At the Hotel: Badasses

January 31, 2009

Working at hotels gives you plenty of opportunities to serve the guests and tourists coming in to ask questions. In the summertime, you’re usually so busy taking care of their needs, that it’s a struggle to find the time to have some fun. In the wintertime, you have so much time on your hands, that it’s a struggle to stay focused on the guests. And, of course, as a guest in the hotel, you’re free to do whatever you like. There is very little the hotel can do to prevent stuff from happening, and there is not much we can do after the guest leaves, either. We’re really stuck between a rock and a hard place at times. All we can do is learn and move on.

Neverless, there are fun times to be had, and most of the time, these actions would be classified as badass.

  •  a night auditor once told me about a fellow staff member who was living in the hotel that liked to pay visits at night. This fellow would come out of his room, go into the bar, pour himself draft beer, and come back to read comic books while the auditor was working. They’d talk late into the night, eat chicken wings, or any other snacks they could find. There would be some awkward times when a guest would come to check in late or check out early in the morning, but more often than not, things were sensible – if a drunk person at the front desk can be deemed sensible.
  • one front desk agent liked to party. This is a generality, but people working at hotels tend to party and know how to drink. On several occasions, this front desk agent managed to stumble into the hotel lobby (alone or with someone) after the bars closed late at night. Being in the hospitality industry, the night auditor liked to help people, so allowed this agent to get a room. In the morning, the agent came out for lunch, grabbed a plate of Chinese food, brought it back to the room and sat down. He had a few bites of it, and then was called away and left. The housekeepers entered the room to see the plate of food, but no one had a clue who was actually in the room until later. Call it CSI: The Hotel.
  • One housekeeping manager was rather fed up with how things were being operated, so liked to take his smoke breaks in the laundry folding area. Not right next to the laundry, because that wouldn’t be very sanitary. 
  • Several other managers living in the hotel, have liked to take smoking breaks in the their rooms. Not cigarettes, mind you, but marijuana. After a joint, maybe a glass of wine, they would come back to their offices and continue working. 
  • A bad habit of front desk agents has been the first action of their shift. From turning the television in the lobby (to the Food Network, TLC, CMT, Spike TV, Space TV, or, my favourite, CBC’s Sunday morning show (great cure for a hangover) ), or switching on Internet Explorer to Facebook or MSN Messenger, to grabbing a bag of chips to snack on (or ordering breakfast/lunch in the bar). First actions of the shift are almost always the wrong thing that they should be doing. I have only witnessed this at the front desk, so who knows how bad housekeepers really are.
  • My favourite “caught in the act badass” is a front desk agent who will go down in history as the first (and possibly last) DJ to rock out a set while working the front desk for an audience of 1. I was working in the office and heard the phones ringing off the hook. I wondered what was going on, so I came out of the office to take a look at the front desk. What I saw blew me away: laptop out, DJ mixer on a stool, agent wearing studio headphones, jamming out to the sounds entering his ears. I kicked the railing by the desk, he looked up, and answered the phone.
  • There has been “Storytime with X.” After returning from the bars to grab cabs and a bag of chips, the night auditor proceeded to tell us a few stories. I don’t remember any of them, except one highlight: he lived in a nudist colony when he was 18 years old. From then on, any time we came into the hotel lobby when that night auditor was working, we were always hopeful for Storytime.
  • There have been front desk agents who had laptops out in a busy hotel, front desk agents watching soft-porn on tv, borrowing money from the till to pay off bad debts, dealers throwing $50+ on the front desk to be let into rooms after hours, chips and chocolate bars being stolen, scams involving the guest reward programs, crackheads dropping their pipes at the desk and still getting hotel rooms, and staff taking shots through the night in the bar or front desk.
  • And, finally, Johnny Cash. A front desk agent dressed up all in black, wore a nametag that said Johnny Cash, and liked to blare his music through the tv loud enough to disturb the guests above him. He also enjoyed smoking in the bathroom and denying it, and wouldn’t be surprised if he had smoked at the front desk while on shift.

What hasn’t happened yet to me, but is a great possibility:

Luggage cart races down the hallways and ramps in the slow periods.

One Response to “At the Hotel: Badasses”

  1. Geof Harries Says:

    Hilarious post. Shocking, but hilarious.

    Just how bad can housekeepers get? Well, I only had my housekeeping job in Whistler for less than two months (I was fired by a chain-smoking, butt-slapping – my butt – 60+ year old female boss because I was too slow) but I can tell you there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes there as well. Smoking in the bathroom, drinking from empties left behind and poking around in open suitcases, to name a few. I didn’t stay long long, but my short time there opened my eyes to a whole other world.


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