Term 1: Entering the profession
In 1992, after finishing university, I didn’t know what to do, waiting for the right major, it was not my turn. That year, Vietnam had only opened its doors for a few years and was still very hungry. Hanoi is like a big village. The place at Daewoo hotel, Ngoc Khanh street is still full of water spinach and landfill, Lang Trung street (now Nguyen Chi Thanh) is like dirt road, full of elephants, cows and dust.
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While hanging around at home helping her mother raise pigs, an uncle who works as a manager of a 2-star hotel on Liberation Street agreed to accept a job as a security guard, with a salary of 300,000 a month. That’s good luck, guys. Pho at that time was about 3 thousand a bowl, the salary of pho is also about 3 million now.
At that time, the number of hotels in Hanoi could be counted on one finger: Thang Loi, Thong Nhat (Sofitel Metropole now), Democracy, Thang Long (after the joint venture changed its name to Hanoi hotel) were names. illustrious. As for the hotel I work at, there are only 40 rooms, 2 stars, but it’s also in the size category. All are Taiwanese tourists to tour and look for investment opportunities. Room rates are awfully high, as low as $120 a room. And the Taiwanese association is so girly. The night is full of drag everywhere, crowded like a festival. I specialize in night work, so I sometimes get a “lucky” from the front desk. I have a reputation for finishing university and being Hanoian, but I’m very hometown, guys. Going to work is all Laotian, the uncle must remind: “you have to put your shoes on, the hotel”. Back to begging for money, my mother gave me money to buy the first pair of shoes in my life, it hurt to walk, which means all my feet. At that time, working seriously and hard work. Night shift is forbidden to sleep at all. I often sit on the sidewalk, drink tea and count the number of train cars running back and forth to Giap Bat station across the street. At 6 a.m., it’s time to put some seduxen sleeping pills in your body and then cycle more than ten kilometers home. While walking, the medicine was absorbed, and when I got home, I went to bed and slept. Because I am the type that has trouble sleeping, and I often worry about nonsense. Born and raised during the subsidy period, the embargo, the whole society was starving, eating today, worrying about tomorrow, having no money, so I still love my father, love my mother but worry about it. The first month of salary, I spent to buy an iron base fan to bring home. The biggest and most luxurious property in my house! Fortunately, I worked as a security guard for 2 months, when my uncle told me that there were many customers, I moved to help the housekeeping department. So I officially entered the housekeeping profession and worked during the day, but if I repeat seduxen at night, I’ll probably go crazy. The chamber group has 5 people, led by Mr. Hoa from Saigon. He was very enthusiastic, guiding and instructing me meticulously from how to make beds, clean rooms and how to behave with guests. I also have the opportunity to approach more civilized and modern things. Like making a phone call. Phones are such a luxury. I still remember the first time I dialed the house of my girlfriend who went to college with me, but I was so nervous, so nervous that her mother picked up the phone, but I stammered, unable to speak, and had to put it down. His family is the richest in my class because his mother works in the business, the family always has a box of instant noodles, which I like very much but can only afford to buy a few packages at a time. What I have is that I learn quickly, work hard, I don’t mind knowing a bit of English, I studied in high school, so I am appreciated by customers and colleagues. In addition to the salary, there are additional tips. The feeling when opening the door to check out the room or make a living room but see a 1 dollar bill on the pillow or the nightstand, it’s so good, guys. The dollar at that time was about 10 thousand, equal to a whole day’s work. With money, I go to study English in the evening. Although my house is very close to the University of Foreign Language Education, but in the 3rd week of the week, I cycled more than a dozen trees to Ly Thuong Kiet school to study for a B, then C. Tan took advantage of visiting relatives on the street. At the end of that year, my father was found to have cancer, my mother ran to take care of him from hospital to hospital every year. At home, there were only 2 brothers and 1 dog taking care of each other. , male meal, female meal, hungry meal, full meal, so both humans and dogs are skinny, the dog is still limp, unable to walk.
By the middle of 93, my uncle no longer worked as a hotel manager, that was when the 11-storey Thang Long hotel, the pride of the capital construction industry, was a joint venture with Tungshing Group of Hong Kong preparing to open Ha Noi Hotel. Interior 4 stars. Really, it’s a huge event for those in the industry. Not wanting to miss out, the roommates invited each other to submit documents. The difficulty is that I am tall enough, but only 41 pounds heavy, but the minimum standard of being healthy enough to work must be 45. Fortunately, when I went to apply for a medical certificate, the doctor only “asked” 20 thousand to write more. 4 pounds, it’s really cheaper than pork, guys. After submitting my application, on the day of pre-qualification and interview, I was afraid of being rejected because I was too short. I remember, when standing on the scale, Ms. Thanh HR said “so skinny, how can I prevent it”, he went with him quickly “it’s thin but good girl”, so she clicked her tongue to pass. Going to the interview with experts, I think because I have experience and know some English, I was accepted easily. But to go to work, each employee must deposit 300 thousand. Money will be spent every month or given to my mother, where can I get a deposit of 300 now. The only way is to ask your mother. My mother didn’t let me, told me to do it. I was so angry that I opened the waistband of my pants and gave me 1 piece of gold I had saved up and told me to sell it and pay for it. Gold at that time was 360 thousand 1 only, equal to exactly 1/10 now, standard with the price of pho, isn’t it…
Then it’s training time. The head of the room department is Mr. Hiep who works as an interpreter. I admire Mr. Hiep so much. I know every English word, I can talk to the West quickly, my profession is hard because it was transferred from the old Thang Long. When the hotel opened, I was chosen to make soup and was arranged as a VIP floor. VIP but few tips guys. The responsibility is heavy. I still remember the day when I made a room for the Singapore ambassador’s house, there was a huge altar. I wrapped it around the end of the chopsticks to clean the tube of the kerosene lamp, but unfortunately it cracked. Afraid, I asked to go out, cycled around Hanoi looking to buy a ball, but there was no one that would fit. At noon, when I got back to the office, I saw the message. The ambassador asked whoever broke the light bulb to meet her. God damn it, she has a reputation for being tough. I knocked on the door, stood close, waiting for the storm. But no, she just asked why the lamp on the altar was broken? She presented, because I wiped the soot inside, so it cracked, I tried to find it but couldn’t find it. She said it’s okay if it’s broken, that’s okay, let me ask you to send it from Singapore to…
Working in Hanoi for nearly a year, there is a 4-star hotel, a joint venture with Taiwan to recruit a room director to prepare to open. I kept submitting my resume and thought I would never get hired. 23 years old, young with little experience. On the day of the interview, I just straight up shared, said whatever, but dozens of documents for both the chamber and the heads of other departments that each of them received was new. The General said that you and I will be the core of the pre-opening team. You come here to work, help me recruit, train and manage 200 employees and department heads, can you do it? Huh, of course I’m ok now. Return to Hanoi hotel to apply for leave. The GM is Mr. Tiger Lee, a very reputable person, the staff are all very scared, he called me to the office, talked, persuaded me for half a day, surprising me that with a low position like me, why did it take you so much? such time. Much respect, but I still insisted, I had to sign the application and wish me success in the new position. So I became the Chamber Manager – Executive Housekeeper at the age of 23 like that.
The title “director” at that time was very big, guys. Everyone is familiar with the factory type, the factory in the subsidy period, the director has the right to birth and the right to supervise. When I returned to the village, I was also a little happy and proud. Hearing people whisper: “He’s so young, but he works as a director for a foreign company” and I feel so proud. But it’s really ouch. Jobs at that time were rare, a lot of people had to “ask” me to apply. How can there be Hoteljob.vn to post and apply online as simple and easy as now, without email or even phone. The hotel must publish the new Hanoi newspaper and receive a stack of paper documents. I was assigned to receive, classify documents, make an appointment for the boss and GM to directly interview and answer candidates’ questions. The number of CVs and jobs is extremely large. The questions are mainly about salary, regime and silly questions such as: “Does the hotel have a lot of lice and bedbugs?”, is the hotel a “girly” place? Fortunately, there are a few more staff members later. Do you know how Taiwanese people recruit people? Thought it was simple but very “deep” in Chinese style. Because at that time, there were very few people in Hanoi who had experience and foreign languages, so the criteria was just to be good and pretty. The boss and GM set the table to sit deep inside the room, the candidate walking from the door is enough to observe the shape, the way to walk, stand, and style… When the candidate sits down on the chair in front of him, he will be “thanked for” “Get a cup of water. Those who are calm, who have “education”, good culture will be shown at this time by very small things such as giving with two hands, looking straight in the eye, the handle of the cup must be turned to the right for the person to hold… For employees only that. Many people ask for an interview but don’t see any questions and of course many people don’t understand why they failed or were accepted.
The first staff of the hotel is extremely standard, everyone is beautiful, obedient, and conscious. Partly because society in general at that time was very pure and … stupid. I am both a manager and a student. The hotel hired a team from a Taiwanese TV station to teach carefully about style, makeup, appearance… Besides professional skills, I also learned Chinese for… 8 months because the hotel was slow to open. Each month of going to school, each employee is paid 20 dollars, so it is temporary enough to live and study hard. 220 people divided into classes by department: room, bar, kitchen, reception, dance hall… The head of the department is mainly Taiwanese, Hong Kong and Chinese who are directly trained. Learning is fun and quality. At that time, my father passed away. My grandmother is a person who likes formality, so it is very “cool” when there are many beautiful “boys and girls” coming to visit at the funeral. Dad passed away, mom doesn’t have to be taken care of in the hospital anymore, so brothers and sisters and the dog are better taken care of. My salary was 100 dollars, I sold 1.1 million, so it was much less difficult. Once, the Shanghai Room Division Manager, my direct boss, grabbed my hand and talked. The girl’s hand that grabbed her biceps fell into place. Embarrassed for myself and for Vietnamese men in general, I decided to open a “fattening campaign”. First of all, you have to get rid of the habit of worrying, or thinking nonsense, inject vitamin C to cool down and sleep better. Next is to nourish with eggs and honey and go to the gym. So I keep gaining weight. From the place where she lost more than 40 pounds, she had “more skin, more flesh”.
In order to meet the hotel business, I was afraid that at night or when I was absent, the hotel had a way to contact, so I gritted my teeth and installed a landline phone to pay installments. To be able to pull the phone cord home, it costs 3 million, buying a machine costs another 600 thousand. Huge numbers guys. In early 1995, the hotel also opened after months of delay. My salary was raised to 120 dollars. At the end of the year, I also saved and borrowed more to buy a Dream Thai 3 pieces for 2600 USD. The best quality on earth. I keep and take care of it more than myself, always clean and shiny. So it looks like a “director”.
Next period: The job of the Chamber Director…