"I guess this is why I remain so passionate about [my work]. My motto is `perfection in every detail' and [my philosophy is to] make guests' comfort and satisfaction the first priority," she says. "Everyday, I come to work with the mentality that there is always room for improvement and there are new challenges ahead," she adds.
Tam started her hospitality career as a housekeeping clerk. Like most job seekers, she was unenthusiastic about it. "Cleaning is a job that nobody wants. Most people have the impression that cleaning rooms offers few prospects and that the brightest opportunities are at the front desk or in communications. Housekeeping was never my first choice. I joined by chance," she says.
In 1981, Tam was working as a sales executive for a food company but wanted to find work at a hotel, having graduated in Britain with a degree in hotel management "The hotel had just opened and was offering many jobs. My first choice was in accounts. But when I arrived for the interview, I was told that the department head was busy but I could interview with housekeeping. I was offered a position as a housekeeping clerk and decided to give it a try," she says.
With an eagerness and capacity to learn everything - from doing the laundry to painting the walls, Tam soon found herself excelling. "I don't really have boundaries for myself as in, 'These are the things that I am responsible for, and these are the things I am not.' When there's something I don't know, I ask. I guess it's this spirit of doing more for less that's helped develop my career."
Tam's positivity and proactivity caught the attention of her superior and in 10 months, she was promoted to supervisor. Twelve years later, she became director of housekeeping.
Despite her success, Tam is disappointed that housekeeping draws little attention among the young.
"I have not had a single job application from a fresh graduate in five years. But I can promise that the opportunities are there if you are willing to work hard for