Monday, July 9, 2007

Welcome Back to Work

Not only was it Monday, my first day back from a short vacation, but I was MOD (Manager on Duty) so I had to worry a little more than normal about what was happening around the hotel today.

About 8:30 a.m. we had a big blast of thunder and then our trouble alarm went off. At the same time an irate customer called me. She had reserved a block of rooms in May for a hockey team. Our policy is to release any nonguaranteed group block rooms 30 days prior to arrival. The block released last week and, of course, she was not aware that it was releasing and now what is she supposed to do with the 20 parents who need rooms?

All the while I am trying to appease the customer, the alarm is letting out an ear-piercing blare.There seems to have been some sort of malfunction and nobody can get the thing turned off. All hockey teams want rooms with two double beds. Naturally there are no rooms left with 2 double beds. I take her number and tell here I will call her back just as soon as I check room availability. We find 20 rooms with king beds and a sofa sleeper. I call her back and luckily she is relieved just to have rooms. I give her the new release date - TWICE.

The only server in the dining room today was a no show. The hostess worked the place herself until she finally found someone to come in (1.5 hours later).

The only problem is the person she found is supposed to serve the banquet at 10:15 a.m. Now we have only one banquet server for over 60 people. He is whining that he will not be able to get everything done before his guests arrive for lunch (it takes a little doing, but it can and has been done--many times).

The dining room is pretty slow so I ask the dining room server to help him in between her own tables. She’s not happy, but she does it. Shortly thereafter the male banquet server goes out for a smoke break!
Of course, this infuriates the dining room hostess who is seeing red because this guy took her only server and then he went out to smoke!! I told him that he really does not need to go smoke while he is setting up his banquet. He had only been here for 1.25 hours.

Oh, more joy. A coworker informed me that we are having fire alarm testing at 11:00 a.m. The blaring noise from the trouble alarm has finally been silenced and now we get to listen to loud intermittent fire alarms going off every few minutes for the next few hours. The poor Guest Service Rep is all alone at the front desk and getting very annoyed. The noise is the loudest where she works and she is close to tears a few times during the chaos. In addition to the noise, she has four early check-ins who just don't understand why we don't have their rooms ready at 10:00 a.m. (check in is at 2:00 p.m.)

“He’s (her boss) going to have to put someone on to help me on Mondays,” She is almost weeping.

I know this, too, shall pass because I've seen it numerous times during the many years we have worked together. Guest Service Representatives have a very tough job. It's not easy to remain calm and collected when a customer is being incredibly rude to you. I help her answer phones and go to the kitchen to get her a diet coke.

My door pops opened and one of the housekeepers says there is a lady guest doing laundry. She has already begun filling the washing machine and then discovers the soap dispenser is not working. She needs the Executive Housekeeper’s key for the soap machine to open it to get a box of detergent out. She can’t find the Exec. I said, “Did you page her?”. No, she didn't do that because the pager is sitting on her desk! They don't like to wear the pager.

I run upstairs and down two halls to see if I can find the Exec, while the housekeeper goes back to see if she has returned to her office. Nobody could find her—who knows which of the nearly 150 rooms she could be in. Finally the houskeeper found one of our maintenance techs with a key who ran back to the laundry room and opened the machine. I am proud to say that there aren't many hotels where employees would go to such lengths to get a box of soap! Most would just say, "Sorry but the machine is broken." We do everything within our power to satisfy.

Around 1:00 p.m. there was a big hoopla because one of the guests was having a snit over our lack of wireless internet. It seems the storm knocked that out, too. Evil, evil Mother Nature!

Our wireless provider said, “The router is behind the server, so you must call the circuit provider before we can fix our part of it.”


The only guy who knows anything about that system is working midnights today. The maintenance tech has called him twice and says he was not happy to be disturbed so he does not want to bother him again. Lucky for us the big Kahuna (the General Manager) arrived shortly after 1:00 p.m. We made him call. :) He got all the info and within an hour the company sent someone out to work on the problem. When I left at 3:15 p.m. they were still trying to fix it.

All of this is just piddly stuff in the life of a hospitality worker. But when it all happens at the same time and on my first day back when I am trying to get caught up on my own stuff……..Well, let’s just say I wish I was still cruising down the St. Mary’s river on that tour boat.

While I was away my Tango lilies started blooming. Here is 'Capuchino' Tango.....drum roll, please............. It's a little on the short side, but
she has lovely white petals with deep maroon markings.

I also have a lot of these orange lilies with dark markings, but I have forgotten what they are.

Here's a view of more of that border

Wow, I think this may be my longest post ever. Hope I didn't bore everyone.


  1. Omigosh what a day you had...I can see why you wished you were still on the river! lol I stay at hotels/motels often and I always admire the staff because I can just imagine how much work it takes to have everything running smoothly and the guests happy!! Your lilies are just gorgeous! I caught up with your posts and I must say, I really enjoyed the slide show you made of your weekend away:-)Oh and no, I didn't do the macarena this time! lol xox

  2. A day like that would have me heading back for the river!

  3. Well, knowing you can handle all that gives me a lot of insight into how you get so much done at home! You'd better have one of those tall, frosty drinks like on your river cruise.

    Lovely lilies!

  4. I hear you, girlfriend! H and I owned and operated a busy B&B for 8 years. We cooked, cleaned, made nice with the guests, gardened, etc, etc. It was exhausting but I think all our guests went away happy (for the most part). I could tell a few horror stories too, but that will have to wait for my memoirs! "-)

  5. Now I know why you find peace in your gardening-geez! Working for the public and being short-handed is terrible. Sorry there was so much going on yesterday. Hope today is better.
    Love that lily!!!

  6. It was not at all boring, but what I want to know is, does that thunder mean your garden actually got rain? I bet your lily is short because of all the dry weather.

  7. You must have been ready to put your feet up and hear NO noise what so ever!!! Your gardens look great.

  8. Zoey, this sounds like an episode of Faulty Towers!!!

    I'll bet your are glad the day is over!

  9. Wow! What a day! I don't know if I'd be able to keep my calm.

    I think the orange lilies are tigerlilies?

  10. Pea, I thought for sure you would be right out there dancing!

    Hi Susie, I so wish I could!

    Sandy! How have you been? So nice to have you stop by.

    Lostroses, I was too lazy to make one tonight. (It's a frozen delish!)

    Giddy, I want to hear those B&B stories!

    Dianne, That's why I think I could be a happy hermit. :)

    Hi Kathy, All that commotion for just 1/2 hr of rain. We are awaiting a thunderstorm tonight. Hopefully we get more rain from that one.

    Hi Laurie, nice to see you. It IS nice to get home to peace and quiet.

    Sandy, I have never seen Faulty Towers. Is it a current show? I haven't had time to watch much TV for the past, oh, say about 20 years! LOL.

    Chopsticks! Nice to see you back. No,not tiger lilies. I have the name someplace, but haven't taken the time to find it yet. Sorry to hear you have had puter problems. I know that's a pain.

  11. What a day! Happy to see you survived. Your lilies are wonderful - and I love the shots of the overall gardens. I wish we could come and take a tour of your gardens!!


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