Marcia Morris: A lifetime of service in the tourism industry
FOR Marcia Morris, a long-standing waitress at Charela Inn, the tourism industry has been her calling since 1989. Morris hails from the small community of Paul Island, nestled in the parish of Westmoreland, where she grew up in a family of six, with hard-working parents who toiled at the historic Frome sugar factory. It was at an early age that Morris understood the value of hard work.
Initially, Morris’s plan after graduating from Grange Hill High school was to become a hairstylist as her modest living could not afford her the opportunity to advance her education. However, fate had other plans for her when an opportunity arose to work as a waitress at a local hotel in the vibrant tourism town of Negril. Little did she know that this would be the start of a lifelong affair with the tourism industry.
“I fell in love with the tourism industry because it allowed me to interact with people from all walks of life. It is a joy for me to be a part of creating memorable experiences for the guests I serve,” she shared.
Despite her seemingly quiet demeanour, Morris is a no-nonsense individual when it comes to her work as a waitress. She meticulously prepares her work station, ensures the delivery of top-notch service while prioritising guest interactions. While opportunities for a promotion arose, Morris had no desire to leave her cherished role as a waitress.
“Being a waitress allows me to create a genuine connection with guests,” explained Morris. Also, despite the development of the tourism town of Negril, with its sprawling hotels, she prefers the intimate setting of the small family-owned hotel provides.
“Working at a small hotel also allows me to provide personalised service to guests,” she noted.
She explained that oftentimes guests get lost in the shuffle of larger establishments. “Here I can truly make a difference in someone’s vacation experience.”
The dedicated worker describes Charela Inn as a second home, thanks to the mutual respect between fellow team members and superiors as well as the hotel’s owner. Daniel Grizzle, managing director of the resort, expressed his admiration for Morris’s work ethic and dedication to service.
“Marcia is the cornerstone of our team. Her dedication, reliability, and passion are unmatched.”
He highlighted the positive feedback from guests on Trip Advisor and expressed gratitude for her long-standing commitment to the hotel.
Reflecting on her 34 years in the tourism industry, Morris shared, “Working in tourism has provided me with a better life than I could have imagined.”
She briefly explored the idea of migrating to the United States for a year but soon realised that her heart belonged in Jamaica.
Upon her return to her home country, Charela Inn welcomed her back with open arms, further solidifying the bond she shares with her colleagues and superiors.
With the growing concerns of the shortage of workers in the tourism industry, Morris voiced her concerns about the diminishing passion on the job.
“Working in tourism should never be just a job; you have to love what you do,” she emphasised. “I find joy in taking care of my guests, and that’s why I have spent over 30 years in this industry.”