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!