Sunday Scribblings called for blog posts about hotel stories so here is my contribution:
A night of hospitality hell…
Here is a glimpse of a very common yet insane night at work.. I am a front desk agent, we are completely sold out and have about 40 rooms arrivals tonight, two desk clerks and 3 valet. Here is a rundown of the events:
The Romantic Surprise Guest-
This female guest booked the stay as a romantic getaway for her boyfriend. She arranged a creekside room, dinner and massages. Upon check in I am notified that tried to set up a surprise for her boyfriend including champagne, chocolate covered strawberries and candles to be set up in the room while they were dining. I listen to her plan for the evening and tell her I will make sure things go smoothly.
Upon check in The Romantic Surprise Guest finds that she is unhappy about the room she booked. She thought it was a suite on the creek with a whirlpool tub, it is actually a standard room with a whirlpool tub and creek view. She talks at me about how disappointed she is about the mix up, I listen and apologize many times and assure her that her dinner and special romantic surprise will go perfectly despite the room issues.
The Smoky Room Move Guest-
At around 5:30pm I am presented with The Smoky Room Move Guest. This guest also recently checked into their room and promptly calls down because the room smells like smoke. This is an unfortunate situation because all our rooms are non-smoking. I would expect that smoky smelling rooms would be taken care of when housekeeping does the room for that day. I am sure the guest was also thinking this. Anyway this guest was bothered by the smoke and needed to have a different room. That brings me to the second unfortunate part of the situation, we are sold out so we have no extra rooms available.
The Smoky Room Move Guest still wants a different room regardless of the fact that we have no other rooms so I have to play around with our room inventory and essentially give someone else’s room away so The Smoky Room Move Guest can have it. Obviously, I need to make sure everyone has a room that reserved one so I get The Smoky Room Move Guest out of the room and ask housekeeping to re-clean the room and get rid of the smoke smell so I can check someone else in it.
** On a side note- I just want to give some friendly hotel worker advice to all you travelers out there. Most hotels do not guarantee bed requests and room types through Expedia, hotel.com and other online booking companies. This means you can request two beds because you have children or whatever but when you arrive at the hotel that can give you a one king bed room because of this loop hole. **
Anyway, back to the story now.. Essentially I end up bumping a guest (that booked through an online booking company) from their deluxe two queen room to a deluxe king room with a rollaway so that I can give The Smoky Room Move Guest a fresh room and clean the smoke smelling one for the guest that booked through the online booking company.
The Stand Alone Cottages Guest-
Another guest comes down to the front desk that had just checked in. They are unhappy because they think they were told we have stand alone cottages on the creek.. We have only ever had hotel rooms on the creek and obviously there has been a miscommunication so I generously agree to refund them despite our 72 hour cancellation policy. I listen to their complaining, apologize many times and check them out of their creekside suite. We now have only this one room left to sell for the evening.
I then realize that I can offer The Romantic Surprise Guest this large creekside suite that The Stand Alone Cottages Guests just checked out of. I leave a message for The Romantic Surprise Guest offering to upgrade them for free for their inconvenience to a creekside suite that just freed up. The Romantic Surprise Guest doesn’t call me back.
The Freeway Accident Guest-
A guest calls that has a reservation for tomorrow. She wants to see if we have any rooms available for tonight since she would like to come up a day early. Since the disappointed The Romantic Surprise Guest still has not called me (and since we make bonuses on nights that we sell all our rooms) I offer the Creekside suite to The Freeway Accident Guest since she is willing to pay $309 rate. She wants to take it so I make her a reservation. I delete the message I had just left for The Romantic Surprise Guest about the possible upgrade and I sell the room to The Freeway Accident Guest.
The Stand Alone Cottages Guest guests that promptly checked out due to the miscommunication called us because they left a wedding ring near the sink in the room they just checked out of. I head up to the room to find the lost ring for them.
In the meantime The Freeway Accident Guest that just called and made a reservation for our last Creekside suite (that the other guests just checked out of) calls and says she is stuck on the I17 behind a huge accident and that she wont be able to make it after all. I cancel her reservation. I leave another message for The Romantic Surprise Guest about the availability of the Creekside suite that she is welcome to upgrade to.
The Romantic Surprise Guest finally calls me back at around 8:45pm and says she wants to take the creekside suite. She then gives me all these special instructions about her special night. The plan is that we will get a call from the hostess when the guests are seated for dinner, then we will move their luggage to the newly upgraded room. Once the things are moved we will deliver the chocolate covered strawberries, candles and champagne to the room, then I will wait for another call from the hostess when the guests are presented with heir check. Upon receiving this call I will head up to the room draw the bath, pour in bubble bath, light the candles and head out [sigh]..
The majority of the craziness was simply the room juggling that went on tonight. Tonight was a fairly mild night as far as mean guests go but there are many nights where we feel like living breathing verbal punching bags for out guests. Don’t get me wrong I am happy to bend over backwards to make a guests stay memorable, special or whatever they need. I just really feel like most people have no idea how much crap goes on behind the scenes that we have to deal with as service professionals. I know the same is true for all types of service staff professionals (food service employees, airline employees, hotel workers etc.) and I always go out of my way to be courteous and understanding when I find myself on the other side.
I don’t expect special treatment, special recognition or a cookie. This is the industry I choose to go in to. I just expect that customers, guests or whatever simply treat me with the same common courtesy and respect they feel they deserve.
There, that is my hotel story as contribution to the Sunday Scribblings..
I hope you all are having a great day!