Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Getting Back Up To Speed

Last night I ended my six day marathon work schedule at the hotel where I work part-time. Whew! I was busier last night that I was on the Fourth of July. There must have been a full moon last night. Multiple phone calls, guests checking in, guest checking out early, making reservations, checking reservations, doing loads of laundry,moping and vacuuming the floors....you name it. I was a master of multi-tasking last night. At one point I was beginning to lose it which is a big NO-NO in the hospitality business. I started to get snippy with a guest who was insisting on renting our beer package special for FOUR guests instead of the usual two guests. We don't do four guest because they tend to get too rowdy and thus disturb the other guests in the hotel. You know how it works when more than two young adults get together with a couple of six packs of a brew......PAAAARRRRTYYY! Well, the woman who was trying to make the reservation over the phone wanted to know "Who makes the rule that you can only have one couple in the room?" I told her in a very clear tone of voice "the owner of the hotel." So she decides to try and intimidate me by calling the owner of the brewery who has the arrangement with our hotel and says "I wonder what (blank) will think of that?" Okay honey, you call him. I didn't actually say that but I had to bit my tongue. Instead I put my sweetest, most reasonable tone of voice on and said "If you wouldn't mind, you can call the manager tomorrow and speak with him." She instead told me "Have the owner of the hotel call me!" I told her (still my sweet, reasonable voice) I couldn't do that but "perhaps you could call in the morning." She wasn't too happy with this suggestion but she didn't have much choice. I could sense the road we were going down and knew we didn't want to go there. It solves nothing except to cause both of use to become very defensive and dislike one another. That's not what the hospitality business is all about. The customer may always be right but sometimes they're not going to get there way. This was one of those times.

After this exchange of "focused" words, I had to push my RESET button or else I was going to continue down a path for the rest of the night which wouldn't be good for me or the guests of the hotel. That I did and I was sweetness and light the rest of the night, no matter what curve balls were thrown at me by the guests (and there were a few more, believe me.)

One thing I like about my job working the front desk of the hotel is that it keeps my mind sharp. Oh sure, there are those times which are very trying and I wonder "Why did I ever take this job? Do I need this aggravation?" The answer is "Yes" because if I didn't have a job that stimulated my mind, then my mind would atrophy like my good friend who is slowly sinking into dementia. Your brain is like a muscle, if you don't use it, it will shrink up and be useless. Then you die. In the meantime, you're no good to yourself or anyone else. That is a fate I do not wish to invite upon myself. I look at these sometimes tough situations that I sometimes face at the hotel as a challenge. My goal is to turn around a negative situation into a positive one. I have almost always succeeded and when that happens I feel a positive reinforcement that I am performing a worthwhile function in life. My portion of the world may be small and insignificant but it is of value to me and those who interact with me. I always strive to make those interactions positive for both myself and the people I meet everyday. I love my job. I appreciate every day that I wake up and have a job to go to.

I have the rest of this week off. I don't go back to work until next Monday night. I will luxuriate in that time. That's another thing I like about working, the time off is so much more appreciated. I love my job but I love my time off too. Today I'm meeting my friends Judy and Judy (yes, they're both named Judy) for lunch at Gilligan's in Lewes. Perhaps I'll invite another friend over for dinner later this week. The sun is out, the temperature is warm and there is a gentle breeze. My backyard beckons.

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