I Am A Front Desk Clerk

Think Of Me When You Read This.

I am a front desk clerk. I have advanced degrees in accounting, public relations, marketing, business, computer science, civil engineering, psychology, and Swahili. And yes, I know exactly what the weather will be next Tuesday when you are ready to check out.

I am a front desk clerk. Obviously, I have the reservation that you made six months ago for a one night stay sometime this month, even though you don't have the confirmation number, you think it may have been made under your secretary's name, and it wasn't guaranteed with a credit card.

I am a front desk clerk. It's not a problem for me to give you three connecting, poolside suites, two non-smoking and one smoking, with two king beds each, four rollaways, and yes, they will all have a Jacuzzi and wet bar. If you need them near an exit, it will take an extra 2 minutes. I hope that isn't too long for you. Of course, it is my fault that we don't have a helicopter landing pad, boat launch, horse corral, bike stand, blimp docking station and a snowmobile parking area near your rooms.

I am a front desk clerk. It should have been obvious to me that when you booked your reservation for Friday that you really meant Saturday. I understand that your company, McGillicutty's Widget Manufacturing and Roller Skating Rink is a vast empire that can make or break our property. So yes, I am lying to you when I tell you that we have NO rooms available. It is not a problem for me to walk another guest who is paying rack rate for two weeks so we can accomodate you for your 1 night's stay. Of course it is my fault that everyone wanted to stay here and I should have known that you were coming in today.

I am a front desk clerk. Of course I have access to all financial information in our 1500 property hotel chain, so yes, I am able to tell you why your bill from a hotel in another state contained a 25 cent phone charge. After all, I know that you never make calls from your room.

I am a front desk clerk. I am more than capable of checking three rooms in, two rooms out, making five separate reservations and transferring fifteen incoming phone calls, all while you dig through your briefcase for a credit card that will be approved. At the same time, I will be more than happy to fix the pop machine on the 3rd floor, call a cab for you, and I can give directions to someone who walked in off the street, can't speak English, and needs to know right now, how to get to a restaurant that someone told him about. It starts with an "M" or an "O" and serves barbeque, or steaks, or something like that.

I am a front desk clerk. When you call me, from your car, on a cell phone, while you are eating, I can instantly recognize your voice. And yes, of course I remember your room preference. After all, you have stayed here twice in the last three years. And even though you, your wife, and your three teenaged boys are just passing through on your way to visit a friend, I will give you our best one-person corporate rate. And you expect to get ten percent off because Triple A sent you a membership application when you were in college.

I am a front desk clerk, telephone operator, bellman (THANKS for the 25 cent tip), houseman, housekeeper, plumber, electrician, sales coordinator, tour guide, movie critic, computer repairman, high speed internet guru, fax machine expert, and TV repairman. I can tell you the best place in town to rent a tuxedo for a wedding next July and I know if our local pharmacy can fill your prescription on Sunday morning. I can also convince a local liquor store to sell you beer after hours. After all, I should have known that you can buy alcohol in your town until 4AM.

I am a front desk clerk. I always know where to find the best vegetarian, kosker, Mongolian, topless, barbeque restaurants that serve alcohol in a dry county at 3:30 AM. I know exactly what to see in this town in thirty minutes or less without spending more than twelve dollars for your entire group. I take personal responsibility for airline delays, traffic jams, rental car flats, lost luggage, bad cell phone reception and the price of gasoline. And yes, I do know why 112 isn't answering the phone, I just won't tell you.

I am a front desk clerk. Of course I realize that you meant to make your reservation. Even though we have been sold out for this entire weekend for the past four months, I will be happy you give you a room. And yes, it will be at the special Hoboken Accounting and Bagel Club tax exempt rate. After all, you negotiated that rate, with a brand we are not affiliated with, in a town that is a thousand miles away from here.

I am a front desk clerk. Even though everyone at the front desk has asked you time and time again to call our customer service to have them correct the spelling of your name, I take full responsibility for not having your frequent stay number at my fingertips when you call. Even though you are yelling at your secretary and eating breakfast at your desk, over a speaker phone no less, I am the one responsible for not being able to tell that your name is "Ramny" not "Rammy", no matter what it sounds like.

I am a front desk clerk. I am expected to smile, empathize, sympathize, console, cajole, upsell, downsell, and know when to do which. Even though the phone is ringing off the hook and there are four people walking through the door, I will be more than happy to give you my undivided attention while you tell me every detail of your trip here, from the delays at the airport to how horrible the roads were. And it is my fault that our state cannot keep the roads in perfect condition in the middle of the worst snowstorm this area has seen in over 30 years. And, while we are talking, I'd love to hear your opinion about why toll roads still exist.

I am a front desk clerk. I'll be happy to print your boarding pass that you have to have right this minute, even though you are not checking out for three more days. Of course, I know where Foxtrot Lane is. Even after you tell me the Foxtrot Lane you are talking about is in a town that is a two hour drive from here, I'll be more than happy to print a map, highlight the street, and give you turn by turn directions to get to your destination. I have no idea why Indiana does not change time zones, but I can tell you exactly what time you need to leave our hotel to get to your 8AM meeting in Hooterville, taking into account that it is winter, a major snowstorm is forecast for tonight, and you were born in south Florida and have never seen snow, much less driven in it.

I am a front desk clerk. I do all this and still have a smile on my face when you walk through our doors.

Think About What You Just Said To Someone.