Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Some Things Make Me Very Happy

I came home today and my mother asked how work was. My response? "I'm so glad this isn't my career for life."

Ultimately, I don't think I'm subservient enough to work in the hospitality industry, at least not in a position where I have to deal directly with customers. When I first started at the hotel, I told them I wanted to eventually work in corporate. Which is true. What I didn't say is that I want to be part of the corporate in-house legal department. Which requires another three years of schooling, which I'm starting in 9 months. They don't need to know that.

But anyway, back to today. There was a request in one of the reservations, a woman staying for 9 days, to be on the first floor near the outdoor pool. So I rearrange the room blocking to give her the one room I have there. And then my supervisor writes all over the reservation to tell the guest that no smoking is allowed by the pool courtyard. She's stayed before.

So the guest calls later that day, to make sure her request was noted, and she tells me she wants a room with a balcony. Now I'm confused. The hotel doesn't have balconies. I tell her this, and she tells me we do. I go ask the AGM, and it turns out the rooms around the courtyard on the first floor have little patios. Which maybe I would know if I was ever, I don't know, given a tour? So I return to the guest on the phone and tell her that her request was noted and we'll try to give her that room, but it's not guaranteed. Which is what we're supposed to do. I'm never supposed to guarantee a specific room. And here we go.

"I want to talk to a manager! I'm spending the better part of 3 weeks (since when does 9 days equal 3 weeks?) there and spending upwards of $3000 (wtf? our hotel is not $300 a night) there and I want that room! Blah blah blah."

Fine, I transfer her to the AGM, who then comes out and asks me what I said to her. The other front desk person was there the entire time I was on the phone, and she agreed that I was perfectly polite and didn't say anything out of order. I tell the AGM that I thought we're not supposed to guarantee room types. This is what she's told me in the past. I had early check-ins today and very few rooms ready, and if I had to give that room away, at least the woman wasn't told she was definitely getting that room. Her response: If we had blocked a room for a handicapped person and that was the only room we had when someone came to check-in early, would you give it away?

Wow, that is a terrible analogy. A handicapped person is not at all equivalent to someone who wants to break the rules and smoke in the hotel. I am completely disgusted with this woman - she feels the need to complain to my manager and possibly threaten my job because she's addicted to nicotine? All I have to say is, she better not ask me for anything while she's here. I'm not helping her with shit.

And that is why I'm glad this isn't my chosen career path.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Stop Calling Here!!!

For some reason, whenever I have someone from a certain area of the world stay (think Middle East/India area), they receive lots of phone calls. I don't know if it's because they don't know how to use email or if it's because the person isn't trusted to handle company business without lots of instruction, but whatever it is, it's annoying as hell. All calls to the hotel go through me. We don't have something where it gives you the option to put in an extension first. Everything goes through me.

And for those of you who are thinking, well, that's your job, get over it, I might agree - except when people get five phone calls in an hour. Honestly - it's irritating. At a certain point, I pick up the phone and I already know who's on the other end.

One person, when calling for this guy (who may or may not have been Indian) asked me when he was checking out. I told him Friday. I probably wasn't supposed to do that. Then he asked what room he's in. "We don't give that information out." Then (this may be one of the best questions I've received since I started working in hotels, and that's saying something) he asked where he was going when he left. Umm, are you kidding? What a stupid question. Do I look like his travel agent? Cue a flat "I don't know" on my end.

I was so glad when that guy left. Seriously, stop calling here!!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Immediate Assistance

Continuing with my telephone theme...

The other day I had a woman call the hotel. I can't remember what she wanted - either she was having an event or she wanted a block of rooms for a wedding. Either way, that goes to our sales manager. I put her through and hung up.

Twenty seconds later, the phone rings, the screen showing that the call has been bounced back to me. I pick up the phone and give my greeting again - which takes a really long time, by the way. I'm losing my voice from this job. The woman tells me she didn't pick up. Yes, I can tell.

"Okay, then you can leave her a message on her voice mail. Did it not give you the option to do that?" I know that this manager's voice mail fills up quickly.
"No, it did. But then it said press zero for immediate assistance."
Okaay. "Yes, ma'am. It connected you back to me. But she's the only one who can assist you with that. Would you like me to connect you to her voice mail so you can leave a message?"
"No." And she hangs up.

People are spoiled. Instant gratification - not available here.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My Telephone Pet Peeve

There is something people do that I absolutely hate. Seriously, it drives me freakin' insane. Let me tell you about it.

A guest in the hotel calls someone outside the hotel, using the hotel phone (which is a complete rip-off, by the way). That person misses the call. They see the missed call on their phone, and for whatever reason, decide to just randomly call back that number and see if it's someone they know. I do not understand this tendency. Especially since I am the one that has to field all these phone calls. For people that do this, let's go over how ridiculous this sounds.

"Good morning, thank you for calling -----. This is ---- speaking, how may I help you?"
"Yeah, someone just called me from this number."
"This is a hotel, ma'am."
"A hotel. The ----. We have over 150 rooms here."
"Well, someone just called me from this number."
"I don't know who that was, ma'am. We have over 150 rooms here."

And so on.

When I miss phone calls, I do not call back numbers I don't know. I figure if it was that important, they would leave a message. If I'm job-hunting and think I may have missed a call from a potential employer, I google the number. If it was that employer, I call them. Why do people feel the need to call back every number that calls their phone? It's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard of.