Any traveler can tell you that when it comes to what separates a good hotel stay from a bad one, the details make all the difference. Jim makes sure the details are taken care of for guests of the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in St. Peters. He’s approaching the one-year mark as a houseman there, but his experience in the hospitality industry goes way back. He’s worked in a number of hotels throughout his career, honing the skills he applies to his current role.
Throughout the week, you’ll find Jim taking care of the areas that serve as the hotel’s first impression. He vacuums the carpets and takes out the trash in near the building’s front doors and keeps the lobby restrooms and guest laundry room spic and span, among other duties. Each day, Jim is given a highlighted list of tasks that need to be completed during his shift. Shawn, the hotel’s General Manager, says Jim is punctual and dependable. “If you tell him what you need done that day, he’s going to get it done. You don’t have to worry about it,” he said. “I wish I had ten more employees just like him.”
Jim knows how to make guests feel welcome, too. In fact, he says his favorite things about his job are “the people and the atmosphere.” Since he spends much of his time working in the lobby, Jim gets to meet a lot of people. “I greet the customers and say goodbye and thank you for coming,” he said. He adds a personal touch to their experience by welcoming everyone and asking where they’re from. Connecting with each person who walks through the front doors wasn’t part of Jim’s training. It’s just part of his personality. “He never misses a guest,” Shawn said, commenting that Jim’s personal touch helps set the St. Peters Holiday Inn Express apart from larger corporate hotels.
“I wish I had 10 more employees just like him.”
Those connections don’t end with the people staying in the hotel. “Everyone who works here has just grown to love Jim,” Shawn said. The other employees recently threw Jim a birthday party with cupcakes and gifts. The celebration was meant to be a surprise, but he noticed something was up right away and it wasn’t long before he caught on to what the staff were planning behind the scenes. The party was a blast for Jim and everyone else. Shawn said, “I don’t know anyone here who doesn’t enjoy having Jim around.”