Thursday, March 18, 2010

Apparently the Sky is Falling...

For most people change is good. It means fresh, new, starting over, a revolution perhaps. But for some, change is worrisome, troubling, depressing, and a time for panic!
The latter seems to be the consensus around the TL lately. Without going into too many details (for fear of offending anybody or airing out dirty laundry in the public sphere) the TL is changing and it's people have started to panic. I am not criticizing the thought to panic as I myself turned quickly to panic when I saw the forthcoming changes but I have other panicking issues at hand that need to be taken care of.
The atmosphere here is heavy and depressing. While I don't usually wake up at 5am to gleefully jump out of bed and sing my way to work, it has become a major burden to even think about coming in the next day.
If you can't tell... I do not do change very well...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Sign of the Times

It's 8:15 in the AM hours on a Saturday at the good ol' TL. I have been here since 6am. Thus I have been here for two hours and fifteen minutes (what a mathematician am I? lol).

The reason I am outlining how long I have been here today is because normally on a June 20th at this point I would have seen or talked to at least 5 people by now as they walk through our front lobby. At this point, I have not seen a single soul. It's like I'm working in a ghost town (One of the ex-employees used to swear this building was haunted... I think not).

Ever since the economy started to go downhill earlier this year, I have been saying that the tourism industry would get hit hard. So far I have not been wrong, but even this is worse than I expected. Take last night as an example: Last night we had a total of 8 rooms occupied. 8 ROOMS... 8 ROOMS occupied out of 56 ROOMS. Again I am not a mathematical genius but that's 48 rooms that were completely empty on the night of JUNE 19, 2009.
I am absolutely flabbergasted! Normally I enjoy it when it's nice and slow because that means I rarely have to do much (and let's face it, I'm notoriously lazy), but having only 8 rooms occupied on the eve of the eve of the first official day of summer is quite ridiculous!
Last year on June 19, 2008 we had a total of 25 rooms occupied. I'm not saying that we were completely booked or that we were so busy we had to turn people away, but that is 17 more rooms than we had last night.

This brings me to my current dilemma...
For those of you who actually know me personally, will know how much of a people person I am. For those of you who actually know me personally, will know how much I like to talk.
Those of you who actually know me personally, will know what it's like to talk to me when I haven't had personal contact with another human being for a couple of hours.
Those of you who actually know me personally, can imagine what the first poor shmuck who dares to tip toe into the front lobby, will be faced with.

For those of you who don't know me personally, trust me... it's bad when I finally have contact with another human being after having hours of alone time!

So what is a self proclaimed "people-person" front desk supervisor to do when faced with such a horrible dilemma and feeling of seclusion?
Write in her blog for one, which I have noticed that because of the low occupancy we are currently dealing with, has very little stories to tell. I was thinking about that the other day actually... I thought to myself "How the heck am I supposed to continually update a blog about the goings on of a small local hotel, let alone write a book eventually, if nobody is traveling?" While this Student turned Front Desk Supervisor turned Blog Writer is not too concerned about her current position or employment vanishing anytime soon, I can't help but wonder, what if something happens and all of a sudden there is no longer a TL to tell stories about?
This is a very frightening prospect!

For now though, there is still a TL. With a TL there is still a Front Desk Supervisor. Within this Front Desk Supervisor there are still stories to tell. While the stories may not be as plentiful as they would be with higher occupancy rates, there will still be stories, and as a result there will always be a Tales from the TL.

Thump, Thump.... Thump thump thump thump thump thump... I can hear the footsteps now, coming down the stairs.

I have to go!

Human Contact!


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Guest List: Bank Robbers--> Checked In!

So I realize it's been awhile since I've last posted, however it doesn't mean that the TL has been without excitement. In fact, just last week our lovely little hotel was swarmed with police cruisers. Eight in total to be exact! Let me tell you about my day...

It's 9:30am and a woman from one of the rooms on the top floor calls down and asks me if she can stay another night. I tell her that yes she can but I would need another night's payment by 11am. Less than half an hour later, she comes down and pays for the room with 1 fifty dollar bill, $20 in toonies, $5 in loonies, $22 in quarters, one dime, and three pennies. I thought it was odd that she was paying in such small change but I never asked about it. She joked that she had so much small change because she was a waitress and it was from tips. I thought to myself, "if I was a waitress getting tips wouldn't I try to exchange all those quarters for perhaps a twenty and a toonie... you know, lighten the load?" Of course, I never thought anything further... I was being handed money, that's all that mattered!

Just before eleven, a male guest walked through our front lobby out into the parking lot towards his car. All of a sudden there were three dark SUV's that raced into our parking lot and cornered the guest's car. Two people from each vehicle jumped out, drew their guns, and was forcing this person onto the ground face down. It was quite litterally like something you see on your television!!!

One of the officer's came in yelling, telling us to stay away from the windows and duck behind the front desk. She then told me to figure out which room this guest was tied to then asked if there was someone else in the room. That room was the same one that the woman with all the small change came from! Three other officers ran upstaires. The woman was just closing the room door when they burst through it. I was sitting in the back office and all I could hear is the police officers yelling at her to get down on the ground with her hands behind her back. The woman must not have ever been arrested before because she seemed to be scarred shitless (pardon the language) as she was bawling her eyes out while they brought her downstaires in handcuffs and placing her in one of the awating police cruisers. Once the male suspect noticed that she had been hancuffed and was crying he was trying to console her by telling her everything would be alright, meanwhile he himself was being shoved into a separate police cruiser.

Of course with all this excitement comes the paperwork and so I had to give a statement (which I have never done before... shocking). They took whatever information we had on the two suspects, and the room that they had occupied was under investigation for a little more than 24 hours.

The police at the time only told us that the male was suspected of robbery. However it wasn't until this Tuesday that we read in the paper that not only were these two suspected Bank Robbers, they had robbed 11 banks in the past 7 weeks!!!

Read on...

All I have to say is CRAZYNESS!!! Too much excitement for one day!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

1 Man, 3 Police Cruisers, 6 Police Officers = Frightening!

Alright, so before I go on with the "Main Event" or main point of my story here, I have to tell you a side story which I thought was quite funny yet slightly embarrassing.

Sometimes in all his wittiness, my father will joke about being pulled over by cops. Usually in these situations he jokes by saying "Honest Ociffer..." (pronounced Osiffer... usually indicates a wee bit of intoxication). Anyways, I have always said that because he says it so often, I will one day make the mistake of saying Ociffer instead of Officer...

So the other day just before I got off shift, 3 police cruisers pulled up to the hotel and 6 police officers walk into the lobby. In my happy-go-lucky style I go to say "Hello officers!" but instead out of my mouth comes, "Helloo Ociffers... *shit* Officers". We all laugh at my stupid mistake (they didn't know it came from a joke about driving intoxicated).


So after we shared a quick laugh at my stupidity, one of the officers says "I need you to stop everything you are doing. We are looking for this guy (shows a picture). His credit card statement shows that his credit card was used here this morning."

EEeeeeek, I think to myself, I checked him out of the hotel earlier this morning!!! I proceeded to tell the officers that he had checked out earlier that morning and that I hadn't seen him since. The officers thanked us for our help and said "If he returns CALL 911 IMEDIATELY!"

WTF!!! What does that mean??? I mean obviously it means that they are desperate to find this person whoever he is. Needless to say, ths person is now on our "Do Not Rent List"...


Warning: Athletes (and their parents) are coming! Part 2

Ok so just a note/tip about kids or adolescents staying in hotels. If you are a coach, parent chaperon, teacher, or helper of some sort and you have brought a team or group to a hotel, please make sure you check the rooms with the kids/adolescents to make sure they haven't forgotten anything.

In the past we have found little things in the rooms that young guests have forgotten such as cell phone chargers, cell phones, stray socks and once there was a young girl who accidently left her thong in between the bed sheets. I felt bad for that girl because the adults had checked that room and had made sure to give her thong back to her in the front lobby with every one around.

Anyways, onto my story... About half an hour after Team A checked out and left for the airport, I got a call... "Hello this is the coach from Team A," I reply, "What'd you forget?" He says "well one of the kids forgot their driver's liscence and another forgot his glasses". So I told him that I would have houskeeping look for the items and that we would mail them back to the coach.

Fast forward another half hour, the phone rings... "Hi, I'm one of the players from Team A. I forgot my cell phone in the room. Can you send it with _______'s ID and glasses."

Fast forward to 11:30 am once housekeeping had started cleaning the rooms. This time I get a call from the head housekeeper. "Ok, so I have a list of things to give you to add to the Lost and Found. All items are from the rooms from Team A."

Right now, I'm thinking ok so I am sending them a driver's licence, pair of glasses, and a cell phone... What else could there be???

Well... the following is the complete list of items that we need to send to Team A:
- 1 wallet with driver's licence and care card
- 1 pair of glasses
- 1 pair of sunglasses
- 1 bottle of contacts cleanser
- 1 football
- 1 John Deer trucker's hat
- 2 Athlete's First Aid Books
- 5 dirty socks (two black, 3 white)

Oh aannnnd... not 1 but 2 little red foot scooters like the one below.
Needless to say, the moral of the story is, ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS check your hotel room before you leave!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Warning: Athletes (and their parents) are coming! Part 1

Alright! It is March. What happens in March? Spring Break of course! For other hotel sites in more upbeat and popular destinations such as Florida, Spring Break might bring crazy high school and college students who party and get drunk, trash hotel rooms, vomit everywhere, and of course throw the occasional goat into the pool. However, my sleepy little hotel does not receive any of those absurdities (especially not the goat in the pool thing... probably because we don't have a pool).
No no, Spring Break at the TL brings Sports Groups! Mostly hockey teams... and all the "fun" that comes with them! I'm talking adolescent males high on testosterone and adrenaline; running, jumping, stomping up and down the stairs and hallways; disgustingly foul smelling hockey gear; and of course, Hockey Parents!!!

We had two different teams in our lovely little hotel this past weekend,we'll call them Team A and Team B for the sake of anonymity. Team A came in as a group, meaning they had four or five coaches/parent chaperons (all male might I add). Team B had each player's family come individually.

Either way, one night we had a couple of complaints from other guests about noisy people, foul language, and the possibility of these people being drunk at 3:30 in the wee hours of the morning. Normally when we have sports teams come in with adolescents (of either gender), we sometimes worry about those adolescents being rowdy. The interesting thing about these worries is that they almost NEVER come true... for the adolescents at least.

It turns out the COACHES/CHAPERONS of Team A decided to all gather in one room and get completely SMASHED! I'm talking conversations that you can hear word for word in the rooms below that one. Every second word was one only a sailor and an Irish man fit into a normal conversation. When the night shift called up to the room they pretended they had been asleep and that the phone call woke them up. Then when the night shift person went up she saw the main coach scurrying (and I mean scurry... like a squirrel) down the hallway to his room with an armful of liquor bottles giggling away.

The ironic thing about this is that on the team's itinerary it has a portion that says "dress code is in effect" in which it lists the dress code and under the dress code it says "strict code of conduct is in effect". I guess the "strict code of conduct" doesn't apply to the coaches.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Bells and Whistles

I thought to myself today, Kari, what has happened this past week at the hotel? What could you write about this week? Then I realized that this week had been pretty amazingly boring!!! How am I ever supposed to write an entire book if nothing happens???
Anyways, so then I remembered that way back in December of 2007 I had written an entry in my personal blog about the fire alarm going off at work and I thought I'd share that with you all!
Sunday, December 16, 2007

If you were staying in a hotel and the fire alarm went off at 6:15 in the wee hours of the morning, would you demand a discount???

I arrived at work at about five minutes to six, and proceeded to chat with the night clerk about anything and everything. We talked until ten after six (as I'm sure you are all aware, I like to talk). He leaves. Two minutes later my ears are in pain as the fire alarm goes off! I didn't even have time to put my purse away.

Not knowing specifically what to do, I grabbed the walk-around phone and the phone numbers list and I high-tailed it out of the building to call anyone and everyone!

Firemen came and went, guests moaned and complained, and I greeted everyone with a bright and happy, yet somewhat hesitant, "good morning!"

What caught me by surprise where the guests that decided that because the fire alarm woke them up at 6:15 in the morning, they deserve no wait, they are entitled to a discount on their rooms! How greedy and money grabbing can we get??? I mean seriously! Even though the building was not actually on fire per say, if it was then this fire alarm just saved your freaking lives!!! I could understand if it was actually our fault that the alarm went off (which it wasn't) but these people had the nerve to say that due to them having to wake up at 6:15 for an event that could have potentially saved their lives, they deserve money! If a fire alarm went off at the local McDonald's, would you demand that you get your money back for your happy meal because your eating was disrupted??? I think NOT!

Now that that ranting is over, let's talk safety kids!
Ever since I was a little girl I was always told that when you hear a fire alarm in the building that you are in, you run your scrawny little ass out of the building to safety! As a result, my first instinct this morning was to get the heck out of the hotel!
Other people's first instincts...?
Hey, thats the fire alarm. I wonder whats going on. Hmmm this must be a false alarm... they happen so often these days! Well, the front desk supervisor is standing outside with a couple of other people. Oh look, firetrucks! Two of them! And with the trucks come firemen! Whats going on? Oh, she's waving me to come downstaires but... gee it's just too cold outside. I'll stay here AND BURN MY A$$ OFF!!!

Either way, it turns out there was somebody playing with matches and lighters and there was black soot all over the desk in one of the rooms. Nothing actually burned in terms of the hotel or hotel accessories but somebody was burning something (although they still deny even being in the room... Stupid Jerk Off!)

So just to recap the main lessons for today, when a fire alarm goes off:
1)Get your sh!t together and get out of the building.

2) Don't expect to get a discount because you were so "rudely interrupted" by a potentially life saving piece of equipment, EVEN if it turns out to be a false alarm.

3) Thank the staff at the place where the alarm is going off for properly maintaining and making sure the fire alarm actually goes off when the building IS onfire!!!