Working for a luxury hotel in the Canadian Rockies was a blessing. I learned a lot about hospitality. At the time I didn’t know it, but I was learning how to become a better leader. I didn’t know I would be where I am today, I never thought I would be a manager of a front desk or even working within the HR field. I am very grateful for all the opportunities that were provided along the way. Yet, there were certain tasks I didn’t like and during my time at the Lake, I dreaded the end of night duties. At one time servers we able to pick their end of night duty so the easiest ones went right away, like making roll-ups. Then there was the buffet line.
The race to the end of night duties was on from the start of the evening. Or I felt it was. Once my first table was seated I watched the clock. I paced my tables accordingly. I wanted to finish my evening by a 9 or 9:30 pm so that I could avoid setting up one of the two buffet lines. Moving tables and portable hot buffet tables was something I actually loathed, only because they were located in awkward storage areas not close to the dining room. For a 500 plus hotel, you would think there would be enough storage. Sadly, not. Every inch of the hotel was mostly for guests. Employees had to dance around the guest areas to make the hotel run seamlessly. This was a well-practiced art form, but not the most favorable.
Think of pushing and pulling a family of 12 size table made out of stainless steel with sharp edges and wobbly legs with small tricycle wheels. No fun at all. Why I didn’t like this duty. I did it over three nights a week out of a five or six work week. One of the nights would be for a boyfriend who charmed his way into my heart and I would do anything for him. Even if it meant setting up the bloody buffet line on top of my own duty. Some nights I ended up setting up both buffet lines. I know, I know. I did it to myself.
I am so grateful for my experiences but that doesn’t mean I didn’t like certain areas of my job. Even today there are areas of my positions I don’t care for. Don’t get me wrong I love my job. I really do and I’m not just saying that. As an HR associate, I loved coaching people, helping them further their goals and passions. As a guest services manager, I love connecting with guests, helping them have a great experience. Then there are hard days when I have had conversations with employees that don’t go over all that well. Or a guest yell at me because I’m the manager and they have to tell me how awful their stay was. These days help me grow as a person and a professional. I learn a little more about human behavior and how I react to people’s reactions. I guess I learned more about myself when cursing those buffet lines over twenty years ago.
Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…
Have you ever wondered what happens behind the kitchen doors of a restaurant? My debut memoir shares my experiences of working for a luxury hotel in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. If you don’t want to know that your server dropped acid in the soup, then this book may not be for you…
BEHIND THE KITCHEN DOORS ~ THE SUMMERS is now available.