All articles in this issue

My Reopening – Story

(by Mia Grieser, Executive Housekeeper)

If you had asked someone in the past whether he or she would like to simply do nothing for six months and even get paid for it, you probably would have seen a lot of cheering and jubilation. Just imagine using the whole day only for things that you really want to do. That really sounds romantic.

I admit that the first few weeks were a blessing. Like a well-deserved vacation that I made the most of. Drawing, walking, reading, watching series, turning the apartment upside down and converting it into a home gym – all these things you don’t find time for usually due to the hustle and bustle of your everyday life. But even the best series comes to an end at some point. So what now? Apart from the pandemic happening all over the world and the news getting scarier day by day, the fear for my own existence has become an almost daily companion.

At the beginning of the so-called first wave, there was still a lot to do for me. Don’t even think that you can just close the door and everything is done. Neither can you open up again after months of stagnation and get started right away.

Not only in private life, but also in business, there are things that are difficult to organise due to the lack of time. Of course, the closing period had been the time to tackle exactly those things. Muck out here, tidy up and optimise there. Concepts had to be developed for the safety of our guests and employees. Orientation was given by clear guidelines. So almost everything ran as usual during last summer – according to the new laws and regulations, of course. Sounds pretty good so far.

But just as the virus mutated, so did the regulations of the provinces and the federal government – at least in my perception. The summer then was marked by uncertainties: What’s okay? What’s not okay? Who is allowed to come to us? From where are they allowed to come and for how long? Under which conditions?

Similar were the questions I had to ask myself: may I, can I travel having a clear conscience? I can only speak for myself, but I think that many people have dealt with such thoughts. Sometimes the time passed in slow motion, the world seemed to have fallen asleep.

The deeper red the incidence maps turned, the clearer it became to us that no presents would be packed for guests at Christmas this year. Then, at the beginning of November, the second lockdown. This one hit me harder personally. It was cold, wet, dark and turned quite lonely then. If you normally can talk to your colleagues all day long and see the joy about a nice room or good food in the faces of our guests, it is pretty hard to forego 90% of your contacts for half a year.

The beginning of 2021 was the beginning of a year, during which one did not already think about going to the quarry pond in March. The weather left a lot to be desired. The news that there is a chance of opening up the restaurant and hotel business by Pentecost seemed surreal. Joy and apprehension at the same time. Can I still do that? Are we going to have guests at all? Will we have to close again?

Then a start with many stumbling blocks, a lot had changed. Nobody knew for sure whether we would be overrun by guests or whether they would not even think of travelling out of uncertainty. Until now, a lot of people are still unsure, understandably admittedly. But the fact to get back into the company of people and at least put a smile on the face of those who decide to enjoy the little things in life again, that feels damn good.

It will probably still take some time for the situation to normalise again or for everyone to get used to a new definition of “normal”. In a few years’ time, we may think back to this time and – as macabre as it sounds – appreciate the benefits of the pandemic. One must not forget how many problems have now been brought into the spotlight that need to be changed. So I can say for myself that it wasn’t all in vain, you have to learn from it and rather see the chance for a better future.

But first and foremost, I am now looking forward to being able to put a smile on the lips of as many guests as possible.