Saturday, November 14, 2009

My Monday.... again...

Yea, remember that whole "it's my Friday & Monday!" thing?

Today is one of those days.

It's Saturday, I'm gearing up to hang out with some friends... and at 11pm tonight I will be clocking in for an overnight shift (fyi, that's 11:00pm - 7 or 8am). The best part is, this is the only shift I have to work until Tuesday. The worst part? I got 3 hours of sleep last night.

Along with a high tolerance for stupidity, grace, intelligence, and patience abounding.. Front desk agents are also skilled in.. Insomnia.

I change shifts pretty frequently, although lately that has not been the case so much, and all it does is create a minor addiction to sleeping pills and a love for Netflix instant play. (I cant tell you how many random documentaries I've watched since starting this job)

Now, no worries on the sleeping pills part. I only take Melatonin which is a natural supplement, but even then.. I cant seem to sleep without some aid. Work out plans are in order.

Anyways. Back to the random shifts. You might ask.. "Moon, Why in the world are you working an overnight shift in the middle of your weekend? Are you mad??" and I would say this. No I'm not crazy. One of our night auditors actually wanted to have a life...


This person is getting to see friends, which is a pretty rare occurrence for night auditors since they are so far off the normal schedule. I cant say I'm upset about sitting in for their shift.. I'm just upset at the loss of sleep. And no possibility of a nap either...

So.. off to start my day I go.

Cynically Yours,

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Today, we're going to revise a previous subject.. well kinda. And yes, it will probably be brought up again and again, so dont be surprised.

That subject is.. How can you think it's ok to act this way?!

Case in point.. Today when I arrived to work, I was given a guest report on someone that would be staying with us for a few days. Guest Reports are information gathered about a guest, whenever they have an issue or just a particular need. If you're insistant that you have foam pillows, and lots of them.. it goes on a Guest Report. Mostly this is done to make life a little easier for frequant guests. (Remember.. we like them) But more often then not, Guest Reports are about guest complaints and really.. how big of jerks they can be. It's a fair warning.

We'll call this gentleman Mr. Smith. He had a 15 page report.. I'm not even joking. 15 pages. Normally we have 2-3 guest's per page... if any at all. 15... pages....
This person has flirted with, accused, insulted, berated and lied his way out of everything.
Every single stay, he gets a discounted rate that he doesnt remotely qualify for. He has claimed he is a film producer (which by the way, a film "producer" doesnt do anything more than provide funds to create the movie. They have no actual hand in the movie itself), owns 3 hotels of his own, and supposidly takes daytrips to Europe for shopping all the time.

Really.. how can someone behave this way?

The worst part? We cant do anything about it. This guy claims that if we dont take care of him that he will contact the owner of the company (yes.. he even knows the persons name.. not that hard to figure out if you've got Google)

So next time you're writing an email to corporate, or complaining about something obviously false ("a bug bit my foot, and I had to be rushed to the hospital. They saved it with emergency surgery!!.. comp my nights") or accuse someone of being racist/anti-sematic ("Your name is Iranian?! You people dont respect women or Jews! You should be fired!!") just take a moment and think.. if I was on the other side of the desk.. what would I think of me??

Cynically Yours,

**PS. All quotes actually were stated.. Names are false for identity sake... ***

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Welcome Back

I have to say, one of the best things about my day is return guests. This is not being cheesy or fake at all.

As you by now know, I frequently work the pm shift. That means that I mostly see guests as they are coming into my hotel. Quite commonly, they are tired and just want to crawl into bed. I cant really blame them for that. It's rather nice though because I can take a few seconds to end their day well, make them laugh, or just make it short and sweet.

Yesterday I had 3 of my most frequent guest's show up. One was..we'll call him John. He's a nice father type who comes from Cali. He's always showing me pictures of his kid. I think he enjoys having someone to chat with from time to time.
Then we have.. we'll call her Suzanne. She comes in, stays for a week at a time, and stops by my desk to chat for about 20 minutes a night. She cracks me up, really sweet and just loves getting to know everyone.
Finally we have.. Scott. He comes in, hands me his ID every time, although he knows that I know exactly who he is by now. For the most part he's quiet and just wants to his room.

It's great when you have frequent guests, because even though we keep our professional demeanor.. they become a long distance friend in a way.

That being said, it's always sad when one doesn't come back.

A few weeks ago, we found out that one of our guests had passed away. He was a great man, and was always extremely friendly to everyone. He was one of the few guests that never needed to tip the bellmen (if he did I'm not sure) but we all loved him the same. For the sake of anonymity, I wont say how or when he died, but it was a sad thing to know he's gone. We will miss him.

Sorry to keep this one short, but it's been a quiet day.

Sincerely yours,

Monday, November 9, 2009

Money, Money, Money

I cant count how many times I have been upsetted because I felt a company was trying their best to steal every little dime I had. Really, anyone who pays their own bills probably has felt this way too. But sometimes.. and I mean this seriously.. sometimes we are not trying to screw you over.

Today's example..
A gentleman called me this afternoon explaining that he was due to stay with us tomorrow night, and that he would in fact be in San Francisco instead. His room and tax (aka R&T) was already pre-paid because of the discounted rate he was receiving. We, as a company, provide this deal from time to time. It's just the same as if you purchase a plain ticket. You pay a little bit more in order to cancel your ticket/reservation.
He went on to explain to me that he was "giving your hotel a chance" since he was a dedicated member at another hotel chain.
Jaded as I am, I always feel insulted by this. My company has been around for many many years and has no problem keeping up with the Jones, so don't threaten me by taking your business elsewhere.

He wanted me to cancel tomorrow's stay, place the funds on hold (since we obviously would not refund it to him... sorry, that's the deal) for him until a time when he felt he could come to stay with us. I explained this was not possible and got in a little bit of an argument with him in regards to this.

So to make a long story short, I moved out his reservation by one week, explaining it could not happen again.

What I am asking you to take from this story is this...
Don't threaten a company by "taking my business elsewhere" or insult a service rep by claiming something that is obviously false. If I let every one go in and out for free.. guess who would not have a paycheck.

Cynically Yours,

Friday, November 6, 2009

"My Friday"

How often have you heard the phrase "Today is my Friday"??

It's not too common place for those who work a 9-5 Monday through Friday shift. But walk into the hallways of a hotel, and it is the happiest of phrases to be heard. We jeer each other with it. We sympathize with it. We even come up with weird concoctions like "It's my Monday and my Friday" (fyi, that means split days off, with one day between. The WORST)
In the hotel world, no one remembers that it's the first of the month, or that it's "Hump day". Those time phrases don't exist.

Enter the weekend.

For those that sit in an administrative role of the hotel, Saturday & Sunday are cherished. For those of us who sit lower on the totem pole, Friday & Saturday are the same as any other day, except worse traffic and more drunk people.

Today is my weekend. Yea, it's a shock. I actually have a Friday/Saturday off, and it's rather enjoyable. What do I do? Sleep.. yea that's right. Sleep. I woke up at 2:15pm today. For anyone who normally works the am shift (fyi, that's 7am - 3:30pm) they would be laughing and getting chores done by now. But me? I work the pm shift (3pm - 11:30pm) and that means waking up as early as 11am, and rolling out the chores around 5-6pm before heading out to meet with friends (if we're so lucky).

So.. today's my Saturday.. and guess what. I'm writing about work. ;)

Best Regards,

Today's subject... Appreciation

There are some days when I stand at the desk and just wonder.. Who in the world raised these people to think and act the way they do?
Example.. A man checked into our hotel. Demanded we call him "Doctor" whenever he was addressed, and went off to complain about everything.. I mean EVERYTHING in the hotel. Sometimes it was as simple as the fact that a room with one King bed, happened to only have amenities in it for One person.

Many would know that the hotel in which I work is a business hotel. This means catering to business travelers who generally are alone. So we always stock the room for one person. This upsets our said guest.

After many complaints, and arguing with our managers (who by the way, were extremely gracious through and through) the guest received multiple discounts, and we even had roses sent to his wife on his behalf. After all of this, the guest went above and beyond.. to hit on me. He repeatedly asked my boss if she would let me out of work early, so he could go have drinks with me (she said no, and agreed to allow me to stay in the front office if he made me uncomfortable) and even said "where is my bill for my other room.. the room you stayed in last night?"

Now this writing is not to talk about the sexual harassment that can be received on a sometimes daily basis, but about the fact that with everything done, this guest felt it was still his place to take out more of his thoughts on me. The fact that he refused to appreciate the tolerance I, as well as many, would hold onto in the face of such abuse.

So how does this come around to appreciation? Simply by this.
The next time you walk into a coffee shop, or into even a gas station. Realize that the people there are not there to be tortured. Thank them. Dont allow them to be your verbal punching bag. Dont assume that they just want to screw you over in any way possible. Give them a chance. Sometimes it doesn't even have to be with a thank you. Just cutting the crap, and letting them do their job, and going on with your life can be enough.

I once had a guest, who made my entire day, just by smiling. I kid you not. She walked in, stated her name, and let me give her my entire spiel without once cutting me off, or telling me she doesn't need to know. She let me say what I had to say, and was genuinely nice and appreciative of the information I gave her. At the end of my day, I sent her a thank you card which read "Thank you for being the highlight of my day". She didn't tip me. She didn't write a great comment card. She probably wouldn't even remember me if she showed up again. But I will always remember her.

That's my thought for the night,
Sleep well,

Thursday, November 5, 2009

First Day up to bat

When you think of the front desk, what do you think of?
Plastic Smiles? The go-to person? All around bitch?
There are a lot of persona's out there, but what I think of is this.
Punching bag, Gossip Girls, Jack of all trades.

Not too long ago, I watched "Bed Time Stories" with my boyfriend. In this movie, Adam Sandler plays an engineer for a large hotel. It was a cute movie, but it got me thinking about the general view of what a Front Desk Agent really is.

First off, let me say that I have a lot of respect for many of the departments of the hotel. This does include an engineer. I give serious props to our guys, and all the weird situations that they get put into. This could be anything from scooping child's poop out of a pool before draining it, or testing the porn selection on a guest's tv because they couldnt get it to work.

Now, back to what I was saying. In "Bed Time Stories", there is a front desk lady (yes, her name escapes me) who is a real life B.I.T.C.H. I couldnt help but loath her, just by watching. Admitedly, she's probably played up just to be an antagonist, but geez... Is that how we are seen?

The next day, I walked into work, and as I looked around, I saw smiles.. big corny, cheesy, pearly white smiles. I can only pray that that's how we are seen. Not only by guests, but by coworkers.

I guess I'll just be left to wonder, and hope my hotel is just a little different.

From the eyes of the desk,