Ornella Sale, Director and Administrator

When I first contacted Porto Laconia Residence, I was working in Puglia. I am Sardinian, but for over 10 years I had decided to live my life and develop my career away from home. Then, one day, I sent my C.V. to the residence and got called for a job interview. A month later they took me on as Head of the Reception, in 1992.

Originally, I was supposed to stay on for three years, but they offered me an interesting contract and I ended up staying: I grew up in this company. When I arrived, the residence was just beginning to develop and it was a very busy place: there was a very active and skilled team of entertainers that attracted holidaymakers from all around the area; the Piazzetta was packed with shops of all kinds. It was the nineties and there was not a lot going on: Cannigione did not offer all the services it now offers, so the village, the Piazzetta and all the bars and shops were a great hot spot for people and a focal point for families.

Unfortunately, after a few years and precisely in 1997, a decline began: the building company had an excess of unsold properties to sell and the first difficulties started to set in.

In 1998 a prior arrangement with creditors was reached and a voluntary winding-up decision was taken: from then onwards, all structures would be managed individually. Not just one single master of the "game", but various figures, each charged with managing the timeshare and the hotel, separately. At this stage a  new sole administrator, presented by the owners themselves, came forth and took over the situation, Mr. Leonardi. Being the "historical memory" of the residence, along with the maintenance man, I was offered a contract that involved a much higher commitment compared to the past years: something had to be done to save the residence. These were difficult years, during which we often stumbled, but we came through brilliantly, even though the 2008 global crisis put us once again to the test.

Slowly but surely, over the years, we resumed our struggle, tackling all the difficulties, enduring both physical and psychological fatigue. In 2014 Leonardi decided it was time to leave and shortly afterwards the owners of the residence asked me to attain the required licence to become the administrator of the condominium. Driven by the desire to carry on the project to reclassify the residence and, above all, thanks to the support of a team with whom I had shared ten years of hard work, I agreed to become a condominium administrator and to both administer and direct Portolaconia Residence myself.

After so many years of sacrifice and absolute commitment, today we can say we are satisfied with the results: feedback from apartment owners and clients is positive. In addition, last year, work that had not been done for a long time was finally approved, so we are improving the structure to make it more and more welcoming.

Today, what matters most and what has given us the force to achieve all these encouraging results, is our work team: without their support I would not have accepted the challenge and I would not have taken the decision to become the administrator of this complex.

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with the others.

Pasqualino, maintenance man

I ended up at the Portolaconia Residence by chance, in May 1995. I was unemployed at the time, I left my old job and I was seeking a new occupation, of course. I was just talking with friends, and I found out that in ‘Tanca Manna’, that's the name of the place and the locals use it when they talk about the residence as well, they were looking for a driver to take guests to the beach with an electric sight-seeing train. I did not care much what kind of work they were offering, I was just looking for a decent job in order to take care of my family adequately. I went to the job interview and they hired me for three months. At the end of the season, the old administrator and Ornella contacted me to extend my contract as a maintenance man. After that, I stayed on for good. 23 years have gone by! If I have spent so much time here, doing this job, it's because I get along well with Ornella, who’s the administrator now, but also with everyone else on the team.

You save the day and get by only by working together, not one by one

Vannina, receptionist

My story at Portolaconia Residence started off in 2005, when I came over one day from Sassari, my hometown, for an interview. My mother had to lend me her car to get to the interview: I didn't have a car of my own! My first interview was with Ornella and later on, I was called once again to meet Mr.Leonardi. I was hired as a receptionist and from that moment onwards and up to today, I am still a member of the staff. I was lucky because when I started, a colleague who had already been here for some years helped me out and trained me. I had never worked in a timeshare before but only in a hotel. I found myself doing a completely different job compared to the past and when I arrived, I had to learn everything again from scratch. In the past, many different people have worked here, but I think it's safe to say that our staff is well established now. It's also for this reason that we are so united and we get along so well together. Even if our team is very united, we always try to receive new colleagues and make them feel at home, both as people and as co-workers. After all, we always have to remember that we are not working in a hotel, this is a timeshare. There is a big difference: timeshare owners, who come here year after year, need to find a familiar, well-known and welcoming environment. We meet up with owners every year, as if there was an appointment with them. We see the owners’ children grow up, some of them get engaged and many, in turn, come back with their own partners and even with their own children. This is not just the case with timeshare owners, but also with people who rent out apartments and who come back every year. We can safely say that we get good feedback for our work but also for our attitude and sympathy towards guests. Being a team has made us winners.

Daniela, receptionist

I arrived here in 2012. I had just finished college and instantly got a chance to work here at the reception desk. A good chance for me, because I couldn't wait to start working and put into practice all the things I had just learned in college. I had already worked in a hotel for two years and when I got here, I soon realised the big difference between a hotel and a timeshare: there is a more direct and perhaps even more confidential relationship with clients, one made of trust. With a timeshare owner, you get to see the same person every year and so you get to know them well from every point of view. I too feel I am part of this great team at Portolaconia Residence. I think I can say we have a bonded team.

Vincenzo, gardener

Tosto (‘Tosto’ means tough in Italian) is just a surname, everybody calls me ‘soft heart’ here. I arrived here the first time, thanks to Ornella: we live in the same condominium in Arzachena. I'm not Sardinian, I come from Sicily. I came to Sardinia to stay with my partner, she is from around here. I have travelled a lot, I've changed many jobs and Sardinia was the only place I had not been to yet. Therefore, thanks to all these combinations, here I am. In 2011, when Ornella invited me to become part of her team, the residence didn't actually have a porter, as such. I took somebody else's place and got the grips of the job immediately. In 2012, I was hired for the season I started work as a gardener and during the summer months, I’m also in charge of shuttle services: two different duties. As in the case of Tatiana, it was not easy fitting in a job so far away from home. I can confirm however, as others have already said, that this is not just a workplace but also a family. So now, I hope this is my last port of call and that I can now continue my voyage in Sardinia as long as possible.

Nora, housekeeper

I got here in 2008 through an agency and did two straight summer seasons. Mr Leonardi, the administrator at the time, decided to hire me at the hotel directly, after just two years, skipping the agency altogether. My first duties were as a cleaner, after which, since about four years ago, they promoted me to housekeeper of the residence. I am the mother of the ‘Pupette Blu’ or ‘Blue Babies’: although I am younger than some of the girls who work here as cleaners, I feel I am the eldest because I have been here for quite a while now and also because I take care of them, in all their needs. I prepare their lunch, I make coffee and I give them advice and opinions if they need any. I’m really like a mother to them. That is why I nicknamed them the ‘Pupette Blu’ or ‘Blue Babies’: because of the colour of their uniform and because I feel, no actually, I am, responsible not only for their performance at work but also for their well-being.

Tatiana, deputy housekeeper

I arrived in 2011 and I'm the only Romanian girl on the staff. Mr Leonardi wanted me here and despite language and cultural differences, I immediately felt part of a big project. It's thanks to this team that I feel perfectly integrated and above all, I learned to speak gallurese, because people only speak gallurese here! When I got here, I already spoke Italian perfectly well: now I mix up Italian words with words in gallurese. I'm really happy and satisfied with my job and with the constructive environment that surrounds me every day. I'm really fond of many of our clients here: whenever they arrive, it's always a joy for me and for them. In October, when the season is over, we all cry a lot. Returning to everyday life is not always easy, after the summer season, when we have lived through all the ups and downs, here and altogether. So, every now and then, once the season is over we organise aperitifs and dinners, so we can see one other more often and keep in touch. Keeping the team together is a good way of kicking off in the best possible way the following season.

Antonella, cleaner

I came in 2008, thanks to Mr Leonardi and Ornella who both gave credit to my capabilities and honesty. I think I'm the ‘crazy one’ of the entire group. I like to laugh and make fun of everyone. I'm really happy in this residence because everybody likes me and respects me for what I am, so I feel that this is more than a family: the next thing. Clients adore me. They call me and look for me even when I'm not at work and when I'm resting. Even with them, I have a crazy kind of relationship. I love making them laugh, celebrating, punning them cordially. In a few words, I like to make them feel at home. I hope I will still be here until I have the force to keep up with the job: so, until I retire!

Susanna, cleaner

I have been doing this job for many years now. I worked in many residences and I know perfectly well how to do my job to satisfy the clients and the staff of the residence. Ornella often called me for extra work every now and then, but I was always very busy. In the end, she convinced me into coming to work here at Portolaconia Residence for a trial period. The result was I never left the place again, it's fantastic here! There's teamwork, there are targets to reach, companionship and my colleagues will take my place at work if I need a day off. This thing we have built up over the years, it’s a five-star relationship

Marta, cleaner

Just like Pasqualino, I arrived here by chance. I was working in another hotel, and then thanks to Nora I got an interview opportunity and was hired for some extras. Over time they got to know me here, I won the trust of Ornella and the rest of the staff and later on, I was hired for the entire season. For me too being here is like staying at home with my family, but here I get a chance to express the best of myself, I feel understood and supported and so any arguments that arise only help us to grow up as a team and as persons.

Giuseppe, porter

I started off as an extra, but since last year, they offered me an all year contract and I became the mascot of this big family. I'm not only the latest arrival but also the youngest person on the staff. I'm the porter here, I take care of the linen: I collect the dirty linen and bring the clean linen back. I'm really fine here, that is why I consider the team here at Portolaconia Residence like one great big family. It's a friendly place and a caring place and it's great fun too.