When I started my first job with a hotel, I was eager to learn. Therefore, I was a great student.
I was like a sponge, trying to soak it all in. Luckily, I had a great teacher. I asked tons of questions. She very patiently answered them all, and the more I learned, the more she wanted to show me. I remember being so impressed about how unselfish she seemed. Quite often, people in higher level positions will show their trainees just enough to do a good job, but not enough to possibly overtake their position. She was not like that at all. Because of that, I never would have even tried to compete against her.
She was also very quick to offer praise, and was able to deliver constructive criticism if necessary. I respected her tremendously and looked forward to working with her. I attribute my great customer service skills to her.
When a Supervisor position opened up, she enthusiastically asked me to apply, and then did her best to recommend me to the management. As I’ve mentioned before, they offered the position to the one who’d been there longer, and not the one who would take the role seriously and do the job well.
When I informed her I was leaving, it was very difficult. I didn’t want to leave the hotel, I didn’t want to leave her, but I didn’t want to continue to be there. Not only did management seem to do things backwards, they weren’t paying their bills on time, and I felt like I was on a sinking ship.
She was as sad to see me go as I was, but she genuinely wanted me to do what was best for me.
When I started my job with my current hotel, the training process wasn’t quite the same. I was not a good student this time around.
First of all, I felt like I knew about the hotel business and didn’t want to be taught how to take care of the guests. Customer service is my forte, if I do say so myself, so I took offense when my trainer, another desk agent, not a supervisor, would tell me things that I thought were quite obvious.
The only thing I wanted her for was to learn the system. I kept thinkin’, if she would just hurry up and show me how to check someone in or out, then I’d be able to do my job. So as soon as I learned that, I became very independent. I made decisions on my own and rarely asked questions.
She noticed this and actually went to our Supervisor, who told her she should have a talk with me, and try to work things out.
I was honest with her, and said I had a hard time being a student coming from a Supervisor position at my old hotel. I felt like I knew how to do the job, I just wanted to learn the system. We ended the meeting on an “okay” note, but things were a little awkward between us after that.
I came to dread the days I worked with her, because often times she would make me feel like a trainee, and what I wanted was the same respect I was given from my previous Supervisor. I felt like our conversations were forced, and that we both were just trying to be nice.
I was thinking about those early days as I worked with her today. Somewhere in this past year, I must have earned her respect. We talk like co-workers now, working together to provide a great experience for our guests. When we aren’t busy, we talk about our daughters and parenting. We laugh, we joke, and it’s fun!
I respect her more as well. I’ve learned that it’s in her personality to show people things. To teach them. She’s like that with her daughter, her fiancee’ and other hotel workers. It wasn’t that she thought I was inept at my job, it’s just that she wanted to be thorough about teaching me.
When she left today, I let her know that I enjoyed working with her. It’s so nice to really like the people you spend hours with, and I’m happy I no longer feel like we’re teacher and student. She’ll start school again next week, and her hours will get cut back to part-time. I’m actually going to miss her.