Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Long Overdue Post

Oy... During the winter slump, nary a person will check in to this dump. Originally, the lack of posts here was a result of that. If nobody's checking in, what's there for me to talk about? But what was once due to a lack of people to make fun of soon became due to sheer apathy. But I'm back, and once again I plan to update HOTEL OF THE DAMNED on a fairly regular basis! Enjoy!

So, to kick things back off I thought I'd make fun of my new dumbass boss who has been hired on after my last post here. Naturally, like nearly every manager at every other piece-of-shit hotel in America like my own, he's an Indian (Seriously, what's the deal? Why does it seem like almost every hotel in America is Indian owned and operated?) He goes by Steve, though that's not his real name of course because he's Indian. His real name is Sukrut or something like that. He and his wife lives here in one of the suites, like two other Indian families who are employed as housekeepers.

So, it's cool to have somebody living here that we can fall back upon when shit blows up in your face (because only one person is ever working the front desk at a time), but Steve is basically a worthless, lazy, piece of shit. And his wife has occasionally done some work at the hotel, but she's not even legal to work here (she's just as much of a worthless, lazy, piece of shit as her husband anyway).

Over at the Quality Inn, a property owned by the same guys as my Days Inn and is also managed by Steve, the entire non-Indian housekeeping staff plus one front desk clerk quit on account of him. I don't know the specifics, but the clerk, a guy about my age named Nick, claimed he was treated like a dog by them. One day, due to forces beyond his control, Nick was just a couple minutes late, yet Steve reprimanded him for it. Eventually, because of Steve, Nick got his hours cut back to only 8 per week, at which point he quit. Nick got the last laugh though, because Steve was doing a Valentine's Day special deal where we were going to give out wine to guests who sign up for it. Problem is, we don't have the license to sell alcohol and Nick reported us for it. Of course, nobody was stupid enough to make a reservation for such a fucking retarded deal anyway. Who the hell would want to come here for Valentine's Day, anyway?

And on another subject: This guy is the epitome of laziness. We had our breakfast food delivered and I was in the back room putting it up. As expected, I got no help from Steve, who was there when it was delivered. Furthermore, we have to sign a sheet when the shit gets delivered. Naturally, he won't sign it himself; he directs the delivery guy to take it to me in the back room for me to sign it while I'm in the middle of putting everything away. There are numerous examples I can give, this is only the most recent.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Bionic Woman

I swear, sometimes my boss pulls so many double, triple, quadruple, and sometimes even quintuple shifts that I think she's a damn robot. And no, there's no typos there. I mean it exactly how I said it: She works at times up to five hours straight with no time off. Oh, and she works two jobs.

Most of the time, she'll work all three shifts straight on a holiday, which included yesterday (Labor Day). I've never had to work Christmas or Thanksgiving and I've only worked one hour on the Fourth of July during my entire time here. Sounds good, right? Well, yes, it is good, however, as with all computers, there's some bugs in her programming.

Normally I go to my internship on Mondays. This Labor Day, which of course was a Monday, she had me working though. I pointed out the fact that I had my internship, and she said she would change the schedule to give me Monday off and have me working Tuesday.

But on Saturday evening, I flip over the schedule to see that she hasn't changed it. She was out of town that weekend, and I had no way of contacting her. So I had no idea what I was supposed to be working and I had no idea what day to tell my internship boss when I would be in.

I found out too late that I would in fact be off Monday and working today. SO, because of her faulty programming I guess, I missed a day at my internship. Right now I'm sort of fuming, but I suppose I can get over it since I actually started going a few weeks earlier than I had to, so I'm not behind or anything. She's just screwed up so horribly before when she pulls all of the continuous shifts... Stay tuned, and perhaps tomorrow I'll post a first "Blast From the Past" talking about one major screw up of hers she did when she worked 36 hours straight. You'll just love it!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Thanks for the Tip...

I used to work at a Best Western (before getting canned and moving one exit up the interstate to Days Inn). There, we'd always get tips for taking towels, helping groups unload luggage, etc. BUT when I came over to the Days Inn, where we regularly only have one person manning the desk at any time and thus can't leave it to do those kinds of things, stopped getting most tips. Here and there, when there's something that I have to leave the front desk for, things like taking a cot to a room, I will get tipped, but it's much much rarer here than it was back at Best Western.

But as it just so turns out, I got a tip about ten minutes ago. For what? Hell if I know. I had some guy come in, says he's doing something at some gun show down the road and says he's stayed here a lot before and that we usually give him a special rate. I look up his history, and sure enough I see where he got a special rate last time, so I agree to give it to him again this time. But after he's paid and everything, he hands me five one-dollar bills.

I have no idea why the guy gave me the five bucks, but if you're going to give me free money, you're not going to hear me complain!

Friday, August 14, 2009

10 Things Guests Do All The Time That Really Annoys Me o_O

Well, it's been sort of slow around here lately. Nothing big has happened that's been blogworthy. So, I thought I would combine 10 tiny things, of which the combined blogworthiness should be more than enough the warrant a post. As the title suggest, these ten things are stuff guests do all the time, and it's really annoying. To me, anyway.

1. Cutting Through the Truck Parking

I suppose what annoys me about this is that I just don't get it. When you enter our facility, you have to go around (or through as so many do) the truck parking lot, which is nothing more than a large graveled over patch of land. If you take the road around the parking you have to make a u-turn to head towards the rooms and the lobby, but it's a wide u-turn. When you cut through the gravel like many people do, you have to make a much sharper turn that many people simply can't make, resulting in people having to shift it into reverse to get around.

But what really gets me confused by this is why they want to do it. Are so many people that impulsive that they would want to kick up all of that dust and gravel, getting their cars completely filthy and perhaps putting a scratch or two in their shiny paint jobs, just to get checked in a couple of seconds sooner?

2. Using the Scanner/Printer as a Table

We have one of those scanner/printer combos sitting at the counter of the front desk. The top of it almost comes up even with the counter. For some reason, so many people seem to think it's a table and instead of simply handing the things I ask for to me, they'll sit it on the scanner. Now, you don't need perfect eyesight to figure out that the top of it isn't even close to being flat. So what do you think happens when somebody sits something on it? It slides/rolls off. And I have to get down on my hands and knees to dig it out from the tangle of cords that's at the bottom of the hole the scanner sits in. So many pens have been lost this way, but naturally when a credit card or a drivers license falls back there we can't just leave it.

3. Stealing Pens and/or Simply not Putting Them Back

Ok, well these are really two separate, yet related, annoyances.

What the hell people would want a Days Inn pen in with their pen collection is beyond me. However, believe or not, there are many people out there who steal the pens we put out on the front desk because they say they collect them. It's not like Days Inn gives us these pens for free, either. When people steal five pens at a time as one drunk did, it costs us money.

The other annoyance is that guests simply won't put the pens back in the cup or hand them back to me when their done using them. It seems like common courtesy to me, considering how easy it is to knock one of the counter (and how easy they roll of the damn scanner).

4. "Bu-But in These Economic Times..."

We get quite a few people who think our rates are simply through the roof. I can't help but laugh (on the inside) at these people when they walk out the door, because there isn't anybody in the area that that charges less than us. One of the more common things that these people will say is "How can you charge so much these days when the economy is so bad?" To these people I, in my mind, will say that this is not a damn charity. It is a business, and as a business, we too are affected by the economy. Considering everything that we offer and the rates everyone else charges (the Holiday Inn across the road from us charges at least $40 more than us), it's a damn bargain. So fuck off.

In the cases of the first weeks of May and October, when James Madison University holds graduation and family night causing every single hotel in the state to book up and raise their rates to well over $100, I can only point to one of the most basic laws of economics: Supply and Demand.

5. Not Having Their Shit Ready When Making a Reservation

We front desk "associates" have more to do than listen to you babble on as you scrounge around for something to write your confirmation number down on or while you go out to your car to get your credit card. These are things ALL hotels ask you for, so it makes perfect god damned sense that if you call us with the intentions of making a reservation you need to have your shit ready. While you're searching around for the items you should have known you needed, I'm going to have a bajillion other callers whom I can't answer because you lacked the common sense to be ready to make the reservation.

6. Not Throwing Their Trash Away

We don't have anybody dedicated specifically to the continental breakfast. The same person who works the front desk in the mornings checking people out and listening to their complaints (this is when they usually bring them up) also has to manage the continental breakfast by keeping things clean, refilling trays with food, etc. So very often dickwads will leave their trash sitting out, either on one of the tables or on the counter where all of the food is. Also people will frequently put used sugar packets back into the basket with the unopened ones. Occasionally they'll do the same with the half-and-half. Often times I'll find newspapers strewn across the tables and brochures people picked up off of the stands lying around too. It's fucking ridiculous how these pigs are.

7. Calling Me in the Middle of Me Doing Something

Ok, I can't get mad at people who do this. How are they supposed to know that I'm extremely busy checking people in? Or I'm already on the phone with someone else? I suppose I can get mad at those who call while I'm already on the phone and also call back two seconds later after not getting through, though. For fucks sake, your time isn't that important. And if I'm so busy that I can't answer the phone, then it will surely take me more than a few seconds to finish what I'm doing and get around to listening to your problems. When you call your mama and get a busy tone, do you call back immediately afterwards? No? Well why the fuck would you do it with a hotel?

8. Bawing at not Being Able to use a Coupon on the Weekend

It says right there on the coupon that it's not valid on the weekend, people. So don't get so fucking pissed off when I say that I can't accept it and that the rate is higher than what's in the book.

9. Paying with $100 Bills

Paying me with a $100 bill isn't that bad when the rate is $60 or $70. But when use a coupon and the rate costs less than half of what you're paying me, that causes us problems. Most people pay with credit cards, so if you give us a $100 bill forcing us to fork over a huge difference, it makes it difficult to give change to those who come after you. We also have to drop all of the cash we took in during our shift into the safe. Now if I've only taken in $49.95, but I was given a $100 bill... See the problem?

10. Giving me More Information than I Need

This applies especially towards cars. All we ever ask for is the make and model. Yet for some reason, some people seem to want to tell me everything about their clunker. They get all hung up on trying to figure out what year it is, then when they figure that out the tell me the make, model, color, and license plate number when I only asked for the make and model. And every once in a while I'll get somebody who doesn't want to give enough information. I ask for the make and model, and all they tell me is "Chevy." I ask "What kind?" and they tell me "Chevy pickup." Now I'm no expert at automobiles or mechanics, but I'm pretty darned sure that GM doesn't have and "pickup" models of trucks. I'm pretty sure they're all something along the lines of Chevy Silverado or Chevy Avalanche.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Break In

I hear about hotels getting robbed all the time. After all, there's usually only one or two people on duty and, unlike gas stations, you don't see the front desk clerks stuffing shotguns underneath of the counter in the movies. Last night was the first time I ever heard of someone robbing a hotel room. It was also only the third time I ever had to call the police for anything, and it was the first time I ever had to call the police twice in one day about two separate issues (see previous post -- and fyi, the police never came to get those two).

So here's the deal. Last night at about 10 o'clock I get a call from a guest I just checked in saying that the window to room 139 was busted out. I go down and verify that the window was indeed broken. So I assume that what happened was was that the guest who was staying in that room was drunk and broke it himself. I assume that it's no major issue, so I proceed back to the front desk to try and call the manager or owner to see how much to charge this guy for damages. The manager doesn't answer the phone and just as I'm about to call the owner, a whole shit load of people walk in so I'm wasn't able to call him.

At about 10:45, the guest staying in room 139 comes waltzing into the lobby to tell me that his room has been broken into. Naturally, I call the police and ask to get somebody up here. But this guest... He was just a complete asshole. He keeps asking me who called the hotel asking for him, and I tell him that nobody did. He accuses me of lying, and is all like, "Why are you so nervous? I'm the one who got all of his stuff stolen!" and "Oh no, you aren't leaving until the police get here!" Well, hell. I guess people breaking into hotel rooms, what other guests are going to say about it, the fact that I was working when it happened, and the future of my job are nothing to be the slightest bit worried about. Things got pretty heated, but thankfully there wasn't anybody else in the lobby at the time. And besides... I was planning on staying until the police arrived. Guess who wasn't, though.

So the police arrive and I take them down to room 139. The guest wasn't in there, because I had assigned him to another room, we assumed, so I brought a key to let them in. After a quick look, they want to talk to the guest. I tell them I moved him to 140, which is right around the corner. However... Nobody's in there. The curtain is still pulled back so that's easy enough to see, but I get a key for it and let the police in to make sure.

As it so turns out, the "victim" of this break in is no where to be found. Joe, the other frontdesk who had barely just arrived, said a little while later after checking room 140 that he saw the guest's black jeep wrangler drive around the building -- but when he got to a point where he could see the police cruisers, he abruptly turns around and left in a hurry. Basically, based on the fact that he didn't stick around to see the police, the police officers said they think the guest was drunk, had locked himself out of the room, and to get back in to his stuff, busted out the window to reach in and turn the door handle to let himself back in.

Needless to say, we last saw him at about 11 o'clock, not longer after I called the cops. Just as I was about to walk out the door to go home at about 11:45, a woman whom I'm guessing to be the guy's wife called for him. It was kinda funny how I had to explain everything to her. She was just like, "Oh, Lord..." and that was about the end of it, thank God. I had to be back in to work again in less than eight hours, so I was as happy as hell to get out of there.

By the way, guess what this guy's name was! It was Martin Luther. That's some funny shit right there, if you ask me.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

"It's gone on long enough," he says.

So our maintenance guy, Rafiel, is about to clock out for the day and leave. Before he does though, he tells me that I need to call 911. He doesn't make it sound urgent, so I was kind of wondering if he wasn't joking. But then he says he's serious, and explains that there's two people having sex out in the parking lot.

I thought of that whole get a room "joke" to couples who are getting all lovey dovey in public, and realized that was somewhat ironic since they were doing it in a hotel parking lot. But anyway, this is ridiculous. I mean, children stay here all the time. It's total bullshit. And apparently it happens all the time, and as Rafiel told me, "It's gone on long enough."

Anyway, from my perspective, I can't get a peek at any of the action. I don't know if they're hot, two men, two women, a threesome or what. I've called the police and they've sent someone out to us, I'm just waiting for them to get here. If anything else happens that's worth posting, I'll keep you updated.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Hey, do I get that thing I signed when I checked in?"

When a guest checks in to our fine establishment, they have to sign a page that has all of their information on it, such as their address and what not. But before we hand them the page to be signed, we first take an imprint of their credit card. All we do is imprint an image of the card on the bottom of the page.

When guests check in to a room, then find that they don't like it and decide to leave, 9 times out of 10 they'll ask for that page back, as was the case with one moron today. He didn't like the fact that he had to carry his luggage a couple of yards to his room, as his room wasn't on the parking lot side of the building. So the guy decides to leave since I have nothing available on the parking lot side to give him, but not before asking if he can have that paper he signed. I have to explain to him that his credit card wasn't charged, and that we keep those pages. He asks me why he can't have it, and I explain that I don't make the policy. He throws a hissy fit, says "Well now I know not to ever stay at a Days Inn," and leaves. As he walks out the door, I here him muttering something about how the place is empty and how he can't believe we have nothing on the parking lot side.

Now, this guy shows many of the same characteristics of just about all of the dickwads who causes us trouble. The first, they seem to think that this little piece of paper is the only record of them that we have. Apparently they think we could wave it up in the air and pray to the almighty god, Visa, holy is thy name, and have the card charged and the money placed in our accounts. They're never worried about the fact that we still have a record of them and their credit cards in our systems which we never delete (and technically can't be deleted; after all, why do you think the government breaks their hard drives into a million pieces and incinerates them when disposing of them?). So naturally it goes without saying that they never ask "We've been removed from your system, right?"

Secondly, there's the whole "never stay at Days Inn" remark. All of these dickwads seem to think that all Days Inns are owned by this giant cooperation. In reality, Days Inn is a franchise. Meaning, each Days Inn individually and separately owned and operated. Saying you're not going to stay at any Days Inn because of a bad room you got at one in some shitty little town is like saying that you aren't going to shop at Walmart ever again because the milk you bought at Food Lion was spoiled. So go ahead and not stay at any more Days Inns anymore... It's not like we were getting any money from any of the others in the first place, you jackass.

And the third and final thing (for this post at least), the whole "oh but they look so empty" business. Well, duh we look empty. Just look at the damn time. People generally eat diner at about 5:30, you know. I doubt people like to spend half a day cooped up in a hotel room either, and would like to spend the evening out watching a movie or bowling or something. And then let's not forget about all of the reservations remaining, and since they got their rooms days, weeks, months, and occasionally, a year in advance of the walk-ins, we like to give them the better rooms on the parking lot side. Of course, in this particular case with this particular dickwad we had maybe five reservations at the time. But still, given everything else I've just said...