Meeting people, making friends in hotel job

Mr Ng works as a reception coordinator at the Fairmont Singapore hotel, where he changes security passes for part-time staff.
Mr Ng works as a reception coordinator at the Fairmont Singapore hotel, where he changes security passes for part-time staff.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Part-time hotel staff say "Hi" to Mr Ng Wei Liang, 29, as they stream in to Fairmont Singapore for their shifts. Some bring him snacks, while others stop for a short chat.

It is interactions like these which keep Mr Ng, a reception coordinator at the hotel, happy in the job he has held for four years. "I've made friends through the job," he said.

Mr Ng studied computer and networking at the Institute of Technical Education. But in 2000, doctors found a brain tumour that affected his nerves and he had to stop school for a few years.

He can barely see out of his right eye now, and is deaf in one ear. The sensory imbalance affects his gait.

After graduating, Mr Ng applied for jobs but was unsuccessful.

"When people saw my appearance, they thought my performance couldn't meet their targets."

With help from organisations such as SPD , Mr Ng eventually landed work. His current job, exchanging identity cards for staff passes for part-timers, is his fourth.

This duty is usually done by a security staff. But the hotel modified the job when they made Mr Ng their first full-timer with disabilities in 2013.

He is one of three with disabilities employed full-time there. The other two staff do housekeeping work.

The hotel's assistant human resource director Christopher Yong said the three employees help with the hotel's manpower shortage. "With training, they are able to work just as well as anyone else," he said.

Kok Xing Hui

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 05, 2017, with the headline 'Meeting people, making friends in hotel job'. Print Edition | Subscribe