Friday, September 16, 2011

How to Not Get Hired

I would think this is an unstated rule, but apparently not. So I will spell it out.


I was working a Friday about a month ago when this guy came in to apply for a job. Now, Fridays in August kind of suck. Because everyone has to get married in the summer (so unoriginal), we had 4 wedding groups arriving that day. This day was particularly busy. About the half the arrivals for the day actually checked in before 3pm (check-in time) because wedding guests think they are entitled to check in early. Otherwise, how are they going to get dressed?!? And do their hair?!? I don't know, nor do I care. It's not my problem.

But anyway, back to the guy, who was a problem. My co-worker was checking someone else in when he comes up to me to ask a question. Now, our job application is very standard. I can't even remember what he asked anymore, but it was very self-explanatory. I gave him some perfunctory answer so he moves on to another section and another question. By this time, a line is building up behind him. He, of course, is oblivious to this fact.

So I tell him, trying to be polite, that I have to help the guests and I'll help him when I can. Then I tilt my head to the side, trying to indicate that he should move away.

He stares at me blankly. I motion with my head again, staring at him and not saying anything. He stands there for another few seconds before moving, and I call out the the next woman standing in line "Hi, how are you?"

She approaches me tentatively. "You can help me?" And I realize she heard me tell the man to go away (in essence) and of course she doesn't know what he's here for. I am not pleased. I tell her yes, i can help her, and say the man is here applying for a job and I'll assist him later.

I tell my supervisor (who is in charge on hiring) about him when I bring the application back. Needless to say, he didn't get the job.

Friday, August 12, 2011


This person is probably the biggest psycho I have met in my short hotel career. This is a very long story, so I'll just hit my favorite highlight right now.

Me: "Ma'am-"
Guest: "Don't call me that! My name's not 'ma'am'. Is your name 'ma'am'?
Me: No.

I continued to call her 'ma'am' for the rest of the phone call. I didn't think she'd like my alternative choice any better.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Bedding Cycles

I don't know what it is with people and the telephone. We get so many weirdos. Case in point:

Caller: I wanted to know the last time your rooms were renovated.
Me: Five years ago, ma'am. The hotel was completely gutted, everything rebuilt.
Caller: So the bedding in your rooms is five years old?
Me: Umm...the age of the bedding would vary by room. Bedding is replaced as needed.
Caller: But the furniture is five years old.
Me: Yes.
Caller: Okay. How long are those bedding cycles?
Me: (long pause) I don't know. I would have to check with housekeeping.

Did she seriously expect me to know the answer to that question?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Another Telephone Pet Peeve

Answering the telephone at work yields an endless realm of possibilities. Sometimes it's an enjoyable experience - you help people change reservations, choose rooms, correct mistakes. Other times, less so.

Me: Good morning, thank you for calling -----. This is ----- speaking, how may I assist you?
Caller: Yeah, I wanted to know how far you are from [insert random small town that I've never heard of here].
Me: Umm...I'm not really sure, to be honest. Where's that located? (caller gives more detail, I still don't know) I'm not familiar with that town, sorry. (I wouldn't mind looking it up, but the computers at work are incredibly slow)
Caller: Oh, okay. I'll just look it up on the computer.

End call. And the reason they didn't just look it up to begin with? Unknown.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Dumb Question of the Day

This week has been busy. My hotel is a business hotel, but with this week being considered a "holiday" week and all, we have a lot of leisure travelers. Leisure travelers who miss breakfast (no, you cannot lounge in your room until 11 and then get upset breakfast isn't still being served), call down repeatedly to ask for things, need directions to get everywhere, need suggestions for entertainment...busy times.

So today, I was fairly busy at the desk. A guest approaches the side of it and I walk over to him. I wasn't able to pay attention to the entire lobby at that point and there had no idea where he came from. He was holding two Kit-Kats.

Him: Are these for sale?
I was momentarily stumped by this question. I mean, if he got them from the market, of course they're for sale - they're not free. But I would assume someone would know that and not ask such an asinine question.
Me: Excuse me? (at this point, I was hoping he would expand on his question. Alas, he did not.)
Him: Are these for sale?
Me: Did you get them from the market?
Him: (looking at me like I'm an idiot) Yes.
Me; Then yes, they're for sale. That will be three dollars.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Late Check-Outs

Anyone sensing a theme with my blog posts lately? I am. I suppose it's because I usually work mornings and therefore don't really deal much with guests when they're having problems with the internet, AC, internet, door locks, internet, number of towels in the room, and internet. Oh, and did I mention the internet?

But, anyway, late check-outs. These have been occurring more and more frequently lately as people try to stay later to spend more time at the pool. My hotel already has a pretty generous check-out time of 12 PM, so this can be somewhat irritating, especially to the housekeeping staff. Especially when several rooms are in the same area. This means the housekeeper doing that section has to wait for all those people to leave.

When people ask for late check-out, I ask them how late they'd like to stay. The response I am not looking for? "Well, what's the latest we can check out?" We can give till 2, but I usually say 1:30. By the time people actually leave, it's 2 anyway.

I encountered a lovely woman a few weeks ago. Just charming, really. She called down to ask for a late check-out, and I asked her what time she wanted until.

"Oh, 2 or 3."
"2's the latest I can do, ma'am."

She heaves a sigh but agrees to 2. At 2:30 I'm checking on those last few check-outs with the head housekeeper, and she tells me the woman is not gone.

"What do you mean she's not gone? She's still in the room?" It's confirmed for me that she is nowhere to be found, but all her stuff is still in there.

At 2:45, the woman comes wandering into the lobby, dressed in a pool cover-up, telling me her keys aren't working. I ask for her name and pull her up on the computer. The keys wouldn't be working either way, since they expire just after check-out time, but she doesn't know that.

"Yes, Ms. ----, let me get you new keys. I see we had you checking out at 2?"
"Well, I'm a (insert level here) rewards member. I get late check-out."
Deep breath. "Yes ma'am, you do get late check-out. Up to what the hotel can accomodate. Housekeeping has to clean the room."
"Well, there are lots of people who still have stuff in their rooms!"

Completely untrue, irrelevant, and also - a bad argument. If she had told me everyone else checked out, so clean their rooms first, that might make more sense. But telling me everyone else is doing it too? First, I've checked everyone else out, so I know that's not true. Second - are we in kindergarten now? Aren't you too old to compare your obnoxious behavior to other people's?

She goes to leave. I still haven't said anything in response to her latest claim, and have no plans to. But she just has to throw out one more remark before she goes.

"And we'll leave when we want to!"

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pre Check-in?

I don't understand why people seem to think the check-in process is so arduous. It's not. Here's how it goes - a person comes in, I greet them, get their name, check their rate and the number of nights they're here, swipe their credit card, get them their keys, and they're on their way. If the person doesn't ask ten thousand questions about the hotel and the surrounding area as they check in, this process can take less than a minute. And yet, people seem to think it's so difficult. They also don't seem to understand what "check-in" means.

I was at the desk last week when someone arrives. At 8 AM. We have nothing available, which I tell him and apologize for. I tell him we'll have something around 12 or 1, if he wants to come back later. He doesn't seem thrilled, but what did he expect? It was 8 in the morning. So he's all set to leave and come back later, but first he has one more question for me. "Can I check in now and get my keys later?"

Sigh. Why do people always ask this? When you check in to a hotel, it's a type of exchange. You give me payment, I give you keys. I also assign you to a room at check-in. If there are no clean rooms, I cannot check you in. Because where am I going to direct the computer to put you? And no, I cannot check you into a dirty room.

I told him no, just as one of the managers was walking by. After he leaves, she tells me I should soften my response and apologize, explain...exactly what I did when he first came in.

There are no check-ins without clean rooms. Why is that so difficult to understand?