July 24th, 2008

Over these months that I’ve been writing to you about this hotel, its features, events and the employees we are so proud of, I’ve also given you little hints about the general makeup of the staff. So you already know that most people who work here were hired because they were the friend or family member of someone who already worked here. The reservations manager says that he looks forward to coming to work every day because all his friends are here. If you are a regular guest you’ve probably noticed that one of the strongest things we have to offer as an establishment is a sense of casual comfort, and a lot of that comes from how comfortable our staff is with each other.

Let me tell you about the one person whose life is more difficult because of everything I’ve just written, the HR manager. It is Leann’s job to educate and to enforce in an environment where people are used to relating to each other in familial and unregulated ways. I think that to describe this task being carried out in this hotel, I get to use one of my favorite phrases:  it’s like herding cats. She has managed to invoke some fear and one bellman classifies her as the person who “punks” the staff when they are out of line, but to her it is an uphill battle. And, even worse, that’s only part of her job. As assistant to the general manager, poor Leann has to make first contact with the chaos and eccentricity of said team leader. Think of Leann at staff barbeques, eating tofu while the rest of the group gnaws bones. Think of any order and professionalism you’ve experienced as a guest of our hotel and know that Leann has had some success. Think of joining us in the strange combination of fear and admiration of Leann.

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