Diana Camilar. That sounds quite similar to a Maltese surname Camilleri. She smiles; it’s obvious she has heard that often before. “ I am originally from Romania.”
And how come she ended in Malta? “I came to Malta for my 19th birthday and immediately fell in love with the country. I went back to Romania to finish a course with the Institute of Tourism and Hospitality Studies and then bought a one-way ticket to Malta. And here I am.’
Any study course in Malta? “I completed a housekeeping management course at ITS.”
How did Ms Camilar end up with Corinthia? She looked intensely at a blank wall and concentrated to get the date right. ‘It was way back in 2010. I was working as a room attendant with a company which outsourced its services to Corinthia. One day, I was contacted and was offered a job with the Corinthia Group. I still remember the thrill I felt. A full-time job with Corinthia was something I had really wished but it all came as a wonderful surprise.”
And today Ms Camilar holds the post of Housekeeping Supervisor at Corinthia St George’s Bay What would that involve? What are the duties of such a post?
“It’s an exacting job, but I do it with with great passion. I can only walk you through some of the main duties. I oversee and direct all cleaning activities in the hotel. That would include assigning guest rooms and common areas, including stairways and lounge areas, to the Housekeeping staff. It involves overseeing the quality of work done, ensuring that Corinthia standards, which are very high, are kept at all times everywhere in the hotel. I prepare work schedules and timesheets. Not an easy task but essential. My job also involves a good understanding of sanitation regulations and team management abilities.
“Training existing staff is one of my duties and I attend to this very conscientiously. I try to impart in the staff a love, dedication and pride in one’s work. It is not just a normal work for a normal day. I insist everything we do should be a showing off, a showpiece. I tell my staff that I want each guest to notice and appreciate the good work. It is one way of proving the high Corinthia standards. Each one of us, whatever her/his rank , represents the company. Not just the supervisors and managers. We are all, and I mean all, ambassadors of the Corinthia name.”
When training the staff, is her patience limit short? Or does she press solidly forward until she gets closer to a good result? Mr Camilar chuckles and her eyes shine. ‘When it comes to training, patience is golden, and I have enough.
“Training is an ongoing process. Every day something new crops up and we have to live up to the needs. No one knows it all. And I expect those who have learnt, to give the best example to newcomers by leading and helping them as part of one Corinthia family.
“I also handle customer service and complaints, and order amenities to ensure that the employees have the proper tools to perform their job duties. I need to also be aware of the schedules of others to time the cleaning of rooms of other departments. I need a list of rooms to be cleaned immediately and list of prospective check-outs or discharges to prepare work assignments.”
Ms Camilar takes a deep breath. “It’s quite a handful, and there’s more to it.”
So, when investigating complaints on a service, how would she keep a balance between the name of the hotel, the client’s right for good service and the staff who has been found lacking in his/her duty? ‘Whenever a complaint comes up, I always try to find the balance between the client always being right, the duty to retain the Company’s high standard, and the employee. How I see it is that one is not more important than the other. Companies need their customers to be happy, these in turn ask for the magic to happen, and then there are those who make the magic happen, the employees. It needs to be a healthy balance as you need them both. So one must certainly give all importance to any complaint to satisfy the complaining customer. But one is to try not to disenchant the employee who has made a mistake. Though making him/her conscious of his/her misgiving, at the same time one should encourage the employee to do better for his/her own benefit and for Corinthia’s. Every one is to feel united and needing the cooperation of the other.’
After a day’s work, how does Ms Camilar continue her life at home? Cooking? Cleaning? Any help? ‘After a day’s work, I come home and get to be mummy for the rest of the day. I have two girls who are incredibly beautiful and kind but are also noisy and energetic. There is Chloe, who is 2 years and 4 months, and Hailey who is 5 years old. Luckily, we get a lot of help from my partner’s parents; they are truly angels in disguise!’
How would you describe yourself? “I like to think of myself as a truly kind and helpful person. I’m a great listener too!” From what Insider Plus has seen, she is right.
What are the best points she looks at in a work colleague? And the worst points which put her off? ‘The best points in a colleague are a sense of teamwork and the eagerness to learn new things. What puts me off is laziness and shifting responsibilities onto another person! It is a no-no for me.’
Though confident in her manners and speech, Ms Camilar betrays a modicum of shyness. Is she shy? She purses her lips and thinks. ‘I often think of myself as being very shy although people around me have told me that I do not send that message and I appear as being quite confident!’
With the variety of work in her job, Insider Plus asked her if she needs to be good at multi-tasking. “Ha-ha! Funny you ask that; at this very moment everyone is multi-tasking! Yes, I am a multi-tasking kind of person.”
With two energetic children and an exacting job, Insider Plus wondered if Ms Camilar has any leisure time. If yes, how does she spend it? “I make it a point to have some leisure time. It is essential to balance one’s day-to-day stressful life. I like to listen to music, go to the beach and enjoy the sun.”
What does Corinthia mean to her? “Corinthia is a second home for me. I was young when I started. This was my first full-time job, so I feel close to everything Corinthia represents. Often, I spend more time at work than anywhere else!” She thinks silently for a moment and adds, “ So, sometimes it becomes my first home.”
Insider plus was about to bid goodbye when we spotted a photo of the kids with Ms Camilar and a gentleman. We asked who he was. “It’s Eric Magro, my partner, father of my lovely kids. He is Chief Chef at Henry J Beans.’
What a small world! He was next-in-line for an interview on Insider Plus.