Former psychology professor finds unexpected passion as Sanibel housekeeper
SANIBEL, Fla.– Dilya Gabdrkhmanova didn’t expect to find a new passion in life when she took a job as a housekeeper at the Beachview Cottages on Sanibel Island.
Dilya, who was born in Soviet Russia, had built a career as a psychology professor before moving to the United States.
“I didn’t know anything about this job,” she said about her new life in the U.S.
For the first few years, she would go to work sad each day until she came to a realization. “I changed my mind because I understood a job is a job.”
Dilya began paying extra attention to guests needs and treating them with kindness. In return, management began to notice her impact.
“She’s like a magnet,” Tony Lapi, President of Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts, which owns the Beachview Cottages, said. “People just go to her. It’s a great example for all of us.”
In a testament to Dilya’s impact, guests sent cards and flowers to her home after her husband’s passing. There is also a brick paver near the entrance of the Beachview property in her honor.
“I’m so happy,” Dilya said. “Life is good now.”
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