Archive for ◊ February, 2013 ◊

Author: admin
• Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Hello again, everyone. If you had the chance to read one of my previous blogs, I interviewed our veteran-Bellman, John Tundo. I enjoyed getting to know him better and loved asking the funny questions at the end. It was very entertaining!

Ann and I thought it would be a good idea to continue this trend, and interview someone from another department at The Lord Elgin Hotel. This morning I was introduced to our Assistant Housekeeper, Nadia Naoufal. It was fantastic meeting another co-worker. She was so genuine and sweet, and I truly enjoyed getting to know her. Our talk went as follows:

Where were you born/where did you grow up?

I was born in Beirute in 1957. When I was 17 I moved to Canada in to marry my husband whom I’ve been with for 39 years. I have lived in Ottawa ever since!

How many years have you worked at The Lord Elgin?

I started working at The Lord Elgin in 1976. I took off one year and returned in 1978, so I have been here for 36 years. After all this time I hope I know what I’m doing!

What do you love most about coming to work?

I love everything. It is my second home!

Do you have any “horror stories”, perhaps a disastrous room?

Yes! I began work early one morning and I discovered a flood in one of the bedrooms. Someone had left a window open in 40-below weather. A pipe had burst, the carpets were soaked and the walls were in bad shape. It was not a pretty sight! It took a couple of days to fix everything and dry it all out. That was quite horrible.

Have you ever met any celebrities that stayed at The Lord Elgin Hotel?

I have seen quite a few over these years. Most prominently I remember Richard Gere, my boss Carolyn got to take a photo with him! I also saw John Abbot, Jerry Douglas, Rick Mercer and singer Tom Jones in our lobby.

Can you share any valuable lessons or tips that you’ve gained from working in a hotel?

I have learned so much and gained a lot of experience over my 36 years at the Lord Elgin Hotel. There are constantly guests coming and going and we must always try to exceed their expectations. I always make sure to try my best every single day. Since we work in hospitality, being happy and having a positive attitude is most important!

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why?

Since I could use a very a long vacation, I would choose somewhere hot, relaxing and by the water. Maybe Cancun, or Hawaii!

If you one a million dollars, what would you do with it?

I would help out my kids! After that, I would take a vacation to one of those places I mentioned. Once I am retired I plan on doing a lot of traveling and a lot of relaxing!

What is your favourite meal to have for supper?

Well, being Lebanese, I love tabbouleh, hummus, chicken and rice. All of them I make homemade! I also love pizza. My husband makes the most delicious pizza dough.

If you could be any animal, which would you choose?

I would be a dog! I used to be terrified of them until recently. We are currently looking after my son’s girlfriend’s dog, Vega. He comes in and sniffs me and I don’t mind him anymore. I actually kind of like him. He has grown on me and my husband, my daughter is still scared, however!

Any comments you would like to add?

Because I have been at this hotel forever, it is my second home and second family.
I come to work every morning feeling happy. It is easy to wake up in the morning and come to work. I will continue to try my hardest and I really love working here.

Thank you Nadia for taking the time to chat with me, and I hope you all enjoy reading our conversation!


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Author: admin
• Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

I adore having my placement in a hotel because there are so many different departments to get involved in. Every division has its own unique family that is brought together under one roof, and all who are equally important in their own areas.

Last week I had the opportunity to spend my day with the Catering and Restaurant team here at The Lord Elgin. I was introduced to Nicole who showed me the ropes of catering. Nicole, who was born in Africa, is cultured, intelligent and an absolutely amazing woman! I was so grateful to meet her and I gained a ton of knowledge in many capacities. She was able to give me advice on proper service, manners and catering etiquette and traveling the globe.

Even though I have worked in a restaurant for five years, there was a lot to learn about catering for government groups, important business meetings and private dinner parties. You must make sure everything they previously asked for is accommodated and that all is set up early to ensure there is no waiting. We also switched their water jugs quite often to guarantee they are happy, which shows attentiveness and proper care. Everything is about their wants and needs, as it should be! The Lord Elgin strives to create the “Complete Business Environment”.

I learned of the many catering packages available such as the “Taste of the Orient” and “Wrap it up”. The Lord Elgin also makes sure every room has two flip charts, assorted markers, a “meeting room supply kit”, freshly brewed coffee and a variety of teas. From one day I was able to see how grateful the guests were for the pre-planning and professionally trained staff at their service.

All in all, I had a great day at my placement and I hope I get the chance to help cater a larger event in the future. Thank you Lord Elgin team!

Here’s a link to The Lord Elgin Hotel banquet menu:

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Author: admin
• Wednesday, February 06th, 2013

Today I had the pleasure of talking with John, our proud and passionate Bell Captain. He has been dedicated to his job at The Lord Elgin for 17 years and has been recognized for his sincere concern for guests and fellow associates by a number of awards, most notably, winning the big prize for as Star of the City in 2003. His kind heart and love for people is recognized everyday by guests and coworkers alike.

I asked John a few questions today….

1. Where were you born/where did you grow up?

I was born in Italy, in a small village near Rome. When I was four months, my family and I moved to Ottawa.

2. How did you come upon working at The Lord Elgin Hotel?

My Father-in-law was the Bell Captain at The Lord Elgin for 35 years. At that point, I was self-employed, running an upholstery business from home. I was looking for part-time work and my Father-in-law asked if I was interested.

I thought it was a good idea, and applied for the position. After my interview with the manager, I was told that unfortunately they were not looking for part-time employees, but they would offer me a full-time position. I had to choose between my business and a steady pay cheque, and I chose The Lord Elgin.

3. What is your favourite part of your job?

My favourite would have to be meeting people.

4. Do you have any words of advice to someone who deals with people daily, as you do?

Be yourself.

5. Do you have any horror stories or heart-warming stories you would like to share?

No horror stories, but the relationships I have made over the years are very special. There are guests who come back year after year who are very pleased to see a familiar face. And I am pleased to see them again as well.

(And a few entertaining questions..)

6. If you could be any animal in the world what would you be? King of jungle lion

I would be a lion, king of the jungle.

7. If you could be any character in fiction, whom would you be and why?

Spiderman, so I could sneak into windows. (*He said jokingly, hehe )

8. Anything else you would like to add?

I really appreciate my coworkers, many whom have grown to be good friends. The best part of my job is working with employees who have been here for several years like I have. I have a very strong friendship with one of the old guards, and many more of the people here at Lord Elgin.


I’d like to thank John for sparing time out of your busy day to answer a couple questions for myself and for The Lord Elgin Hotel blog. I look forward to learning more about John and my other colleagues during my placement time here. I’m sure there will be more fun interviews to come!

‘Til next time,

Kiara Scrim
Co-op Student
Public Relations
Algonquin College

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