He provides top-class service with a smile. He is friendly, polite, and helpful, as described by many hotel guests. Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium Bellman Thng Kai Bin takes pride in his work.
The 29-year-old was born with a mild intellectual disability, which made learning a challenge growing up. But he has always been determined to do his best.
Kai Bin’s school, APSN Delta Senior School, sent him on a Work Experience Program (WEP) with Holiday Inn as a trainee in 2011. When he graduated in 2013, he was subsequently offered a permanent position as a public area attendant with the housekeeping department.
“I like to talk to guests but when I was with housekeeping, I didn’t get to talk to a lot. Just cleaning,” Kai Bin said.
But whenever he saw an opportunity, Kai Bin would volunteer to help guests with their luggage.
The hotel took notice of his sincerity and cheerfulness, and he was transferred to a become bellman a few months after working full-time.
“I was happy when they let me be a bellman. Now I get to see guests, talk to them, and help them whenever they have any questions,” Kai Bin said.
As a bellman, Kai Bin not only helps with the luggage but also assists guests with their other needs such as providing directions to Singapore attractions or when they need to call a taxi.
“My colleagues taught me everything. How to greet guests, the different buses guests can take to go where they want,” added Kai Bin.
Many of the regular guests also now know Kai Bin by name.
Kai Bin would take the initiative to remember the smallest detail about guests such as the type of taxi they prefer and their favourite destination. He would then follow up with them on how their day went when guests would return.
For his work ethic and outstanding service, Kai Bin has won numerous awards and recognition over the years such as the Holiday Inn Honesty Award and the Exemplary Employee (Persons with Disability) award at the Enabling Employer Award 2014.
Most recently, Kai Bin was recognised as a Model Worker at the NTUC May Day Awards 2021.
Kai Bin said that he is happy to get the award but feels a little sad due to the COVID-19 situation.
“Now with COVID-19, the hotel is quieter and there are not as many guests as before. I hope things will change to be better,” Kai Bin said.
Because of the impact of the pandemic, Kai Bin had to be seconded to NTUC FairPrice at Hillview as a retail assistant for three months in 2020.
“I was ready to accept the new job but I prefer working at the hotel. The customers at NTUC FairPrice were also very quiet and shy, and I don’t get to talk to them. Only when they talk to me, I would talk to them. It is different from the hotel. When I say ‘good morning’ to the guest at the hotel, they will say it back to me. I was very happy when they told me I can continue my work at the hotel,” Kai Bin said.
Today, Kai Bin also helps the hotel with the Safe Entry checks whenever they enter the hotel. He looks forward to learning new things and has been training to use a computer to help him do his job better.
“I like to meet people. I like to give them a good experience when they visit. I can do that at Holiday Inn, so I hope I can continue working here for as long as possible,” he added.