March 2nd was the first day I started as a front office employee at Holiday Park Efteling Bosrijk. I have to say, I was very nervous, because I had no idea what to expect. The first week I had a tour around the premises and the different departments, so I could learn more about the park and all the aspects that had to do with my work as a front office employee. This was much fun, but also a bit confronting, because I never knew the park would be so much to learn about. I got to know all the people that work at the holiday park, so we could work better together.
After the first week, we started with job rotation. The point of the job rotation was to get to know all the different departments that work together at the Efteling. I had to do some work behind the scenes as a maintenance employee as well. This was very surprising to me, because I never knew what they did exactly. All this new information the first few weeks sometimes overthrew me, which was very confronting. I got it back together again after these few weeks, because after this things would get more structured.
After the job rotation, I had to start at the front office department for 4 days a week and I had 1 day to work on my company assignment. I had to do a course to know more about the reservation system and how to act as a front office employee. Also, a lot of administration has to be done at the front office, so I had to learn all about the different rapports and what they consisted of. This was a very tough learning progress. It was very much fun to get to know my colleagues even better during the first few weeks. I immediately noticed that the team was working together on a professional level and that personal matters were present, but handled as colleagues and not friends. This contributed to an even more professional environment. This also meant that I had to work on my professional attitude, so that I fitted better into the team. The team helped me create this attitude as well by giving me feedback on what I did and how I talked.
The hours that I had to work weren’t very structured. There are different shifts when you work at the front office. The reception is open from 7 in the morning until 10.30 in the evening. In the beginning this was very exhausting as well, because I was used to the school hours and working until 6 in the evening.
After 2 months of working at the front office, I had a talk with my company supervisor. She said that I was ready to work as a duty manager. Being a duty manager means that you are the one that decides what to do for compensation when there is a complaint, you talk to the guests and are the exchange point between the front office and other departments of the Efteling. The first part, handling the complaints, was one of the things that I had to learn most about. You need to have a confident attitude to handle the complaints and to have a good talk with the guests. This was a great learning point for me, because at first, this did not go as well as I thought I could handle it. As the complaints and situations came and went, I noticed that I still was very insecure about how I should behave towards the guest and towards my colleagues. Until the last day as a duty manager, I was still learning about how to act and react.
Fortunately, the managers were pretty happy about