Interview With Maria Romeo, Our Reception Historical Face 0 Comments
For 30 years Maria Romeo's smile, professionalism, kindness and elegance have welcomed our Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites’ guests at the reception.
At the end of the eighth grade her choice was already made: the Hotel Institute of Arzachena was waiting for young Maria who knew exactly the job she wanted to perform when she grew up. And at the Institute she met her mentor, the professor teaching Hotel Technology who taught her the basics of the profession with discipline and accuracy: the way of presenting herself, the always perfect uniform, the always well-groomed personality. The professor, who was also an Hotel Manager, took his students to the hotel where he worked so that the theory of the school desks could be completed with the practice at the reception desk.
Q. Maria, from the second year, thanks to the support of the Institute, you were able to first experience summer work and then, from 1984, work on a permanent basis at the Hotel De Plam in Olbia until 1991. Well, is it true that you went to your graduation exam in your hotel uniform?
A. Yes (she pleasantly smiles with her eyes winking) I was already working, so, not having time to change, I went to the exam in uniform! I have to confess that I was really proud of that uniform. At the final exam my dissertation was on the "dynamics of the communication of the reception among the hotel departments", which had been appreciated by the examining commission. I continue to apply this dynamic because I consider the interaction of the reception with the various departments of the hotel to be very important.
Q. Did you have other work experiences after leaving De Plam before arriving here at the Gabbiano?
A. Yes, at the Li Cuncheddi Hotel, south of Olbia, where I worked for 2 seasons, a very nice place.
D. So we reach 1993…
A. …when, in that year’s spring I had my interview here at the Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites. I can say that we immediately hit it off with the property, especially with Signora Antonella, with whom I would have worked side by side. I brought in all what I knew. Looking back, it was a different way of working. No PC, so we had a hand-written booking register, the charging mode was manually made as well. The switchboard was also peculiar, but not as peculiar as the one with jacks we had practised on at school. Then the evolution of working with the computer, the arrival of the email that would replace the fax, which in turn had already replaced the telex.
Q. Explaining the use of those tools to a young receptionist today is like telling them a story from the remote past.
A. Certainly. Those were the instruments, and we used them to the fullest. I grew up in Gabbiano and with the Gabbiano. This is what I call “my own booming”. I also enthusiastically attended tourism fairs abroad.
Q. While you were working here, your two children were born.
A. Probably it’s also for this reason that I feel it here at home. Here I shared the best moments of my life, the worries, the satisfactions. The relationships I have cultivated internally and externally are wonderful. We have many repeaters. We exchange holidays’ greetings, when they arrive they often bring me a gift, with some we have become friends. Here at work, I use the "we" because I feel at home.
D. What is your greatest satisfaction when you work?
A. When I find that my proposal and description of the hotel is persuasive and I obtain the reservation made, then I give myself a symbolic pat on the back and proudly tell myself that I am a good salesperson (laughs amused).
Q. But to your professional growth was added the opening of the Degree Course in Economics and Tourism Enterprises here in Olbia.
A. A wonderful opportunity that I jumped at. Obviously, I had to work, to take care of two children and a house, so I didn't make it in the three foreseen years... but eventually I did.
Q. Excellent! So, the real secret to an efficient reception?
A. Behaviour, respect, knowing how to communicate, knowing how to relate to the person standing in front of you, adding a personal attention.
Q. An answer that reflects your value, Maria. Give yourself a well-deserved symbolic pat on the back… and for the future?
A. The future will be to wait here for retirement. I would end my career in a place I love among people I respect.
Thank you, Maria, it is always very pleasing chatting with you. My wish is that this important journey continues in the best possible way.--
Written by Daniela Toti