Through WCCUSD’s Ivy League Connection program, Hercules High School Students Justine Betschart, Stacy Chan, Ramiah Davis-Shephard, Louisa Man, Julia Maniquiz, and Yueming Wang will be attending Cornell University to either study Freedom and Justice or Hotel Operations Management during the summer of 2009.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

More! More! More!

Clad in a dress, I had to brave the thunderstorms after class today. Hearing the ongoing rumbles right now makes me quiver.

Anyways, today we started off the tactics for profitability class with Ms. McCarthy lecturing us about the Guest Cycle, consisting pre-arrival, arrival, occcupancy, and departure. Furthermore, she went in-depth in terms of the multitude of guest services available. What I had found interesting about this class was Ms. McCarthy always would incorporate examples that could resolve certain realistic scenarios in the hotel industry. Hours later, the Hotelies watched a screening of a short film on the unique characteristics of the hotel industry, or as a matter-of-factly, ones that any team could use, both professionally or personally. High level of trust and respect as well as the commitment to a clear and common problem were among the six characteristics stressed in the segment. Those specific facets were momentous. Being able to rely on a teammate and buying in and committing were vital tools for any group to thrive.

At the computer lab, Mr. McCarthy encouraged us to explore Microsoft Word. Aside from successfully creating a letter template and our own templates based on our style preferences, he showed us how to use the tools properly, including mail merge. I was cognizant of the mail merge option, but never knew how to incorporate it into the document. After that, Mr. McCarthy introduced us to Microsoft Powerpoint and a wide range of functions it could achieve. What endless opportunties there were!

It was clear: I absorbed an immense amount of skills and knowledge today. Each day, I would learn more and more about the hospitality industry. Someday, all that knowledge will pay off, whether I will enter that field or not.

Until then,
Stacy Chan


  1. Stacy,

    At the very least, your experience at Cornell has been invaluable if it has taught you even a few of the things that the Office Suite can do for you. There's a reason why that application is so expensive and why there are so many exhaustive books written on it. When you open any of the many applications included in the Suite you'll see dozens of tools, buttons and icons that mean absolutely nothing to most of us. I'm pretty sure that Bill Gates put them there for a reason but until someone actually shows us what they are or how to use them, they're just desktop decorations.

    One of the flaws with most applications these days is that they no longer come with a User Guide. Even an internal guide would be of value to us. All too often we have to wait 4-6 months after the application comes out before third party books become available so we can figure out what's on our expensive new software.

    From your perspective, are you seeing any kind of slant to this class? I mean, is it taking on a corporate slant or is it pretty well balanced?

    Sooner or later you're going to have discussions about the cost of your labor and profitability. The two cannot be separated. As any major business knows, when you pay your employees less money, provide them with fewer benefits and even cut back on the tools/equipment they need to do their jobs, then profits can rise.

    Safety on the job site also plays into a profit margin. Here you can compare short term profits against long term profits. When safety for your employees is compromised the company can experience short term benefits but often the costs exceed the benefits once increased insurance premiums are factored in and even lawsuit payouts.

    Believe it or not, in the heavy construction industry, all the way up until 1970 it was an accepted part of doing business that for every one million dollar valuation of a project they could expect one death. This was an acceptable loss.

    Today, if there's a single recordable injury (one where an employee is taken for medical care and cannot return to work the same day), then heads will roll. They found that it's a lot more profitable to provide safe work environments.

    Even if these concepts aren't brought up, you might bring them up on your own. You may even discuss these with your cohorts so you can bring in a united front.

    The hiring of illegals for your housekeeping staff would certainly save money and allow you (as the employer) to treat them poorly knowing they wouldn't be in any position to report you. The same goes for safety on the job. [Yes, in spite of Federal laws since 1987 requiring employers to verify legal residence in the US, there are employers that do not pay attention to that law. It begs the question: which other laws do they feel don't apply to them?]

    These can be an interesting part of the discussion.

  2. Stacy,

    Sounds like the Hotelies are really "getting down to business". I am impressed that they have already covered the "customer cycle" and also the importance of how to be a teammate.

    You are so right when you realize that this will serve you in whatever field you do choose to work in.

    Keep blogging and I'll see you next week.

  3. Don,
    Since this is a business class, I do sense that there is a slight slant toward the corporate side. Mr. McCarthy always insist that we should use and apply these tools in any setting, and I agree with him 100%.

    Ms. Kronenberg,
    I cannot wait to see you. I look forward to having you here.

  4. Stacy, your post has a lot of insight and your response to Don leads me to suggest that you contact Kate from the Department of Industrial Relations over the weekend. I would strongly recommend that you discuss your work in the Hotel School. You want the "other side" and hear how life is for the employees.

    The Corporate side is critical to success, take it from me I am on the management end of the spectrum, however it would be useful to see how one would look at your material. Kate bronfenbrenner is an authority on the Industry and can share some valuable insight.

    What I am finding somewhat frustrating is that information was provided that shed light on the world outside of the "board room" and empowered you to challenge some of the assumptions inherent in the Hotel Industry. So, I am glad that you have learned a great deal from the course. Take the time to support Louisa, it appears that he she had a very rough day.

    Enjoy your time this weekend at the University of Rochester. I hope that you were able to have your mother or father sign the parent permission form. We need to have you take some photos of the University of Rochester campus, any students who are willing to be photo and your admission tour guide. We are anxiously awaiting reports from the trip.

    Thanks again. I will tell the gang at Brown that all of you ladies are wishing them well.

    Take care.

    Charles T. Ramsey, Esq.
    School Board Member
    West Contra Costa
    Unified School District

  5. Stacy,

    I've been on both sides of the negotiating table as both Management and Labor and I can tell you that the days of adversary are over and any person in Management who fails to grasp this has already set his copany on the path towards Chapter 13.

    There exists a symbiotic relationship between Management and Labpr wherein neither side can exist without the other. Management needs the workers and Labor needs Management. Take away either side and the other would wither away and die.

    The sooner that both sides grasp this and embrace this the sooner they can find ways for BOTH sides to win and be profitable. War never decides who's right--only who's left. Management and Labor need to find ways they can learn to live together, Stacy.

    Both sides have real enemies out there but they're not on the other side of the aisle.