Hotel.

I started work as a Hotel Manager 25 years ago. It was a Saturday. I had moved 300 miles for the job and knew no one. Home was a single room above one of the kitchens, with a collapsed, plastic covered mattress on the bed, a worn sticky carpet and an ancient wardrobe and desk.

I paged the incoming Duty Manager at 7.00am. She arrived, I shoved my pager and a tattered piece of paper with the 12 incidents I had dealt with on it towards her. “These are [the emergencies] that happened last night”. She walked away with a grunt.

I am never coming back to this place again I thought to myself as I walked away crying into to the car park.

The only thing that kept me going was the thought of the years and years of work it had taken to reach this point – everything I had given up through my teens and early 20s.

I had a first shift – it really was everything that I had worked towards … it was utter misery. I worked from 7.30am on Sunday to 7am on Monday with no sleep, one meal and about eight cups of cold coffee. That was standard for six months. I passed the time in a haze of exhaustion, fear and misery.

I would not change it for the world….

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