The Caterer

Neil Milner – My worst job

11 September 2009
Neil Milner – My worst job

Neil Milner is the head of e-commerce development at budget hotel giant Travelodge.

What has been your worst job?

My worst job was as a children's entertainer at a well-known chain of holiday camps. My role included organising and running sporting activities, party planning and taking part in nightly musicals for an audience of about 200 screaming kids.

Then, when all the kids had gone to bed, I worked six evenings per week in the on-site nightclub, behind the bar, serving the children's parents, all to pay for my second year at university.

What was so bad about it?

Having to smile constantly for 12 hours per day, whilst wearing various uncomfortable fancy dress outfits.

What did you learn from the job?

I had to learn quickly that the customer is always right - even if the customer is five years old. In addition, I had to take responsibility for the daily activities of large groups of children, so my planning and logistics had to improve overnight.

What is the best bit of your current role?

Recently, we have launched the Travelodge iBooker for the Apple iPhone - available through the Apple application store - which is an incredibly exciting and vital part of Travelodge's future.

Furthermore, I have the freedom to influence the more innovative aspects of the eâ€'commerce strategy, such as the recent launch of Travelodge on Twitter.

Finally, although it's a cliché, I genuinely enjoy working with a fantastic group of people, from my head office colleagues, right through the organisation to the hotel and operations teams. There is a common sense of direction that enables change to be implemented in an incredibly efficient and cost-effective manner.

What's next?

I have just been promoted to director of eâ€'commerce and I am really looking forward to the challenge of being able to maintain a fresh approach to customer-engaging initiatives and to maintain a key competitive advantage via evolving technologies.

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