Sixth Area of Experience
Continuing with cars but adding a touch of trucks and Busses to Hospitality – being a Driver in all areas (truck, bus, hotel driver)
After a long and decorated stint in Bahrain, it was once again time to pack my bags and move to a new country. This time I found myself contracted to work in the very misleadingly promoted Country known as Qatar.
There I was another Country and what I believed to be another great adventure to add to my live, or was it? Well first of all seeing that I was deep in to motor vehicles, I was swayed by the motor sport and MotoGP races that happen there and all the nice cars that visited me in Bahrain. (You learn to identify countries on number plates very quickly- another note is when you have number plate with 3 digits you learn another bit of use fill information)
Well as I was getting ready to settle myself and making things happen again, less than one week passed and I developed a mystery illness. The doctors here have very real suspicion to point to a sickness I won’t dare mention and with either no clue as to the realness their own words, they prescribe medicine that obviously doesn’t treat it.(with the paranoia setting in I visited another medical institution desperately trying to find the answers I need answered- with no luck and after a 2 hour waiting period I was told to go elsewhere as they cannot perform the necessary test- What The H… )
Honestly I felt like opening the water works and there seems to be no easy resolution. Luckily I stared to feel better even if I was told by HR that because I was not eligible for sick leave during my probation period i cannot take sick leave (like saying I should pay in some way ).
I was technically not supposed to get sick leave, which was ok as I was feeling a hell of a lot better the next day. Welcome to Qatar. (luckily I can confirm that this GOOD doctor’s has luckily made a misdiagnosis and my paranoia was laid to rest as it seemed I had unhealthy levels of a particular “add medical term here”(can’t remember).
Continuing with my experience I was quickly set to work by helping the porter / bellmens for a little while till the company could send me for my driver’s license. It not surprisingly took some time though. There is one word I came to detest and at the same time I admired myself for using it. It is “Inshala” is the word not many know the meaning of.
Let me roughly translate this local utterance, it to me means “ I will decide later if I want to do what I am paid to do”.(believe me I have learned a couple of useful phrases but never more than the attempt to get a basic point through)
So here I was working in the heart of Downtown Qatar and as I recall the city still seems like an unfinished transformer robot in the making. Finally I had my license and I was set to drive once more in a foreign country on foreign roads.
The only catch was that I wasn’t going to be driving a luxury company car as I was used to before. No I was de-promoted without my honest understanding of the situation at the time. I was in reality given 3 areas to focus on when driving.
1.Firts I was given a Station Wagon to transport a maximum of 7 people or “pax” as I was introduced to calling it.(7 being a family situation not a 7 person airport pickup with excess luggage’s that is)
2. Second I was moved to a different driver experience and this time I was given a bus. Yes you heard me correctly a real bus with 25 seats and a “choke stick”. (And as slow or maybe even slower as the car Miss Daisy drove in her stardom- later I would become proficient at challenging cars to a duel)
3.The Third level of my driving expertise was reached by being introduced to driving a truck as our hotel was doing outside catering and event/functions and need hotel drivers to manage it. Have you ever driven a truck with class and plates staked on shelves in the back and being responsible for it being kept intact? Well you will see me raise my hand on this one. (Note to myself : Never use the brakes when trying to stop a truck quickly, you use the gears- something you learn as you go along)
This is me learning all the areas of driving for a hospitality and hotel company.
often times when there was groups at the Airport I would have to stand in as an Airport Representative to guide our guest to their designated driver, not to mention the many porter / bellmen duties I continuously fulfilled at the hotel.
Note once again that even in a new country and a new company I will not be free from exploitation.
All this said and done I believe I have successfully qualified myself as a professional driver in this regard.
Well for all the experience gained I honestly wouldn’t want to be caught dead in this country to put it mildly. But I wish you all the best in your hosting of the World Cup 2022.(I believe it will be sizzling hot)
How to do the job of a Hotel Driver
Updated June 2013
Front Office – Hotel Driver
As Per Marriott Hotel Company
As a Driver you are responsible to provide professional service to our guests, ensuring their arrival to the Hotel and transfer service will become a memorable experience whereby your role will include key responsibilities such as:
• Responsible for safe transfer of
guests from all determined locations
• Create guest satisfaction through a pleasing personality, effective communication skills and should be first to greet the guest as per time of the day
• Maintain good knowledge of the city routes locations and hotel facilities
• Maintain knowledge of flight timings and assist guest in handling and loading baggage whenever required
• Do utmost to learn names of guests, especially repeat and long staying guests remaining alert to situations to offer assistance
• Assist in valet parking when not assigned any duty
• Maintain detailed knowledge of facilities and services of the hotel and use this knowledge to promote the hotel to guests
• Keep abreast of activities in your city which may affect driving times or routes and relay this to management
• Responsible for the upkeep and cleanliness of the car used for guest transfer and assist with maintaining vehicles to hotel presentation standards
- Having an experience in similar position at least 12 months is preferred.
- Strong communication skills (verbal, listening, writing)
- Pro active and reliable
- Able to work alone and within a team.
- Good level in English essential.
• Identify and correct unsafe work procedures or conditions and/or report them to management and security/safety personnel.
• Follow property specific procedures for handling emergency situations (e.g., evacuations, medical emergencies, natural disasters).
• Complete appropriate safety training and certifications to perform work tasks.
• Support all co-workers and treat them with dignity and respect.
• Develop and maintain positive and productive working relationships with other employees and departments.
• Partner with and assist others to promote an environment of teamwork and achieve common goals.
• Quality Assurance/Quality Improvement
• Comply with quality assurance expectations and standards.
• Stand, sit, or walk for an extended period of time or for an entire work shift.
• Move, lift, carry, push, pull, and place objects weighing less than or equal to 50 pounds without assistance.
• Document all vehicle incidents (i.e., damages, accidents) and provide reports of incidents to manager/supervisor.
• Inspect property vehicles for damage and cleanliness.
• Check tire pressure and fluid levels for property vehicle, and refuel as necessary.
• Notify appropriate personnel of any vehicle maintenance needs.
• Park vehicle in designated location when not in use.
• Transport guests to/from assigned destinations using property vehicle.
Where to look for Driver jobs
Working in England
Where to find hospitality work in England
– Not my most complete list for England
Working in Dubai & Abu Dhabi
Working in Qatar
Working in Bahrain