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Love, Veron Chuang.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

6 Months in Penang, Part 1

Hi, I'm Veron Chuang. 
Erm, I think most of you who clicked into this blog are here for the makeup tutorials :) ;
or maybe just blog hopping, whichever way,
I would first like to say a big "HALLIEWWW!" to you!
Welcome! *hugs!*

I'm doing this blog post as a memory of my past 6 months internship in Hard Rock Hotel Penang, Malaysia.

Here's a brief description about me;
I was a hotel management& tourism student that studied in Reliance college Johor Bahru;
we have to participate in a 6 months internship programme in a hotel before we can get our certificate. 
So 9 other friends and I were sent to Penang from June 2010 to November 2010 for our internship!
And thus,this is a memoir of how I survived 6 months of torture,bloodied hell. (JUST KIDDING!)

I should start at the very beginning, 
my luggage.As I think the picture is a classic.
I looked like that I was moving houses! 
Literally, That's 70% of what I have in my room!

If you're wondering,"WHAT'S IN THOSE BOXES WHEY?!", 
it's 60% makeup,hair care, body care, hair tools,extensions,falsies. 
No I don't really own THAT much at first, but I bought THAT much of products just because...
I was such a hermit crab, and closed minded before I went to Penang.
 I thought that PENANG, was an island that mostly sells beach-y stuffs like erm.. 
beach dresses; coconuts; bikini's; hats; 
I even wondered that does Watson's exist there?
(Don't blast me for this penang-ites! read on!)
So I stocked up on ALOT, of products that I usually use!
But, after being there for 6 months, I seriously regretted buying all those useless products.
They have BETTER products there than Johor Bahru!
It's an awesome place with awesome people!

Now, I should start off with the apartment that I lived in.
I stayed in Batu Ferringhi, Mutiara apartment, Block D, 10th floor (which is the topmost floor)
with 3 other lovely ladies, Vinn Chong, Sunnie Sam, Soon Xiao Xiang (Their Facebook names)
The apartment has a very special place in my heart as that is the place that I got back to every night;
we've all experienced up and downs during our internship and the 4 of us would often gather in the living room pouring our hearts out, swearing and cursing sometimes- erm, maybe most of the times, sharing the happy small things that happened while training.  
They're like my guardians/step parents during those 6 months.
Even though I have lived in Kuala Lumpur by myself when I was 15 (another story.lol),
and I can take care of myself, but living with them,
doesn't make me feel that I've even left home. They're 3 really caring people. 

(THE LIVING ROOM.that is me reading the newspaper. ahem.)

(OUR DINING AREA; which is 1 step away from the living room. lol. we live in a cozy apartment!)

(Did I mention that we had a bloody nice view of the beach, sea and mountains from our apartment?)

(We named our house; the LOVE HOUSE!)

They made this JUST FOR ME! As I was the only smoker in the Love house....ahemmm!
but then, I met 2 guys who kind of changed me and made me cut down ALOT on my smoking habits,
one of them even MMS-ed me this when he saw this in a toilet. LOL. But then, it's another story.

My very first day in HRHP( Hard Rock Hotel Penang),
ahh the excitement! 
below is a picture of our batch (038), while touring Cameron Highlands (before we went to Penang)
the HR of HRHP called us for phone interviews! 

We attended an orientation,which was conducted by the HR; after that, we were assigned to our  departments!
My first department was the Front Office Department, after that housekeeping, and then hard rock cafe!
As our internship was 6 months, we had a chance to experience each department for 2 whole months before we rotate departments!

(Sin Yong and I. Front Office Uniform)

In HRHP, Front Office, I trained in Kings Club, then trained as an phone operator, and finally trained as a receptionist. 

And I must say, it was a great experience. Even though the ups and downs in the FO was the most that I've gone through throughout the whole internship! And I find that my mindset was at fault. 
You see, Hard Rock is a place with loads of fun people. They joke a lot and they have this free thinking mindset which is hard to find where I live, AND as I was a hermit crab from JB thinking that there is no place better than home, I couldn't really get what they were thinking and saying for the first week, I just thought people were being mean and truthfully speaking I hated the first week; but I regret it so much after that. 
They're all really REALLY nice people after you really get to know them. 
I first met these two kings club receptionist girls named Siao Hui & By (short for Byzura); 
Siao Hui is a hardworking girl with a cute voice. She looks after alot of the new trainees that comes to the Kings Club and helps us with our workload alot. 
By is this really pretty Malay girl that jokes alot and keeps things rocking around. What I remember most about her is that she always has all these new ways to tie her hair and I like how all kinds of makeup suits her!

Anyway,here's the reason of why I hated my first week, 

I hated washing cutleries. You see, the KCL is a lounge that serves breakfast,tea time, and cocktail hours to the VIP guests. And i was kind of "suay" because the time I entered the front office department, it was the school holidays and everyday was a hectic day of serving the guests their food, cleaning the tables,setting up the tables, washing cutleries and stuff. even though the senior staffs helped out, it's still alot of work. 
I don't usually do the dishes at home; so it didn't feel good washing all those. 
and at that time, there was a manpower shortage in the stewarding department, so we had to wash the used cutleries and plates. Anyway, still "suay" because after I've left the FO, they've hired more manpower for stewarding. -_-" (btw, HRHP is a very new hotel. I was there when they celebrated their 1st anniversary!)
BUT! after a week, i enjoyed being there so much, i didn't wanna leave. I even started to enjoy doing the dishes!LOL
There's always excess leftover food from the breakfast/tea/cocktail service. 

after the closing hours, it's literally all you can eat! well if you don't; it's going to be thrown away anway.
Penang's hotel food is way much nicer and tastes fresher than JB one's too! *pouts* 
and the chef's there are so funny and nice as well! 
plus, the guests that I've met there are nothing but cool & awesome. I remember this old couple from Aussie, they showed me pictures of their gorgeous daughters and shared with me their thoughts on their vacation;
I remember that I've attended to a popular Malaysian female singer's husband and gasped in awe of how hot is her stepson.
I remember that I was so touched when a guest named Gary Kingsley left me a card with a "good luck" wish.
It made me feel that being in the hotel line isn't so bad after all.

Time flies when you're having fun. It's so true. 
I was then rotated to the operator department in no time. Felt kinda sad when I had to leave KCL. People there are so nice and fun. :( 

But, you get to learn something new in a new enviroment right?
The staff there were super friendly too! 
I remember Kak Rina,Ainis,Chan,Sue, Margret(which just joined),
They've taught me proper phone etiquette, and how the phone operating system works, taught me how to handle weird phone requests or guest complaints, and think fast. 
One of the LOL-est phone call that I got was from this lady that was calling from Penang as well, she told me she wanted to make a room reservation and asked about the room types. After explaining to her about the tier and room types, she actually kept the conversation going on for another 20 minutes at least by chatting about the weather, her children, her friends, where i'm from, why i'm in the hotel line... 
At the end of the conversation, we didn't even catch each other's names. XD
I spent another few relaxed weeks in the operator department, 
and it was time for me to move on to the reception! 

K I don't have any pictures of me working inside the counter, 
so I shall patronize myself by using a few pictures that I took while I was in the KCL. View from the 6th floor!

(the pool)

(still the pool)

I'll just talk about my experience working in the reception. 
And I can tell you, you need to think real fast when you're there. Or people are going to eat you up (literally).
4 members of the Love house, each of us had stories to tell 5 days a week when we rotated to the reception.
It's a place where REALLY INTERESTING things happen! 
As it is the "face" of the hotel; you get to meet so many diffrent types of guests,
and experience A LOT of possible and impossible scenarios and reactions. 
A very challenging position I must say.
The best thing about being in the reception is-
you get to ooze at hot gorgeous faces and bodies that just got out of the pool/ gym AND GET TO TALK TO THEM!! muahahahaha!!
The reception is just right beside the pool and not far from the gym. and right beside the reception is the lobby bar. So you always get to see all those hotness on legs walking around. 
For instance there was this guest that me and another receptionist were talking about, 
we liked him alot because he was always in and out of the gym dripping with sweat on his abs and muscles *SWOONSSS*, and he is very friendly, chats up with anyone! 
 one fine day he came up and chatted with us in the reception and I was like omg omg omg should I ask for his email?? Would he go complain to my manager ah?? -_-" In the end I wasn't that bold after all lah. 
BUT, at that same night, I went to Hard Rock Cafe with my my house mates to celebrate the birthday of our friend, Shyang, I coincedentally met him there! (I DID NOT STALK HIM HOR! lol)
So being a "hiao po", I mustered up my courage and went to his table, (if you're gonna do this at a bar/club as well,MAKE SURE that he is alone or with his guy friends,or you're gonna get slapped by the guy's gf or something)
and asked for his friggin email! *he was alone.makes him an easy prey for me. muahahaha*
So he is now my facebook+talkbox friend! :D 
 Back to the receptionist experience;
Although there was one thing that I really wished for-  
The lobby (plus the swimming pool) area are the only places that I can think of currently, that is "open air" and doesn't have any air conditioning. When I was there I prayed for rainy days on my balcony every day! lol!
My first 2 months in Penang;

I realized that my housemate Vinn Chong has a special talent. 
that is just chio-ness whey. I flee at the sight of it!

Ate at the Hard Rock Cafe Penang, and celebrated Shyang's birthday there as well.

Tried some local favorites; THEY'RE- OH -SO- YUMMYLICIOUS OK!!
Penang food is good!! I've never eaten anything in Penang that I don't like loh! (I'm very picky on food btw)

First time in my life having home-made "mee hun kueh". 
Hui min (our senior) and Vinn cooked it from the scratch!
nom nom nom!

Funny momments; Vinn sprained her ankle while working,
Hui min became the "sensei" and started massaging her ankle! thus vinn's face- in pain!hahaha!

Let me explain............
I'm still not sure that if I was the one who murdered the lizard until today. 
You see, it was on the toilet bowl, and I don't know that if that it was already dead before I got there?
or my weight crushed it to death? 
But it was a very traumatizing experience. 
I hated lizards every since. 
4 of us in the living room.I'm complaining to Sunnie about my day. LOL.

This was the song that I've listened to umpteen times on my iphone when i was there. 
c'mon everyone has an emo side of them out once in a while!
Part 2 will be up soon! ;)

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