As some of you know my love for travelling took me to a very -ironically- predictable line of work: hospitality.
It is all I have done all my life. I studied it. I work in a travel agency and managed a hostel while studying and after moving to London found a job in a restaurant and then front desk in hotels – which is where I am building my career.
Since I’ve started something in me started to change. For example:
– if someone looks lost I always go: ‘hello, are you ok, would you like some help getting anywhere?’
– I clean and stack my own plates at restaurants; no, I don’t care how fancy it is, it just happens. One moment I am complimenting the food to my partner, the next I have the salad plate on top of the bread plate which is neatly stacked on top of my main plate which is balanced on the tray or whatever the food comes in. Knife and fork nicely put on top; food mainly in one of the parts. I think people actually are very impressed with this considering how clumsy I am.
– following this, I always move to try and help the waiter picking up the plates just to make it easier on them.
– always tip!
– when doing a favour to someone, I no longer start with ‘you’re welcome!’. No… now I say ‘it’s no problem at all!’
– always open doors and let people through
– developed a poker face towards people that have absolutely no idea what it means working in costumer service; except the famous: the guest is always right! How will you compensate me for raining in London and inconvenience my holiday?’ Excuse me sir, next time give me a quick call and I will have a word with the Weather.
– multi-tasking. I can check two people inn while re-cutting keys, printing emails and looking at the bill of a third.
– saying ‘thank you’, ‘good morning’, ‘have a good day’ is so natural that I don’t even realize what I am doing until the weird neighbour gives me the stinky eye.
– you don’t really care what days you are off. Suddenly Mondays and Tuesdays are even better than weekends because everything is open and you can actually get stuff done! And if there is more than one day together… JACKPOT!
– due to canteen food I can basically eat anything. And I really mean it.
I am sure that all of you have things related to your work that will influence your daily life. However the biggest advice I can give to you hotel-goer is: although front desk cannot control big things, if you are rude to us and ruin our day, we can make your stay very miserable. Yes, you might get an upgrade because you were so mean we just want you to get out of our face, but we won’t want to help you and everything will become an inconvenience. Try and be nice, we will always go out of our way to please and help you. We will even give you free internet or complimentary upgrades!
Remember: if you had been yelled at as soon as you came into work you’d be grumpy too when someone blames you for things like traffic 🙂 happy guests – happy staff – better service!