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.
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.