This is how work has been for my irritating nineteen-year-old co-worker. The other day, we had zero rooms ready by check-n time. It was absolutely not her fault. We had a huge group of people from Canada, most of the people refused to speak English, and she had one hell of a time communicating with them. At 3:00 she had to tell a group of arrivals that their rooms weren’t ready, and two different times those people threw open containers of water at her. “Did you call the cops on them? That’s assault.” I said.
“No! I was told to give them discounted rooms instead!” She said.
“Who told you to do that?”
“Well, we did screw up. I suppose they deserved a discount. But I would have given them that discount, let them in their rooms, and then I would have called the cops and had them walked off property.”
I didn’t have any issues with those guests during my shift. In fact, they spoke very highly of me, and how well I treated them. It turns out smiling at people, and being nice to them works. Who knew? I know the water throwing was partly due to the fact that rooms were not ready, but I am willing to bet that her shitty attitude played a big roll in their decision to throw the water at her. I would have immediately apologized to them for the inconvenience, and then I would have given them each a gift card from the drawer; you know, the ones we hand out when we screw-up and want to make people happy again. They could have gone out for a free cup of coffee, or a sandwich, and we would have been able to put a rush on getting those rooms ready. But, that’s just me. She tends to say… “Sorry, we can’t do anything about it…” Then she stops caring about customer service.
There were people partying in the dining room. I asked if it was a hockey team. It turned out they were all family members of a corporate manager. She was pissed at them because as they started showing up to check-in, they all started demanding free room upgrades. They only paid $59 for their rooms, and we still had all of our priority members to deal with. Members get the free upgrades. Family members of the corporate boss get discounts. On top of that, we nearly sold-out, and the suites were all taken. She told everyone there were no upgrades available. So they threatened to call the big boss. They were trying to use the boss as a threat. She didn’t budge, because there literally were no suites to give them. They made the calls, and he was forced to remind them that a hotel that is nearly sold out will have a limited number of available upgrades. When that didn’t work for them, they decided to have a fit because there is no microwave in the dining room. We have one that we can put in there when needed, but we don’t normally keep one there due to us not having a proper display for it. She offered it, and put it on a counter. That was all good, but still they called the boss to complain about the issue. Note to self… look online for a small display table with wheels, so we can put our microwave in the dining room for guests. When I am not being an instigator, I am a pretty good problem solver.
By the time I arrived, they were all happy… until someone wanted a key to someone else’s room. “I just need to get in the room because that’s were all the drinks are, and she hasn’t arrived yet.” Said the drunk guy.
“I can only give you a key if your name is attached to the room.” Said my co-worker.
“What’s your name?” I asked. He gave us his name.
“That name is not listed as someone attached to that room. We can’t give you a key.” I said.
“Why the hell not?”
“Because we protect the privacy and safety of our guests.” I said.
“Well, can you at least tell me if the person I’m looking for is actually in that room?”
“Why the hell not? Jesus Christ, you people are just…” I cut him off.
“We are concerned for the well-being, and safety of all our guests. That includes respecting their privacy, not giving away personal information, and keys to their rooms. That’s what you were gonna say, right?”
He gave me a wide-eyed stare for a moment.
“Do you know who my cousin is?”
“Are you gonna say he is my boss? I bet that’s who he is.”
“Do you know what he’s gonna say when I tell him you offered me such poor service?
“I imagine it would be something like… ‘Good job for sticking to hotel policy, and protecting the privacy and safety of our guests’… Do you think it would be something like that?”
“You’re a bigger asshole that she is.”
“I am much bigger than her, so clearly I have the bigger assho…” She cut me off.
“Well, I have to work in the morning. I ‘m off to go to bed. Have a good night!”
For the next two hours I was answering calls from the old folks, who stay here every spring with their church group. I was running toilet paper to rooms every ten minutes. I received a fun call from one old lady.
“Front desk, how can I help you?”
“What room am I in?” Asked the old lady.
I looked at the room number on my switchboard.
“You are in 414.”
“Thank you… No, wait, that’s the room I’m in, now. I need to know what room I’m in.”
“You’re still in room 414, ma’am.”
“Thank you very much… Wait! I meant my room. What room am I in?”
“You, ma’am, are in room 414.”
“Is that my room?”
“I don’t know, what’s your last name?” She gave me her name.
“Well, it looks like you are in the wrong room.”
“I know that. I forgot what room I’m in.”
“Oh, you are in room 414, but you are registered in room 412.”
“Oh, good. Thank you. I’m in room 412?”
“No, ma’am. You are in room 414.”
“But I belong in what room?”
I think I could have done that all night. She finally thanked me, and hung up. The people in the dining room were well-behaved, and they gave me nearly an entire sheet pizza. I had a few slices, and left the rest for my co-workers.
At 3am I received a call from a room. “I got poop on my finger!” Said the old man.
“Oh… That is unfortunate.”
“Your toilet-paper is too thin.”
“I am very sorry about this inconvenience. I suggest you thoroughly wash your hands. This is how you get pinkeye.”
“What do you plan to do about the toilet-paper issue?”
“I suggest you use a bit more toilet-paper next time.”
“I already know that.”
“Great! I think this problem just solved itself. Sleep well.”
One of our regular guests came down for coffee, he asked me how my night went. “If the guy from 309 tells you to smell his finger, don’t.”