Something Smells Fishy Around Here

It’s been fun times at work lately. Co-workers are pushing each other’s buttons. Guests are getting pissed for any reason they can think of, and our reviews have gone to hell. I could point out the true cause of the problem as far as working with others is concerned, but that would likely create more issues rather than help resolve them. One thing I can say that doesn’t involve dragging people down is, a primary reason for our declining scores has less to do with how we interact with guests, and more to do with how the questions are asked in member surveys.

Were you offered a welcome amenity when you checked in?

The majority of people claim that we haven’t been offering welcome amenities. Yes, we have, and we haven’t stopped offering them. It used to be that club members were offered a choice between a snack or bonus points. The corporate overlords changed how that works. Now, only the top-level members get a choice between the snack or points, and all of the lower level members just get points but aren’t offered the snack anymore. When people check in, regardless of which level they are, we always thank them for being a member and mention that they are receiving bonus points on top of the points that they earn for making their reservation.

Unfortunately, although guests received emails that explained the change in the program policy, they most likely ignored the part about the amenity changes, because guests are only interested in reading about what they get as perks, and not what they are losing as perks, or how some perks might have changed. When they fill out their surveys and are asked if they were offered a welcome amenity. People keep responding to that question with… No… As a result, our scores have dropped so low that we are being forced to go through our front desk training again. The points are the amenity! Yes, you were given the welcome amenity! It is not our fault that you aren’t happy with how it was changed, or that you didn’t read the stupid email that clearly explained the way the program changed. Your inability to pay attention to the details followed up by regularly writing bad reviews about how poorly you claim to be treated is forcing us to do unnecessary work.

Then there are the fishermen…

A retired man approached me this morning just as I was making fresh coffee.

“The strangest thing happened in my room.”

“There’s muddy looking water coming up from the bathroom sink. It smells pretty bad.”

I found his room in the system, and I noticed that he and his friends have been staying at the hotel for a fishing trip. This is the time of year when people travel to the area for fishing competitions and personal vacations. Our parking lot is starting to fill with trailers and boats.

“I see you’re on a fishing trip.”

“Yes, we are.”

“Can I go in the room to see the problem? Perhaps I can fix it without having to call in maintenance.”

The two of us took a short stroll down the hall and entered his room. The bathroom stunk like fish guts.mms_picture

“See? It was around three o’clock this morning when the water started coming back up, like that.”

“Were you cleaning your fish in the sink?”

I watched him take half a step back, and he stuttered for a moment before using real words.

“Uh. I… Uhhh… Mmmm… Me? Oh, I don’t know who. Maybe it came up from another room. I would never…”

He was clearly unprepared for that question.

“I’m sorry, sir. I didn’t mean to imply that you were gutting fish in our sink. Maybe it was the fish guts, floating in the sink that gave that impression. My bad.”

“So, what are you gonna do about it?”

“I am going to write a maintenance request to fix the sink.”

“You said you could fix it.”

“I said perhaps I could fix it without having to call maintenance. I decided that the maintenance guy should have the pleasure of fixing this problem. I really like this shirt, and don’t want it smelling like the inside of a trout.”

I watched his expression change again. He was pretending to be offended.

“What am I supposed to do with this shit? I still need to shave.”

“A real sportsman wouldn’t let some stinky fish guts hold him back. Just use the fish water. Maybe it will do wonders for your skin, and make you look 50 again.”

“I am 50.”


We stood in his bathroom and gave each other awkward glances.

“You’re seriously not going to do anything about this?”

“Sir, please stop gutting your fish in our sinks. Also, please don’t gut your fish in out tubs, or our toilets. I have lots of fresh, hot coffee made. Feel free to grab a cup.”

I left him in his room and returned to my desk.


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