Elderly employee from Garden View Lounge earned the “Employee Recognition” Award
From greeting guests, taking orders to serving food and beverages, none of these beats Anita Ng, a 70-year-old working at Garden View Lounge (GVL). She has worked in the restaurant for nearly ten years and has become accustomed to the manual labour, which is different from the clerical work she did before retirement. "It’s better to keep working while I’m still physically strong than to stay at home and do nothing every day," she said. “Working proves my contribution to society. Moreover, memorising the menu and serving guests train my memory. My family supports me doing so."
Anita came across YWCA when she engaged in volunteer work after retirement. Her cheerful and talkative personality is the reason why she was invited to join Garden View Lounge, a social enterprise restaurant that encourages retirees to return to the job market to give full play to their expertise, when it opened in 2010. Serving meals is a piece of cake for Anita. The real challenge is to interact with people. “Many Garden View residents dine here and request to be charged to their rooms, so that they can pay when check out. I have to explain patiently every time that it is against the restaurant practice." Being a waitress in GVL brings infinite satisfaction to Anita. “In addition to dish suggestions, sometimes I explain how Chinese soup is made or recommend nearby attractions. Customers are interested in these topics.”
Like her co-workers, Anita works part-time, i.e. 3 to 4 days a week, 6 hours a day. Apart from not exhausting herself, she also wants to leave time for her hobbies. “I am lucky to have considerate colleagues who are willing to work around my schedule so that I can have time to travel," said the 70-year-old, also an experienced backpacker who has visited many countries around the world. She even set foot in South America, where most Hong Kong people have never been to. “My next destination is Central America!" Anita can definitely rival her younger counterparts with her passion for life and for work. Therefore, she won the “Employee Recognition” award when GVL decided to nominate her for the “Social Enterprises Employee Recognition Scheme 2020” organised by the Hong Kong General Chamber of Social Enterprises.
Time flies, and ten years have passed after Anita started her “second life” after retirement. “Not until I'm exhausted and unable to cope with the job will I quit!” Anita’s determination is the best illustration of GVL’s belief: Retirement does not mean not being needed. “As long as one keeps active, it is still possible to contribute to the world. Be courageous!" Anita said proudly.