A move from Vancouver to the south Okanagan has led to a fun but challenging new career for Anita Thiebault.
Looking for a change from city life and restaurant work, Thiebault started as a room attendant at the Holiday Inn and Suites Osoyoos in May 2014.
It was a good fit — just one month into the job Thiebault was named Employee of the Month and is now looking forward to her second year at the hotel.
“I had experience in hotels before but that was many years ago. I had one day of training and I got it right away,” she says.
Thiebault’s shift runs from 9 to 5, during which she works with a team of two or three other room attendants to prepare rooms for arriving guests. This involves changing sheets, cleaning kitchens, restocking supplies, doing industrial-sized loads of laundry, and making sure everything is spotless. “You do have to be picky,” she says. “You have to stop and think: ‘what if this was your home?’”
Team members in different rooms communicate by walkie-talkie. “That saves a lot of running up and down stairs,” says Thiebault.
“The work isn’t too hard, but at the end of the day you are tired,” she admits. “It keeps you fit, and it can be fun too because I work with a great group of people; we really work as a team and that makes all the difference.”
“The main goal is to make the guests as happy and comfortable as possible, so it helps if you enjoy working with the public. To me, that comes naturally. I love meeting new people,” she says.
A lot of room attendant jobs are seasonal, but Thiebault was able to stay through the winter this year. There are perks, too. This spring, the Holiday Inn threw a staff party complete with jet skiing on a local lake.
There’s also room to move up. “Eventually I’d like to be a supervisor, helping to train the other room attendants,” says Thiebault.