Posted January 17th, 2019 By Yummy Jobs
James' Biltmore Story Continued
#MYYUMMYSTORY | Welcome! To my first blog post of 2019, and the first one for the last few months. It has been an interesting and busy time at the Biltmore Estate with plenty to do and see.
Let's start by covering the most important and fascinating thing to happen over my last 6 months, that is winning an award at Biltmore! The award is given out each quarter to one person on the estate and it is for delivering exceptional service to both the guests and your peers.
Just after thanksgiving, all of the J1 interns were having a meal at the Deerpark restaurant where we could gather and experience a proper thanksgiving meal. As we were sat down, out walks my managers, vice president, head of HR, multiple heads of departments and finally the CEO of the company himself, Mr. Bill Cecil. We truly had no idea what was going on, but it soon became clear that someone had done something truly special, little did I know, it was me. I later found out that I was nominated because I covered a front desk agents shift, meaning I pulled a 16 hour day during the middle of Hurricane Florence, during that time period, a guest had lost an item, that they really wanted back, I searched the hotel from top to bottom and found it located in their room, subsequently I went to security and had it mailed back to them, the guests later called in to thank me for all the help. You will see above the picture, showing me shaking hands with the CEO of Biltmore. At the time I was truly shook and could not formulate sentences, but now looking back, I truly am touched that they decided I was worthy of receiving a prestigious award and honored that I became the first international participant to receive it.
Let's move from the extreme positive over to the not so positive! Over the last few months we had two major disasters here on the Biltmore estate. The first one back at the beginning of December was a major snowstorm, so big it knocked out the power at both hotels. We stayed overnight for around 2 nights, taking care of the small number of guests we had left. The first night was incredibly tricky as we did not have power until around 2AM, this meant popping up lanterns, using emergency stairwells and manually opening automatic doors. The morning after however was even more challenging, while the power was back, all the hotel operating systems were down, meaning we could not check people in or out, issue tickets or even find out which rooms were occupied. This carried on until after midday at which point we finally had all systems back online and normal service resumed. I do love the photo above though from after the snow had settled, the Christmas tree in the courtyard looking like a proper white Christmas had hit. Biltmore was well prepped for this storm, the day after, majority of the estate roads were already cleared up.
The second of the disasters was in my opinion even worse. This was a flood like I have never seen before. Whole roads completely out of access, traffic coming to a standstill, it was unexpected. We knew rain was coming but not to the level it did, and in such a short amount of time. There was a lighter side to all these 'disasters' though as during the 'Snowmageddon' we had a massive snowball fight in between the departments... AND I LOST!
There has been all the holidays since our last post, meaning I got to experience a lot of different cultural activities. From Halloween through New Years. Let's start with Halloween where we got to take a trip to a corn maze, followed by a brewery, fancy McDonald's and finishing up with a mystery tour of Asheville. Now the tour was interesting, but more because the guide had a lot of conspiracy theories and it was really hard to not burst out laughing at any given time. After Halloween was an american traditional holiday called Thanksgiving, I got to experience this with the rest of the J1 interns by having a meal. Then the Christmas holidays came around where we had a secret Santa, one of my best friends Michyla ended up with my name and I got hers, SUPER CUTE! Here is a picture of Michyla, Amelia and Myself shopping days before Christmas.
As I close this post, I reflect on my favorite vacation lately, which was getting to go back home to Florida, although it is not my real home, it is as good as. I spent a year working for the mouse and every time I go back, I enjoy it even more! I needed time to recuperate and now that I am back, I have moved on to my second and last location within my rotation. Welcome to The Inn on Biltmore Estate which will become my next home for six months. I can't wait to see all the different areas and see how a Forbes 4 star rated hotel truly works.
Keep an eye out for James' next post, as we are following his journey in the U.S.A with the Biltmore Estate!
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