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Refuses To Put The Issue To Bed

| NC, USA | Bad Behavior, Coworkers, Ignoring & Inattentive, Lazy/Unhelpful

(The hotel I work at has 78 rooms total and when we have big events or large groups coming all in the same night we’ll schedule two front desk clerks. When we know we will have a large amount of rooms sold to the same group of people like this, we usually hold four rooms under our manager’s name for emergency situations. Tonight I check-in a guest. I always ask if the number of nights and room type are correct, but not every guest pays attention to this. This is the case with one of our guests and shortly after checking-in my coworker answers a call from their room while I’m checking another guest in.)

Coworker: “It says right here that you are suppose to have a single king bed, not a room with two queens and I have no other rooms available tonight because we are sold out.”

(Guest speaks a bit on the other end which I can’t hear.)

Coworker: “As I said, I am sold out of rooms tonight; I have nowhere else to change your rooms.”

(Guest speaks again.)

Coworker: “Yes, I know, but I don’t have a room with two queen beds I can put you into because we are sold out.”

(I’m finished with my guest and try to point to my manager’s name in the arrival list which she ignores.)

Coworker: “There really is nothing else I can do. We are sold out tonight.”

(I try to get her attention again and point to my manager’s name so I don’t interrupt the phone call. My coworker nods that she sees it, but yet again she tells the guest she can’t do anything for her, then hangs up on the guest without notice, which is frowned upon.)

Me: “[Coworker], you know that the rooms held under [Manager] are for situations like that so we can keep the guests happy, and fix any issues like this that might come up. Why didn’t you change the room types for her? We have two queens available under [Manager] right here.”

Coworker: “She told me she had the room type changed. It’s not our fault she changed it, so we shouldn’t have to do anything.”

(Again this is not something that would be acceptable at our location or company, something she should know by now since she’s worked here twice as long as I have.)

Me: “Which guest was it?”

Coworker: “Don’t worry about it; let her deal with what she’s got herself into.”

(I am worried, because I know that the guest could post a bad review which would cause management to look into the issue, the chances of my name being listed are high since I work at a faster pace, and I don’t want to get in trouble for it. She refuses to tell me any information on who it was and I sigh internally. Moments later the guest comes down.)

Guest: “I called a while ago about changing my room type; there is only one bed in there and I asked for two queen beds before we drove into town. There is no way my husband, two coworkers, and I could possibly all sleep in one bed!”

Me: “I’m very sorry about that, ma’am. What room number are you in?”

Guest: “[Room Number]. Is there anything you can do for me? I know your coworker said that you are sold out, but I’ve worked in a hotel myself and sometimes you guys will hold rooms for things like this. Do you guys do something like that here?”

(I go to look into the issue under the information given to me and go to try and comfort the guest and reassure her that I will look into the matter and make sure I have the room type she needs for all four nights she is staying here when my coworker comes over and interrupts me.)

Coworker: “It shows when you made the reservation 20 days ago that you had it as a room with two queens and later changed it to a single king. We don’t have the rooms available to change it for you. It’s your fault, not ours, that you decided to change it.”

(I’m shocked, I’ve never heard her BLAME a guest before. She’s never been good at rewording things to at least sound polite but never BLAME the guest. I look and I do see that it went from two queens to a single king, but it could have easily been a misunderstanding when things were made or adjusted. The guest understandably has a look of shock on her face when she hears my coworker’s words.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I will look into the issue for you and see what I can do. I know I have a room with two queens available for you tonight, but I have to make sure I have all nights available for you.”

Guest: “That’s okay, I understand. Thank you for looking into making this change for me. We certainly can’t sleep four adults in one bed and I need to make other plans if we can’t make these changes.”

Coworker: “We don’t have the rooms to change you around. It’s not our fault you changed it to a king.”

Guest: “But I didn’t change it to a king. I changed it to two queens.”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, about all of the confusion. I will get this sorted out for you.”

Coworker: “It’s not our fault you changed it to a single king. We are sold out. You’ll just have to deal with the room you have.”

(This circle of me apologizing and my coworker continuously digging herself into a hole for no reason kept happening for a couple of minutes before the guest decided to ignore my coworker and thanked me again for helping, but still looking worried over my coworker’s words and behavior. I was able to change her to the room she needed without any issues, making sure I apologized for the inconvenience several times. The guest was very understanding and assured me she was just happy I didn’t listen to my coworker and managed to make the adjustment for her, all the while my coworker kept insisting we were not at fault.)

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Knows Zip About The Post Code, Part 2

| Moncton, NB, Canada | Employees, Geography, Ignoring & Inattentive

(A guest is wanting to check in. He has a prepaid reservation made through an American travel site that we don’t do very much business with, since their prices are advertised in American funds and after the conversion the customers often ending paying more than they would have if they had booked directly with us. As I pull up his reservation I notice that the company’s credit card number is missing from the reservation so once he is off to his room I give the company a call in order to get the credit card number.)

Me: “Hello, my name is [My Name], and I am the assistant general manager at [Hotel]. I am calling about a reservation for a customer named John Doe. The credit card number is not attached to the reservation and I’m going to need that information.”

Worker: “Yes, ma’am, I can certainly help you with that. May I have your name, the name of the hotel, and the name of the customer, please?”

Me: “You mean the information that I just gave you? Okay.” *I repeat the information*

Worker: “Okay, and can I have the customer’s confirmation number, please?”

Me: “I can give you our confirmation number but I wouldn’t have the one provided to the customer by your company.”

Worker: “Well, how can I look him up, then?”

Me: “…By his name, check in date, and the hotel name? That’s normally how it’s done when I have to make these kinds of calls.”

Worker: “Oh, yes, yes, okay, ma’am. Sorry. Yes, what is the hotel address then?”

(I proceed to give the street address, city and province and postal code.)

Worker: “Okay, and the zip code?”

Me: “The postal code is A1A 2B2.”

Worker: “No, the ZIP code. Five numbers.”

Me: We live in Canada; we don’t use zip codes. I’ve given you my postal code. You need to use that.”

Worker: “What is your zip code?”

Me: “Again, I don’t have a zip code. This is a Canadian address, our POSTAL CODE, is A2A 2B2.”

Worker: “Okay, I found it. This is Northwood Medical Center in North Carolina?”

Me: “What?! No, this is [Hotel] in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.”

Worker: “Okay, what is the zip code?”

Me: “NO ZIP CODE! We are NOT in the United States; we are in CANADA. As in up north, igloos and snow and toques? We have POSTAL CODES. They are six figures, letter and numbers. It is A1A 2B2.”

Worker: “Oh, I’m so sorry, madam. This is New Brunswick, New Jersey, correct?”

Me: “No! We are in Moncton, which is a city in the Canadian province of New Brunswick. We are not located in the United States. Have you tried changing the country code on your search page from the US to Canada? If it’s anything like our system you have to change the country code for the postal code or zip code to pull up the correct city.”

Worker: “Please hold while I speak to my supervisor.”

(She then sighs loudly and I hear dialing followed by ringing. I realize right away that she thinks I’m on hold and that I can’t hear her while she connects to whoever she is going to speak to.)

Worker: “Yeah, Jane, I don’t what to do here. This crazy b**** is wanting help with her reservation but she’s too dumb to know her own damn zip code so I can’t pull up the hotel to find the reservation. I’m asking and asking and she’s trying to tell me she doesn’t have a zip code. She’s giving me a bunch of letters and s*** trying to tell me that in New Brunswick, New Jersey they don’t have zip codes?”

(Pause.)

Worker: “There’s no such thing as a postal code. I’m 52 years old I’ve never even heard the word postal code. She’s just confused and doesn’t know how to read her own address. She’s probably giving me her postal box number or something. And she claims to be the assistant general manager. What a laugh.”

Me: “Excuse me, but first of all I heard everything you just said because I’m not on hold so you might want to pay a little more attention to what you’re doing before you bad mouth your clients. Second of all, those letters and numbers are in fact my business postal code. I told you number of times that we are NOT located within the United States; we are in CANADA. I have told you this a number of times and you have ignored me. Now I would like to be assisted by someone who knows how to listen and then I would like to speak to someone about making a formal complaint.”

(There is a click as the supervisor immediately connects.)

Supervisor: “Ma’am, I am so sorry about this. [Worker], transfer the call to my line, clock out, and come to my office. We need to talk.”

Worker: “I don’t… Wait, what? I don’t understand.”

Supervisor: “Most countries don’t use zip codes; they use postal codes. Remember in training when you were shown how the country codes were configured to determine the city and state or province based on the zip or postal code?”

Worker: “Yeah? So… OH! She’s not American!”

Supervisor: “Transfer the call; she can still hear you.”

Worker: “Oh, right!” *back to formal telephone voice* “Is there anything else I can help you with today, ma’am?”

Me: “No… No, you really can’t.”

Worker: “Thank you for choosing [Company]. Have a nice day.”

(The supervisor got me the information I needed just by using the customer’s name and arrival date and she allowed me to file a formal complaint which they later followed up on. I hate dealing with this company but I’m glad to know some people there have a brain.)

Related:

Knows Zip About The Post Code

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Doing Service A Disservice

| London, England, UK | Coworkers, Lazy/Unhelpful

(I work in a five-star hotel in London, as a room service associate. At times we will hire “temps,” who are sourced from an agency, to help with demand – basically zero-hour contracts. On one such occasion, the hotel function room is having a wedding party, and room service is slammed with requests. The wedding party is busy, but they manage to send one of the agency staff,  who is already well-known for not having the slightest knowledge about service, and has been told at least three times how to hold a service tray properly. He is also incredibly lazy, and will gladly step back when everyone else is busy, and complain about the work load. I decide the best course of action is to just lump it, and get on with it. I’m in the kitchen, bringing a whole tray of food down to be arranged when my manager comes by.)

Manager: “Hey, have you seen [Agency Guy]?”

Me: “Yeah, he should be in Room Service. I asked him to get the trays ready for service.”

Manager: “He’s there, but he said he’s making coffee for an order. I checked the print outs and we have no orders for coffee yet.”

Me: “Right, let me see what’s going on.”

(I proceed to walk down a flight of stairs, carrying a tray with at least six main course dishes which not only are very heavy, but are also hot to the touch. The wooden tray is flimsy, and my hands start to burn. I come into Room Service to see Agency Guy sitting down, with no trays ready, sipping on a coffee. He’s faced away from me, so I purposely slam the tray down to get his attention. He jumps from his seat, and actually pretends like he was busy.)

Agency Guy: “Oh! I was just—”

Me: “Save it. We are too busy right now for me to want to listen to your excuses. Just get the trays ready, and send them up as soon as possible.”

Agency Guy: “But I don’t know how to do this!”

Me: “I’ve shown you three times already how to arrange a tray properly. It’s not rocket science. Fine, you go to the kitchen, get the food, and be back here sharpish.”

Agency Guy: “Okay, okay. Whatever…”

(I’m fuming at this guy right now, but we are stacked with orders, so I usher him away to the kitchen whilst I get everything ready to send up. In that time I get three calls from three separate rooms enquiring rather impolitely where their food is. Keep in mind they are paying top rate for this. I promise them their food will be with them shortly, and send up the trays. I come back 15 minutes later to find no other food ready, or Agency Guy. I manage to bump into my manager whilst looking for him.)

Me: “Hey, have you seen [Agency Guy]?”

Manager: “He told me you didn’t need his help anymore.”

Me: “What..?”

Manager: “He came to me and said you had it under control, so he’s helping us now.”

Me: “But I still have seven orders to do. I had to comp my last three because he hasn’t lifted a f****** finger in helping me yet!”

(I very rarely swear, even to my manager. But right now I am furious; my manager reads my tone instantly.)

Manager: “I will speak to him. Just do your best and comp more food if you need to. Okay?”

(Before I can say anything, the manager hurries back to the wedding party. I spend the next hour literally running between the kitchen, room service, and guest rooms, just to get back on track. At the end of it, my manager comes back to me.)

Manager: “Okay, we are done now. I have asked [Agency Guy] to come see you before he leaves. He was just as lazy in the wedding, so if he tries to protest, I’ll back you up.”

Me: *evil grin* “That would be great.”

Manager: “[Agency Guy], [My Name] would like to have a word with you.”

(I wait for my manager to hide away within earshot, as the Agency Guy walks over.)

Agency Guy: “You wanted to speak to me?”

Me: “I did. How do you think today went?”

Agency Guy: “Amazing! I worked so hard in here, and in the wedding! You were a bit slow, though, so—”

Me: “Okay, stop right there. First of all, you aren’t that good. All through today I had to chase you to find out what you were doing; half the time you were idle or drinking coffee. Second, you didn’t even pull any weight in the wedding. And third, don’t ever insult my ability. You just pissed off from here because you didn’t want to do the work [Manager] pays you to do, which meant that I had to do your job, as well as my own.”

Agency Guy: “Well, f*** you. Manager promised me your position anyway, because you’re slow as f***!”

Me: “Really?”

(I open a door behind me; my manager is standing there which causes the Agency Guy to go red in the face.)

Me: “Is that true, [Manager]?”

Manager: “You know it isn’t. [Agency Guy] get out of my hotel. You’re fired.”

(Agency Guy tried to argue, but he was already embarrassed enough he just hightailed it out of there. A week later the same agency lost the contract because of poorness of quality, so we outsourced our contract elsewhere. Guess who came back under another name, and was promptly ejected from the hotel?)

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