So after an exciting two days in the insurance field, I went back on the job hunt. I only knew a few people in the Phoenix area but sent them emails to see what possibilities were out there. One of the emails came back with a lot of potential.
It was at a hotel that I had worked with while I worked for the baseball team in Surprise. He was going to be leaving soon his position at the hotel for another opportunity. So I went in for an interview for the Director of Sales position at the hotel. The interview last two hours and we did not really talk about work stuff that long. The General Manager and I talked for that long just over what had happened at previous jobs and I wanted to know more about the hospitality industry. So I kept asking question after question. She answered each one and I left feeling confident that the position was mine. I got a call about a week later and I was correct, I was the new Director of Sales of the Spring Hill Suites in Glendale, AZ.
I started during the busiest time of the year with Spring Training starting shortly and everyone coming to town to see their teams play. It was crazy to see all the baseball personnel and fans come together to see their teams get ready for the upcoming season. That ended and then came an event that I never thought I would ever be so close to: NASCAR. Holy cow that was a nutty week. For the record: I am not a NASCAR fan. I have been in arguments with many people, including those reading this right now about it even being a sport. I will still argue that point; however, I still had fun when they came and met the teams. The nicest group of people. I was introduced as the salesman that did not like NASCAR. They laughed it off and were still very polite, at least to my face.
First major adversity was in June of 2006. I had been there almost four months and we were preparing for our biggest group of the year as Madonna’s group was taking up 95% of our hotel. The day before they were due to check-in, a lady came to the desk and checked into a room. About 25 minutes she called down to let us know that she just downed a bottle of pills and we should call someone. Our AGM and Engineer ran upstairs to get her as we called 911. The lady survived; however, it was my first experience of why some people come to check into a hotel room: to check out, permanently. I was in shock but impressed with how the staff moved into action. It was a scary situation but it was handled perfectly from the staff’s point of view. It was impressive to see how everyone, other than me, had the initial shock look and then went into the proper crisis mode. Showed how experience in the field conquered experience of a job title. Wow.
We were staying busy throughout the summer months and into the fall. I was learning more and more about the hotel industry and the particular brands our franchisor covered. Then came a conversation with our General Manager that was quite shocking and unexpected. What would happen next?
Next time: So you want me to take what position??