Monday, July 8, 2013

A Day in the Life of a Front Desk Clerk

K: El Tovar front desk, this is Kate. How can I help you?
Guest: Hello, my microwave is not working.
K: Your… microwave? I’m sorry, none of our rooms have microwaves.
Guest: This one does! But it keeps asking me for a four-digit code.
K: Ma’am, that would be your safe.
Guest: Oh… goodbye. [abruptly hangs up]
K: Hello, how can I help you?
Guest 1: Did you have any rooms last night?
K: Last night? I believe we were sold out.
Guest 2: Good.
K: Can I look up rooms for tonight for you?
Guest 1: No thanks, we were just curious.
[Guest 2 to Guest 1]: I told you.
K: Just to confirm, we have you staying here with us for one night in a room with two queen beds at a rate of $221 per night. You’re guaranteeing that with a Mastercard. Does that sound right?
Guest: Yep.
K: Alright let me read you your confirmation number. That’s 39XXXX.
Guest: And the area code?
K: Excuse me?
Guest: I’m from Canada, how am I supposed to call without an area code?
K: I’m sorry, where are you trying to call?
Guest: The confirmation number!
K: …that’s not a telephone number, Ma’am, that’s just in case you need to update your reservation later.
Guest: Ok, I never heard of a telephone number with six digits anyway.
Guest: Where can I pack?
Co-worker: Pack up your luggage?
Guest: No, pack!
Guest’s wife: Darling, don’t forget your ‘r’s.
Guest: P…ark.
Co-worker: Oh, you’re from Massachusetts!
Guest: Yes, and I just need a place to put my cah.
Guest’s wife: Darling…
Guest: CAR.
Little boy, barely visible over the desk: Miss?
K: Yes, sir, can I help you?
Boy’s mother: He found some change outside and he wants to donate it.
[boy places a quarter and two pennies on the desk]
K: Well, thank you very much! This will help maintain the trails and buildings around here!
[boy walks off beaming]
K: Um… what do I do with this?
Manager: Oh, you’re not authorized to handle cash yet.
K: Can I drop this somewhere?
Manager: No, we’ll have to create a separate guest account in the computer marked “donations,” then transfer the posting to the billing screen…
K: It’s 27 cents.
Manager: From the billing screen, we can select, “non-hotel guest” and… here, just give it to me.
[hands manager three coins]
[15 minutes later]
Manager: It’s posted!

Guest: Kate! Is that you?
K: Yes it is!
Guest: How are you?
K: Fine, how are you?
Guest: Just great, thanks to you!
K: Well, I’m glad you made it.
[co-worker checks guest in]
Guest: Well, thanks again Kate!
K: Absolutely, enjoy your stay!
[guests leave]
Co-worker: Who were they?
K: I have no idea.
The Presidential Suite is the best room in the hotel, but we aren’t allowed to take any reservations for it, as the National Park Service technically owns the room. On days when they aren’t using it, they release it for us to sell. One elderly woman, traveling alone, just happened to inquire about an upgrade right as the suite became available. She booked it, and was especially enamored with the list we gave her of all the Presidents who had slept in the room before her.
Guest: May I have another one of those lists?
K: Sure!
Guest: [conspiratorially] I wrote on the other one.
K: Oh? What did you write?
Guest: I wrote my name on the bottom of the list! [giggles]
K: Are you going to be our next President, then?
Guest: Oh, no. But I think our next President will be a woman.
K: Is that so?
Guest: Yes. I’m going to put Mrs. Hillary Clinton on the bottom of this one, just to be sure.
K: …and that’s a room with 2 queen beds.
Guest: Two queens? I wanted one king.
K: I’m sorry, your reservation was made for a room with 2 queens.
Guest: Well that’s all you had when I made the reservation, but I want one king.
K: I can see what we have… I’m sorry, we’re sold out of king rooms for tonight.
Guest: Well, what about the people who have a king bed?
K: What about them?
Guest: Can you call them and ask them to trade?
K: Those guests are already checked into their rooms, we’re not going to ask them to move.
Guest: Why not? Maybe they want two beds! You’re not even going to ask??
K: …No, ma’am, I’m afraid not.
Guest: [near tantrum] But I wanted a king bed!
K: [stares at her, not sure what else to say.]
Guest: Fine. Two queens. [sighs] Here’s my credit card.
Guest: Where can I buy bottled water?
K: The park service doesn’t allow us to sell bottled water in the park. You can purchase a water bottle and use one of our re-filling stations, though.
Guest: Those look like drinking fountains. I don’t drink from drinking fountains!
K: It’s filtered water that’s piped in here for us. It’s the same as what you’d be drinking from a bottle.
Guest: Oh, no… anywhere else I can go?
K: Well, the tap water is also the same water.
Guest: I’m not drinking tap water!
K: Ok. Well. The cocktail lounge behind you can give you water in a to-go cup.
Guest: They probably use the tap water too! I don’t want tap water! Can I get juice?
K: The cocktail lounge sells juice.
Guest: I don’t want to spend $6 on a cup of juice!
K: Well, you could get a cup of juice at the cafeteria about a mile away. That’s about a mile walking, or you could take the shuttle bus.
Guest: That’s so far! I just need to take these pills here. I don’t need much. Isn’t there anything else I can do?
K: Maybe you could get a glass of water with your dinner?
Guest: I already ate dinner. I took a sip of the water and there must be minerals or something in there. I didn’t like it.
K: I, I really don’t know what else to tell you.

Guest: I’m going to try that cafeteria then. I know I’m going to get lost. Oh, these pills cause me so much trouble!
K: May I see a photo ID and credit card, please?
Guest [to husband]: Isn’t she precious? Look, she’s a trainee.
K: [ignoring] Alright, would you sign here by the room rate, then across the bottom there? Check-out time is 11am tomorrow morning.
Guest: You’re doing a great job. [to husband] Isn’t she doing a great job?
K: Thank you. How many keys can I make for you?
Guest: Two is fine.
[Goes to make keys. Guest pulls her phone out]
Guest: Smile! [takes picture]
K: Uh… your room number is right here, you’re going to be up those stairs and down the hall.
Guest: Thank you, sweetie. [to husband] Precious!

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