“I am a Front Desk Agent”
I have advanced degrees in Accounting, Public Relations, Marketing, Business, Computer Science, Civil Engineering, and Swahili. I can also read minds.
Of course I have the reservation that you booked six years ago even though you don’t have the confirmation number and you think it was made under a name that starts with “5”.
It is completely my fault that the blizzard shut down the airport and you have to sleep in a warm king- size bed while 5000 of your co-travellers are sleeping in benches at the airport. I am sorry.
It is not a problem for me to give you seven connecting, non-smoking, poolside suites with two king beds in each, four rollaways, 3 cribs, and yes, I can install a wet bar. I know it is my fault that we do not have a helicopter landing pad.
I am a Front Desk Agent. I am expected to speak all languages fluently. It is obvious to me that when you booked your reservation for Friday on the weekend we’re sold out that you really meant Saturday. My company has entrusted me with all financial information and decisions, and yes, I am lying to you when I say we have no more rooms available. It is not a problem for me to quickly construct several more guest rooms. THIS time I will not forget the helicopter landing pad. And it is my fault that everyone wanted to stay here. I should have known you were coming in, even though you had no reservation. After all, you stay at our brand of hotel all the time, 300 nights a year, and this is only the first time you’ve ever been to our city.
I am a front desk agent. I am quite capable of checking three people in, two people out, taking five reservations, answering fifteen incoming calls, delivering six bath towels to room 625, plunging the toilet in room 101, and restocking the supply of pool towels, all at the same time. Yes, I will be glad to call the van driver and tell him to drive over all the cars stuck in traffic because you’ve been waiting at the airport for 15 minutes and you’ve got jet lag.
I am a front desk agent, an operator, a bellhop, houseman, guest service representative, housekeeper, sales coordinator, information specialist, entertainment critic, restauranteur, stock broker, referee, janitor, computer technician, plumber, ice-breaker, postman, babysitter, dispatcher, laundry cleaner, lifeguard, electrician, ambassador, personal fitness trainer, fax expert, human jukebox, domestic abuse counselor, and verbal punching bag. Yes, I know room 112 is not answering their phone. And of course I have their travel itinerary so I know exactly where they went when they left here 9 hours ago, and what their cell phone number is.
I always know where to find the best vegetarian-kosher-Mongolian-barbecue restaurants. I know exactly what to see and do in this city in fifteen minutes without spending any money and without getting caught in traffic. I take personal blame for airline food, traffic jams, rental car flat tires, and the nation’s economy.
I realize that you meant to book your reservation here. People often confuse us with the Galaxy Delight Motel, Antarctica. Of course I can “fit you in” and yes, you may have the special $1 rate because you are affiliated with the Hoboken Accounting and Bagel Club.
I am expected to smile, empathize, sympathize, console, condole, upsell, downsell (and know when to do which), perform, sing, dance, fix the printer, and tell your friends that you’re here. And I know exactly where 613 Possum Trot Lane is in the Way Out There subdivision that they just built last week.
You know you’ve worked in hotels when....
1) Getting up at 4am on Sunday is standard practice.
2) You can’t switch on anything electrical without a credit card sized piece of plastic.
3) Getting 2 days off in a row is like a having a 2 week vacation.
4) You use abbreviations and acronyms for EVERYTHING, like DM, PMS, MOD, C&E, F&B, HR, FOM etc...
5) Your stomach, now used to eating staff canteen food, is capable of swallowing ANYTHING!
6) Your day somehow doesn’t seem complete without someone yelling at you in full view of the rest of the hotel, convinced they are right about everything, when in actuality they are so wrong it’s untrue.
7) People assume you know the answer to everything, when actually you just came on shift 5 minutes ago.
8) You were supposed to finish work a 3pm, but its 4.30 and you’re still here.
9) Your bank is NEVER balanced.
10) You learn, VERY QUICKLY, to never, EVER, f**k with the person who handles your food!
11) Back to Backs, double and split shifts are the norm.
12) Minibars are NOT REFRIGERATORS!!!!!!
13) Minibars are AUTO CHARGING AND WEIGHT SENSITIVE!!!!
14) Guests do not grasp the concept of nos 12 and 13!
15) Conference and Events never has the same staff working on two consecutive parties, as all of the staff are hired on a shift by shift basis.
16) At least one person will complain about the fact their debit card has a mysterious charge on it, which takes 8 days to clear. But of course we did ask for a CREDIT card on check in!!
17) No matter how hard you try to explain that the room type was REQUESTED, NOT GUARANTEED, the guest always expects to get a Non Smoking, King Size Bed with a view!!
18) Air conditioning is ALWAYS noisy. No matter how far from the unit the room is, someone can hear it rattling.
19) See number 10, but replace food with Laundry!
20) Guests insist on splitting the bill so that the “movies” they order are not on the same credit
21) Office politics are more OTT than real politics.
22) Your social life revolves entirely around work nights out, since that’s the only guaranteed time off you get to go out and get wasted!!