When you joined the resort, what department did you work in?
Dora: I started at the resort in the laundry department. I was there for almost 9 years. When I was working in the laundry department, I would also provide babysitting services in the evenings for guests who wanted to enjoy dinner without their children. It was a great way for me to make a little extra money. I saved the money I made from babysitting and used it toward college for my three children.
Over thirty years, what other departments did you work in?
Dora: While I worked in laundry, I provided lateral service to the banquet department. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed my experience, but I realized quickly that carrying the big trays was not really my expertise. I transferred into Resort Services and spent about a year there before I joined the team in The Gift Shop 20 years ago.
What keeps you at the resort?
Dora: I enjoy meeting the people that travel from all over the world to visit our beautiful resort. It’s such a special place to visit. So many of our guests are repeat guests and it’s nice to see them year after year. I enjoy watching their children grow up and have been at the resort long enough that many of them are now coming back with their grandchildren. I also stay because it’s like home and the ladies and gentlemen that I work with are like my family.
Celebrating memories is a specialty of Ritz-Carlton ladies and gentlemen. Can you share a story…
Dora: A guest came into the Gift Shop and was looking for a few sundry items. I escorted him to the sundries area and when he turned to walk back to the counter, I noticed that the seam in the back of his jacket was coming apart. I mentioned it to him and explained that I was a seamstress and that I would be happy to repair it for him. He was so surprised that his jacket was torn and was grateful that I offered to fix it. He took the jacket off and I stitched up the seam while he waited. When I was finished, he put the jacket back on and purchased the sundry items that he originally came in for. It wasn’t until I was ringing up his items that I realized that he was the president of the organization that was holding their meeting at the resort. Later, I was told that he shared his experience with all of the attendees at his meeting and told them all that what he experienced was Ritz-Carlton service.
How did that make you feel?
Dora: I was very proud to have made such an impression on him, especially since I was just doing what I could to help a guest.
What surprises you most that you’ve been at the resort for 30 years?
Dora: When I started working here, my oldest son was only three months and now 30 years have passed. It is hard to believe that I’ve been married for 32 years and that my oldest son has graduated from college and now designs eyewear. My daughter is 25 and has graduated from California State Fullerton and my “baby” is 19 and currently in college. It’s as the saying goes, “time flies when you are having fun.” I truly have fun every day here at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel.