You may be noticing a lot of job openings for hotel clerks in your area. In this economy, any job is a good job, but you should seriously consider if you have what it takes to work at a hotel as a Front Desk Clerk before you even apply.
First of all, the reason why there are so many hotel openings is because a Front Desk clerk finally had enough and was lucky enough to get out of the business. Anyone who has ever worked at a hotel knows what I’m talking about- this job pays little and is serious hard work.
Before you take a job (or even consider one) at a hotel as a Front Desk Clerk, answer the following:
Are you willing to work minimum wage? Do you enjoy a non-reliable schedule? Can you stand for 8 or more hours straight with no lunch or pee break? Are you willing to work without benefits? Do you work well under pressure? Can you multi-task (I mean seriously multi-task)? Can you have someone call you a series of names for something you didn’t even do without crying or punching them in the face? Can you lift 100 pounds if needed? Are you an experienced baby or pet sitter? Can you speak Spanish and Chinese and Korean and German and French, and basically any language known to man? Are you a human GPS system? Are you God, and can predict the weather at any given time of day?
If you answered “yes” to all these questions, then the hotel business is right up your alley. If you said “no” to any of them, go ahead and become a Front Desk clerk anyhow, but be prepared to be overwhelmed. Here are some of the things I’ve experienced on a typical day as a Front Desk clerk.
I’ve had a man spit in my face after calling me a “spoiled rotten imbecile” because he lost his own luggage (in his car).
I’ve called the police on homeless people who threatened to wait for me outside because I wouldn’t give them a free room.
I’ve had truckers proposition me and give me keys to their room, with a wink and a smile (and wedding rings on, lovely).
I’ve had disgruntled boyfriends/girlfriends/wives/husbands of locals threaten my life if I did not tell them where their significant others were hiding in my hotel.
I’ve had an old man call ME “stupid” because he couldn’t find his room after I showed him where it was on the map 3 times and even had him follow my housekeeper on duty straight to his own door.
I’ve had people leave children/pets with me at the desk so they could go out and eat dinner.
I’ve had to lug a woman’s oxygen tanks to her room after she promised me they weren’t heavy (she also failed to mention I had to dig them out of the back of her van), and I got yelled at by my manager for leaving the desk.
I’ve had to call the police for a huge fight in my lobby when some construction guys decided to go after each other with lead pipes a foot from my desk.
I’ve been proposed to by an old construction guy and a Carney who had wet his pants.
I’ve had to kick people out of my lobby for arguing rates with me, only to have my desk rushed at by angry travelers. We have Mace in our desk for a reason. Have had to drag it out often.
We also have security alarms for a reason as well. Have pushed that silent button many times at night, only to find out the button does not work and I have to call the police on my own while hoping not to get attacked.
I was slapped by a little old lady who claimed the guy before her cut her out of line, and when I stated that he did not (nicely) she backhanded me right in the face. I didn’t even blink and checked the old bag in anyhow. 5 minutes later my housekeeper came running into the lobby saying some old lady in a brown car nearly ran her over (same lady).
I’ve had my butt grabbed by drunken guests while refilling coffee pots.
I had one man stare down my shirt the whole time I was checking him in, just to have him tell me that I had the smallest boobs he’d ever seen.
I’ve had to make up hand signals and draw pictures to check in guests from other countries who speak not a lick of English. You have to get a bit creative, and draw pictures of beds and stairs and dogs to get to know what they want.
I’ve been accused many times of hoarding credit card information when guests pay for their rooms. To which I let them know that yes, I still work at a hotel, even though I have a huge credit card stealing ring going on. Gimme a break. Why would someone risk their job, and jail time, to take a measly credit card from a guest? The information isn’t even stored where anyone can use it, anyway.
I’ve been yelled at and told I was bad at my job because I don’t know directions to Montana or the weather report for the next week. There’s a guest computer by the front desk for a reason, look it up yourself!
And finally, I’ve been called inadequate because I had never actually stayed at the hotel I worked for.
If you think you have what it takes to be a hotel clerk at the front desk, be my guest. But you won’t last long, and if you do, my hat goes off to you. Good luck.