Day in the Life: Tatjana Ahmed, Grand Hyatt Dubai
We join Hotelier Middle East’s Housekeeper of the Year 2019 on a typical day at the office
6:00am Wake up. No time to waste, read my emails and look at the night manager’s reports while enjoying a cup of hot tea. The mornings are so tranquil in the area we live, and I love to catch the first rays of sunlight gleaming into the living room. This, to me, is Zen at its best.
6:45am I start my morning routine of getting ready for work while listening to my favourite radio show, the Business Breakfast. After that, I have a quick chat with my children and my husband as they usually leave the house just a bit before me.
8:00am Clock into work. Having a quick cup of coffee and a bite to eat in our employee restaurant — World of Hyatt Café. Meet the night shift supervisor for updates. Review the agenda for the day and start the team’s morning briefing.
9:00am Departmental briefing with the director of rooms, front office manager, and the rest of the team. Discuss the upcoming day including VIP arrivals for today and tomorrow, and also the meetings and events for the day.
9:30am I take a walk around the public areas together with the responsible supervisor ensuring that all is in order. Highlighting any additional tasks that need to be carried out, from rolling out any VIP delegation amenities to ensuring the highest level of cleanliness and hygiene is adhered to while ensuring we also take the time to meet and greet guests in the lobby and other public areas.
10:30am Quick catch up meeting with the florist and storekeeper. Check on pending deliveries and purchase requests. Meet with my linen runner to ensure adequate stocks are ready to go up.
11:00am Back in the offi ce to check for any new updates and happenings around the hotel. Review the VIP arrivals again and the long-staying guests. Things can change at any moment, and although it is quite routine administrative work, it is incredibly vital. After this, I go back out into guest areas and meet my teams on the fl oors. Have quick chats with the team leaders to see how they are doing and ensuring that everything is running smoothly. Then I go and check public areas again as it is an area that requires constant attention, especially when we have events happening in the convention centre with two large ballrooms and around the hotel. We have approximately 8,000 square meters of event space at Grand Hyatt Dubai, so you can imagine how busy it can get and how much cleaning goes on!
2:30pm Post-lunch, we have forecast meetings that include people from differentdepartments, then I prepare for training sessions to keep my team up to date with today's standards, and ensure that everyone is well equipped to do their tasks the best they can. Then I meet suppliers for any existing products that we use, or to see if any new innovative products have been released in the market and can be substituted for better results. Then like everyone else, after the bulk of “check-ins” and “check-outs” are done, I take my time to answer emails.
5:00pm Prepare for the next day. Check VIP arrivals for the next three days to be prepared in case there are special requests like flowers, babysitting, etc. Check staffing requirements are adequate. Meet with the evening shift team and discuss VIP's special requests, the evening's events, and night cleaning schedule.
6:00pm Go on my evening round in the public areas. Have a catch up with the team leaders as they return from the fl oors one by one. Meet with my assistant to discuss the next day. Check again emails
to be answered and wind up the day.
7:30pm I arrive home, just in time for dinner with my family. Having two teenage kids, they have eventful days and love to share their stories with me and my husband, and honestly one of the best parts of my day. After dinner, either watch a movie or CNN with my husband to see what’s happening in the world. A few times a week I connect with my brother in Germany to catch up on things with him. Then while my husband retires to bed, I stay up a bit longer to wind down. I take an hour to read or prepare for any upcoming housekeeping meetings or conferences that I attend outside of work. This is to keep informed of new trends and practices and ultimately allows me to stay on top of my field and industry.
10:30pm Lights off!