Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Hotel Part One…It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

So to call out of the hotel you must first dial a 9,
then you dial a 1 when making long distance calls.
It was my first week on the job and the phones were ringing off the hook.
The lobby was packed to capacity too and the guest service associates
at the front desk checking folks in were totally slammed.
One day, when I grow up, I will be out there with the masses;
an official guest service associate ready to serve up infused water with fresh mint and organic orange slices and complimentary smiles on a sterling silver platter.

Meanwhile, I am rockin the phones, “connecting” (we do not say “transferring”)
in-house guests to other in-house guests, connecting VIPS to the “important people upstairs,” placing people on hold, taking people off of hold, placing reservations and taking names and numbers on tiny pink post-its and returning their calls
within the 15-minute required time period.
“Good afternoon. Thank-you, so very much for calling The Hotel. How may I assist you today?” or “ It would be my pleasure to connect you.” I answer in a crisp, sweet, slightly high-pitched Ashley Tisdale voice.

1:00 p.m.

“Yes, this is the 911 operator. Is someone needing assistance at your hotel?”

“Oh…May I place you on a brief hold while I inquire at the front desk?”

Returning from the front desk,
“No, there is not an emergency, but thank you for calling.”

1:23 p.m.

“Yes, this is the 911 operator and we received another call from your hotel of an emergency.”

“Oh…again? Let me go check.”
“No, No one is aware of any emergencies here.”

1:31 p.m.

“There seems to be something wrong because we have just received another 911 call from your hotel.”

“ Oh…I’m very sorry. I’ll need to place you on another brief hold.”

By this time my supervisor, a young, calm, down-to-earth kind of woman, who has been listening to me for the last 30 minutes, walks over.

“It’s you.” She says in an unruffled, matter-of-fact voice, “The call is originating from your phone.”
Smiling, she walks back to her desk.

Seems after you dial 9 to get an outside line and to make a long distance call, you only need a single 1 before the area code.

The Hotel is like the park, only different.

Indeed, let it be known, that I certainly encountered the cream of the crap in flamingo land. And in The Hotel, there will be a handful of those for sure.
But here, I will also meet the cream of the crop.
Honestly, that doesn’t frighten me at all.

Communication is the key in handling any situation effectively.

Though several residents did in fact make 911 calls during
my 6 years of servitude at the park, I never did.
The only time I came remotely close was when Mr. Anaya made one of his midnight calls, drunk out of his cabeza on Patron and regret, and threatening to sic his lawyer cousin on me.
Before dialing, I managed to locate my intelligent gene and use effective and persuasive communication skills instead. I actually felt like pouring an entire box of Cocoa Puffs on my head just to release a tumbleweed of crazed, insane matter building inside of me.
Space 5, like an idiot, dialed 911 rather than the manager the time Mr. Anaya, uninvited, crashed his party, then proceeded to drink his beer, eat his food, and fall to his knees in the middle of the carport screaming that he felt discriminated against by the guests at the party.
Space 35 dialed 911 after peering out her venation blinds and seeing Mr. Anaya screaming and taking a swing at the Recycling Lady, Miriam, from Waste Management.

Resorting to instantly classifying a situation as an emergency just isn’t in my make-up. I’m more the relaxed assessor;
the “live-and-let-live” girl, who is hopelessly neighborly.
I know that’s incorrect grammar, adverb next to adverb, but it’s the best damn way to describe me. I’m the girl who delivers Bundt cakes to the residents with hopes of breaking their negative stereotypes of management.
I’m the girl who steps over sow bugs, saves spiders and now smiles at the lady across the street just because she’s my new neighbor…Yup.
Welcome to Mrs. Rogers’ neighborhood people!
It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood…it’s a beautiful day for a neighbor…would you be mine?...could you be mine? And whether it’s my neighbors, or the guests of The Hotel or the residents of the park, I’m there for you; ready to assist you and always with a smile. Just don’t let me touch your phones.


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