I dropped by the hotel just to pick up my check. I’m not even working that night, but the second shift girl puts an incoming call on hold as soon as she sees me and pleads with me to watch the front desk so she can go for a smoke break.
“It’s been really dead. I bet you won’t have to do anything except this one call! Ten minutes, tops! Pleeez?” "Okay – go and smoke.” Famous last words.
I pick up the call she had placed on hold and a woman begins ranting about a group booking issue as several guests arrive to checkin. After empathizing, then trying to help and finding I can’t get even a word in edgewise to explain what solutions were available to her, I accept that the caller is not listening, refuses to be put on hold again and apparently does not need to stop talking even to breathe, so I proceed to help the growing line of guests in front of me as I hold the phone under my chin. She can be C for Caller and I’ll be ME.
ME: Yes, I understand … (to guest) Hello, and welcome to Blah-Blah Hotel! Thank you for waiting, how may I help you?
ME: I’m sorry to hear that … (to guest) Okay, I have your reservation – I have you here for X nights, X people in a pool-view King Studio at an XX discount, is that correct? Thank you, and may I please have your picture i.d., your credit card and your XX card to validate your discounted rate?
ME: Yes, I can see how that might be upsetting… (to guest) I’m just noticing that I don’t see club information here for you so that you can earn blah and blah for every stay – are you a member? Because if you’d like to sign up …
C: ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME????
ME: Yes, Ma’am, I’m listening. (back to guest) Yes, I can take care of all that for you. I just need your initials here, signature there, and your vehicle information – oh, it’s a rental?
C: I SAID – ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME????
ME: Ma’am? (I continue to conduct the rest of the checkin and give directions in sign language; keys issued and guest on his way, I smile and motion to the next guest)
C: I can hear that, you know! I can’t believe that you are ignoring me and helping someone else while I am still speaking!
ME: (to guest) Hello, sir! Welcome to Blah-Blah Hotel! Thank you all so much for your patience and I’ll be with everyone just as soon as I can. (guest, with an understanding smile, slides me his cc and id and confirmation so I can start his checkin because some guests are awesome. I return to the caller, who miraculously has stopped speaking now.) Ma’am? Are you still there?
C: OF COURSE I’M STILL HERE!!!
ME; Well, then – there are solutions to your issues which I would be happy to discuss with you, but I do have people who would like to be checked into their rooms. and I’m afraid there is no one else available to assist them. May I either place you on a brief hold, take your number to return your call or transfer you to a department manager who may be better able to help you?
C: NO, YOU MAY … YOU … WHAT IS YOUR NAME???? She’s actually sputtering now.
ME: Thank you, ma’am. The manager’s name is Ms. DirectorofSales, who I believe you’ve already dealt with and if she is away from her desk, please leave her a detailed message with a callback number because I’m certain she’ll want to return your call as soon as possible. (Actually, she’s out of the office. For the rest of the day.)
C: NO! I SAID …
ME: Transferring you now …
I fully expected her to call back, but instead she left a blistering message for the DOS, which was where the problem originated in the first place, so – perfect.
By the time my coworker returned, the lobby was clear again. Refreshed by her break, she gave me a bright, happy smile and said, “See? What did I tell you? Dead, right?” So I briefed her on the surprising doings of the Spawn of the Undead and then left to go to the bank and hopefully finish the rest of my days off in relative peace.