My Monday

Well as I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, Mondays are my Fridays. And for the time being I’m the closing manager, which means being here till 10 PM. Lovely.  Mondays are a cruel and fickle beast. Sometimes Mondays are total snooze fests, which has its own drawbacks because it’s my Friday and I’m counting down till my days off start. Other nights it’s totally insane. I guess this one has been somewhere in the middle. The first 6 hours of my 10 hour shift were madness. And then it got really quiet. Stuff is probably just waiting to go wrong until 9:45 so that I’ll be here late (again). Being a salaried OT exempt employee has major pros and cons.

So far, got yelled at for 30 minutes by a guest that had very carefully selected a room online, but hadn’t communicated to us that she had done so and was livid when during our confirmation calls she found out we had assigned her to another room. Her original room was one of our few ADA accessible rooms, and we had a guest in a wheel chair that needed that room for those nights. We’re required to make reasonable accommodations, and in this case that meant switching out the able-bodied guest into a room of the same type. This is really pretty common place, in fact the only unusual thing is that at most hotels, you don’t really get the option of selecting your room number ahead of time. You just book a room type, and you can throw in some special requests like “High Floor” “Away from Elevator” “Away from Ice Machine” blah blah blah. For some Science forsaken reason our website booking engine requires everyone to not only pick a room type, but also a room number. It’s quite horrible from an operational stand point for a whole variety of reasons. So all I could do was listen to her for 30 minutes, occasionally apologize, explain our reasons, explain that we didn’t make the change maliciously, and that we had been unaware that her heart had been set on that exact room number (she’s stayed there before), but that I really couldn’t change it back. She wants a discount. I’m not inclined to offer anything really. She’s still getting the same room type, she wasn’t downgraded. So I’ll just bump that up the chain and let my GM decide. When he says “no discount” which I’m anticipating, she’ll likely cancel when I follow up with her on Thursday. Don’t really mind that either.

The real fun of the evening came when one of our motorized housekeeping carts, broke free from its parking break, rolled down the drive, and slammed into a nice fairly new Jaguar. And of course, one of the doors was open and essentially worked like a spear punching a hole right through the exterior of the car (whatever Jaguar’s are actually made of). That guest was surprisingly un-vocal about how upset she was. It probably helped that I was already on scene as she walked up and I was able to say more than “I’m sorry” I was able to say “It’s totally our fault and our insurance company will cover everything.” She was upset, but if anyone had a right to be screaming a little at me today, it was that lady.

Overall this was a very productive week. My 6 month project to upgrade our Hotel PMS (property management system) is in the home stretch. Installation scheduled for Thursday. Really going to be awesome to see all that hard work pay off. Also I recently developed and implemented a new system to organize, catalog, and store all our Lost and Found. The system has been up and running for a week and so far working like a gem. Very proud of those too accomplishments.

Well the storm just hit. Accounting issues in the closing drawer, and technical issues with Wi-Fi and our TV channels. Time to put on my cape!

#timetoputonmycape

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  1. #1 by HoaiPhai on July 20, 2011 - 6:45 AM

    Why not either add a radio button to the website that indicates the guest “absolutely must have this exact room” or a disclaimer stating that you’ll do everything in your power to put guests into the room they requested but things beyond your control may require you to book someone else into the room?

    • #2 by hotelnerd on July 20, 2011 - 9:05 AM

      The booking engine through our website is very limited in the customization that we have. We can’t just go in and alter the code ourselves because everything has to talk through an interface to our PMS system, so just adding a radio button to the form wouldn’t work, because that button wouldn’t feed anywhere. A disclaimer is probably possible, and something I’m already pushing for, but there is a lack of agreement on where that disclaimer should be and where we have the freedom to input it. It’s all quite frustrating. It’s also not an issue 99.9% of the time for our guests when the room number adjusts slightly. In fact most guests would be happy if we told them that we moved them out of the ADA room because they don’t like the wheel in showers and other features of an ADA bathroom usually. This particular guest is just a little nuts, she insists that it’s the most private room, with the most trees around it and least amount of foot traffic. I actually sent an email on Monday to the company the provides our online booking program, which is different from our PMS, asking him about some options, because I’ve never actually discussed it with him myself just our GM and one of the owning family members that managed the website content before I got there, they had said it wasn’t possible to do what I wanted, I want the guy that runs that corner of our website to tell me that though. My first preference would be to have them just pick a room type and not room numbers at all like you do when normally booking at a hotel online. It really does smooth out a lot of operational issues. I also want to rewrite some portions of our email confirmation, and I think it might be squeezed in there.

  2. #3 by The Hook on July 30, 2011 - 1:48 PM

    It’s nice to hear someone else is suffering the slings and arrows of the modern traveller!
    Hang in there!

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