Hotel Management.....Why Do I Do This?

16 February 2008

The Devil's In The Detail..

Always read the small print!!

What sort of person expects to take their big hairy dog to a five star Resort and get away with it?

The sort of person that knows how to work the system, knows which buttons to press, the sort that can sniff out a stressed out, inadequately trained Duty Manager, and work her until she will agree to anything...! day off, (whooppee do)..then comes Friday, back in to work to try to fix the cock ups of Thursday.

I am going to give up having days off, the World does not revolve around me, I am not the Saviour of all things Hotel shaped, there are people here far more qualified than me, but why do I always seem to have this crap waiting for me after a day off?

Reservations took a last minute booking on Tuesday for Thursday night, for three nights, last minutes are unusual, but fine if they use a credit card, pay the deposit etc. which they did. The lodge that they booked is very nice, quite spacious, sleeps six, but the living room is a little small, (which they didn't know about...obviously).

The booking was for one adult and three children, which was perfect for the accommodation, as one child was in a cot. They arrived on Thursday to a perfectly clean, warm, welcoming lodge and that should have been them set for the weekend.

Thursday evening the heating upstairs went off, and as these things are left to the security guys to sort out after hours, it could not be fixed until morning. So, after Mrs Q refused an offer from the Hotel to spend the night there, she was given extra duvets to keep her little darlings warm. For some reason known only to the security guard on that night, he didn't offer them some portable heaters, which although not attractive, would have done the job until morning.

By Friday morning Mrs Q had kicked up such a stink that the Reservations staff moved her to another, superior lodge, at the same rate, after giving her Thursday night for free.

To say I was a little pissed off is putting it mildly...unfortunately before I came here, the lodges were run by a 'collection' of people, because the administrator left them in the lurch, and it seems that one or two of the 'collection' can't let go, and makes decisions without consulting the Manager in charge.....grouch over!

So off she went, with her FIVE children, sister, brother in law, and dog, (did I say dog)? kids banging on front doors as they went, guests heads popping out to see what the noise was all apologising for other peoples' little their upgrade.

The electrician took I would say ten minutes to replace the fuse that had gone in the junction box, and whoosh...heat!

After one night, the lodge looked like a bomb site, food everywhere, filth, broken glasses in the dishwasher just left for someone to cut their hands on, hot water left running in the bathroom, greasy hands had been smeared down one of the living room windows...?

Their upgraded lodge is huge, sleeps eight, had just been spring cleaned, the carpets had been cleaned, the curtains were just back from the dry cleaners...and it had been recently painted.

All of a sudden, there are three cars on the drive, strange, she lives four hours away and is 'on my own...just me and the children, it's such a struggle with my husband working away'.

The cars are there all night, but they are quiet, and they haven't let the little brats run around outside too much, so no problem.

Saturday, it all kicked off.

I was getting a neighbouring lodge ready for an arrival, and as I came out of the front door, a large labrador-type-cross-dog-sort-of-big hairy-thing came running over to me, then ran off down past some of our long term residents houses. Walking a little way behind was Mrs Qs' sister and brother in law, pushing a pram, they didn't even seem to notice the dog, and certainly made no attempt to call it, so when I called over to them if it was their dog, they ignored me initially, maybe they were going to deny it, how, I don't know, but I asked them twice and they said it was indeed their pooch. I then asked if they had a lead to which they replied,

"Sorry but he just jumped out of the car"....(strange when I have just driven past your car, and it was minus dog, I have just seen you all coming out of the lodge, where the fuck was the dog, glove box?? Things you would like to say but can't..)

Whilst his masters were debating whether to disown him or not, he decided to squat and disgrace himself on the neighbours my next question was,

"Would you like a bag for that?"

The man, now looking decidedly uncomfortable, scrabbled for a nappy sack under the pram, muttering that he had a bag. I watched with a weird mixture of amusement and annoyance as he scraped up the digested Winalot and they went on their way walking around the Course, swinging a little shit bag.

For anyone who thinks I am being a bastard about this, let me just point out that dogs, of any shape, size, colour or breed are NOT ALLOWED on the Resort, to stay, to visit or to be taken on little walks where golfers, might, unintentionally thwack a ball at them and cost their masters lots of pennies in vets bills.

It is written in the terms and conditions, the ones that you have to sign before you can check in....I have looked, there it is, beside the bit that says if you break anything we will come round to your house and nick the silver, I don't think the writing is too small, my eyes are shit, and I can see it, it says...NO DOGS.

Phone call, from Reservations...she, Mrs Q has called,

"I want a key for the last lodge we were in, I need my phone charger..."

No way was she getting a key, so I went to look for the missing charger, and after finding it, had a quick look around for anything else she may have left. When I looked in the boiler cupboard I found an old sleeping bag, and an old beach towel, I put them into the van and went over to her lodge. When she came to the door, she blocked the doorway, shutting the door behind her, I asked her if she had lost her charger and she thanked me 'for my kindness' and took it, I mentioned that I had found a sleeping bag, and she said that was hers the whole drive was now blocked with cars, I had parked on the lane at the bottom of the drive, I said I would get it for her but she practically ran after me to the van, and almost snatched the sleeping bag, which smelled a bit doggy, I thought, from my hands and ran back up to the house.

I am used to odd people, they make my job more enjoyable, well mostly, but I find it very irritating when they are dishonest, and just trying to 'work one up us', as my Dad would say.

So this where I start looking like feckin' Basil Fawlty, getting obsessed with what they may or may not have in their lodge, staking them out, I even had the lodge camera in my pocket, just in case...I KNEW they had a dog in there, that they had obviously had it in the previous lodge, 'cos, duh, I had just realised that I had delivered the fucking hairy bastards bed back to her!!!! Stupid me.

Its the weekend, and I am the only Manager stupid enough to be around, so I deal with this kind of thing, so I do what any Manager worth their salt would do and I asked someone else to ring her and ask her if she has a dog.

"Dog dear? Me dear? No!" (How very dare you!) My sister has called to see me, her dog jumped out of the car, maybe thats what someone saw...yes I realise that I could be asked to leave if I have a dog, but it's not mine"

Nice to see they can stick to the same story. Her sister it transpires lives five miles away, nice also that they could spend some quality time in their huge, upraded, luxury lodge, how lucky that the fuse went and they had to move..just as well there were enough beds for everyone to stay....told you...obsessed!

I came in early today, it's SUNDAY, no idea why it says Saturday above...(note to self, learn how to blog properly) as we're really busy, and I wanted to get a head start, AND I wanted to catch them with the offending four legged beast, but they were one step ahead of me, the sisters car left at 8.15 and came back at 8.45, just missed them! They took poochy home, so if we did decide to knock and ask them if we could check for doggy prints, they would have no reason to refuse, and all morning to complain bitterly that someone had dared to think that they would bring a dog, which is in breach of their terms and conditions.

My lovely clean, fresh carpets now smell like a kennel, and there are, despite their half arsed attempts to clean up, non human hairs on the stairs, in the utility room and (FFS!) on one of the beds!

In all, an interesting weekend, but one I could have done without, as I have to now recommend to my Manager that they aren't entitled to their deposit back, and he is unlikely to 'want a fuss' so they probably will get away with three nights luxury accommodation for just under 300 euro!!!

All this could have been avoided if someone had enough common sense to give them some heaters on Thursday night.

They shouldn't have been moved, the fuse was fixed first thing on Friday morning, they would not have drawn attention to themselves, and I probably wouldn't have even noticed until after they gone that they had a which time I couldn't have proved it.

On check out she asked to speak to a Manager, she was delighted to see the twenty-something in an ill fitting suit approach her, and took full advantage of the situation...luckily I was in the foyer and heard this.

Her face when she saw me was a picture, she knew that she had been rumbled, so all thoughts of a further discount melted from her mind.

I escorted her to the desk to settle her bill, which she did, grudgingly, and said she would be ringing later in the week to enquire about her deposit...hah!

I told her I was so pleased that she had brought that up, as the GM would want to discuss that with her further, as we have reason to believe a dog has been staying in the lodge, which, as she is well aware, is NOT allowed.

People who take the piss, who freeload, who push and push for discounts, while all the time doing something that not only inconveniences others, but also causes extra work...(like lets see,two houses to clean, and if that dog has fleas then so do my staff now, thanks, and the house is out of action while it is being fumigated...)

They should be ashamed.

Dog hater? me dear? no dear, HOW VERY DARE YOU!!


D said...

Bless, to many guests, I am the epitome of the 20-something manager in an ill-fitting suit - I am a university student who works full time in the hotel to build my CV and pick up some extra cash

However, I have worked night shifts for almost 2 years now (8 months of which have been management), have read up on all my rights and courses of action as manager, and have dealt with so many *sshole guests I couldn't begin to count.

I now quite enjoy it when people look at me and assume I will just bend over backwards for them. Their expressions when it doesn't happen makes me feel warm inside.

Oh, slight difference, my suit is my own and it fits.

Bender's Better Brother said...


All the same, you've given me some good tips there. Ta.

ellie said...

Oh God! How did you hold your tongue? I hate confrontation but I hate being taken for a fool even more.
I'm so glad you were there to see her off and to make her squirm just a little.

Gypsy said...

Seriously Queen, I don't know how you manage to control your temper. I hate people that think they've put one over on you and take and take and freakin TAKE. Let's not even talk about the lies.

This kind of situation would really bust my chops and I hope no-one wimps out about making her pay for the extra cleaning with her deposit. Apart from that, how was your weekend? :)

Is it just me? said...

My goodness! you would think she'd have the good grace to be embarrased...?.We stayed in a similar place in November with the kids...My sis in law booked and asked about doggies..she was told that 'no doggies weren't allowed' and booked hers into a kennel...the way a normal person would.She'd booked the largest house available because there was going to be three adults and seven children (I know..we're masochists!) and when on our first night the back door came completely unstuck didn't throw a fit at the lovely man who was in charge of maintenance...we simply barred the door and fixed a home-made alarm system...I'll show you the photo sometime.
These people were lovely and couldn't do enough to make our stay pleasant enough and were more than surprised when they came to check us out and discovered (to their surprise and amusement) that we'd completely cleaned the place from top to bottom - we were bored at night y'see.
I really do hope you don't give her the deposit...use it to hire a dog catcher!

Quickroute said...

Splendid post! My blood was boiling just reading so you must be very patient or on tranquilizers :-)

I would imagine she is a serial offender too, as when some people get a discount by complaining they seem to turn it into a second career.

Queen Of Clean said...

d...I'm sure you look fab in yer Burtons off the peg!

No, she was happy to see a little 'girly' DM in, I have to say a suit that is at least a size too big for her, she's lovely and everything, but she is an 'over back bender'.

My problem, and probably why I get so frustrated with work sometimes, is because I work with a lot of non-hotel trained people, and they don't believe that guests 'could even think of such a thing...'

Drives me mad.

Queen Of Clean said...

Oh wouldn't? Would you?

Ellie, I don't enjoy just seems to follow me!

Gypsy, thanks, I have children, (one very demanding) so my patience knows no bounds!

Is It...that was really inventive of you, when do you want to book for, I know the Manager, I can get you upgraded :)

Queen Of Clean said...

Quicky...nice to see you, tranqs? Nah, I need to keep my wits about me!!

I suppose I am calm, I have never shouted back at someone, I prefer to make people like that look stupid, you learn a few stock phrases (ask d) to make them realise that they are being pricks...I could do a list but then that's giving away trade secrets.

Tony said...

you are awesome! i'm taking you next time i buy a car...

Blondefabulous said...

I worked in a nice lodge in a small fishing town called Okeechobee, Florida, USA. It took dogs in, but you had to declare them and pay a small deposit ($20 US) for the extra cleaning. We would go to clean the accomodations in the morning and usually find hairs everywhere!( People thought they were stealthy, sneaking their pets in the side door.) Once, we had a female guest who adamently denied having a dog in her rooms, but when we would go to clean and freshen up her sheets and towels, there were BLACK hairs on the clean white sheets! Who really thinks we won't notice black dog hair on the pristine white sheets??? Idiots!

Hotel Chick said...

OH MY GOSH. I cannot believe peoples' audacity. You know, recently while at the grocery store, I saw a woman put her boy dog into the shopping cart, where people put their babies. I was disgusted, as this dog's penis was out and touching the side of the cart while people were trying to pet its head. Yuck.

Queen Of Clean said...

Blondie...I know, like we won't notice! In my last position, we even supplied a dog bed, food, chewy things to keep then amused, but we took extra for cleaning, and the accommodation wasn't as good as it is here.

Chick, I have a thing about shopping trollies....everyone knows the only time they are washed is when it rains!

Anonymous said...

Vaseline on yer woman's windscreen is your answer there. It's the best way to return annoyance.

I have a big black dog. It comforts me to know I'm hanging around someone who's thicker than I am. When he behaves in an embarrassing fashion though, I pretend he's not mine too. So much for returning the loyalty...

Medbh said...

I love dogs but perfectly understand when they are not allowed at resorts. They do have a smell that lingers along with the fur.

English Mum said...

Good god! I can't believe the cheek of some people! Weren't you tempted to just kick them out there and then? I'd be rubbish at your job! x

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