For the past three decades, she has been working without ever calling in sick.
And her motivation is simple – the love she has for her job and the warm interaction she has with guests from day to day.
Heather Hinds, 56, is a breakfast cook at The Club Barbados Resort and Spa. Her duties include preparing breakfast and serving on the breakfast and lunch buffets.
“I love the job and I like dealing with people. The guests also motivate me. I like to see the repeat guests come back,” said a somewhat reserved Hinds, who also added that keeping in touch with some of the guests was something she enjoyed.
As this tourism champion joins the rest of the world in celebrating International Women’s Day under the theme Be Bold For Change, she had some advice to women in Barbados: “Just be a lady and look up to yourself and don’t let men pull you down”.
And she also reminded them – and everyone else, in fact – of the importance of productivity and getting to work early.
“Get up on mornings and once you like your job . . . the day goes by,” said the single mother of one.
To get to and from her Vauxhall, Holetown, St James workplace, the St Michael resident has to take public transportation. And although her shift runs from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., she ensures that the latest she is at work on any given day is 5:45 a.m.
Hinds, who sees her 37-year-old accountant daughter as a role model, readily admits that there are days when she simply did not feel her best and was tempted to take time away from work to fully recover.
However, this committed service industry worker just keeps moving and motivates herself by saying “I want to be the best I can be and to succeed you have to make ends meet”, even amid the “aches and pains” she gets from time to time.
“You know, you getting older and things will happen, but I try to blank it out my mind. I pray ‘Lord, carry me safe and bring me safe’. Sometimes you get up and don’t always feel well, but I put the feelings behind me and still move,” she said.
When people learn of her sick day-free work history, they are usually surprised.
“Some people say ‘wow, I wish I was you, how could you get it done?’ But I just do it,” said Hinds.
She received the Outstanding Hotel Employee Award from the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) in 2016 for her stellar contribution and commitment to the sector.
Chairperson of the BHTA Roseanne Myers and chief executive officer Rudy Grant lauded Hinds for her commitment to the sector.
Describing her as a lovely and wonderful woman, Myers said it was unbelievable that she had not missed even one day of work in 30 years.
“How is it even possible? We are talking about 30 hard years of experience and hundreds of thousands of interactions,” Myers told today’s first BHTA quarterly meeting for 2017 at the Hilton Resort.
“Heather, I think you are a wonderful representative . . . of the women who actually make the industry work. When we are at home, you guys are here. When we are not around, you are interacting with the guests. So, on behalf of the BHTA, I want to say, ‘thank you for not only for carrying the Barbados flag very high in 2016 but for continuing to do so and to do so in a manner that makes us all – men and women – proud of your contribution’,” said Myers.