A Day in a Life of our Featured Filipino Hotelier

A Day in a Life of a Cruise Ship Stewardess

The self-proclaimed hotelier is back with a very long yet interesting ADAL.
Here’s one of the most sought after job of HRM students / graduates, to work in a cruise ship.

For our 4th ADAL, meet Dai.

Dai's photo was taken during their stop over/ tour in Istanbul, Turkey

Dai’s photo was taken during their stop over/ tour in Istanbul, Turkey

She said that the title of this post should be A Day in A Life of a Batang Gala.

Dai is a stewardess in a cruise ship and here’s a sneak peak of what her day is like:

8am: might still be asleep especially during winter time when we finish late in the Cafe

9am: still asleep (hahaha)

11am: fixing myself so I can have lunch before 11:30 duty

The one above is when I’m breakfast off. Meaning I start the day late, wake up at 10 am, get myself ready before 11:30, which is the start of my duty. I work until 3:30 or 4 pm, take a short break, then start at 5 pm again until late night. When we had our British Maitre’D before, he’d like us to finish at 11:30 pm (he’s pro employees, err, how do you call it? He’d like us to have a night life and not work until 2 Am in the morning doing nothing but “deep cleaning”). But when our boss was transferred to the main dining, our schedule was changed and instead of ending the shift at 11:30pm, it ends at 1am.

Let me explain further…in the Café where I work, the norm was deep cleaning until late in the morning, although the Café closes at 9:30 pm. The staff never go to parties nor have a night life, unlike other departments. I guess it’s ok, for the sake of working and doing what is the “standard,” but whenever there is an inspection regarding sanitation, results show the same whether we cleaned well or not. Once we clean quickly, we don’t hear much. Some other day when we clean a lot longer, the inspector will give some negative remarks. See?

Tasks are given to us randomly and what you were asked to do today will be what you will be doing from morning till morning. For example, you are assigned to spray sanitizer to guests who is lazy enough to sanitize their hands upon entering the restaurant, then you would have to do that the whole shift and that would be a very good life, considering you won’t have to buss out bins loaded with plates, silverware, or glasses. But it can get VERY BORING which happens more likely at night. But during the afternoon shifts or morning shifts, your task can change since an assistantt maitre’d or maitre’d from another restaurant will usually assign you somewhere else.

Think that’s hard? Well another “good life” job is doing roll ups. That is, rolling knife and fork in a clean white napkin. You’ll do that for the whole shift. I did that during Christmas cruise for, 15 days? hehe. All of my colleagues were envious of me.

What are your daily challenges at work?

Dealing with impossible guests, aligagang amo, at masyadong pa-cute(kahit hindi naman)/ papansin na colleagues (makes me puke, hehehe). The routine at work bores me to death sometimes.

What’s the toughest challenge that you had with a guest/colleague?

Hmmm. A guest complained to me once because I informed him that someone (an elderly lady) was also seated on the table where he sat. The guest said she’ll be back and will just go to the restroom (but she said this in her own language which I didn’t understand, only thru words like “banyo” while making gestures). The man had been making drama, making it look like I’m sending him out, and that he’ll tell this to the management, etc. If I can throw this guest overboard I would. Hahaha.

With a colleague? I guess that will be involving personal life at work. It’s hard not to be too fond of a “likeable” co-worker especially if you see each other every day aside from your workplace: laundry, mess room (aka canteen), gym, chapel, theater, party, and on shore too: boutiques, train, bus- everywhere!

Another challenge is when you don’t like a colleague and there’s no way out, meaning you can still see him even out of work, and insists on visiting your home. No chance for alibi, huh?

Perhaps it’s not so much of a problem with singles, but it is an issue to me if he’s someone who is committed. Most likely if the person is married. It has been a common thing, “lifestyle” in such setting, than most people accept it as “normal” that it doesn’t bother them at all. I’m afraid that I might change, too, if I stay longer in such a place. That I might accept the norm which can be detrimental to the principles I have come to know. Problema mo din ba ito, Jose Rizal?

Another is dealing with the roommates. Sometimes it’s our own countrymen (or woman, in this case) which I found harder to live with than foreigners. Don’t get me wrong, I have 2 which I do like most, one of them is my best friend, but the 3 I lived with is the top 3 worst! (Well, there are 7 of them in all  hehehe)

We call this girl “vampire witch ghoul” (I will not say the local version as it’s very easy to know). One time, my friend and I awoke with a commotion in the room- there was a guy-her suitor! And it sounded like they were fighting at the devil’s hour! It went on for 30 mins arguing and making up… Sheesh! This led to a fight between us the following days( a 2nd girl, my friend’s batchmate, who agrees with the 1st one, we call her “baby vampiric creature”), 2 versus 2, concerning other room issues. It got bigger, we had to bring the fight to the management. Other staff started calling us as “maarte” because we’re making such fuss when “$ex” didn’t really happen in the room. In the end we had to transfer because we requested (they didn’t evict the girl out, which should be easier because 1. she’s the one who trespassed a rule, 2. She became the problem, shouting at us which occurred for 2 days. We were staying out of the room and not even sleeping there for almost a week. I think she’s in VERY good terms with the restaurant manager and maitre’d (that’s why I don’t like to come back on the same ship, because of the management).

Funny thing about this girl: she’s been telling everyone that guy hadn’t been her boyfriend. But that guy has been sleeping in our cabin until he went on vacation. If he’s not “sleeping”, what do you call when he goes inside the bed, curtains closed?

Waitress – I call her the Dragon. She has her rules when we came to the cabin: no lights when she’s there- she can’t feel relaxed. No music-you can play it if only you can hear it. There’s an unspoken rule about one chair- it’s her THRONE. We have a Game of Thrones in our little home, hehe. Of course you can call your loved ones, but not when she’s asleep. But she won’t realize you’re the one sleeping, when she’s calling her husband. And they’re not speaking…they’re FIGHTING.

Weird thing about seniority-female paisanas (compatriot) of mine assert this. They seem to develop a kind of attitude that even foreigners notice: being a B!+CH, if I may say so. They can be pretty rude, demanding, aloof…I guess they developed it in the workplace, as they need to be “stronger”, but even outside work? We really be wouldn’t “outside of work”, but when there’s no need to be rude, why do it? Why bring it to the cabin? We had a better connection with a woman coming from the Caribbean, who is kinder, more open minded and way humbler than those 3 Filipinos. In fact I would wish to be her roommate again, with my 2 friends!

Dealing with foreigners. Mostly it’s the Indians that I’m not too fond of. Why? Here’s one picture:
F&B Director: Indian
Restaurant Manager: Indian
Asst Maitre D’s: Plenty Indian, about 3 when I came
Crew: Indians get faster promotion, get rotated easily to other restaurants
Even one co-worker (which I considered among the top 2 of the kindest Indians I know)has a bossy attitude. Or spoke in a bossy way. I guess they might not mean that, but they still get on my nerves that I want to kill them all sometimes. Hahaha. Killing is such a strong word, maybe throwing them in the ocean would do. Hehehe

Here’s a 2nd picture:
One time, an Indian guy went to the drinking fountain. He placed his lips to the water…then his right eye, then his left eye. Then his nose. I’ve heard my friend talk of it, so I remarked, “Should you wash your face in the fountain?”

“I’m not washing my face,”he said, with that usual head movement Indian people do. “blah blah blah..”
I didn’t really listen. What do you call that?? His eyes were drinking too???
After a while, he drank again, and his eyes drank as well. Since my friend who mentioned it to me before was there, I spoke to her in our mother tongue. “You were right. He’s really washing in face in the fountain!”

Then she spoke to him, “Why are you washing your face, you shouldn’t do that…”
This guy got pissed off, and scolded my friend, “I’m not washing my face! Blah blah blah..”
Then he turned his wrath on me, “You shouldn’t be telling me what to do, you’re not my supervisor!!! Blah blah blah..” (all the while pointing his index finger at me)
“I didn’t tell her, she saw you first!!”, I shouted. “And don’t do that to me! Don’t do that!!! And you call that not washing you’re face?!? What’s it called then?!”
“Don’t tell me what to do, you were in school and I’m already working long time in this industry!!! Blah blah blah…!!!”
I was soo mad I was telling all my paisano about this guy which I really wanted to punch. Guys usually are cool headed that’s why it’s ok to tell them such stuff. After an hour I almost immediately forgave this Indian guy, because he was thinking I’m 10 years younger than him, when we’re almost the same age! Hahahahaha. But I didn’t because he was pointing at me rudely.

What is the most exciting part of your work?
Going for our on shore leave. Sometimes you don’t get the chance to do this if the boss in charge of doing the schedule doesn’t do his job well. (I would like to sing Ariel’s Part of your World, hahaha)

I wanna be where the people are
I wanna see, wanna see them dancin’
Walking around on those – what do you call ’em?
Oh – feet!

Flippin’ your fins, you don’t get too far
Legs are required for jumping, dancing
Strolling along down a – what’s that word again?
Street

Up where they walk, up where they run
Up where they stay all day in the sun
Wanderin’ free – wish I could be
Part of that world

What would I give if I could live out of these waters?
What would I pay to spend a day warm on the sand?
Bet’cha on land they understand
Bet they don’t reprimand their daughters
Bright young women sick of swimmin’
Ready to stand

And ready to know what the people know
Ask ’em my questions and get some answers
What’s a fire and why does it – what’s the word?
Burn?

When’s it my turn?
Wouldn’t I love, love to explore that shore up above?
Out of the sea
Wish I could be
Part of that world

What advise can you give for those who would like to work as a ?
Follow the weather man’s advice: Magplano, Magsiguro, Makibalita! I am Ready. Hahaha
Be prepared to face all kinds of scenario. Know (or research at least) what to expect.
Hope for the best, expect the worst.

Being away from your family, friends, home, it’s important that you have solid values or faith; or else you’d get easily lost in the sea…of temptations, other people’s opinions, kind of lifestyle (which can be harmful)…

Watch your health. No one will care of it but you.

Balance. We need to enjoy and relax at times, but in a good and moderate way.

PRAY. We all don’t have a chance to go to regular church/mosque/etc, and they don’t have the service for all religion most of the time. It’s important for our soul to have a heart to heart talk with God.

No matter how much you are earning, or drinking at a party, there’s a hollow feeling when you’re alone, and you started thinking about your life… like there is something incomplete. I myself haven’t developed that deep faith, I would be honest, but I am glad that one time, I have realized God is at work in my life… with the people I meet (those that get too close to you), the places I go. I feel I am protected, and there is nothing I have to fear. I am away from my loved ones, but I guess whatever difficulty I would encounter, God would make a way to help me through. Am I too proud? I hope not. I’m not worthy of His blessings at all. This is something that I don’t share verbally with people… I know it’s not my business to worry about what they think of me. Still I don’t want them to think that that I’m holier than them, as I know I am a sinner, and far from perfection. It’s just what I think, when you see your life like a puzzle, connecting each piece.

MAGING MATATAG. Most old timers say, Don’t work too hard!!! Work never stops or finishes on this place; only your contract will end.

If you are not a hotelier/restaurateur, what do you think you would be?
A Nun maybe. Hahahahaha. Maybe a mother. A teacher. An NGO volunteer. A book worm librarian. Or a manga artist in Japan. Too rusty or too lazy now. Hehehe. I would like to be a singer but they didn’t train me when I was a child. hehehe

Work experiences/year:
Restaurant (dining staff/barista)-1 year, 3 mos
Bank (cust servce)- 3 years, 3 mos
Hotel (cashier/dining staff, banquet sales coordinator)-1 yr, 11 months
Coffee shop(operation director’s assistant)- more than 3 mos because I got hired by the present employer
Cruise ship- stewardess-at present

Languages spoken:
Just the basic in my country and English. I am ashamed to learn that an Indonesian speaks better (local dialect of my mom) than I do! I don’t speak it and vaguely understand, but I feel I need to learn it now!

** Well peeps, Dai is one hell of a writer. She’d given us more than a sneak preview of a life in the Cruise Ship but what’s more is that she’d given us advise on what to do if we ever get a chance to work in a ship.

*All information posted are duly consented by the person during the e-interview. We do not intend to disclose any information about the companies mentioned as everything written above are purely from the personal experiences of the featured person. This blog is created solely for educational purposes and not for any other agenda.

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8 thoughts on “A Day in a Life of a Cruise Ship Stewardess

  1. Tourism? HRM? Or business marketing?

    Yan po amg mga courses na pinag lilituhan sa aking isipan. Tapos na po akong mag take nang entrance exam. Malapit na makuha ang results pero hindi parin ako nakapag decide.

    Sa BSBA po kasi. Parang hindi ko siya feel na kurso. Kasi po na convinced lang po ako nyan. At base sa mga research ko maraming mga job offers pag graduate sa kurso na yan. At dito rin po sa aming lugar. Ito yung pinaka maraming job offers dito sa amin. Kaya naisip ko kung ito maraming trabaho na pwde kung pasukan. Kung sakaling hindi pa ako aabroad.

    At sa hrm nman po. Kadalasan sa aking mga cousin. Graduate na sila nito. Pero hanggang ngayon. Wala pa rin silang trabaho na related sa kanilang kinuhang kurso. Atsak ang mga advice nila sa akin. Wag daw ito yung kukunin ko. Magastos lang daw talaga. Pero ito talaga yung gusto ko or tourism ba. Hindi po ako marunong magluto pero gusto ko pong matuto talaga ng mga bagong mga recipes. Ang iniisip ko lang po. Kung makapagtapos ako nyan. Magkaka trabaho ba ako kaagad?

    Like

    • Hi Nove, may isa na ring nagtanong sa akin niyang tinatanong mo, HRM, Tourism o Business at nandito sa link na ito ang sagot https://hotelierako.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/tourism-hrm-or-business/ At para sa akin, kunin mo kung anong gusto mo. Hindi porket wala pang trabaho ang mga pinsan mong HRM grads ay matitigilan ka nang kunin ito. Kung yan ang passion mo edi yan ang kunin mo. Hindi naman kayo pareho ng pinsan mo diba? Bakit ako HRM graduate din pero may trabaho? At sa linya ko pa? Nasa tao lang yan. Hindi porket hindi sila nakakuha ng trabaho agad ay ganun din ang kapalaran mo. Sundin mo ang gusto mo.

      Like

  2. Pingback: Hotel and Restaurant Management Course | aysabaw

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