Sunday, April 1, 2012

Moments Among The Madness

I have referred to the "madness" of my new job a few times now, and indeed, it continues as only the craziness of going through a hotel renovation can. I have worked during a hotel renovation at another property previously and without a doubt, the situation provides non-stop unique challenges. That particular property was a beachfront franchise hotel, but the Elms is most certainly a horse of a historically different color. This is also not the first renovation the Elms has been through...there have been many in its long and storied century-plus existence. The madness for me is trying to learn my first human resources job in the daily who-the-bloody-hell-moved-my-cheese existence of working during said renovation. Don't take this as the filing of a complaint, however...its a good kind of stress, believe it or not.

The above photo represents the new mix of former compatriots and new cohorts that comprise the new team that is helping steer the somewhat unwieldy bus that is the Elms Renaissance. We all have been existing in the smallish space of the Carriage House on the Elms property while the hotel is renovated. Every day, there are a myriad of moments when it seems the Carriage House might burst at the seams with the insane amount of activity that surrounds and occurs within those walls. In this one snapshot, our Catering Sales Director Lacee is meeting with a vendor, our restaurant manager Erin is discussing possible server uniforms with Exec Chef Steven and IT guru Ethan. Asst. Catering Sales Director Amanda and Asst. Controller Jenai are working diligently at their desks while Director of Operations John, Spa Director Kevin and Front Desk Supervisor Barry are conducting a training for employees in the corner. Not pictured are various other salespeople, reservationists and other managers that are either giving hard-hat tours of the hotel or supervising the renovations or whatnot. This photo is from my former point-of-view at my desk. Still missing from this scenario is the abundant noise which could be anything from overlapping conversations to rumbles, horns and beeps from all of the trucks and machinery on property. We did finally burst at the seams as a tent was built on the Carriage House deck to house P.O.S. terminal and night audit trainings. Finally, on Friday, some of us were moved to our next temporary office in the Truman Boardroom, which looks out over the front desk and positions us in the middle of the renovation. This was also reputedly the room where Al Capone did some gambling and wheeling and dealing as he could see from all points who might be approaching. Should be some interesting vibes in there.

It all indeed feels overwhelming at times, but this group of folks that I'm now a part of are largely old hands at overcoming adversity. The Elms has survived this long thanks in big part to the community of Excelsior Springs and the fact that it will continue to be led by this forward-thinking management team is a fine sign of things to come. It hasn't been all work and no play either....there have been some fun work lunches for Britney's farewell and Brenda's birthday. In fact, Brenda's celebration seemed like what I always imagined the typical work lunch to was at El Maguey and they put a sombrero on her for the classic photo. I loved it. Moments abound every day from my coworker Jenai sampling her creative snacks like cucumber rolls and fruit skewers or Spa Director Kevin stopping by and giving a quick neck massage that uncoils you in thirty seconds flat.

So, the work continues and changes and upheaval come daily and that's how we choose to take it...a day at a time. It's a blast, though; there's a lot of excitement in the air. Hold on to your hats...

And lest I forget..
The opinions expressed in this blog are not representative of The Elms Hotel and Spa or Widewaters Hotels.


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