Record 86 hotel workers lauded for excellence

Mandarin Oriental doorman Mohamed Taspir Ahmad and The Regent Singapore club officer Ng Li Ting are among 86 who won Employee of the Year awards yesterday.
Mandarin Oriental doorman Mohamed Taspir Ahmad and The Regent Singapore club officer Ng Li Ting are among 86 who won Employee of the Year awards yesterday.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

At 79, Mr Mohamed Taspir Ahmad is one of Mandarin Oriental Singapore's oldest employees.

But the sprightly doorman of 12 years has no problem keeping on his feet for nearly 10 hours a day.

"You meet all sorts of people and forget the time, so it's not tiring. Greeting guests makes me happy, especially seeing regulars," said Mr Taspir, who was 66 when he first joined the hotel as a housekeeper after retiring from odd-job work.

His toothy grin is a familiar sight to visitors to the Marina Bay area hotel, where he is known to go the extra mile by reuniting lost mobile phones with hotel guests and providing joggers with towels and water on their return.

Mr Taspir was among 86 hotel workers recognised by the industry yesterday. The Singapore Hotel Association, together with the Food, Drinks & Allied Workers Union and the Employment and Employability Institute, gave out the Employee of the Year awards at the NTUC Centre in Marina Boulevard.

Hotels were invited to each nominate one employee who showed exemplary performance. This year's ceremony drew a record number.

FINDING JOY AT WORK

You meet all sorts of people and forget the time, so it's not tiring. Greeting guests makes me happy, especially seeing regulars.

MR MOHAMED TASPIR AHMAD, who was 66 years old when he first joined Mandarin Oriental as a housekeeper.

Speaking at the event, union president Julie Cheong noted that the hotel industry has become more reliant on time-saving technology, from delivery robots to automated check-in counters, but it cannot replace the human touch.

Ms Ng Li Ting, 25, a club officer at The Regent Singapore who oversees areas such as food and beverage operations, was among the award's younger winners.

When she was a concierge, she once spent hours planning an itinerary for a weekend trip to Malaysia for an American tourist, even though it was outside her job scope.

"You have to be resourceful; you never know what's going to happen in this job. But it is fulfilling, which is why I love it so much," she said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 20, 2018, with the headline 'Record 86 hotel workers lauded for excellence'. Print Edition | Subscribe