Sometimes an employee can go above and beyond their job duties without actually doing anything physically different day in and day out. Sometimes being an employee of the month is more about your attitude than anything. Employee of the Month is really about being a role model for the rest of the staff.
This month, I am proud to announce Armando Thompson, as Employee of the Month!
Thompson is a waiter and backup bartender at Popa Paradise. His warm, gentle nature, broad smile and positive attitude is a favorite of the guests. He is personable, eager-to-please, and though a bit on the timid side, happy to share a story or two with guests who approach him.
Thompson has been here longer than almost all of the staff. He started here when he was 16 years old. At that time, he was working the docks on the mainland, helping load boats. He saw the Popa Paradise boat come in daily for construction materials and cement and offered to help out. He has been here ever since.
When the hotel officially opened, his duties switched from laborer to pool maintenance and handyman. He seemed to know all the quirks about the resort, as he remembered where pipes and electric lines were buried, because he was the one that buried them.
Katie and I saw much more potential in him though and we wanted to showcase his great personality and warmth. Katie took on the difficult task of training Thompson to be a fine-dining waiter.
Thompson took right to his new position. He loved learning the intricacies of good service. He was an eager learner as he had absolutely no experience in this new role. I will never forget what he said to Katie during his first wine tasting (which she holds periodically, so the waiters can suggest wines). He turned to her after his first sip and said, “I didn’t know wine had alcohol in it!”
These small bumps in the road have only made him a stronger server and his adaptability, his grace under fire (“Take it easy, take it light,” he always says, when I offer help during busy service), and his warmth have helped him through many busy nights.
Thompson is also a great team player. He is the resident historian, regaling the newer employees with tales of how hard it used to be, like when they all slept in tents, during the early construction days. He is also quick with a compliment to other staff members, encouraging them to do their jobs well.
Congratulations Thompson, we could not be more proud!