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Working at a Hotel
On August 2nd, I began working at a hotel about thirty minutes away from my campus. This was also the time that I stopped writing simply because I lost a lot of free time. When I did have free time, I needed to do the little things like cleaning and setting up my room. Now that I have school, I have some more time because I have less hours. This free time has given me a lot of reflection on the benefits of working at a hotel.
1. Meeting Different Type of People
This is the best part of working at a hotel. You get to meet so many different types of people. There are the control freaks, the sociable, the ones who hate small talk, the ones that try to get something from nothing, and of course the really mean people. Fortunately most of the guests at the hotel I work at are very kind and understanding of my job.
These people come from ALL over. I have checked people in from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Israel. Then there are the other states like Michigan, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee (most commonly seen). Everyone has a different accent or cannot talk at all or cannot hear.
It is just a great learning environment about communicating and listening to guest's need because in the end the customer has to feel satisfied from the experience or they will not come back.
When working the front desk, there is a lot more responsibility that others do not realize you have. The front desk is the face of the hotel. That is the first person you meet when you check in and the last you see when you check out. They are the ones you go to when there is a problem with the room or just a problem with the hotel in general. When going to the front desk, that person is expected to know all the answers to their problems. Now, I know how to handle most, but there are situations that are unusual to come up.
Also, I usually am working alone and have a lot more tasks to do than checking people in. I have to put reservations in. I have to do laundry (which usually is what I do the most). Doesn't sound like a lot until the phone is ringing, three people need to check in, the pool has no towels, or the pool needs the lights on. What is worse is holiday weekends when we are completely booked and I am alone because that is when I get all the problems like something is broken in the room or usually something with the pool. Then people get impatient because I cannot address them quickly. Plus, laundry is sitting back there just mocking me.
This definitely teaches you patience and stress management. This also teaches you customer service.
In a hotel, you can work your way up into different positions. When being at a place for more than a five years, either you get promoted or stay in the same position, but a hotel's staff is a constant switch. If you want to be a manager at a hotel, you remain loyal and work hard. You can get to that type of position or a position with a salary. At the hotel I work at, this opportunity is definitely in grasp, that is if you want it!
If you are like me and your path for a career is in an opposite direction, this experience will look good on your resume especially for a younger person because unlike working at a grocery store or clothing store, the front desk or housekeeping job in a hotel is seen as a "real" job. It is a job with responsibility as I stated previously and all that you have learned will come in handy. Plus everything you learned can be adapted to any work situation. There is always a product to be sold and the customer has to be satisfied in every work place!
There is not a lot of disadvantages of working at a hotel. It is more like the parts of the job that are not "fun." I get yelled at a lot, mostly because I am not given respect because I am young and seen as ignorant. I am not looked at as an equal. True there are situations where I cannot help, but that does not give people the right to yell at me. I am very smart and a college student trying to make some extra cash to support myself.
Laundry. Just plain and simple. I hate doing laundry and do not understand why that is my job. I get sweaty in the back with all the machines producing heat, plus a lot of laundry usually needs to get done. When I am working back there, I have to go out and help a guest while I am sweaty and probably starting to smell. I have to bring body spray and pat the sweat off before walk out.
I feel that the front desk needs to look nice and presentable, not sweaty.
The worst of all are the rude guests that yell and try to get something from nothing. Now I do not want to really divulge in examples or give any because after all I am still employed, but you know what I am talking about! It is the people that make problems out of the smallest of problems and complain to get a discount. It really gets under my skin. You are here to sleep. That's it. It is just a room. I get if your room is not clean, but does that worthy of a discount? There are other rooms. Yes, it is an inconvenience of 5 minutes.If it happens more times, than I understand.
I am not a person that complains if something is wrong. Usually I just deal with it, but sometimes I know when a situation is bad, like bugs. If the hotel is trying to work with you, you do not have to yell at them and call them names or just plain out insult them. They are just trying to do their jobs. When a front desk clerk goes out of the way to quickly clean your room or go turn the lights on in the pool or just anything that is NOT their responsibility, you really have no need to tell them they are terrible at their job.
The last section sounds like I am complaining and yeah, I am. Those are the things that really irritate me, especially working alone. You see I am busy and there is no one else working, please be considerate to me as well. I am human, not a robot.
The point of this article is to persuade people to look into the hotel business especially college students. It is definitely a learning experience on the road to adulthood.