Taking The Plunge To Customer Service

, , , , | Right | October 13, 2017

(I work front desk at a hotel. We are very short-staffed and don’t have maintenance or housekeeping 24 hours a day, just one front desk during each shift. This week we have a quite a few softball teams staying with us, and we have already had problems with one of the mothers giving us a hard time. It’s late at night, and I’m the only one working when one of the parents calls down to the front desk.)

Me: “Front desk.”

Mom: “Yes, do you have housekeeping here 24 hours a day?”

Me: “No, I’m very sorry, ma’am, but we don’t.”

Mom: “Oh?! I’ve never heard of that before! At every other hotel we have stayed at, they have 24 hour housekeeping!”

Me: “I’m very sorry about this, ma’am.”

Mom: “Oh, it’s okay. Don’t worry about it.” *hangs up*

(About 10 or 20 minutes pass before the same room calls back down.)

Daughter: “We need a plunger.”

Me: “Okay, I just need someone to come down here and get it.”

(Our policy is that we aren’t allowed to leave the front desk unless it’s somewhere close by, like the pool area. Sometimes if we are slower, then we can run up to the room and drop stuff off, but since we are right around capacity, we have to stay by the desk to help guests.)

Daughter: “Okay.” *hangs up*

(The same room calls down not even five minutes later.)

Mom: *angrily* “What do you mean that we have to come down and get the plunger?! You already don’t have housekeeping 24 hours, and now you don’t have anyone in maintenance to come plunge our toilet?! This is ridiculous!”

Me: “I’m very sorry about this, ma’am, but I am the only one here, and I’m not allowed to leave the front desk.”

Mom: *sighs angrily* “Fine! I’ll send my husband down!” *click*

(I hope that is the last of it, but the phone rings again less than a minute later, and it’s still the same room.)

Dad: “What do you mean, I have to plunge my own toilet?! There is no way that is going to happen! You are going to come up here and plunge the toilet for me!”

Me: “I am very sorry, sir, but as I said before, I am unable to leave the desk.”

Dad: “This is ridiculous!” *click*

(I call up the GM of the hotel and tell him he has to get here because I am having issues with some guests, and as I am talking to him, the mom from the room comes up to me.)

Me: *moves the phone aside* “How can I help you?”

Mom: “I want to talk to your manager!”

Me: “I am on the phone with him right now, ma’am.”

Mom: “Give me the phone; I want to talk to him.”

(I tell my manager that the mom wants to talk to him, and he tells me to hand her the phone. As I stand there, I can hear the two of them arguing back and forth.)

Mom: *hands me the phone* “You talk. I can’t understand him at all!”

Me: *into the phone* “[Manager], it’s me. She said she can’t understand you.”

Manager: “I will be right there.” *click*

Me: *to the mom* “My manager says he will be right here.”

Mom: “Good, and I’m so sorry about this. I didn’t know it was you that I was talking to on the phone! You have been so nice to us since we’ve been here!”

(Note that I have been working since 3:00 pm and it’s about 10:00 pm right now.)

Me: *almost in tears* “It’s okay, ma’am. I understand.”

Mom: “Oh, no! Don’t cry! It’s not your fault! Here; give me the plunger and we can do it ourselves!”

(I go to the back to get the plunger, while still trying to hold back tears, then hand it to her.)

Mom: “I will be right back with it.”

(She leaves to go plunge her toilet. She and her husband come back down and the husband is pissed.)

Mom: “Give her the plunger back, dear.”

Dad: “No! I want this man to see what he expects us to do!” *raises the plunger like a bat and looks like he is going to swing at someone*

Manager: *rushes into the front desk area, going to get a plunger*

Me: “[Manager], they already did it. They are standing at the front desk wanting to talk to you.”

Manager: “Okay.” *walks to the front desk* “What seems to be the problem?”

Mom: “What’s the problem? You expect us to plunge our own toilet! When we come to a hotel, we expect to be completely taken care of and not have to worry about stuff like that!”

Manager: “Ma’am, you are renting a room from us. If you need a toilet plunged, we have it down here. You just have to come get it.”

Dad: “That’s not right!”

(At this point they were sitting there, arguing about how the manager should have more people on staff. It got so bad that when our security guard came in for the night, the husband got pissed off at him, too! The mom had to force her husband to go upstairs so he didn’t get arrested! That’s what you get for yelling at the front desk for no reason, you jerk!)

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