Sunday, November 9, 2008


We took our students to this beautiful hotel in Dubai. The staff and management were very warm and welcoming. After coffee and snacks, we were given a tour of the property. The tour took some time; it was a big hotel. Back in the conference room, the HR Manager did a presentation.

He proudly told us that last year they made a profit of 25 million dirhams. I saw the awe on our students' faces. The presidential suite costs 45000 dirhams a night!

Later, the topic changed to internship. The HR manager went on to explain the unique advantages of their internship program and the students were truely impressed. And thats when one of the less intelligent/more blunt ones popped the question: "Sir, how much would you pay us during internship?"

There was a silence in the air. 40 pairs of ears waited eagerly. The HR guy cleared his throat and gave a weak smile. "We give 650 dirhams per month". Suddenly I felt sorry for him.

There is something that every hotel employee does while on their job: If you are still line staff; supervisory level staff; you keep complaining about how the company makes a lot of money and how you don't. But when you finally become a manager; you sing a different tune. Then it's all about PASSION!

It is a worn out usage; hotel job is all about "passion", yeah! This job may not pay you well, because you compensate for all that with your passion. Let us see the many ways you could use your passion...

When your company makes 25 million in profits and your salary increases only by 5%, remember; your passion has increased another 100% ! Otherwise you would have left that place a long time back!

When the rent sky rockets in Dubai, living costs shoot through the roof; remember; cling on to your passion! Who cares about money?

When hospitals and schooling for your kids rip your pocket; remember; your passion will save you!

Is it because of a passion-free workplace that the guy at that gas station or that girl at the grocery store gets paid more than you?

Could it be true that "passion" is a hotelier's monopoly that other industries do not have the option of using that to pay their staff less?

Hospitality, poised to become world's largest industry (been listening to this for the last 20 years) will not pay much because once the salaries are respectable, passion takes a back seat?

Note: The other day, I didnt have enough change to pay the cab driver. When I informed the driver about it, he did give me "passion" in return.

Let us hope that some day, passion could be used as an alternative for hard currency! Till then, cling on!

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