Meet our Magic Maker Tau Hlomai, an extremely valuable member of the AtholPlace team. Tau is willing to help out in any of the departments within the hotel but is passionate about the guests he works with in his capacity of Tour Guide. You spend a lot of time on the road - tell us about your top three places in Johannesburg and why?The Apartheid Museum: Because its the museum which tells the story of South African history. Soweto or the South Western Townships as it was originally known:Because it carries a lot of history and guests can visit and get a first-hand feeling of township atmosphere. Soweto was a key location in the uprisings against apartheid started and was home to Nelson Mandela, Winnie Mandela and Desmond Tutu, plus lots of other struggle icons. The Cradle of Human Kind:I love this place because it gives guests a different perspective altogether because its more of adventure, learning and discovering our history and origin as humans.In your job you deal with lots of people - tell us your tips for effective communication? I deal with lots of people and they are all unique, which means I also approach them differently when I want to communicate with them.First when I come into contact with my guests whether after picking them up at the airport, train station or from any other place, I read their mood/mind whether they like talking or not.The ones I can tell don’t want to chat I just make sure that I greet them and only go as far as asking them about their flight. If they seem to be in the mood for talking usually they are the ones who start to ask about everything including, weather, traffic, politics etc. Then from there, you can start different conversations and if it is the guests’ first time in SA you can then show them any interesting places/buildings along the way to the hotel. But the most important thing is to avoid talking about any religion, country, race, team etc. When you greet guests - do you like to use your mother tongue? When I greet my guests I firstly use English as it is the most common language then after that I teach them the same greeting in my mother tongue, which is:
Hello: ( Shona) = Makadini
Welcome: (Shona) = Tinokugamuchirayi muno mu South Africa
You need to manage deliveries, collections and guest transportation needs - which of your colleagues do you work closely with to keep all of this running efficiently? Anyone working at the front desk but mainly Melinda. Sometimes things don’t run according to schedule - especially with things like traffic jams and bad weather - how do you manage these stressful situations and keep your cool? I always leave earlier than needed so that I drive without stress and I get to my destination on time. What part of this job do you find most rewarding? The guest transferring part since its always interesting to meet different people. A guest had the following to say in a recent review: “The hotel driver, Tau deserves special mention as well, who took us around for three days and was so knowledgeable and helpful”.Your job demands a friendly and upbeat attitude - tell us how you stay motivated? Firstly my family (wife and daughter) keep me motivated because they make me feel good each time I go out to work. My wife always reminds me of my upcoming transfers. I’m also motivated by the way I work with all the AtholPlace Hotel & Villa team. We communicate very well and we encourage each other. Plus I look forward to meeting new guests as I never know what to expect.