Archive for the about work Category

your very original remarks, pt i: if only shirley jackson were here

Posted in about work, check-ins, peeves with tags , on August 8, 2009 by sarafist

I’m terribly sorry to break it to you, but this exchange

Schatzi: And if there’s anything [else] you need, just let me/us know!
Guest: How about the winning lottery numbers? Har har!
Schatzi, beaming as though joy had her by the throat: I’ll get right on that!/You’ll be the first to know, sir/ma’am!/Don’t I wish!

happens several times a week. Sometimes a few times a day. And it doesn”t get any funnier with repetition, I’m sorry to say.

When you have the opportunity to inflict an un-funny joke upon some poor customer service rep who has to act thrilled or be at risk of complaints about their surliness, restrain yourself, please. Don’t be That Guy; be the better person.


the end of an era

Posted in about work, hookers, tweakers on June 27, 2009 by sarafist

When I came in to work on Friday, the lobby computer was gone, desk and all. Adrienne told me that we’d gotten so many complaints about it that it was either fix/replace it or take it out completely—and Mike’s too cheap to fix/replace it. Though it had slowly deteriorated, it was also a major fixture in our lobby. Guests would check their airline reservations on it, or sometimes look up directions. Local guests would look for jobs or apartments, and tweakers would troll Craigslist for free stuff they could pick up, then sell somewhere. And the prostitutes! Oh, how they loved the computer! They would come down every few hours and post ads under Adult Services on Craigslist, and I would sit at my desk spell-checking for them. “How do you spell sensual? Voluptuous? What’s another word for sexy?” On a few memorable occasions, I even had to help the less technologically-advanced ladies upload pictures for their ads. Of course, CL changing their Erotic (now Adult) systems also made an impact on the working girls of SE Portland, but the removal of that bastion of prostitution from our lobby could prove a death knell for some aspects of our business. Then again, everyone and their mother has a laptop these days, and as long as we still have free Wi-Fi ….

But I’m sure I’ll miss the company.

i’m not gonna lie . . .

Posted in about work, check-ins on May 11, 2009 by sarafist

One thing that frustrates us to no end is the way in which people blatantly lie and expect us to believe them. Mostly, people lie about the number of people in a room. Look, dudes, we know you’re coming here with your girl/boyfriend, so just pay up. You other dudes, we know you’re bringing in a prostitute, so just pay up. We don’t care, just so long as a) we get our money, and b) you don’t try to lie.

One person, really? What about that other person in your car? They’re not coming up to the room? Well, I hope you know I will watch you walk to your room, and the second I see that person walk through the door, I will call you and hassle you. And 99.9% of the time, you will be dumb enough to pick up the phone. And when I demand that your “visitor” come and check in with their ID, I will indeed call back repeatedly if they are not down here in the five minutes for which you asked. Oh yes, I will. I will continue until you pay. And in my human frailty, I will enjoy it, viewing this as my Holy Mission, my Crusade, and your punishment for lying to me.

So let me tell you again: I do not care what you are doing in your room—provided you are not damaging it. I do not care with whom you do things. As long as you check in all visitors and pay for the correct number of people in your room, I will not be bothered, and therefore I will have no cause to bother you. It’s very simple.

old friends return

Posted in about work on March 19, 2009 by sarafist
Hurrah, Wallace is returning to the lol-iday inn! You might remember my stalwart compatriot from the graveyard shift, who left in October after the shooting. Well, the job hunting has been poor since then; he reports that where there were once three or four other people at interviews, there are now twenty or more, some in three-piece suits, people who lost GOOD jobs. So he’s back at the good old lol-iday inn. We’re easing him in real gentle-like, starting with three nights a week. It’ll be nice having someone both reliable and sensible on the night shift again.
Reflecting on the current economy, particularly in light of Wallace’s experiences, I am glad to be at the lol-iday inn. Sure, the people sometimes suck, but where do they not? It’s a comfort to have a job it’s almost impossible to get fired from, especially since I have a lot of flexibility with my hours while in school. And my boss is pretty decent. Hurrah for the lol-iday inn!–at least, til I am done with school.

ghost in the motel

Posted in about work, criminals, hookers on June 6, 2008 by sarafist

Though our housekeepers aren’t perfect, they do a pretty good job and are fairly thorough (but I must admit that those 20/20 or Dateline-style exposes on the cleanliness of hotel rooms are pretty spot-on; only the sheets and towels are changed daily), so when we had a wave of complaints about dirty rooms, we wondered just what exactly was going on. Invariably, the complaint was that although the room appeared to have been cleaned, the bed seemed used, there were occasionally damp towels in the bathroom, and without exception, there was a used condom and wrapper, plus baby wipes in the otherwise empty trashcan. That is not the typical MO of a lazy or forgetful housekeeper, for if they do make a mistake, they will generally forget to bring back linens and make up the bed, or simply skip the room entirely. The other usual reason for a dirty room showing as clean on the computer is that a forgetful desk clerk moved a guest from one room to another, but neglected to adjust the computer to match. Something else was odd about those dirty rooms; the ones generating the complaints were all in one area, very near the central stairs, an area largely not screened by our security cameras. Curiouser and curiouser.

The situation had been going on for about two weeks when a housekeeper returned to a freshly cleaned room one afternoon to discover that it had already been sullied! The day girl, A, kept a vigilant eye out, and sure enough, saw a girl who had been a regular until the incidents walking through the parking lot. When A asked what she was doing on the property, the girl responded, “Oh, I’m staying here,” and kept going. A car followed, parking off camera behind the stairs, a man got out, and the two disappeared. Six minutes later (I kid you not), the two reappeared. By then, A had gotten a hold of our boss, M, and as the culprits tried to leave, he ran after them, shouting. The man took off for his car and drove out like he was on fire. M grabbed the girl, demanded compensation for the room, and once he had it, threw her off the property, promptly adding her to our DNR (Do Not Rent list).

Once that had gone down, it was easy enough to go back through the security footage and see that the girl—a known prostitute—had been doing the same thing nearly every day for two weeks: walking onto the property where she was familiar as a guest, followed by a john who would park, then surreptitiously follow her to one of the earmarked rooms. The shortest incident we caught on tape was four minutes; the longest was twelve. Since the housekeepers leave the doors of vacant rooms open until they are finished with a section, once the hooker figured out which rooms were off camera, she had herself a nice little scam.

It’s a bad old world.

complaining about work on the Internets

Posted in about work, cops, hookers on June 5, 2008 by sarafist

I just came across this old tidbit from shortly after I first began working here.

Schatzi: man, the cops who come to my work talk to me like I am the most sheltered white girl in the universe.
Phill: haha
Schatzi: talking about a hooker: “she’s accused of robbing her, well, uh, we call her customers ‘johns.'”
Schatzi: DUH!
Phill: haha
Phill: i think they don’t wish to offend
Schatzi: it gets worse–
Schatzi: “this vehicle we think is connected to someone who is doing bad things in our area.”
Schatzi: BAD THINGS?
Schatzi: a cop fucking sez “BAD THINGS?”
electrocutioner: haha
Schatzi: I’m not four
electrocutioner: did they ask you to show on the dolly where the bad man touched you?
Phill: hahahahahaha