Justin Sellers / The Natchez Democrat — Dominique Grandson, second from left, sits on a front porch on Maple Street with family and friends at a cookout Saturday afternoon. Grandson works at the Hampton Inn and enjoys welcoming visitors to Natchez.
Justin Sellers / The Natchez Democrat — Dominique Grandson, second from left, sits on a front porch on Maple Street with family and friends at a cookout Saturday afternoon. Grandson works at the Hampton Inn and enjoys welcoming visitors to Natchez.

The Dart: Hotel clerk ambassador for Natchez

Published 12:01am Monday, October 14, 2013

NATCHEZ — For Dominique Grandson, her job as a hotel clerk at the Hampton Inn isn’t just a job. It’s a way to meet a lot of interesting people.

When The Dart found Grandson on Mulberry Street Saturday afternoon, she was getting ready to walk over to a barbecue in the neighborhood to spend time with some friends and their family.

Justin Sellers / The Natchez Democrat — Grandson laughs while standing with her family on Mulberry Street before heading to a friend’s house for a cookout.
Justin Sellers / The Natchez Democrat — Grandson laughs while standing with her family on Mulberry Street before heading to a friend’s house for a cookout.

But while Grandson said she always appreciates the opportunity to catch up with long-time acquaintances, she also likes that her day job gives her a chance to make new friends.

“I’ve gotten to where some folks come back over and over, where I recognize them and we can say hello to each other,” she said. “I have met people who come in year after year.”

Her clientele doesn’t just include Americans from different regions of the country. Ask Grandson about the different cultures she’s encountered, and she starts rattling off countries — Germany, Japan, Italy and on and on.

“It’s really crazy how many cultures come into the hotel,” she said.

With those clients from different cultures sometimes comes a language barrier.

But Grandson said that’s not a problem.

“I just listen to them,” she said. “A lot of people from different cultures, sometimes they can’t speak English well, but if you listen they can tell you what they need and you can even learn something from them. I had one customer who even taught me a few words in his language.”

Standing at the front desk at the hotel, Grandson is often the first face many people see in Natchez — and that’s something she said she is proud of.

“I get to tell them about Natchez, to tell them the different places they can go,” she said.

“There’s this one couple, it was their first time in Natchez, but they were impressed with the customer service and the things I was able to tell them what to do in town, and now we’re Facebook friends.”

And that’s why her job is more than just a paycheck, Grandson said.

“It is just a great chance to be able to meet different people and to connect with different cultures,” she said.