Having worked in hotels for 20 years, Patrick Hi Weng Thiam has developed a knack of knowing when guests would require his assistance.
So in November last year, when a guest called the reception at Rendezvous Hotel to ask for the location of the nearest clinic as he suspected he had food poisoning, Hi knew there was much more he could do than just providing directions.
The 47-year-old grabbed a wheelchair and went up to the guest’s room, where he found the guest, who had travelled to Singapore alone, lying in bed, in a weak state.
“He said that he had been going to the toilet quite often since the previous night and he was feeling quite weak,” Hi told The Pride. “I suspected that he couldn’t walk so I brought the wheelchair just in case.”
The front office department assistant manager then wheeled the guest to the nearby clinic and even stayed on for half-an-hour to help him with the registration at the clinic and to speak to the nurses.
“I thought it would come in handy if he had an extra pair of hands,” added Hi, who came back to pick the guest and his medication up after his consultation with the doctor was over.
On his own initiative, Hi also called for room service and ordered a bowl of congee for the guest as he thought the guest might not have had much to eat that day. He also left extra bottles of water in the room so that the guest could re-hydrate himself.
Hi’s training and his years in the service industry have made it natural for him to anticipate his guests’ needs, but perhaps more than that, he’s able to put himself in their shoes.
“I think that when guests are travelling alone, they could definitely benefit from more kindness, extra care and concern shown to them,” he explained. He added: “I always believe in treating people the way I want to be treated. That mindset is very important.”
For his thoughtful act, Hi is among 146 hotel service staff who were recognised at this year’s National Kindness Service Gold Awards earlier today. The annual awards ceremony aims to recognise service staff who have excelled in the past year in making their guests’ stay as pleasant as possible.
Hi said that as a service staff, it is important to love what he does daily and take great pride in his job.
“You must have a passion for it and a positive mindset, as customer service can be quite a challenging job. So you need to anticipate problems and the needs of your guests,” Hi explained.
This spirit of putting his guest first has led to many memorable encounters, including one fond memory – when, earlier this year, he went out of his way to help an elderly female visitor from England, who was in the early stage of dementia.
With his colleagues, he kept a watchful eye on her, making sure she could find her way around Singapore safely. And as he was also concerned that she would not be able to make it to the airport on her own, he took the liberty of sending her there.
“The guest was quite touched that we went the extra mile for her. She was so touched that she cried before boarding the flight. This is one of the more unforgettable memories that I’ve had in my career,” Hi recalled fondly.
He goes out of his way to help guests and colleagues, even if it’s not within his job scope
He is a senior duty engineer tasked with maintaining equipment in the hotel and ensuring inspections are conducted and documented.
But Samsudin Bin Ridwan would also take the initiative to assist his colleagues at the Ramada by Wyndham Singapore at Zhongshan Park Hotel with their work, even if it isn’t under his purview or expertise. His spirit of helping is the embodiment of service, which is why the 54-year-old was awarded the Service Gold award.
Samsudin’s colleagues have called him a “genuine and kind-hearted” person who never fails to carry out his duty and will “never say no” to a call for assistance from a guest or a colleague. He has also been praised for treating his colleagues with respect, brightening the day for everyone around him with his cheerful, kind and humble personality.
Samsudin said his positive attitude comes from his father’s influence on him.
“My father is a catering chef for Muslim weddings. He always enjoyed having company and loved to help and mingle with people. I think that’s where I got my outgoing character and friendliness,” Samsudin shared with The Pride.
Growing up with seven siblings played a part, too, as they have always looked out for each other.
Apart from assisting his colleagues with their job, Samsudin also tries to support the hotel’s CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) programmes as much as he can. When guests come up to him for help, Samsudin says that he would be as friendly and accommodating as he can, or redirect them to colleagues who might be in a better position to aid them.
It boils down to his motto in life: “I believe no matter how big the issue is, there is always a solution to it. I just have to approach it using different perspectives to find that solution and solve the problem,” said Samsudin.