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

Your three day weekend is my work week

Day three of being sold out this weekend. I’m alone on desk and jamming out to the acoustic cover songs station on Spotify. The neat thing about this property is the lobby is in no way attached to the rooms. You have to go up stairs or up the elevator to another floor to even get near a room so most of the time I never see a guest once they check in. Half of our rooms are in another building and I’m too far away to harass in person for most people. I may get a complaint call here or there but I send the housemen to deal with those incidents. I no longer have to leg it up to the third or 4th floor to turn someone’s air conditioner on because they can’t follow basic instructions.

This doesn’t mean our clients this weekend haven’t been colorful. There was a state wide beer festival in my city this weekend, along with some festival celebrating strawberries and another festival celebrating tequila. To say my guests were drunk last night would be understatement.

Enter the clown car room.

We put some rooms up on Hotel Tonight because it moved a bunch of rooms and we were 100% sold out by the end of the night because of it. One of the HT guests rented a king ADA room. It was two girls checking in and we figured they were buzzed from the beer festival and didn’t care if they had to share a king bed. Sent them up the elevator to a room in our main building and didn’t think about them again for about 20 minutes. Until we realized that the car they came in had three other dudes in it and had been circling the parking lot for awhile. Again this is 4 in the afternoon and maybe they were local friends giving the girls a chance to freshen up or something.

Except… when they were confident we weren’t paying attention anymore they parked and came in. All carrying a bag. So now this room has 5 people in it. I confer with my coworker who’s been here since the dawn of time and he says “Well if we don’t hear from them again, I’m looking the other way.” I shrugged it off too because hey, it’s not even like we could force them to buy a second room, we didn’t have one and we couldn’t prove the guys were actually going to stay in the room.

Awhile later they all go outside to presumably go out but no it’s to get another friend. Now we’re up to 6 people in the single ADA king room, which let’s face it that roll in shower would probably be pretty sick for a shower orgy or something.

But I had to wonder how many more people they were going to try to fit in this room. If it had been possible I have some corner rooms waaaaaay far away from the ADA rooms which tend to have older people in them that I could have put them in but wasn’t happening on a sold out night.

About an hour later we get a noise complaint about the room. The older couple in the room next door called down and asked us to move the people next to them or at least “ask them to stop their drunken sex orgy please.”

Some further investigation suggested they were smoking weed in their room, since all the rooms have balconies, its pretty easy to find out who’s smoking a room out if they have their slider open.

A few minutes after we asked them to quiet down their drunken sex orgy they ordered an Uber and went out in the night to hopefully never be seen again. Except for I saw them after work at my favorite bar. At least I had time to change clothes after work for once before going out.

Fast forward to last night when I see my Night Auditor who had to deal with these people later in the night. The noise complaints definitely continued as the night went on. These people were drunk as halllleee. Falling down in the elevator, falling asleep in the hallway, sitting out in the hallway eating doughnuts drunk at 4am. After the sleeping guy in the hallway complaint, NA said if he saw or heard any of them again he’d be bouncing them.

The other gem this weekend was a guy who’s debit card wouldn’t authorize because “the bank is closed for the weekend, so I’ll just pay cash.” I explained this wasn’t possible of course and he pulled out his banking app to show me he had money in the account and a pending deposit. I had to very paitently explain to him that his available balance wasn’t enough to even authorize his card. He looked at me like I had three heads and asked me “So wait you want me to go all the way to the fucking bank and put money on my card even though it’s clear that I will have the right amount tomorrow?”

Me: Yes. Bank of the Idiots is on Get the Fuck Out of My Face Street, allow me to draw you a map.

Awhile later two older couples checked in. For some reason the wives came in and did all the checking in and the husbands waited in the car. While my coworker was showing them where their rooms were they got very huffy and indignent that their rooms were on the far end of the property. Well yeah, we’re sold out and  you arrived at almost 9pm.  There were not location requests in your reservation and nowhere in it did your reservation say “We are fussy old ladies with too much luggage to possibly stay more than four feet from the doors of our rooms with our husbands who apparently can’t carry luggage either.” Look if you’re staying at a brand hotel in a smaller city or a mid tier of the brand, they’re probably not going to have a bellhop. Stop asking me for one. Especially not one that I know you’re not going to tip.

Finally my favorite couple of the night last night were the people with the parking issue. They came in at 10:45 PISSED that they couldn’t park closer to their room because they “are elderly and we should be able to park next to our room.” I asked what room they were in and explained again that we were sold out but we have ample parking. The room they had was in a building that isn’t attached to our main building and they kept insisting that they needed to walk through our building to get to their room and that we had “no damn parking.” I apologized again but if there isn’t a space over on that side of the building, they’ll have to find one in overflow parking. So the man says “What if I were handicapped?”

Well I’d imagine you’d have a handicapped pass to park with then sir.

 

personal · the brotherhood of the keys · Uncategorized

it is a small world after all…

So today I’m talking to my co-worker who KNOWS everything.  He used to work at another property next door to my former base of operations like 900 years ago and I mentioned the two times I had stayed at that hotel either on purpose because of my former job or on accident because hey, my friend’s band checked in and I was gonna stay there and party all night, whatever…

As it turns out I met my most frequent hotel partner like 10 years ago. My friends band was staying at his hotel and while I will not release the details of that entire adventure, I will say that there was fire involved.

I was a civilian at the time. I have a fuzzy memory of my co-worker, he was the one who did the beer run for my friends band.

That was a fun night despite someone in our party going off and setting his own hair on fire. Seriously it was the best night ever. Who knew this many years later I’d be standing next to the guy who checked in my friends band and witnessed all this shit and didn’t kick us all out?

I love working with this cat. He literally does KNOW everything. And almost everyone I’ve ever met. Yet a new reason to love my new gig.

#genderlesspersonhoodofthekeys

 

 

how do you survive on your own · la la la lobby time · people on the phone · Uncategorized

Sunday shifts can eat a bag of whatever is handy..

So I finally got my first angry guest and it’s all Priceline’s fault.

This man came in just as I was finishing up with another customer, I’m completely alone at this point. Also the phone was ringing and the walkie talkie was going off all at the same time.

I’ve learned I hate working on Sundays here, this place is a zoo of old people and international travelers. I’ll take Friday and Saturday nights over this shit any day.

Anyway angry dude is already frustrated that I wasn’t sitting here waiting for him and started the check in, in a foul mood.

I go through and check him into the room her reserved or that Priceline told me that he reserved a room with 2Q’s so I picked a room out for him and started making keys and he was mumbling something about king rooms and I looked down at his reg cards and explained it was a 2Q on the reservation. He immediately got angry and said “Well how the fuck do I get a king then?”

I asked him if he did a blind reservation or specified what kind of room that he wanted on Priceline and he swore up and down that he reserved a king pool view and paid extra for it. Except I’m looking at his reservation and there is no way that rate was for a pool view, sorry dude. So I explain that the reservation from Priceline was for two queens and start doing the speil and he says “But I paid extra” and I said that he’d have to talk to Priceline about whatever he paid and that I’m not supposed to change the room types for online prepaid reservations, but that he’s welcome to talk to my manager about it when he gets back from lunch.

To which the angry old coot ripped the hotel map and keys out of my hand and said “oh screw it and stomped off.” Joy. Then he comes back yelling about why didn’t we have any luggage carts. We do of course but they’re in an alcove. To which I am treated to a special rant about how stupid that is.

Okay.

Today was a close runner up with every other traveler being international and seemingly to check in horde style every time my partner left the desk. Boooo.

The other fun thing is the Graduation calls have started up again. You aren’t getting a room in [City] that weekend unless you stay two days, period. No one is off the two night minimum. And when you tell people the rates they freak out. Today I had one that wen’t something like this.

“It’s [amount of money?] Well I’m just going to call everyone else and find something cheaper!”

No you’re not. Sorry but do continue!

“I could rent a house for a month for that amount of money!”

Not here where I live, but okay hoss.

“This is so stupid. Have a nice day!” Says graduation asshole.

No dear, what’s stupid is you waited until less than a month before Graduation to make a reservation. You’re a tool. If you had booked it when you dropped your student off back in August,  you’d probably be paying 140 or something but now you’re looking at a bill close to a grand… your poor planning is what you’re paying for. Learn to adult.

the brotherhood of the keys · Uncategorized

Advice to the new

So I rarely get any requests for advice on the hotel life, hello I’m new and partially very stupid, but I had a question floated my way about things people should know when starting out in the hotel business… This just my way to live….

eat.. make sure you get your breaks and eat before you go in.

find real work shoes. Don’t try to truck it in converses or vans or whatever pair of shoes you may own in the right color. Splurge. It sucks now when you’re starting out but you know what sucks more? Not working because you can’t stand for 8 hours.

if your hotel doesnt provide a notebook to take notes in, fucking buy one pretty enough to keep at the desk to write anything down.

if your hotel doesnt have a digital log or a requirement to physically write something weird a guest does down, you can start his own. at very least you’ll be able to answer the questions a manager has the next day.

read your reviews every day. even if you cant do shit about them, read them. find out what someone else did wrong, don’t do that.

never say a room number out loud. never repeat a credit card number out loud.

we all have rough nights, if you work mornings pack a tooth brush, mouthwash,tooth paste in your bag or work somewhere you can swipe some. if you are remotely questionable about your appearance to a guest, bathroom then clock in. Hairspray, body spray go a long way for fdas when we’re worn out.

make sure you wear something under your uniform that you can take off after a shift . it cuts down on laundry if you can just take your shirt off and leave it in your car, a locker etc.

Scotch Guard anything you can. Pants and shoes especially.

Never check your friends in to the hotel unless you know they won’t fuck up.

Smile when you talk. Especially on the phone.

Learn to start every sentence with “WE apologize,” not “I apologize.”

Personalize TA cards. All you have to do is write “thanks-name” and some places pay you as an FDA when you get a five star.

Housemen/Housekeep/maint are your gods. You should never piss them off unless they do something so out of the realm that they could be fired for.

Never get fired for anyone.

Don’t eat in the hotel until they force you to. Deny it like three times and then they’ll get it that you’re not just there to mooch.

Spend some off time learning the brand and it’s tiers and if it has a rewards program. You may not work for central reservations but calls will come in.

All in and all don’t let the guests see you sweat. Be firm but kind. Be human but robot. Get the best out of your spot that you can, like every perk, fucking take it (except for onsite breakfast) never fucking take free drinks from anyone you work with, and for the love of god know your shit. Know your property like you live there. Know your ability to correct anything like the back of your hand.

When all else fails “I’m new let me grab a manager who can better assist you” pretty much cleans the plate.

Good luck to you, we were all new once.

how do you survive on your own · la la la lobby time · people on the phone · personal · third party bookings · Uncategorized

Murphys Law Mondays

This is my first week of training on mornings. I also had three days prior.  AutoClerk at least to my knowledge doesn’t do the same mass check out function that Opera does. Also we don’t do the receipt under the door at the new place so I have to check people out as they come by.

Yesterday it was the woman who waited until her departure to tell us her shower didn’t work. She was prepaid so because she didn’t bother to tell us and wanted to leave that second even with four hours to check out, we couldn’t do anything for her except offer to fix her shower (it wasn’t broken, operator error) so she left in a huff.

You’re pre-paid. Take it up with Expedia.

The last guy was a Magic Beans club member and I honestly did feel bad. His stay notes pretty much looked like the stay from hell. Cute dog upstairs from he and his wife was still a puppy. Pretty sure it was the same dog that peed in our lobby so they moved him to another room for the second night and gave a slight discount. I mean we’re pet friendly, dogs are gonna dog but it wasn’t an issue to move him. Second room he was moved to was sometime last night after my shift ended. He went into the room and HK had “cleaned the room” but had left a large assortment of dirty laundry from the previous guest in it. I’m just as confused as y’all but we moved him again.

Room number three wasn’t even the room type he wanted but its what we had. This is the room he checked out of today. While they were checking under the decorative throw on the second bed in the 2Q because he’d misplaced a thing and thought it might have fallen out on the luggage bed he found a fucking tampon. Unclear or not if it was used but he did put it in the trash for us and let us know so we could check the trash. He and his wife were too male or too old to be using tampons so…

I am so disappointed.

Anyway the fucked up part of all this is, he was so fucking nice about the whole thing. Totally said he loved the hotel and that we were so attentive and eager to fix any issues that they had problems with and that they weren’t mad just thought we should know. That they’d stay with us again, our breakfast is the shit, they stay with our brand all over the country, thanked us etc and that was before I went and got my manager and was just like “dude, do a thing.”

So New Manager did a thing and knocked some money off their bill because they weren’t prepaid. I’m surprised we didn’t offer them Magic Beans points but this poor guest, their stay was like the biggest debacle and they were so nice.

Conversely we had a false review over the weekend. They had waited well over a month to accuse us of  the b. bugs. As per policy we tore the room up looking for evidence but seriously bitch wanted a full refund for her night of “horrible torture” that she didn’t feel the need to mention when she checked out. Last month.

“We are so sorry about the bites you received on your trip. We are more sorry they weren’t bites from bears.”

Fuck off.

la la la lobby time · people on the phone · personal · the brotherhood of the keys · Uncategorized

This can’t be right, none of these people are crazy

Our guests are either heavily medicated or we just attract a more polite client base at my new home on the Southside, basically I never hear a guest raise their voice or complain. They call when anything in their rooms breaks and we just talk into the radio and someone magically goes to fix it.

I’ve only gone on exactly one trip to “fix” a door and it was operator error. Basically this dad was carrying his cute cute cute little boy and not sliding the card right and I was able to open it. His son is that age where he can sort of walk and sort of hold a conversation and it seemed the automatic door in the lobby is the first he’s ever seen because he has decided he’s magic because he can make it open and close. I’ll allow for this. It’s tragically cute.

The set up on the Southside is different. Only one of our three buildings is physically connected to the lobby so once someone checks in, I rarely see them again since they don’t have to come by the desk every time they leave. Our breakfast room is in another building as well so while doing mornings this week, I still don’t really see anyone once they’ve checked in. I have rooms so far away from the desk that if someone were to be an annoyance I could just exile them to the rooms near our dog park.

Yes we have a dog park. I get to meet a lot of dogs.

The Rewards Snowflakes aren’t even snowflakes. They’re all chill. Some of them are such regulars that I’ve already memorized them because they stay with us on certain days of the week. We have a lot of corporate guests.

To be fair I haven’t worked a weekend yet aside from working a Friday night where I got to go home early because everyone miraculously checked in before 9pm. On Cinco De Mayo. What? And they all went to their beds and never came back.

My trainer and co-worker yesterday was super cool and I look forward to working with him again. I knew we were gonna get along right away. He reads “Bitchy Waiter” or whatever that blog is and also snarks at people’s yelp reviews and stuff. We had a field day reading reviews yesterday. It’s a running joke that some “police” officer has a crush on him. (It’s a security company and Lt Dickhead will ONLY talk to my coworker.)

A dog peed in our lobby yesterday. That’s about the spectrum of drama on the Southside at the moment.

I also had a call from The Fake Boutique Hotel across from my old spot that they had a guest come in and tell them they walked out of the Hotel Cartel when they found out I wasn’t there anymore.

Wow.

la la la lobby time · Uncategorized

hobo island

So the new place was attacked by heroin hobos the other night.

I went home before these people checked in but somehow a group of transients got enough money together to rent  one of our rooms. We have some rooms with outside facing entrances and so it is kind of easy to sneak an extra person or two inside as long as you don’t want the free breakfast. Anyway like 7 or 8 people crowded into one of our rooms that’s in a more isolated part of the property and proceeded to trash the fuck out of the room. I’m not even sure how long it’s going to take to get it back online.

The room was full of smack needles and trash and smelled to high hell. Sheets were soiled. Furniture was soiled. These people apparently were 86’s from the property sometime before I came in. They were hiding their homeless people stuff in our bushes and houseman and head of maintenance tossed all of it in the dumpster. They had left some other stuff in the room which we had in the “lost and found” area because some how we knew they’d come back.

Cue to yesterday I come in and get told about the heroin horror room. We’re busy yesterday. Not too busy but busy enough that I’m on the phone when this sort of grungy guy comes up to the desk. My partner was in the bathroom or something and I was straight up in the middle of a reservation so I asked the man to wait. It is a policy of mine not to immediately assume someone is trash because of how they look BUT given our proximity to a large park with a hiking trail and three 24 hour eating establishments, we get a few hobotastic people coming in here and there. So I did the “I’ll be right with you” gesture and finished my call.

While I was on the call the guy kept trying to talk to me, telling me my nails were pretty and he liked my hair flowers and man he did not smell good but again, no hate.

When he was telling me his name and explaining he was a guest the night before and he wanted to extend his stay. It was well past check out time so extending his stay seemed like the most ridiculous request I’d ever heard but I went through the process of looking him up… or I started to when my partner came back and was just like “No, we’re sold out and you were asked to leave. You need to take your stuff and go. All your friends. You need to get off the property.”

The dude starts saying he’s sorry and that they’d just go over to the Chain Place That Sells Breakfast next door and my coworker stopped him and was like “No sir, you will not, that place is still our property. You need to move on passed the gas station in order to leave our property.”

(This is true, the owners of our building own everything from our far wall to the wall at the Yellow Gas Station. Another hotel and food spot pay to be on our property, so we just do them a solid and when we evict for things like this, we throw them off all of the owners land. Trust me when the hotel next door, which we have nothing to do with other than them renting the land, won’t let you stay there, you’re sketch as fuck, that place is not exactly nice.)

The guy leaves without a fuss or so we think. We look at the camera a couple of hours later and Team Hobo is still hanging out by our dumpster. My coworker says he might call the cops but our matainence guy goes out and shoos them off again. They proceed to go into the Breakfast Chain Place and get kicked out of there.

I tell my coworker we should just call the cops, mostly because the baseball game we were watching behind the desk was getting boring and I was going to get cut soon because we were slow. About that time a gentleman checks in and he’s complaining about Team Hobo and my coworker calls the cops.

Can’t wait to see how that ended up since I got cut for us being slow (four check ins left at 9pm). I get to work the psycho shift tonight for Cinco De Mayo. I’m not nervous though, all of our guests so far have been really really cool. Actually more chill than when I was at the last place at night. I guess we have A LOT of regulars.