My First Experiences Working at a Hotel

Captured this image at 3AM for documentary purposes while training for the night audit shift.

One step at a time, I’m pushing through fear and anxiety while working at this new job. After reading “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield, I’ve learned that fear is a powerful tool that we can use to determine whether or not we have to do something.

The more fear we feel towards doing something, the more it can be something you have to do. This sense of fear has motivated me to do the best I can. This is the first time that I’ve been able to use fear in a way that’s personally constructive!

Working can feel like an out of body experience. I feel like a different version of myself kicks into control. This version of myself is much more fearless and initiative-taking. It’s a part of me that’s really striving to be a professional.

It’s been a big challenge, but I’m learning so much. This morning, I was almost operating the front desk independently. If I came across something I didn’t know how to do, I called for the help of my coworker, and I took note of everything he did.

This Morning’s Routine

Check The Shift Log
This morning, I began by reviewing the shift log of the previous night audit shift. This is how the different shifts communicate with each other in an organized way. We pass along a document that lays out any things that need following up on such as room maintenance or guest requests.

Count The Cash Drawer
Then, I counted the cash drawer to make sure everything added up correctly.

Printing Reports
I printed out many reports on the computer. One of these documents is a “Downtime Report” which serves as our offline backup of arrivals and special requests in-case our power goes out.

Bucket Check
A bucket check is a process that makes sure all of the guest accounts are accurate. I do this by cross-referencing our database with what we have filed in our physical bucket. This morning, I actually found two errors which I was able to easily fix.

Check outs
Check outs are pretty easy. It mostly involves taking room keys, or information from a guest to check them out of the system. I’ll either provide a hard copy receipt or an email one. During this process, I try my best to be conversational and friendly.

Once a room is checked out, it’s important that I communicate this information with housekeeping. In order to do this, I pick up the walkie talkie and let them know:

“Front desk to housekeeping. Room 213 has checked out. That’s room two, one, three.

Check ins
One week ago, I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to learn how to check someone in. Today, I independently checked in 3 people. I was proud of myself. I felt incredible gratification by doing this.

Searching for Opportunities to Create Value

This morning when I was walking into the hotel, I noticed a bunch of Corona bottles and glasses scattered around the planters in the parking lot. When I had the opportunity I went outside and picked them up and brought them to the dumpster. I’m always keeping an eye out for opporunities to make our hotel more presentable.

Whenever it gets quiet and I have some downtime, I do anything I can to create value. Maybe this involves preparing key packets or brewing some fresh coffee.

I may not know how to help you, but I might as well try.

The other day, a guest came to me because the laundry machine wasn’t working. I had no idea how to fix it, but it was 9:00 PM and there was no maintenance on-site. I accompanied the guest up to the laundry facilities tried to fix the machine.

After some struggle getting it going, I resorted to essentially shaking machine around and fiddling with the quarter deposit slot. Suddenly to my delight, it just started running.

For this job, I’ve learned that you’ve just gotta figure it out as you go along.

After 3 weeks of working, I was mentioned in an online review! This and some other positive feedback I’ve received from guests, is a personal indicator that I’m on the right track.