how do you survive on your own · la la la lobby time · sold out! · Uncategorized

Sportsball

This actually happened a couple of weeks ago….

So I roll into work to do a 3-11. These are otherwise known as the psycho shift, but I’m so used to them now I don’t even care.

If you don’t basically live in hotel land you don’t understand that a 3pm check in, isn’t set in stone. Sometimes you can come in early. Sometimes if we’re sold out as hell the night before and two housekeepers call out, you’re quite frankly are shit out of luck. We’re not checking you into a dirty room. Sorry.

(Although since most likely a guest will complain about waiting just as much as they will complain about a dirty room, really it’s just a matter of what you feel like being complained about, I prefer to let them complain about waiting.)

Enter the Sportsball Parents here for some Sportsball tournament that were PROMISED a 3pm check in. I get in and Rad Girl (formerly New Girl) and New GM are dealing with these angry parents who can’t check into to their rooms for Little Bobby Joe to put their uniforms on.

Pro Tip: If you absolutely have to be some where on time, spring for two nights. Stay the night before. I think I mentioned this with rooms in wedding parties. If it is time sensitive, then even calling the hotel the night before to find out if you can check in before 3pm isn’t going to cut it. Stay two nights. Your sanity will thank you.

Anyway all these team parents are pissed off because some members of their giant group got rooms faster than others. Those rooms were suites, that’s why. The suites either hadn’t been used the night before or they checked out early enough to get on the roster to be able to be assigned.

I don’t think people understand that hotels do not have a “Reset” button we just push that flushes all the fucked up rooms and gives you a perfect fresh new room immediately. Actual human people have to clean rooms in order for you to occupy them. It’s not magic.

So I did what any asshole seasoned desk clerk would do, I took charge.

“Attention! Parents trying to check in for SportsBall tournament, our housekeeping is cleaning as fast as they can and we will be handing out rooms as they become clean. If you’d like to form a line at the desk and sign in the name on your reservation I will call you up as I am alerted to clean rooms. In the mean time you can hang out in the lobby, we have coffee, we have a remote for the tv, we have places your child can change clothes in.  Okay?”

And shockingly they all did it.

It wasn’t the most lady like solution to the problem but no one else was stepping up and these people were getting restless. And what do you know? Once a couple of parents checked in, there were miraculous places for other kids to change. Sharing is caring and you share on a team, right?

Later when the parents came back and were liquored up and wanting me to go out to drink with them when I got off (politely declined, I don’t hang out with my guests after work, no offense just looking out for everyone involved…) I figured I’d done okay and that everyone had stopped being pissed off at me (aka my hotel, it’s never actually you) for not having their rooms ready.

Oh and whatever team that was won the Sportsball Tournament.

la la la lobby time · people on the phone · personal · Uncategorized

the countdown to my last day

With my last day on it’s way I’d like to say I’ve been lazy, but no.. I walked in yesterday to new FDM who is on her second day, new GM who is on her second month and still can’t do a check in, New Girl who I will now refer to as Rad Girl and some other dude we borrowed from some other property who was wearing the wrong uniform.

What?

Rad Girl was getting off work and simply whispered “Good Luck” and ran for it. I don’t blame her, she’s still learning stuff and keeps getting put in these situations where she’s basically training the managers.

Because I was already wearing a dress shirt, and there was a line forming, I just pulled out my name tag and jumped in to help because there was a ton of help needed.

New FDM has dyslexia which hey, nothing wrong with that but training her is going to be difficult as many of our codes are two letter codes and she keeps getting them mixed up. Again it’s her second day and this is to be expected. I just see this as a long process for her.

Borrowed guy is seasoned but he doesn’t know the system either and was basically in the way. But I was on an 8 hour shift and I’m supposed to have back up… So I set them to work filling the coffee station so I could get people into their rooms and move them out of the lobby so I could see whatever else mess was made.

I wanted to just go home. But the customers deserve more than that. My new GM deserves to go home at a reasonable hour. So I hunker down and get some shit done. You wonder if it’s worth it sometimes but then…

We have these two goofy dude bros that stay with us. They work for a cable installer and they stay with us two or three times a month for like four days. They practically live with us. I know one of the guys wife’s name and talk to her pretty frequently when she calls to check on him when he forgets to charge his cell phone. The other one is a total pot head but he always smokes out in his car and he’s really nice. They’re just two dude bros who don’t insist on having their own rooms, they always share a two queen, get high in their cars after work and walk to the gas station for a 12 of whatever is cheap. I didn’t really think they knew anything about me at all, other than even when we’re pretty close to fucked as far as avails I always find them a room.

Unmarried Dude comes up to the desk when I got back from my vacation on Monday and says “Hey what the fuck I heard you’re leaving, what’s all that about?”

I told him I was taking a new job to make more money, etc etc and he asked when my last day was and I told him and he said “Man this fucking sucks. You’re always so rad. Dude Bro Number 2 is going to be sad. His wife loves getting you on the phone when she calls.”

I smiled and said thanks and didn’t think anything else about it.

Yesterday they both came by the desk and brought me a thank you card.

It said “Sometimes the people we count on the most are the ones who hear thank you the least. Since you’re one of hose people, I hope you always know how much you are appreciated.”

And they signed it “Mad Love, Dude Bro 1 and Dude Bro 2! Good Luck!”

Wow.

ghost guest · how do you survive on your own · the brotherhood of the keys · Uncategorized

the time I gave a tour to a new hire…

Yes you read that right, I spent one of my last days in the hotel training the new FDM because they don’t know our operating system or anything. I’m literally training someone to be a training manager.

To be honest training a manager of any kind is well above my pay grade. But it was her first day and various other people who could have helped with this called in sick. But I play for the team even if I’m leaving the team.

So instead of boring her to death with Opera, I walked her around the property which was something that ended up being rushed for me when I started. I just sort of figured the place out myself so I showed her the key maker, the blackbox programmer, and each and every one of our room types. It should be seared into your brain what kind of rooms you have.

So some highlights of our tour included:

-This is the elevator room, everyone hates it, don’t put anyone in there if you don’t have to or they ask for it.

-This is the ice machine room, this room repeats everywhere in the building in this exact spot. 1st floor is especially shitty because the laundry room, pool entrance and vending and maid closet are all here. This room is hell.

-Ding! This is the ghost elevator. Don’t fuck with it unless you have to go to housekeeping or to the Room of All Requirements aka the Dungeon.

-The mini room of requirements. One of our former managers didn’t like going to the dungeon for amenities so when you’re stranded at the desk alone and someone needs a thing you can just run down the hall. Also there are about 500 tampons in here but there aren’t any downstairs in the dungeon. Men won’t stock them.

-The room of furnished requirements… microwaves, rollaways, cribs, jumper cables. We do not have a shuttle.

-Double queen room looks like this. Oh by the way a ghost lives in this room and that’s why this floor is numbered funny. Don’t worry, just believe every crazy thing a guest tells you. And don’t go in here if you don’t need to.

-Crazy fuck off suite, this is where all the special snowflakes want to stay but since we only have one, try not to use this to appease assholes for something. Mostly because people actually book this one.

-Jr fuck off suite, yes they have a wetbar . And two tvs. yes they’re next to each other, I don’t get it either.

-The Fairytale suite, seriously no one ever pays for this tiny apartment. Use it to buy off snowflakes. Be prepared for the people who do book it to be cheap and unreasonable. Oh by the way this is the secret escape out of the second floor bathroom door.

-Storage closet. Nothing is in there. At all you can cry in there, no one has opened it the entire time I worked here.

-Roof access for when you want to hurl yourself off a building. LOL I’m kidding, I literally don’t know why we can go on the roof.

-The room of food requirements. This is where we keep the…. nope someone moved all the plastic silverware since I went on vacation.

-Pool. It’s outside. Here’s how you open it. Here’s how you lock it. Clean the deck at your own will while working at night because it’s not on the check list.

-This is another closet, it is empty, you can cry in here too.

 

ghost guest · la la la lobby time · the ghost room · Uncategorized

Welcome Back Ghost

So I have posted about the ghost in my hotel a few times.

Lately she’s been pretty quiet or our living customers have been so turned up that even the GhostGuest doesn’t wanna mess with them. Oh but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t still have her fun here and there.

We have these ladies that work for some kind of schooling/public works program and they do a lot of training in our area. So some of them stay with us every other month and most of them have their favorite rooms and some rooms they don’t like. One of these ladies showed up as part of their group tonight and she asked to be on the Ghost’s floor. So I start selecting a room and she stops me and says, “But I don’t want to stay in that back hallway. No way, never again.”

Me: Ma’am I’m sorry was there something wrong with your room last time?

TeacherLady: No but she don’t like me at all. You know who I mean.

Me: Wait… what room were you in?

TeacherLady gives me a room number that is not exactly the Ghost Room. It’s the connector to the Ghost Room though, like if you wanted to rent that room and the Ghost room you can swing a door open between the two and sort of have a suite. I definitely raised my eyebrows because I have this theory that the person responsible for our Ghost Guest becoming a forever resident entered the Ghost Room through those connecting doors. TeacherLady then says “I know it’s not the room but SHE was in there and never again.”

Me: Actually I do know what you’re talking about. She’s generally harmless, a little annoying but harmless usually.

TeacherLady: Last time she jumps on my chest and tries to strangle me. I’ll never stay back there again.

TeacherLady does not look like she is joking so I gave her a room closer to the front and her friend that she traveled with was supposed to have a room of her own but after listening to all of this decides she wants to share the 2Q room that TeacherLady was staying in, so I cancel her reservation and those two go off to their Ghost Free room.

Later the TeacherLady comes back down and says “You must think I’m crazy. But that girl she can not rest. She’s angry. She’s getting angrier. This is what I felt in that room. You must think I’m crazy.”

Me: Actually ma’am I believe you. You’re not the first woman in those rooms to ask to be moved or to complain about something feeling off about the room.  I don’t think you’re crazy, I don’t really like going up there either.”

TeacherLady: Someone needs to find who killed that poor girl.

And then the TeacherLady makes the sign of the cross and takes a cookie and goes back up to her room.

Man mother eff the top floor.

la la la lobby time · the brotherhood of the keys · Uncategorized

some basic interactions and then of course…

After the last week or so (I think we were on day 9 or 10 of being sold out with staffing stuff coming up here and there, all in a row) I started wondering… “Am I any good at this shit at all? How is my being in this industry bettering my life or the life of other people?”

And then I went in yesterday morning after what I call a Unicorn shift. Everyone on Saturday night was awesome, no one really wanted anything extreme and as usual the customers got a kick out of some aspect of my personal touches to my uniform and I helped a bunch of people out with transportation needs and suggested all my favorite haunts, even called ahead to a few places to make sure they could seat or serve my guests needs. Everyone was really awesome and was able to locate the appropriate rate code for a lady and her wife and their kids at the last minute. They were going to pay full price but when the woman asking to walk in told me where she worked and why they were in town, it was a very simple fix. She was technically here on business and we weren’t sold out and because as the NiceLady’s wife said, they were grateful that I found them a great room that was safe for two women traveling alone with their kids. After they settled in they stopped by to thank me again and tipped me 10 bucks, which still blows my mind.

I realize that some front desk agents aren’t used to the sight of a wife and wife and their kids checking in together, but honey, it’s time to get used to it. The LGBTQ community exists and probably travels more than  you. Sorry.

I had another lovely family that stopped by a few times at the desk because they needed a few extra towels or whatever and much later in the evening the mom came down to get some tea and stopped to tell me that the main reason she thinks that her girls kept asking to come to the desk with her for whatever they needed is that her youngest girl decided I was “A Princess” and I laughed and the woman told me “No really! I asked her why and her youngest said because I had ‘flowers growing out of her head’ and was so so nice and I had cookies.”

Did I mention sometimes kids are my favorite guests?

The thing about working Saturday night is I had a turn around shift meaning I had about 9 hours off. I totally overslept and I felt bad about it but the same jovial guests were walking by the desk all morning long, including the woman with the kids who thought I was a princess and they were all truly concerned that I didn’t get to go home and sleep. They actually thought I was there all night and the girls were worried but I showed them my hair flowers for Sunday and told them I had time to go grow some different ones and they were stoked. Everyone was really cool for the last two days and it did remind me why I love my job.

Except…

We have this Non-Guest that seems to have been wandering into the hotel more frequently. I saw him yesterday and I honestly do feel much sympathy and compassion for him. There’s a few centers in my area that cater to those who have a mental issue and when their “guests” check out, they  just get dropped off in a general area. We’ve been noticing that Backpack has been hanging around a lot more lately and this probably is to suggest that where ever he was staying is no longer available.

I don’t know a lot about him. When he started showing  up on the property he was mostly sitting under the trees in our parking lot and eating lunches and what not and because the first few times I saw him we had someone clearing out an old storage area I assumed he was a day laborer or just worked for whomever we hired to do this job. But he started showing up more frequently and sitting on a bench near the door or near the old bar next door that’s been closed forever. And he had the same clothes on every day, which when you start paying attention to someone is a thing you notice. He was wearing a child’s backpack and I just thought it was odd. Seemed harmless enough but he grew bolder and started coming into the lobby for water or coffee. He was spotted a few more times in the last week, myself having seen him twice in 12 hours.

Today one of my cooks called me freaked out by this guy and having had a discussion with some management, the day before that he wasn’t going to be welcome on the property anymore, I did the thing I hate doing. I called my houseman and the kitchen guy on the walkie-talkie and we very gently asked this soul if he was a guest and of course he said no and we asked him if he was waiting for someone. Of course he wasn’t. So I asked “Is there something we can help you with then sir?”

I give respect to everyone, even if they aren’t guests. Hell I even called the guy who tried to jump over the counter at me last winter “Sir” while throwing him out.

And so our newest Non Guest asked about hot chocolate and I was glad someone else answered before I did, because technically hot chocolate is only for guests but I’m a big softy moron and might have hooked the man up. But in our business we do have to be mindful that helping someone out for free is a lot like feeding stray cats, because they will always come back. I don’t mind, I mean it’s Easter for crying out loud but helping a non paying guest that is “off putting” is a triple edged sword… You’re encouraging a behavior that you want to stop, you’re upsetting paying customers and you could be inviting someone who’s actually dangerous into your business and in this case would have no written record of who this person is. It’s at odds with who I am as a person but my first priority is the safety of the guests.

Our Non-Guest left easily but I wonder if it had been just me alone if it could have gone another way. My cook that was weirded out by the whole thing said he was just looking out for me up at the desk by myself and after I clocked out for the day, we were shooting the shit for awhile and he told me how glad he was that I carry pepper spray and he could see my knife which I actually just use to smack door locks and open boxes but it looks tough. I don’t work mornings often and so the cook hadn’t seen me much but he’s heard a lot about me.

“Shit girl they weren’t kidding.” he says after a few minutes and of course I was curious what he meant.

“You aren’t afraid of shit. I was surprised because I met  you your first day and you’re tiny but you’ve been working all these rough ass night shifts and everyone keeps telling me you’re tough.”

I don’t feel like it most days when I get off but I’ll take the compliment.

how do you survive on your own · la la la lobby time · sold out! · Uncategorized

no this guest was the most absurd guest I’ve ever had

Things have been batshit crazy at work lately. Sold out as fuck, learning the management styles of new bosses, trying to deal with shitty assed entitled people who see me as the world’s worst person because they can’t get a thing that they want. Malfunctioning shit everywhere and as usual I am alone.

The rub to the fact that I was alone was one of my coworkers called in sick today and the solution to that problem was to cut MY hours, because hey management can work longer if there isn’t anyone to cover my state mandated breaks. So I lost three hours of pay because we’re not staffed enough. Fuck that to start with.

Then I get there and guess who’s sold the fuck out again? Every goddamned hotel in town including mine. Awesome. And I am going to be alone except for our new GM who still doesn’t know how our operating system works and also thinks I’m an idiot because I don’t have time for coaching calls. I don’t even have time for my fucking check list. There are literally four lines blazing balls at a time and three to four to 10 people in front of me at all times. There are no rooms at any of the inns to deal with walk ins and of course again its non stop college parents wanting 90 sets of instructions and bitching about the coffee being empty when I haven’t even gotten away from the handset for long enough to check it out.

It is total fucking chaos. Everyone is calling down from rooms wanting something. Everyone checking in wants something extra. Everyone wants something we don’t have, rooms extra blankets, whatever. I’m fucking out of everything. Have some toothpaste,its free, everyone likes free shit. Here have two. I don’t care, what the fuck, let’s live it up.

I see the schedule for next week is up and I explicitly asked for my days off to be scheduled on two certain days because we’re finally having my aunt’s memorial service. This would be my favorite aunt who passed during my New Years Weekend shift and even though I was on the verge of tears, I worked right on through it and didn’t complain once to my customers or coworkers or anything. I made reservations at one of our properties for myself and my parents and requested that they schedule my days off on the days I need to be there over 2 months ago.

They gave me Easter off instead which I could give a shit about and scheduled me on the two days I asked for.

I have my parents reservations and they can’t check in without me and I fucking told everyone a long fucking time ago (confirmed by the way by the other property we’re staying at) that I needed to not work that day and the day after since we’re traveling so far. I was already pretty livid because I’m doing the job of at least 2 people and getting shorted on hours and now a very reasonable well timed request has been apparently annoyed.

Then came the real shit show…

Door locks failing are very very bad things. I get it, it’s frustrating. I know you’re frustrated. I don’t like fixing them anymore than you like being locked out of your room. I don’t enjoy doing so while being berated for the property which guess what, isn’t brand new. Shit breaks. THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE HAVE COME THROUGH MY HOTEL IN THE LAST THREE DAYS ALONE. Fuck it’s lifetime. Shit breaks. We don’t have an engineer or anyone but me on the property and if the ways I’ve been told to fix it aren’t working, calling me stupid, unprofessional, useless, telling me how shitty my property is and how you won’t be staying here again or how you’re going to get me fired or how your family is too important to be waiting to get into their room and asking me questions about why the management doesn’t give me the proper tools to fix things or doesn’t just replace everything at the same time at a volume that is enough to make several of our regular guests come out into the hallways and check to see if I was okay and basically making me cry, which is almost impossible because I don’t give an actual fuck once you raise your voice to me… well shit man you suck. And if I could get your door open I’d be doing it just to throw you and your family the fuck out because I was literally talked to like I murdered a dog i front of them because the door lock broke.

So I called and woke up every single manager I could because I was in tears and that’s not a good look and also because I uttered the phrase “I am ten minutes away from either leaving or calling the cops on this dude and it is our fault but I can’t spend all night fixing this door when I have 99 more rooms full of people needing things.”

Did I mention I was crying my eyes out and my other guests were super concerned that this guy was upsetting me further. One of my cop guests from my home town actually came out and stood in the lobby until my manager arrived.

The other manager I called said to comp Mr YellyPants room and to give them the tv remote and offer to buy them dinner out of petty cash, give them magic beans whatever. Make them happy again.

Yelly Man’s wife tore her husband a new asshole. He apologized eventually because I must have looked pathetic crying at the desk while a bunch of my regulars were glaring at him. Seriously someone went out and got me Easter candy, like they went to the store and bought me candy.

We finally got the door open and my manager that came down to help me told me to go check on the pool and focus on not freaking out for a few minutes and he’d cover the desk even though he was in jeans and a t-shirt and he’d already worked today.

I stayed a little late to help night audit catch up because I literally didn’t do anything to set him up at all tonight because it was such a shit show from the minute I walked in. Our new pt Night Auditor actually speaks and he was like “I will never work a day shift after some of the shit you guys tell me. But if I see room XXX show his fucking face again, I’ll throw him out.”

I wrote up the various things that went wrong and asked them to give the other three people who’s door locks failed but were cordial about it and literally just needed me to shove the black box in and reprogram them a shit ton of magic beans and noped the fuck out.

I am usually better than this but this was the night that I actually asked myself if I am tough enough for this.