Been there, done that. Or so I thought. After a not so successful assignment in Minneapolis, my next stop was Columbus OH for the past two weeks. When I first started this job, my first assignment was here in the upscale area of Easton in Columbus. Tons of shopping, dining a quarter of a mile away. Very corporate, shiny and new. Returning there was not a problem, but my new assignment was more in the Airport area where my company had just opened a new hotel. I’ve never really been a new hotel kind of girl – yes it can be exciting but I have always veered towards the more challenging older properties. I was providing support to the new GM while covering the Housekeeping department as they had a new Housekeeping exec starting the following week.
Just when I think I have a handle on this job, I get thrown a few curveballs. Housekeeping department was still in the early stages of establishing who the staff would be – lots of room inspections, workers from temp services, and language barriers. First week was exhausting, and let’s face it – a housekeeping staff who did not warm to me immediately. A new hotel can mean a lot of construction dust, different housekeepers that had different ways of doing the job. Getting everyone on same page was looking impossible, and finding all supplies. One week in, hundreds of room inspections – and I was exhausted and ready for the new exec to show up. He did the next Monday – and I was glad to see an immediate sense of ownership that he took over the staff. He was clear in expectations, took time to properly train, correct and compliment the staff. We also released a few people to find their true calling as it was clear – housekeeping was not for them. As I have mentioned in an earlier post, it is hard and not everyone can do it – let alone have a good attitude about it.
The second week I could focus more on what the GM needed to do her job. A hotel opening can be rough, and days off do not happen easily. Everyone needs something from you and there is zero time to handle everything. It takes weeks to get in a routine. Accounting processes, owner reports, setting expectations for the managers you have, still dealing with some rooms under construction, the supplies needed, training staff – the list goes on and on. But leaving after two weeks, I felt more of a calm than I had the first week, the right managers were in place and the team was gelling. Time for me to move on.
Oh wait – I totally forgot to mention the more social sides of the job. I did go back to Eason Towne Center which was about a ten minute drive from the hotel. I sampled at World of Beers, dined at Brio, and may have made more than one trip to Jeni’s Incredible Ice Creams (omg – you must go). But I also found a new section of Columbus to explore – as a guest mentioned going to Short North Arts district. I was intrigued, and made the 10 minute drive downtown to the High Street exit. Now this is my kind of place – was a mix of Mass Ave and Broad Ripple on steroids ( back home Indy reference). Find parking (a small challenge ), walk and see non – chain pubs, cafes and restaurants – cute shops too. And the nearby homes and park – lovely area. Yes, after dark – the panhandling gets a little much but overall pretty safe area. Specific foodie mentions – Duck Wings and Angry Orchard at Hubbard Inn, The loaded fries and Breckenridge Ale at The Pint House, Bernard’s Tavern and Short North Tavern also get honorable mentions.
Throw in a short visit to German Village and the gardens at Schiller Park – beautiful.
Must pack, back to Chicago – South Loop area adventures starting Monday…