Adaptability and Flexibility
Man, oh man, what a week! This week has challenged and uplifted me higher than any other week I have faced so far. Not only did I celebrate my 21st birthday, but I also got to run reception at my placement by myself. My supervisor had faith and confidence in me to take off to France for a well-deserved holiday. I was sad to see them go, but this past week has helped me gain the self-confidence in a professional setting I thought I was lacking. Although there were some moments when I was overwhelmed, I pushed through and asked for assistance when I needed it. I almost feel like I wish I had experienced this week before writing the blog post about problem-solving without complete information.
During my first day on my own running a department, I struggled with keeping up with the constant incoming emails about reservations inquiries, dining policies, and so the list goes on. By day two, I was able to complete all my daily tasks, but I struggled to take a step away from the desk. That is one thing I think I find most difficult, being professional and equally laid back. For the most part, every employee has been working at the Club together for at least five years. Give or take a couple of new summer hires. This means that everyone acts like family and can continue running the operation with their eyes closed. At times, I have found it intimidating to maintain these relationships with my coworkers while trying to concentrate on not making any major mistakes. Although when I have made a mistake, the staff is right there to support me and help fix the situation. For example, the Club held another glamorous wedding that had its moments of chaos and extreme stress. After first arriving for my shift, I discovered our accommodations were overbooked. However elegant the Stephen’s Green Club is, there are only ten decent rooms and two small single rooms that we can offer to our guests. We offer six rooms for the wedding party at a special rate. Typically these arrangements are made months in advance. During my second work week, I was tasked to block off wedding rooms through the end of 2023. This is done to ensure there are no blunders that lead to overbooking. Unfortunately for this most recent wedding, we were fully booked and only had five rooms for the wedding guests.
Learning in class and reading textbooks about how to prevent overbooking never really put into perspective how stressful the situation can be. As I was juggling daily tasks and helping with the wedding preparation, I also had to find a way to solve this huge problem. Thankfully I had a vague concept of a solution due to my wonderful professor and the courses I have completed. It was just a manner of understanding how the Club typically deals with overbooking. Normally, we would be able to place our overflow in the Kildare Street and University Club, but they were fully booked as well! Thankfully with the assistance of other employees at the Club, I was able to successfully navigate the stressful situation. Although, the Club had to cover the cost of a room for the outplaced guest. Sadly I have not heard how the rest of the evening went as I only work Monday through Friday.
Before I started working at my placement, I was also worried bonding with the staff would prove challenging. That mindset was due to the casual working environment everyone mentioned before I even arrived on the island. I was born and raised in a small town where everyone had a vague understanding of every individual, and I was fearful that being so completely out of my element would affect my ability to build relationships. Although I still struggle to balance the seriousness of the job and the relaxed environment the staff personifies, I feel that spending my birthday at work helped me open up. I started my day not expecting much as it was my first time being away from friends and family. When I arrived to work a couple of people wished me a happy birthday, but I was not expecting the surprise everyone planned for me. During our 11 o’clock meeting, where all the important information about dining, accommodations, and events are shared, I was surprised by the staff with a little birthday celebration. There was cake, several gifts, a card signed by everyone, and even a huge balloon. It caught me by complete surprise and made me tear up a little. Everyone at my placement has treated me with such kindness, and I did not realize till then how much I was going to miss being part of the Club. At first, it took me a good week or more to remember everyone’s names, but slowly and surely, I have bonded individually with each employee. Even if I do not join them at the coffee station for some gossip or eat lunch with everyone, I am truly going to miss them after my internship ends.
Overall this experience has made me develop personally and professionally by making me face opportunities where flexibility was necessary. I did not expect to be running an entire department on my own during my internship, but here I am. Succeeding under pressure because I can roll with the chaos, use critical problem-solving skills, and adapt should the need arise.