24 years of Work in Hospitality. Reflections…

During this time of seeking documents and making preparations for my visa application, I had a chance to see all my past worksheets for the last 24 years; I saw my first employer payslip and the last job too, all of them with the times and hours worked.

Looking back over all this time, I find it ridiculous how much time I have actually dedicated simply to working; and just how much time of my private time I have also dedicated to solving other problems or serving other people with their needs.

Why I have done it?

Reflections on why I love Hospitality!

Continuing from the above, I feel that I can proudly say that I have done my job well, always placing others’ needs as a priority.  “That is why is called hospitality!” And none of the businesses in which I have worked were ever damaged from my service, they all benefited from my efforts.

But!

Did I really find what I was looking for?

Were the benefits to me higher than the time I had invested?

I do not know at this stage! Not completely sure!

I am starting to think that much of this time hasn’t been of benefit to me. The money I have made has been enough to sustain my lifestyle, of course, but have I gained or saved enough to make my future life better? I do hope the professional experience I have accumulated will earn me some respect, and maybe enhance my social standing, in the society where I live!

However, none of these questions have a definite answer!

So, why have I done it? Maybe I was desperate, maybe I was in need and I always accepted what confronted me and justified it as ‘sign of the destiny’?

Why I have dedicated my life to Hospitality!

And why it matters so much to me?

Help! I like to help others! I like seeing good outcomes achieved, and problems become solutions. As human beings, we are social animals, right? Then I feel I have achieved something when I see that I have help others have a good time (or hopefully a great time).

However, Hospitality is more than just a smile. Hospitality is food, one of the most important parts of our life; eating is a daily routine and a pleasure, eating is something we have to do every day and what we eat changes our lives, making us happy or sad, healthy or sick. More than any other thing we meet along the way, food is influencing our lives so deeply, that one simple habit can benefit or condemn your health, impacting upon the time life-quality you have to enjoy your life.

That is one other great motive why I love hospitality, it allows me to feed people. It allows me to provide them what they need to grow and enjoy their lives, and especially, how to appreciate the experience; and here is where a third motive comes in.

Hospitality allows me to get in touch with different types of foods coming from different producers and countries, each with different cultural identity and habits. Food is, and always will be, a cultural expression, a form of art, a medium between our modern days and the history behind it,  a connection with our ancestors and with their struggles and happy times, – everything condensed into simple recipes, which silently end up on our tables, often with this heritage unknown to the recipient..

There is also a fourth motive why I love hospitality, and it is the most difficult subtle to express to professionals and customers. Hospitality is and allows us to protect the planet from destroying it. Food is sourced and forced out other animals and plants and it is a strong economy motivator which can and can’t be a good thing for our environment, The last and possibly deepest motivation for me in my Hospitality career , (even though it may not be the best fitting motivation for a service job like is mine), is to use hospitality as form of education in which promote appreciation for nature and knowledge of food production for my customers and guests showing respect for the planet, using food presentation as the tool for promote lower resource consumption, and a greater appreciation of the beauty of nature richness, without undue exploitation.

I think that at the age of forty I have now come to realize that the real motive as to why I love hospitality; is because it allows me to help people have a great life, and also help the planet in which we live remain flourishing. I like to see that we are protecting it through developing and enhancing the food economy via a sound knowledge of consumption and food habits, modifying each so that all we appreciate what we have, and I see it not only from the point of us humans but the whole living environment.

Thank you for your attention.

Wish you a great day.

Simone Berliat

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