Faculty, Staff and Students tell their stories, dreams and passions for all things culinary.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
When Everybody's Late!
Jokima Hiller, HRM Program Coordinator at The Chef’s Academy
Jill Woods, GM & Advisory Board Member at The Chef’s Academy
Please note that names have been changed to protect the innocent!
It was approximately 1:00am in the morning as I sat in my office hovered over a garbage can with one eye on the camera that was focused on the hotel’s front desk. I was sick and it had been at least a decade since the last time I had vomited. Yet I, General Manager of a hotel with a full and capable staff was stuck working at a time when I felt my worse. Why? Let’s look at the events of the day . . .
Donny, who was the night auditor, was late. His shift started 2 hours ago and he insisted that he was “on his way!” But, the damage was already done – my bed, medicine, and easy background music would have to wait.
It was approximately 3:00pm in the afternoon as I single-handedly managed two lines at the desk checking guests in, answering the phone, making reservations, and being as helpful as I could to a lobby full of people in spite of my painful stomach ache. Tyrone was late and Tracy couldn’t stay not one minute over. She “had plans” and Tyrone was not answering his cell phone. The damage was already done as guests were forming their first impressions of our establishment.
It was approximately 7:45am in the morning as I jogged down the halls of the hotel delivering USA Today newspapers with the hotels cordless phone strapped to my side, wiping sleep out of my eyes, wishing I had brought some medicine for my headache, and hoping no one was waiting at the unattended front desk. Tracy was late, no reason was given when she strolled in at 8:00am, one hour after her shift was to start. The damage was already done as proven by the electronic customer surveys that came in that afternoon with comments like “Sure missed getting a morning newspaper today.”
When everybody’s late, a business, especially one in the hospitality industry, tends to die a slow and painful death. We sell experiences in our hotels, restaurants, cafes, shops, clubs, casinos and when everybody’s late guest experiences become negatively impacted. What kind of experience did we sell that day when Donny, Tracy, and Tyrone were late? Keep in mind this was just ONE department! What if similar circumstances were happening in the housekeeping, maintenance, and sales areas?
A manager of a business walks a fine line each day, trying to be sensitive to an employees’ life outside of work while trying to keep the business profitable so the employee still has a job to go to. This is a challenge all businesses are facing especially in these economic times. What sounds like a nightmare day and evening for one manager is actually the sign of a much larger problem. What if that manager had appointments scheduled that day that could have greatly impacted the hotels success and job stability for all involved? What if other employees were stepping in to fill the gap accumulating costly overtime? What if this manager had the swine flu and risked infecting guests and employees?
Each employee makes a daily choice to positively or negatively affect others on their job. Review your attendance practices at school, events, at work and assess the damage. You are a necessary part of the business you work for . . . is your impact positive or negative? Just think of what might happen if everyone was on time! Let’s rewrite the story . . .
It was approximately 1:00am in the morning as I sat in my room hovered over a garbage can with one eye on the Soap Net channel. I was sick and it had been at least a decade since the last time I had vomited. I, General Manager of a hotel with a full and capable staff was stuck at home resting, taking my medicine, trying to get better. Why? Let’s look at the events of the day . . .
Donny, Tracy, and Tyrone were on time, early even, when they heard their manager would be out-of-the office. They knew how important they were to the overall operations of the hotel. When everyone’s on time, business can operate as usual! No damage is done.
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