The job of a doorman is not the most glamourous, yet it is an important component as the frontline staffs are the ones who have the first point of contact with guests. They can make or break an impression. But what is it really like in that position?
We talked to Mr. Jais Adbul Rahman – who has been working in Grand Hyatt Singapore since 1972, and is currently the hotel’s lobby manager – to find out more about the daily job scope of a doorman, the challenges that they face in the line of work, and some of the things that you never knew about being a hotel doorman.
THE DAILY JOB SCOPE OF A DOORMAN
At Grand Hyatt Singapore, there are usually two doormen on duty at one shift, and this is simply to maintain their presence at the doorway so that every guest feels welcomed.
When the guests arrive, the doorman has to open the door of the car and assist with carrying the luggage. Besides acting as traffic controller to ensure that there is no congestion on the road outside of the hotel, the doorman also has to help hail cabs for guests who are leaving.
THINGS THAT YOU NEVER KNEW ABOUT BEING A DOORMAN
It is really not as simple as opening and closing doors, like most of us would have thought so. There are other duties like carrying the countless luggage and assisting every guest to the hotel lobby when the guest service officers (GSO) are occupied with other guests.
Another discovery we made is that doorman double up as the hotel’s concierge, too. Thus, having general knowledge of the property is very essential because guests will always ask them for recommendations on where to go, as well as direction to a particular place. They are like your mini encyclopaedia and guidebook, so that is quite a bit of challenge on top of their primary responsibility.
A doorman also has to go the extra mile for guests. It can be as basic as helping guests run simple errands in the area like buying a phone card, or sheltering guests to the nearest bus stop or building when it is raining.
CAREER PROGRESSION OF A DOORMAN
According to Mr. Rahman, some of the traits of a good doorman include being friendly, helpful and tactful when handling different situations.
With NTUC’s Progressive Wage Model, a doorman’s job can be turned into a three-dimensional career with increased skills, wages, career opportunities and productivity. Possible career paths for doorman include bell captain, concierge, chief concierge, and duty manager. For those of you who do not know, here’s a video which explains the Progressive Wage Model better.
Like the hotel housekeepers, promotion depends on one’s capability and initiative on helping the guests to ensure that they have a pleasant experience at the hotel. Training and courses – like IT training and other upgrading skills – are offered to outstanding potentials.
The next time you ask for help or directions from the hotel doorman, thank him genuinely and I am sure it will make his day.
This message is part of a ladyironchef x Labour Movement project where we seek to share with you insights on the different initiatives by the Labour Movement to give workers in Singapore better jobs, better pay and better work-life balance.