When I buzzed the intercom to be let into the hotel garage early Sunday morning, I was met with
“Oh, Thank GOD you’re here.”
I didn’t dare ask why at that point. I like to relax in the garage for a little while with my breakfast and blogs before clocking in.
But his words hung in the air making it impossible to relax. It had been a tough night for him, and I needed to know why in order to be prepared for my shift.
I downed my food, published a few quick comments, and headed up. As soon as I heard what happened, my first thought was to bail. I had barely recovered from the madhouse on Saturday, and already I was facing another one.
“The fire alarms went off at 2am,” the night auditor told me. “Then soon after the guests went back upstairs, the alarm sounded again. People were mad!”
Whoo boy, I thought. We had sold all but 2 of our 355 rooms. Quite a few people had been awoken from a deep sleep and forced to evacuate. We would likely hear from most, if not all of them. This was gonna be a delicate check-out process. We needed to be sympathetic, apologetic, and ready to compensate. I explained to my two trainees how they should handle the guests, what they should tell them regarding the alarm, and what NOT to tell them.
Then we spent the next 5 hours fielding complaints, apologizing for the inconvenience, offering a free night certificate to stay at any of our locations, or comping their night completely. Only a few were mad enough to want to speak with the General Manager. In between my own line of guests, I helped my trainees, took care of non-fire related guest requests, and managed to keep my cool.
But dang. It was exhausting!
When it was all said and done, and I handed the GM the thick stack of papers indicating how many comp certificates she needed to send out, she thanked me sincerely. “It was rough out there this morning. I thank you for your leadership. You did great.”
I accepted her compliment graciously. They’re usually far and few between.
And I realized I still love my job – even on the toughest days. I am meant to help people, and make them happy. And I love being a teacher and role model to the other employees. It’s a great fit for me. This month brings my 2 year anniversary with this particular hotel, and 3 1/2 years of working in the hotel industry. And I can see continuing on this path for a while. Every day brings something new and something rewarding.
Now to figure out how to get more pay for it…..