Yesterday was one of those days that everyone in this industry is, unfortunately, all too accustomed too: the kind where other departments, members of your extended team, fuck up and let you, and subsequently the guest and everyone else, down.
There are many reasons why people get into hospitality and tourism. For me, I genuinely like helping people. My fucked up childhood left me with a few unique talents that, depending on the situation, can be a blessing or a curse. Namely, a heightened sense of perfectionism, emotional intelligence and sensitivity in general; which often culminates in the ability to sense what others need without them having to express it.
I call this both a blessing and a curse, because it is; knowing how to help people before they even know they need help is a double edged sword. It makes you a good friend towards others and, in hospitality at least, it makes you fantastic at your job. But on a personal (and professional) level, a lot of the time it simply means you end up feeling let down by those around you, because they don’t have that same ability.
Yesterday I came to work and there were two unprocessed amenity drops just sitting open on the computer. As the computer was currently logged into the general concierge account, I also had no idea who had initiated the orders. So I go through all the emails, find the relevant paperwork, file it and send it to the relevant parties so that this shit will get done.
It was one woman’s father’s 65th birthday and she wanted to make it special for him. She had ordered some Moët and a two-tiered chocolate and fruit plate to be sent to his room for ‘AM delivery’. After speaking with her on the phone twice that morning and finding her genuinely pleasant, I was happy to have been assisting her. After all, helping to make someone’s day is a pretty awesome feeling.
Around an hour after I’d passed on the order to the appropriate department, I called them to make sure they were making the appropriate preparations. As always with this particular co-worker, I was brushed off with a, ‘yes of course, I got your order. We will deliver it shortly.’
Another hour goes by and I place another follow up call. This time the response is, ‘my paperwork says to deliver at 3.00pm.’
To which I respond, ‘no, the order says ‘AM delivery’.
'Oh yes, I see it now, no worries, I will deliver it now.'
So here I am, thinking I have got this shit sorted. Come 12.30pm, I get a call from the woman I spoke with earlier, who, by the way, was paying for this gift with her black AMEX - not the kind of person you want to disappoint - who was pretty upset. Apparently her father had received a chocolate plate, completely different from the one she had ordered, and nothing else.
Furious, it was all I could do to make it through the conversation with her without it devolving into a tirade about how useless this particular co-worker of mine is, as this is not the first time something like this has happened.
I empathised with her and assured her I would get it delivered as soon as possible.
After calling Useless back, it was discovered that they hadn’t even read the order I sent them and were going off a completely different order that had been arranged by one of our internal Events staff, i.e. he was blatantly lying at me during the previous two conversations we’d had.
We got the gifts delivered by 1.30pm, at which time I called the woman and apologised. Not having the authority to offer a discount, I asked for my manager’s approval and promptly called her back.
I was glad to hear that after being given the gifts FOC she was much happier. She seemed to recognise that the mistake was not mine and, as such, offered some complimentary remarks towards me.
However, at a time when this place is in its off-season and is literally hemorrhaging money, satisfaction that I did the right thing really wasn’t enough to make my day any better.
Especially when this particular co-worker of mine has been fucking up ever since I started working with them; will continue to do so until they leave; have almost lost their job because of their many fuck-ups and generally rude demeanor; but have somehow managed to not only keep their job, but receive a promotion, because management took pity on them - because if they lose their job, they get deported. Knowing this, management have decided to put up with their utter incompetence until their visa runs out.
Which means I will be forced to deal with the ramifications of such complete and utter ineptitude for at least another three months.
I am just glad that in another week or so I will finally be moving to the desk where I won’t have to deal with them so much… which is another epic tale in its fucking self.