Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My Hotel Job

I have two major functions in this job: Front Desk Clerk and Hotel Desk Auditor. Front Desk Clerk is kinda interesting. I got to meet different kinds of people every night. Some are naughty some are nice .

As front desk clerk, I will check-in and check-out guests, answers phone calls for reservation or forward calls to different department of the hotel or it might be a complaint call from the guests. I also coordinate with the Housekeeping and Maintenance for the guest's needs and complaints. When I answer the phone, I would listen very carefully to the other end of the line to understand what the other person is saying. It sooo hard to understand the words. Sometimes I would wish that I could expand my ears like the elephant's just for me to catch up every single word that the other line is spoken. Imagine, I have to listen the words and interpret them in my own language then think of english words to respond. Whew!

I have this experience about this Russian guy who checked-in very late. He got a reservation though. When I ask him his last name, I couldn't find his name in the arrival list. The reason was, the front desk who reserved him had mis-spelled his last name. He showed me a sour face. He maybe thought that I murdered his last name, hehehe! He wrote his unique last name in a piece of paper for me to correct it. As I browsed his profile, he wanted a 2-bed non-smoking room for 2 nights, then I asked him, "how are you gonna pay for this Sir?" I could sense that he started to really get mad. He said, "I already gave my Credit Card number when I had my reservation!" I replied " Well, there is no Credit Card numbers here in the file, it says here GTDC, meaning Guaranteed Credit Card, and I need to swipe the card anyway before I will check you in." He gave his Credit Card with a bad stare at me. We had hotel rooms that under renovation and we don't have available rooms inside the hotel premises but we have another building across the parking area of the hotel and I ask him if its okey with him. I know it would not be okey with him. We only had two available two beds non-smoking room for the night. He said he doesnt care if it is a smoking room as long as it is located within the main building. But when I checked the computer, no available for a smoking room as well. I told him about it, then this time, he crumpled the registration card that I gave him for his signature. He was sooo mad. "You cannot do this to me! I will tell the hotel owner about this matter! It's 3:00 o'clock in the morning and you want me to go out! I am not staying in this hotel" Actually, he was exaggerating because it was only 1:29 in the morning. But It was snowing that time. And he had two big luggages. Then I replied, "I am sorry about the inconvenience Sir but I will call the Manager on Duty to help you carry your luggage if you want". During graveyard shift, the MOD will help the desk if needed. He just stared at me sharply and I feel like he wanted to eat me alive. And I asked him, "Are you gonna stay here Sir or you want to look for another hotel?" You are making me crazy and I dont know what I am gonna do now!" Whoa, my patience started to get loose and I was staring at him at the same time . After I said it, he answered that he will stay for the night but he would look for another hotel the next morning. When I looked at him, I thought he is the ugliest man I have ever encountered in the hotel. I said, "okey I will change the number of days that you stay and I will tell the hotel owner tommorow about what happened." Every single night, I would say, "Enjoy your stay Sir or Maam and have a good night!" but I didn't give a care to that man when he left. Afterwards, he called me up for a wake-up call. The next morning, he came to the desk with a smile on his face and he ask me which way going to the Restaurant, I gestured the way but I didn't smile back. When I went back to work that night, his name was still in the In-house guest list, meaning, he didn't move to the other hotel. When he checked-out early the next morning, he asked me "Did you still remember me?" And I smiled with a sarcastic reply, "of course Sir! My meeting with you is unforgettable!". Hehehehe! Well, when he left, I told him, "Have a good day and drive safely!". I always say these words to all people who check-out every single morning. When I looked at him, well, I realized that he is not that ugly as I thought the first night I encountered with him, ahahaha! maybe he was just tired that time which made him grumpy and irritable.

Every night I always expect calls from the guests for wake up calls or weird calls. We have switch board system to program wake up calls. One night, I got a call from a lady guest, "Hello, please send someone to help me find my dog, I went to the lounge for a drink and when I returned to my room, my dog is missing. He is my baby!" Here is another one, "I want a companion, can you send me prostitute in my room? or "Do you have connection with the brothels here? I want someone with me tonight" or "Do you have prostitutes here"? The first time I heard it, I was kinda shocked but later on I get used to such call. I would just answer "I am sorry Sir but we do not offer prostitutes here".

Last December I got this call, "Hello, where can I buy real Christmas Tree here? I am heading to Salt Lake City and I do not know any store here". I didn't know that there is so called "real" Christmas Tree here but when I asked the former auditor who trained me, she said there is. I found out later that there is indeed a real one. A real pine tree. You put it in a huge pot with soil and you have to put water everyday to keep it alive.

Here is another one, "Hello, how much is the room rate for tonight"? After I answered him, he asked again "can you describe the room for me"? And then my mind would be wandering to think the adjectives that best describe the rooms before I gave my answer. Whew!

Here is another one, "May I know the road conditions going to Reno?" When it is snowing, the travelers would make sure that the road condition is passable. Or this, "How many miles from here to Las Vegas? or to Idaho? or to Bakersfield, California?

Another situation, "Will you please call me a cab?" or, "I need shuttle at 7:00am, will you please contact your shuttle driver and call me back if I would get it or not".

Here is more, "Hi, could you please page this person? I think he is in the Casino right now". I would put the caller on hold then page the person but I expect that no one will come to the front desk though. That happens all the time. Maybe the caller is the wife looking for her husband :).

One morning, a lady came to the front desk and looked so sad and she looked like she is in grief. She wanted to extend her stay for one night. I asked her, "Are you okey Ma'am?' She answered, "No, not really.. My dog died last night and I feel so alone and lonely without him". I thought she neeeded comfort but I dont know how. I told her, "I am sorry to hear that Maam" and I looked at her with a sad face. She smiled sadly and said "thank you". I just hoped she was feeling better after she heard my "condolences".

Many times, someone will come to the front desk and say "There is a car that has lights turn on, kindly page the owner of that person., it might drain the battery." So I would call the MOD to check the said car, what type of car, state plate number, etc. then I will page the owner describing the vehicle.

There was one time that a car's alarm was bleeping continuously that everyone is annoyed and disturbed in the middle of the night and we couldn't contact the owner. We call the Police Dispatch for him to check the car and to know the name of the owner and in a few minutes he came and then it turned out that the owner of the car is not in the casino but in one of the hotel rooms sleeping. Even if the car is coming from other State, the Police has an access to get the owner's name in a few minutes only. High Tech, as we say. I really salute the Police here because they will come as soon as they could after you call.

I started to like this job although I have a problem dealing with the Housekeeping staff because all of them are Mexicans. They only have few English words and if you talk to them you should have the ability to understand their gestures and what they want from you. Every morning a housekeeping staff will come to the desk to get the number of rooms to be cleaned for the day, for the check-outs and stay-overs and to get the Laundry and lobby keys. For example the numbers of rooms rented last night is 65, I will tell them "Saysientay-singko" for them to understand me. He or She will have a big smile on his/her face. Communication with them is really an issue but I like them all because they are hardworking people like us, Filipinos.

Well, until here only. I don't want you to get bored reading this novel-like post.

Talk to you later.


God bless Us All!

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