From the Reception Desk Straight to the Top! Siim Maran – Winner of the Tallink Hotels Staircase Race 2022
Siim Maran (22), an administrator at the Tallink Spa & Conference hotel reception, is a truly great fellow, whose professionalism, punctuality and enthusiasm are highly valued by clients and colleagues alike. Siim greets us cheerfully. He enjoys his job at the hotel very much, as working with people, and teamwork in general, suits and appeals to him.
Precisely for the purpose of celebrating the joys of teamwork, Tallink Hotels employees’ grand competition – Trepijooks 2022 – took place on the stairs of the ten-story Tallink City hotel at the beginning of November. This is a humorous competition where everything has to be done while running! The race had two rounds, one for the teams and one for individuals. Siim became the winner of the individual competition, and he was also a member of the winning team. In the individual round the competitors had to run up the stairs, all ten floors, while also doing exercises and performing the tasks mandatory on the Indoor Fitness Track at the Tallink City Hotel – such as pull-ups, leg lifts, push-ups and many other great and demanding challenges.
In the teams’ round, skills were measured in humorous fields and ways, such as the household exercises, where, for example, one had to put pillowcases around the pillows, while running up the stairs and doing additional exercises at the same time. Tasks for the reception desk included sorting room key cards into the right envelopes, while doing exercises and running. On the technical side, one had to repair some pipework. In customer service, competitors had to elegantly run up the stairs while carrying a tray full of drinking glasses. For the beauty salon challenge, hairstyles were set while running. In the restaurant field, egg whites had to be whipped while running and performing exercises. Some fields, like security, included pull-ups and other challenges.
By the time of the Staircase Race, Siim had been working at the Tallink Spa & Conference hotel for 3 months and felt a little uncertain. “Considering that I was new at the hotel, and many saw me for the first time at the competition, it was a total surprise how even those who didn’t even know my name would cheer on with such friendly vigour,” praises Siim.
How did Siim win and what motivated him? “I was motivated by the rest of my team that I work with daily. In addition to Tallink Spa & Conference hotel staff, Tallink City hotel staff were also present at the competition, as well as staff from hotel restaurants and other departments. I had to bring the cup home for my own people!” laughs Siim. “All the exercises were great. However, I liked the ones the most, where you had to try something new, in which you didn’t know whether you could accomplish it or not. For example, it was told that one can get extra style-points if, in addition to running on the stairs and doing exercises, you also squat on one leg on each floor. After the 4th or 5th floor, I didn’t know if my legs, already completely tired by then, would sustain any more difficult challenges. Well, it turned out that they did not. I stumbled. But in life there sometimes are stumbling blocks. I gathered myself fast and continued running, because despite everything, you have to test yourself again and again!” smiles Siim.
Siim praises the Staircase Race for the exercises being well in line with the reality of everyday work in hotels-restaurants-spas: “Especially in the sense that you had to jump into them without hesitation. The results were better for those competitors who immediately grabbed the situation by the horns with both hands and took bold action.”
Siim got into the hotel business at a time in his life when a good “window” appeared, where there were both, a desire and an opportunity, at the same time. “I always knew I wanted to try working in a hotel, to interact with people from different backgrounds and cultures, and make their visit to Estonia even more special. Fortunately, our excellent manager Anne saw the necessary qualities in me, and I was taken on board. I am very proud and happy about it because I have nice colleagues. And Anne is someone who I feel I can always turn to. A strong sense of team is important!”
According to Siim, the most enjoyable and also the most difficult part of hotel work is one and the same – the customers. “When I started the job, I thought that the most pleasant part of the job would be interacting with customers. Yes, it is true. But in addition, it turned out that even more pleasant feature is the atmosphere that we have in the hotel. Sometimes it feels like I wouldn’t be able to do it if I didn’t have a nice colleague by my side, who is not just a co-worker, but rather a friend. It is truly great to work in such a supportive atmosphere.”
Does Siim dream of being a hotel manager or owner himself, someday, in the distant future? “It would be great, and I guess I wouldn’t say no, if such an offer were ever made or an opportunity arose. But I’m not really the kind of person who dreams of such goals…”.
Siim believes that one of the personality features needed in hotel work must be the natural ability to identify with the customers and to understand their problems – this is an absolutely essential trait at the reception desk. “I see this a lot in my colleagues, and I believe that, fortunately, I also have this ‘ability’. However, sometimes I find that this alone is not enough. One must also have the competence to be able to solve the customer’s problem. Since I am relatively new to hotel work, sometimes there are situations where, despite the fact that I really want to help the customer in solving a problem, I may not be able to, because I am facing a specific problem for the first time in my life. In these cases, it is a very good and strong feeling when you are at work with an experienced colleague,” praises Siim.
What would Siim recommend to colleagues who would like to win the next Tallink Hotels Staircase Race? “I don’t have any secrets or special tricks to offer, other than that you have to be active, keep running and exercise regularly. It was easy for me, because sports are also my big hobby – running, football, strength training. It certainly helped me in the Staircase Race.
In addition to sports, Siim’s big hobbies are geography and history – two sciences in which he says he has an endless interest; and he is also a devoted art lover who very much enjoys creating various types of art himself. However, this is another topic, which will be discussed in more detail at another time.
For now, Siim invites everyone to come and have a good time in Tallink hotels, to enjoy cosy rooms, cocktail bars, and delicious dishes in our restaurants. “You are all welcome! Especially from me, and if you see someone called Siim at the reception desk, you can congratulate me on winning the Staircase Race,” he laughs and adds cheerfully: “See you soon!”