Well I started my first, full-time, non-temporary job today. For the first time in my life, I have to go to work 5 days per week for 8 hours per day and it’s not limited to a 3 month summer vacation. Today is really a momentous day in my life.
Unfortunately, this means I’m going to have to put my Shop My Shanghai business on the back burner for awhile…at least until I find a trustworthy bilingual girl who has time to take foreigners shopping Mon-Fri. (If you’re available, or know someone who’d be interested, email me.)
I believe starting a new job is a bit nerve-racking for anyone and involves so many new names, new faces, and information. This is even truer in a hotel where there are 270 employees and where you need to become familiar with the uniforms, locker room, public v. private areas, procedures, etc. Being that I’m in a Chinese hotel, it’s all the more complicated.
Though I will go through a 2-week rotation/training period to the different departments of the hotel over the next 3-4weeks, I spent my first day in the sales office observing. Much to my concern, they only had 4 desks with 4 computers (None with internet!) for 7 or 8 people. I’m not sure how that’s supposed to work. I can’t function without internet! I asked them what they do all day and they said make banquet/wedding sales/reservations, but they do it by waiting for the phone to ring. Much as the Irish Operations Manager indicated, they lack a proactive approach to sales. He also said it has improved since he got there; I can’t even imagine what they did before!
In 1 week and 2 interview later, I went from being a minimal experience, recent college grad to Assistant Sales Manager, 3rd or 4th in line after the GM at a 4* hotel, having about 6 people under me, including a couple of 30-year old women who’ve clearly worked there longer than I have. Talk about a quick boost in status.
An easy way to recognize most the male managers on the property is by their purple ties. It’s interesting to me that even the senior level managers wear uniforms (though they are suits). At the JW Marriott in Hong Kong, the employees aspire to wear their own suits because it indicates they are managers and no longer staff. That’s not the case at this hotel–even at my position I’m required to wear a uniform, as is my boss. That means I’ll have to wear a skirt and nylons everyday, ugh! Well, at least it saves money on dry cleaning and buying new suits. And I’ll also be getting used to wearing and standing in heels all day long again.
I think spending a year plus working in a Chinese (government-owned) company, surrounded by only Chinese employees (there are only 2 other white men employed there) will be a very profound and unique experience.
So, as you may guess, between a full-time job, mandarin classes 2 nights per week, plus trying to start a new business with Rola, keeping up my Shop My Shanghai business, and exporting items to the US (and looking for a boyfriend 😉 ), I’ll be rather busy. As such, I will likely not write on a daily basis anymore.
In other news…today I stopped a pick-pocket. As I was walking home a girl and a woman were walking towards me, then abruptly, the girl turned and started following the lady on the bike in front of me. I thought that’s a bit strange. Then the girl started getting closer to the bike lady…then she started trying to unzip her bag. And I was like, what the…! So I screamed ‘hey hey hey’ and to the girl, ‘what are you doing!’ She gave me an evil look like ‘get off, what do you care.’ Guess it just goes to show pick-pockets really do come in all shapes and sizes, and are in every city.