Monthly Archives: March 2012

Water cold. Water hot. No water.

A couple of weeks ago I came into work to do an afternoon shift. The morning shift let me know that for some reason 218 had no hot water in their apartment, and maintenance couldn’t fix it. A plumber was being sent out, who came in sometime during the day.

All was fixed. Or so we thought.

Because that evening, the guest called down. Why yes, they did have hot water – but now they had no cold water in their apartment.

Given that I don’t actually have any idea where the main pipes are located, we end up having to move the guest to another room. I email our maintenance manager to let him know, and at 9:30pm on Friday he lets me know a plumber is coming out ASAP.

There is a bit of confusion – wait, do you mean now? Eventually we work out that this is for Saturday morning.

I come into work the next day, and the plumber still hasn’t been in. Apparently he has been held up fixing a sewer pipe, I don’t even know.

Shortly afterwards, our maintenance officer pops into work, 3 year old daughter in tow, as he’s left something in the office. I make an offhand comment about how 218 now has the reverse problem, and he decides that it’s a problem with the main valve being turned off, and since he’s here he may as well fix it.

So, he proceeds to go and fix the water. Did I mention the main valve is on the roof of the building? I still don’t know who he offloaded his daughter to do when he was doing this.

All fixed. Until about a week and a half later.

I come in for my morning shift, and there’s a note saying that the guest in 218 has a problem with their dishwasher. Reportably it’s not running, and nothing is getting cleaned.

Pop up to the room to have a look, and yes, definitely a problem. It runs for about 3 minutes and then gives a few outraged beeps, an angry red light, and shuts itself off. Rinse (or not) and repeat when I try again.

Then I remember that this was the room the plumber had issues with. I decide to check under the sink, and what do you know – the water to the dishwasher is turned off.

Not surprisingly, when I turn it on and try the cycle again, water begins to flow.

I wonder if this means that I can bill the company for my plumber “skills”?

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It’s March 18. Really.

Quite possibly one of the oddest ‘arguments’ I have had with a guest, to date.

A gentleman came in at about 11am on Saturday morning to check into the hotel.  As the room wasn’t ready, he stored luggage, and went off to do his own thing, and said he would come back in later to check in.

Come Sunday morning, and I am clearing up some of the paperwork on the desk, and notice that his welcome letter is still sitting there. Now, this isn’t uncommon – sometimes when guests come back we create their keys but for whatever reason the welcome letter is omitted. Assuming that the gentleman has come back, I throw it out.

And, at about 7.30am, a gentleman comes into reception. He came in a bit earlier, he says, to drop off bags. He is here for the next couple of nights, and is wanting to check in and collect his keys.

Initially we think that he’s another one of our delightful early arrivals but upon inspection of his passport, this is the gentleman that the stray paperwork belonged to.

Not a problem, I print off another copy, create the keys, and confirm with the guest that as per our system, he is departing tomorrow – the 19th.

“No, that’s not right, I’m staying with you for two nights.”

I check the paperwork. Yes, arrival Saturday 17 and departure on Monday 19.

“Yeah, see, two nights I’m staying with you.”

Sir, today is the 18th.

“No, mate, that’s not right, today is the 17th, it’s St Paddy’s Day.”

Sir, that was yesterday. Today is the 18th. It is Sunday.

“No way, it’s Saturday.”

My colleague, who initially dealt with him – on Saturday – steps in to advise him that no, he really did come in almost an entire 24 hours ago, on Saturday, but today is now Sunday.

Guest still appears confused but eventually concedes the point.

Until I go with him to collect the luggage from our store room, where he begins the whole thing again.

“You really scared me, I thought my booking was wrong, I’m staying for two nights aren’t I?”

Yes sir, your booking was for two nights, however one of those nights has passed. It is Sunday.

“No way, it’s St Patrick’s Day, it’s the 17th, what are you talking about?”

Sir. I am 100% positive that Today. Is. Sunday.

“Oh, well, it’s not really Sunday yet is it?”

Sir, it has been Sunday for 8 hours already. It is well and truly Sunday.

“Yeah, but it’s not, it’s all good.”

At this point I give up trying to prove what day it is, and direct the guest to the lifts.

Throughout the whole conversation he appeared to be quite heavily under the influence. I can only guess that he went out to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, and somewhere in the process lost an entire day. I’ve had guests come in confused about the time – thinking it’s 10am when in fact it is 3pm – but never arguing that adamantly that the date is different. Hopefully he got some sleep and wakes up more orientated to the correct date.

Otherwise, it’s going to be a fun conversation on the 19th when we are waiting for him to check out and he tries to argue what date it is again. I believe I may have to employ the use of visual aids, in the form of a newspaper, to make my point.

Sometimes, housekeeping gets it all wrong.

Like most hotels around, when guests request things such as extra beds in the room, beds to be split, we place a note in an electronic diary.  Housekeeping gets a copy of this report, and their staff do the tasks.

In theory.

We had four guys stay with us recently, in two rooms. The rooms they’d booked only had one queen size bed, the guys were not that friendly with each other, so had arranged for an extra bed to be placed in each room.

Somewhere along the lines, apparently housekeeping got a bit confused.

Guest 1 comes down to reception. He informs me that there is a cot in the room. He does not require a cot, and doesn’t believe that he will have a comfortable sleep in the room. Fair enough sir, we’ll get that removed.

No, I’m not entirely sure why a cot got placed in the room. You’re sure you don’t want that? Positive? No worries, we’ll get that out.

His friend with the other room comes down. Guest 2 starts talking to Guest 1 about the cot. Oh, Guest 2 has a cot in the room too? … Wait, what?

Guest 1 and Guest 2 discuss this at length. The front desk staff are rather amused at this point.

…Right, apparently Guest 1 has a queen bed (yes), an extra bed (yes), AND a cot. Confusion ensues.

Guest 2 is now confused about what Guest 1 means by a cot. “Does your cot look like a play pen with walls?” “No. Oh! I don’t have a cot. I have a bed.”

Okay, we have established that there is only one mystery cot. Guest 1 is fine, and we remove it.

We still don’t know how the cot ended up in the room in the first place. It’s not on any reports. At all.

Maybe we have a ghost child?

Apparently I have to prove how sincere my apology is.

I’m not entirely sure why, but my company does not provide shower caps in the rooms. Because they are so expensive, I don’t know. Every now and then this results in guests calling down and asking for one to be brought up.

Most people tend to be okay about this when we advise them that they’re not provided. Occasionally people have a bit of a sulk, but ultimately this doesn’t really change the fact that we don’t provide them.

Not this lady, however. She calls down and asks for one. I apologise and tell her that we do not provide them, however should she desperately require one there is a pharmacy located two stores away where she can purchase one.

This is not suitable for this lady. Apparently she has just had her hair done. And it cost $70. (For a blow wave? Girl, you got ripped off.) How dare we suggest that she has a shower without a shower cap?

Oh, I don’t know, because while mildly irritating, it is still possible and quite easily achievable?

The lady then decides that she is going to just have a shower, and wash it out, and what a waste of money this was. There is muttering of being reimbursed for the cost of the hair style, however I do not even touch this comment, because really?

Rant continues. I again apologise and tell her that I will pass on her feedback to management. And then she comes up with this gem:

“You’re not sorry. If you were sorry, you would go out and buy me a shower cap.”

“…I’m sorry that you feel that way, however I am not going to do that.”

And then the lady continues her rant and hangs up. The fate of the hair style is undetermined.

Shower caps – apparently, serious business.

Check in time is guaranteed at 2pm. No really, 2pm.

Like pretty much every hotel you will find, we have a standard check in time (2pm) and check out time (10am). This is so we don’t send the whole day calling up people asking when they’re getting out of the room, but mostly so that housekeeping actually gets a chance to clean the rooms. Housekeepers clean pretty quickly, but there is only so many rooms they can do at once.

So please, for the love of god, stop trying to do the following:

  • Arriving at 6am and throwing a tantrum that your room is not ready.
  • Further to this, please do not camp out in reception and ask us every 15 minutes whether your room is ready.
  • Call us repeatedly before your arrival, trying to get us to promise that your room will be ready at early o’clock.
  • Give me a sob story about how you’ve been travelling for hours. I understand you’ve flown from the other side of the world, however this does not change the fact that someone is still asleep in the room!
  • Ask me every time someone checks out if you can have their room.
  • Try and convince me that I can check you into a dirty room, you can sleep, and we can clean it later. Ew.

These things happen far more often than you would think. This is remarkably common from guests who are flying in from the other side of the country – the cheap flights either mean a 6:30am or 11pm arrival. Far more people take the 6:30am flight, and then we get the above scenarios.

Look, we are not cruel people. We will hold your luggage. If you’re nice, we will put this through, where possible, to housekeeping as a priority room and we will try and get it ready a few hours earlier.

If you are a pain in the ass, abusive, because you failed to think this through, we will make you wait almost until check in time.

To the lovely group of Government officials from overseas we had come in last week, who carried on and made a huge scene about how you were originally coming in at lunch time, but rearranged flights so you could come in earlier and do more work, and how dare we not have rooms available? For starters, this is not my problem – you did not check with the hotel, we did not promise you anything, go away – we did check you in 3 hours earlier so don’t you DARE complain about how I didn’t help you. Secondly, nobody forced you to take an earlier flight. Chill the hell out.

And to you, sir, who tried to check in at 7:15am, got told we were fully booked last night and you’d have to wait, then pitched an absolute fit at reception when we checked a guest in at 7:30am? That gentleman booked from last night. His room was guaranteed from 2pm yesterday. He did the smart thing and paid for an extra night, because he knew he’d be travelling for 28 hours.

Continue to make a scene, and I will turn around to you and say something along the lines of “Sir, our guests are still asleep and do not have to depart until 10am. I am not going to call guests up and make them leave early just so you can check in.”

Oddly, I managed to get away with that one without a customer complaint. Maybe he finally realised what a jerk he was being.

The case of the missing speed hump.

We come across some pretty weird things at work. Generally this means that we aren’t phased by things that others would consider out of the ordinary.

Last weekend, however, I came into work and drove into the carpark. About a year ago, the facilities manager arranged for a speed hump to be installed about halfway down the ramp. I’m still not 100% sure why as I wasn’t aware of any speed issues, but whatever.

I distinctly remember the speed hump being there when I left the property at 11:30pm on Saturday night. Yet when I came in at 1:30pm on Sunday, it wasn’t there. Huh??

One of my colleagues, also a duty manager who drives in, was working in the morning. I text him. “So, the speed hump is missing in the carpark. What the hell?”

A few minutes later I run into him in the building, as I haven’t started yet.

“Did you get my text?”
“Yeah, what?”
“Where’d the speed hump go?”
“…oh wait, you weren’t joking?”

No, I was not joking.

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Because seriously, who steals a speed hump?

Eventually we worked out that the maintenance manager had arranged for it to be removed (and I’m still unclear on why). Communication within my company is sketchy at times.

Whether sanctioned or not, a carpark fixture is one of the odder things to go missing around here.