TWENTY YEARS OF EXPERIENCE IN A DREAM JOB
He has been the face of Lobby bar of Hotel Devín**** for almost 20 years. A modest, always smiling guy who loves his job – Martin Šefčík.
You rarely find someone today who loves his job as much as Martin. He has been living his student dream here, in Hotel Devín****. He is not only a great colleague, but an entertaining storyteller, as well. This fact is shown by the pleasant interview he contributed by to our “Journal of Hotel Devín”.
Martin studied at the hotel academy and even during his studies he was dreaming of working in this fancy hotel in the Bratislava centre. Only really hard-working students deserved to practice in such an institution, so he knew that he had to devote himself fully to his studies. His efforts paid off yet in the second year, when he was chosen to “Devín” for practice. As he says himself, he was very happy then, but of course felt a huge responsibility. And it was at that moment he started his journey with us.
You are about to read what his beginnings were like and what interesting things he has experienced during these beautiful years.
Martin, can you remember your first day at practice? What was it like to study at Hotel Devín?
I can get glimpse – they sat me down in the former Slovak restaurant, I had an impression everything around me was huge. I was not used to traveling to hotels, my family and I rather liked staying in tents. If someone had told me back then I would stay here for 20 years, I wouldn’t have believed them – it was all new and a big unknown for me. I went to practice every Thursday and Friday. People who were masters of their profession worked here even then, and I could really learn a lot from them. I didn’t feel like the third wheel on a cart, but like a member of the team. My dream was to stay working here and especially in Lobby Bar – I felt I would enjoy it there.
And it finally came true for you 😊. How did you manage it?
At the time when I was studying, there was no vacancy, so I worked for about 3 months in another establishment. However, I was still determined and wanted to work in Devín – it grew Devin on me during my studies. After about four months, they were hiring new people, so I immediately applied for a job. First, I worked in a café and then in a restaurant. Two years later, a dream offer to work in Lobby bar came – I was extremely lucky to have the opportunity to work there. Until that time, paradoxically, I hadn’t had much experience working in a bar, but I wanted to work there – I knew I would enjoy it, and I was right. And I have been here till now 😊.
What does it meant for you to work in Hotel Devín****?
I enjoy meeting and talking with our guests. Many of them have an emotional connection to the hotel, just like me. It has grown on me very much during those years. There has always been a good atmosphere here. I am glad the hotel is still a guarantee that the tradition continues and the guests can remember important occasions. It evokes me a stability which is still here.
Martin, you got to know a lot of people over the years. Is there someone special who has become close to your heart?
Over the almost 20 years, many guests have been here, and I respect them all very much. But some of them got stuck in my memory more than others. We have a guest who is almost 90 years old and has been loyal to us since the hotel opened. Even though he emigrated – he always found his way to us in “Devín”. I have always had a pleasant conversation with him. He liked to sing Slovak songs and when it was just the two of us in the bar, we used to sing together. Those are special moments for me. He told his story in a very interesting way and I enjoyed listening to him. Once the manager even let me drink a glass of Argentinian wine with him. I will always remember this gentleman with love.
During that time, you have had to experience many different situations here. Which ones stuck in your memory the most?
The presidential elections were an interesting experience. Mr. Kiska won that year and he stayed at us with his team for both election nights. It was a big celebration until the early morning. The funny thing was when the colleague who came to help me for a few hours was in the newspaper the next day and I wasn’t 😊. I had been here for 24 hours 😊.
I also experienced the World Hockey Championships here twice, which were held in Bratislava. Many fans stayed at us. In 2019, many Swiss people were accommodated at us – we had a little Switzerland here 😊. They always put on cow costumes and stopped at the bar before the match. They were very friendly and communicative. We had hockey decorations, a board where the results were recorded – there was a real hockey atmosphere here.
Every Friday, three musicians used to coma and play here. We have had some regular guests here who came for a meeting every Friday – they wanted to relax here and have peace – they still come 😊. They came here one Friday as usually, suddenly musicians came here to fiddle and it disturbed them. One of those guests came to me and gave me €20 and €50 for the musicians to arrange something. I was shocked and asked what could I do for him? The man told me: “Go to those musicians and send them home, but so that they don’t get offended.” So, I went and explained the situation. To my surprise, they took it very well and even made money. What they failed to do many times throughout the evenings 😊. The funny thing was that you usually pay to play the music, but now it was the exact opposite.
Thanks to my work at Hotel Devín****, I also got into TV. It was a coincidence that I worked that day. A TV series was being shot here and they asked me if they could use me as a waiter. I agreed, of course. I should have brought them vodka – of course it was water, because it was shot about 10 times and they would get really drunk 😊. I was also waiting to hear from Hollywood 😊. But even if they contacted me, I would still reject the offer and stay in Devín 😊.
I cordially invite all guests to our Hotel Devín****. Not only according to me, but according to many of our guests, as well, this hotel has its own spirit and unmistakable atmosphere, so it is definitely worth a visit.