A fairy-fingered lady of the house
You can see her not far from the front desk, run into her between two floors or find her at the door of your room. This is Milène Makam, in charge of the dedicated HK team of the Hôtel du Centre as Housekeeper of the establishment. We spoke with this mother of four, from the beautiful area of Hienghène in north-eastern New Caledonia.
All are acknowledging her unfailing rigour, a quality which enabled her to prove herself at an early stage, at the end of her training as a chambermaid. Having had the opportunity to work in many businesses with diverse job profiles, Milène quickly demonstrated another important asset: her versatility.
In a home service company for individuals, she worked in sumptuous residences, where the high demand and discretion were required.
She experienced the opening of the Hilton hotel in Noumea, where she was a maid, before being offered a management position.
"I supervised the teams and was in close contact with the management of the group’s branches. I was always very punctual, so I was positioned on the early morning shifts. It was from this experience that I really learned the role of governess from all angles."
She also created her own business for a time, for the benefit of a varied clientele of medical practices, offices, professional premises, buildings, individuals...
A family affair
Milène will finally join the big family of the Hôtel du Centre at the time when the Business Center offered a job as a team-mate, even though William, the current Supervisor, had not yet been recruited.
"I had been hired by the hotel for a simple substitute, I finally stayed there two years... As soon as my schedule allowed me to do so, I gave a hand to the HK team. Subsequently, the former Governess decided to leave the establishment to open her own business and her position was naturally offered to me. And naturally, I accepted!"
In addition to the management of her team, which she is responsible every day, Milène also collaborates with the front desk and the accommodation Manager for the follow-up of activities, as with the Technical Manager of the hotel for the proper functioning of all electrical and sanitary systems.
- If you were one of the hotel’s rooms? Room 308 with its unobstructed view to the Tjibaou Cultural Center. I also find the twin room mattresses even more comfortable…
- If you were a client of the establishment? I would stay with my family… in the Family Suite obviously!
- If you were a moment of the day? The early morning: there’s already activity and we say hello to everyone.
- 3 things that never leave you at the Hôtel du Centre? The walkie-talkie, my access badge, a sheet and a pen.
- The person, famous or not, who inspires you? My son’s godmother, Raïssa. In difficult times, she’s always there.
- If you were not a Housekeeper? I would have been a nanny, because I love looking after kids. From the age of 10, I had to be trusted with my nephews and nieces, and I liked that responsibility.
- Your best quality and your main imperfection? I often listen to others, but I don’t dare ask enough for help.
A taste for tidying up and hygiene
Milène likes tidying up and hygiene. Making it a point of pride that the customer is satisfied, she knows how to motivate her team so that the missions of each one are carried out perfectly and on time.
If the need to go over and over again what had been cleaned the day before – often contorting to gain access to the far remote areas – is perhaps the least pleasant repetitive aspect of the job, Milène is all the more appreciative of the recognition shown by some of the guests of the Hôtel du Centre.
"Finding the apartment in an unacceptable state is fortunately something that happens less and less. We enjoy talking to guests and some are very considerate and kind.
I think back, for example, to our very long-term guest who gave us gifts on the way out, or to a client from the Bush who left us a letter apologising for not having time to wash his dishes, or even the touching thanks of a guest whose mother herself had been Governess...
On behalf of my entire team, it’s true that it warms up the heart and feels good!"