Janusz Wędzicha's story
I was recently promoted from Receptionist to Guest Experience Specialist for Mercure Krakow Old Town. I worked for seven years as a driver for the hotel and that’s how I started my adventure in hospitality. It may seem unlikely now but I was very shy at the beginning, but working as a driver was a great stepping stone that and prepared me for reception because I started to meet and get to know customers, business and leisure guests, who had high expectations of the service.
And because I have been at the hotel from the beginning, I already knew most of the hotel’s Team as well as pretty much every corner of the building, so it was like plug and play to move from driving to the front office team, although I did need to get to learn the operating system. The entire team from the hotel manager to colleagues at the front desk knew me and accepted me because they heard positive comments about my person from guests who I drove to the hotel. And as a receptionist, I improved my approach to guests, how to entertain them and help them enjoy their time in Krakow so that they got the best out of it.
Accor gave me the opportunity to evolve and learn new things; and I appreciate the stability of my employment – that is very important to me personally. Also, I get the chance to learn new languages, which is fun for me because I find that easy. As a driver, I learned some Spanish and Arabic; I like to know a few words in each language because it is nice for guests when they are in another country to hear their own language; it is always a pleasant surprise for them and makes for a great icebreaker.
It would be an adventure to work in another country but for the moment, I’m concentrating on my new tasks. Apart from working for Accor I am an active soldier for the Polish Army and I still have military duties in my unit for my country. Soon I will start a course to move up to corporal. The army also sent me on a course to train as a paramedic where I learned a lot of things, including how to save a life. I am the only person in the hotel with such military qualification. That September has been very busy for me with promotion at work and promotion in the army.
Being a Heartist means being helpful, open to others, welcoming and showing people the culture of my country and my city, so that guests remember that and associate it with their stay in our hotel; it is being supportive of my colleagues too, which is a common denominator between working in a hotel and serving in the army.
To someone newly in the sector, I would say do not be afraid to be challenged, to meet new people and to learn new things because they will be useful in the future. Relax, enjoy it and be yourself. Show guests your best side and always go beyond the call of duty – I try to do that, it is important to me.
- Janusz Wędzicha
- Guest Experience Specialist
- Mercure Kraków Stare Miasto (Poland)