Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Secrets Don't Make Friends

From what I can remember it was a normal workday like no other. I was new and learning the many ropes that went along with my new job. I remember it being relatively quiet that evening.

He came in and right from the start I could tell he was jovial and happy to be alive (or on vacation). He stepped up to my counter and we went through the normal dance routine of my job and his vacation. He told me his name…I checked the system for it….it was there…he gave me his credit card…I took it to verify…and that’s when things went wrong.

Ok Mr. Doe (anonymity…that and I don’t actually remember his last name), we have you down for two nights and you booked us through Priceline, correct?

No that’s actually wrong, I should be here for three nights not two. And yes I booked this hotel through Priceline.

That is as much of the conversation before it got heated that I could give you or remember. Why did I not remember more, you may ask??? Because this was a constant problem that always began the same every. Single. Time. Why, you may also ask?? Because hotels don’t want you to know that they don’t like you, buyers very much.

To be honest I never had a problem with any of you guys, but the hotels did. It became a nuisance to deal with reservations that got screwed up, because we couldn’t actually fix them. Why you may ask again??(By this point I don’t honestly like all the whys but you are who you are) Because through some complicated intricate system it was a pain to deal with the guests who actually booked through the hotel and the guests who wanted to find a cheap savvy deal and booked through any of the other sites. It took more work to change reservations for these sites than it did to fix the copy machine…and we hated the copy machine.

So as a public safety I figure I would break rules that I am no longer under and tell you a few secrets and facts of hotel life that hotels don’t want you to know….or at least the ones that we as service agents sometimes follow that you don’t have a clue about. From the former front desk to your eyes ladies and gentlemen:

1.) Priceline,, expedia, and all the sites like it do not hold as much respect as booking through the hotel, at least for the four star and above anyway. It’s like getting money from a rich man directly versus getting money through his lawyers after taxes.

2.) I don’t agree with pornography on any level (more posts on that later I’m sure) but if you feel the need to watch it on the T.V. at the hotel, just know that they do know and saying you didn’t to not pay for it is stupid. We made it a habit to make people feel better and say we don’t know what they watched or where the charges came from on the room, but that is a lie and I’m sorry for telling it. I honestly should have used it for a better evangelizing opportunity but didn’t. Anyway, we not only knew but also could look up the title, time, and room number of said activity. I must admit this part grossed me out the most. You have no idea how disturbing it is to see some of the vices that grip people.

3.) If you are mean or a jerk in anyway it did not get you out of smoking rooms. I know this isn’t a problem anymore since a lot of hotels got out of having smoking rooms. But you have to understand that being nice and patient goes a whole lot longer than being a pushy jerk that thinks that bullying gets him into a decent room. I will not lie I used my hotel powers to hook up nice people; from bottles of champagne sent up to newlyweds who were nice to cooking specialty foods that were not on our menu for people who treated us with respect. I am also sad to say in my error (and delight at times) I gave no leeway to anyone who was rude. Basically if you came in and were honest and respectful about it…I had a non smoking room in my pocket I could give you…if you were a jerk I sent the maids up to get rid of the smoking smell “as best I could” and said you can stay there or not at all. I know it’s more work to be mean and hold my ground but it was worth it. Now mind you it wasn’t all the time and it isn’t all hotels but if you’re the one who thinks that being demanding is the way to get things then you might want to rethink your stance, unless you want mystery sauce on your food or a “smoking” non smoking room.

4.) Clean out your cars before valeting. We as a staff talked about people with dirty cars because we were the ones who had to get in them. And yes you got talked about if we found fries and hamburgers all over the backseat. Also in the same vain…for those who think that valets at hotels don’t deserve tips…you are sorely mistaken. They work very hard to drive your dirty cars to safe spots on the premises. Tip them like you would a waiter. Five dollars is pretty good for most valets.

5.) You are not at home or alone in a hotel. So when you bring “people” back to your room there are a few things to remember.

· We are not your parents, so if you decide to have a party in your room we don’t want to clean it up at all. It is your responsibility, and if you don’t clean p you may just get charged extra at some hotels.

· If you are the type of person to “hire” friends don’t tell them to come up to the desk and expect us to rate them for you and then said up the ones you like or don’t. (Yes it’s true some people do this). It is not my job to be your pimp and just know you WILL get talked about by employees there and judged.

· Not every male that works in a hotel knows where strip clubs are, so don’t go up to any male with a uniform on and ask where he likes to go. Some of us don’t do that type of thing and that’s the reason we have a concierge. It’s his job to know where all the questionable things to do at night are.

All right so that’s as much as I could remember to give tips and hints on. It may not make sense or you may not like it but we have lives and hearts too. So the real main point is not to treat us like we are slaves, because we hold much more power over your conditions than you give us credit for.

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