GOOD= interesting jobs, great opportunities for upward movement, nice perks (when you get them), pretty darn good (mostly) work environments.
BAD= lower hourly pay (until you reach management level), potential for odd hours as we are a 24/7 industry, repetitious dealing with crazy tourists who are (sometimes) hot-tired-sunburned-angry at having to wait in another line-dressed like tourists who actually don’t care what they look like (and for the most part, we can’t argue with that belief, right?), etc., etc., etc.
UGLY= repetitious dealing with crazy tourists. Oh, did I already mention that? Well, it’s worth repeating. Again.
So, why do so many of us like the wonderful world of hospitality? Because the good outweighs the bad and ugly. And because there are so many jobs in this area, not to mention the world at large, in the field of hospitality. And, mostly because we are all ‘people-people’, at least that’s what we put on our resumes, right? Something to the effect of, “I just looove people, and it gives me great pleasure to be able to service them and be around them morning, noon, and night.” Or, something like that. But sometimes (and, I’m sure this doesn’t apply to any of you, ahem) we only put it there on our resume because we think that’s what our potential employer wants and needs to see. There, I said it. Resumes can lie. Which is exactly why anyone who is in a hiring position needs to look well beyond the written word (especially if your written words are misspelled on said resume, but I digress with that statement. . .) and look at the person as a whole. Are they sincere? Do they look self-assured and happy? Do they seem like problem solvers, and well, um, people-pleasers? Because really, what many, many hospitality jobs boil down to are two basic components:
1] Do they really like people, or are they just saying that to get a job? (Perhaps, the difference between, “Have a nice day!” and, “have a great frickin’ day, lady, and please never let me see your sorry face again here!”?)
2] Can this person think on their feet and make an effort to solve a problem or answer a question without reverting to ‘ugly hospitality employee’ tactics?
Of course there are many more components in the job search, but I’m here to tell you that no matter what your position in the hospitality industry you will almost always be dealing with people (and in our case here in Orlando that mostly means tourists and convention goers) in some capacity, so if you can’t get over #1 then it’s fairly likely that you won’t pass the test of #2. Further, let’s be honest here. The act of actually liking people is not easily taught. You either do or you don’t. (Although, it should be noted that you can be taught to not like people, and that usually happens after you’ve been on the job for a while and then realized that BOOM! People are nuts! Some of them are downright crazy whack-a-doos, and you don’t want anything more to do with them. Don’t laugh, it happens all the time!)
So, where am I going with this? Back to the great land of job opportunity located right here in Orlando, aka the wonderful world of hospitality, which, by the way, basically means friendliness. So, it stands to reason that a basic tenet for anyone seeking employment in the fields of hotels, travel, tourism, attractions, restaurants, transportation, et al needs to take an oath of truthfulness before starting said job. Physicians and lawyers do it before accepting their professional designations, so why not the friendliness community? Something short, sweet and meaningful would be appropriate.
“I hereby accept that it is my responsibility to be friendly to you knowing that you are a tired traveler who has spent lots of your hard earned money to visit [my place of employment], and that by accepting your money I acknowledge that you are paying for my own job, along with those of many others. Further, as long as you understand that it is always hot here in Orlando and there are always lines for everything including but not limited to the restrooms in every single location that you will visit, then I will do my best to smile and help you along this temporary journey through my little corner of the world.”
There now, that wouldn’t be so bad, would it? After said agreement is signed you could accept the job offer and be on your way to service with a smile, no matter the hour/day/point in time.
And, at the risk of sounding like Pollyanna, well, isn’t it better to deal with a friendly person than a hostile one? In the ‘hospitality hive’ we prefer happy people, so there you have it.