All my summer jobs from bob a job as a boy scout to working during my summer months during the school year were spent in the hotel industry and whether it was cleaning the copper pots under the watchful eye of the hotel manager to carrying guest’s luggage up 6 floors of the hotel (no lifts) I was heading in only one direction with regard to what area of the work I was going to end up with.

While studying in the Shannon College of Hotel Management at Shannon under the leadership of Mr. J. Blum an other side of the hospitality industry was opened up for me, it’s not only about cooking, serving and the ambience: it’s also about cash flow, payroll tax, the law and bills.

(funny memory), arrived for my first year exam dressed casulay only to be told that the uniform was required, back in the early 1980, no taxix, no buses, what was I to do as my apartment was two miles away and the clock was ticking, but lucilky that weekend I had learned to ride a Honda 50 (motorbike) from a third year student, so I borrowed his Honda, raced back to the apartment changed and may it back just in time, only to fail my accountancy exam. I did however get a credit because of my grades into the other exam.

Having completed the four year course which included a year in Switzerland and a year in England I ended up with a schlorship to Cornell University where I spent the summer. (Funny memory)Here the one thing that has stood with me over time and that was something I learned from Professor Dorf, who had a secret video that had been made for a hotel group but was then scrapped because of the content, but it was all about how a verbal direction is not always so easily understood by a guest and what happens when it is not! Ask me about it when you arrive and I will give you the inside scoope.

The Old Ground Hotel in Ennis was to be my training ground for my management skills and I was very fortunate to be working with a wonderful team, and while challenging as it was during the first recession, back in the 1980s it was also most rewarding. (Funny memory) One day while getting the outside table ready for the drink reception for a wedding party, I was attaching ivy and flowers to the sides of the table cloth, when the head housekeeper appearing from one of the top floor windows demanded that I immediately change the flower arrangement as I had white and red flowers and she was insisting that in this part of the country these colours signify a death in the family, as you can understand they were quickly changed.

Posted in: About John