Just when you think you have it all

Hello blog family. I wish I was typing this with happy news.

The day after my last blog I took ill. I had a condition a few years ago that I thought I had beat. Apparently I was wrong. I was in the hospital over the weekend and now I wait for a specialist appointment and a series of tests and drugs. I am stressed and scared. Not only for the future of my health which I am hoping will be under control in a few months at most because I will be either under the right medicine or at least getting disability, but for my family. You see, with my job, I have no sick time.

When I started this blog I wanted this to be done solely for enjoyment. There was never a point or a thought were there was going to be a monetary reward. It pains me to even think of it until a friend of mine and fellow hotel worker has talked to be about crowed funding to help me out during this time.

So here it is. He has set up a paypal account for me to help with my expenses while I am off work. If you want to contribute I am eternally grateful. If you don’t want to, I completely understand. I don’t want to do this. I don’t want him to do this but I also don’t want to have to sell my car or be evicted from my residence.

Here is the link to the PayPal he has set up https://paypal.me/pools/c/80QPxa99N0

 

Love you all. I will be in touch.

Advertisements

The Morning After

Las Vegas is definitely a New Year’s Eve destination. They close down the strip and Fremont Street gets so packed that sardines would be claustrophobic. There are fireworks and the alcohol is flowing non-stop. Talk about a people watching experience. If you haven’t been to Vegas on New Year’s you really need to do it, at least once. Of course, I usually end up working so I get the excited guests wearing party hats and blowing annoying party horns for hours and then I get to the same guests dragging themselves through the lobby attempting to get to their room without throwing up or passing out.

I am amazed every year the punishment that a person puts on their body in the name of celebrating a holiday like New Year’s… I’m looking at you St. Patrick’s Day and your green beer, as well. I know what you are thinking and yes, I have overdone it myself in the past. I’m no prude but you get a little clarity when you see hundreds of hotel guests… the morning after.


 

Before we get to the Grand Prize Winner of the “VegasHC – Great start to 2018” award. Let’s take a quick look at the pretenders to the throne.

  • The older guy in the wheelchair that passed out in the middle of the casino floor and didn’t get to see midnight. In fact he didn’t get to 9pm.
  • The young couple who drove from Montana to celebrate New Year’s without ID and a hotel reservation.
  • The middle-aged guy who locked himself out if his room and had to come down to the lobby in his tighty whiteys. Still having nightmares about that one.
  • The middle-aged lady who lost her room key and her dignity as I spent about a minute trying to explain to her that her breasts where resting on my workspace because she had suffered a major wardrobe malfunction and didn’t realize it.

and now the winner…

It is 5pm, January 1st and a middle-aged man approaches the desk.

Guest: My keys don’t work in my room and I need to know how much food credit I have.

(he hands me his driver’s license after a bit of a struggle)

Me: Sir, the keys don’t work because you are checked out of the hotel.

Guest: but I am not due to check out until Monday.

Me: Sir, it is Monday. Check out was several hours ago.

Guest: No, yesterday was New Year’s Eve.

Me: Yes sir, yesterday was Sunday and today is January 1st, Monday. Your reservation was for the 29th to the 1st.

Guest: It wasn’t until the 2nd? I thought my reservation was for Tuesday the 1st.

Me: Well there is no Tuesday the 1st. There is Monday the 1st.

Guest: So where is my stuff?

Me: Let me call housekeeping…. Sir, according to housekeeping none of your things were in the room. That is why we checked you out. We figured you left because there was nothing left in the room.

Guest: Ok so you are saying that I am checked out of the hotel and my stuff wasn’t in my room and my reservation was not until Tuesday?

Me: Correct.

Guest: So where is my car?

Me: Where did you leave your car?

Guest: I think I put the car in valet.

Me: Do you have your ticket?

Guest: I should, maybe I parked it myself… (he starts rifling through his wallet). Here it is. (hands it to me)

Me: Sir, this is a valet ticket for a different hotel. This is for Hotel B, this is Hotel A.

Guest: This isn’t Hotel B?

Me: No sir.

Guest: Oh, that explains it. I had 2 different hotel rooms booked with friends. I had the other hotel until Tuesday. So how do I get to Hotel B?

Me: I would suggest a cab out front.

Guest: So, is there anything I can do about my food credit?

Me: You never had a food credit here, sir.

Guest: Oh, that must have been the other hotel. I couldn’t figure out why my friends kept sending me texts asking me where I was. I looked all over the place for them. They kept telling me they were here but I couldn’t find them. Must have been the other place.

(he starts looking around)

Guest: I know I had a backpack with me. It’s gone.

Me: It’s on the floor next to you, sir.

Guest: Oh wow, I must have overdone it last night.

Me: Probably a little bit. Have a good day sir.


 

Thanks for all the comments and follows. I still can’t believe the response I continue to get. Over 1000 followers on Twitter (@VegasHC) and even more on Facebook and directly here through wordpresss.com

 

 

 

Listening is a skill…

Not only for a person in customer service but for the customer. I am amazed at the number of times that a guest with a full on rage over an issue just won’t listen. Their problem has an easy solution that is being explained to them and all they want to do is restate the issue and cause a scene. Maybe I am too Zen. Maybe when I have a problem I actually want it fixed and want the solution.

I have been dealing with a company that has overbilled me and when I have called them I have stayed calm and have escalated the situation when I needed to but I figure the less I rant and rave the easier the situation can be handled because the relationship stays cordial. Yes, it took 3 calls and 3 departments but the situation got handled and I am not labelled a difficult customer or someone I refer to as “precious”.

These customers… well aren’t they precious.


 

Guest storms up to the counter and throws his room key at me.

Guest: The fucking key doesn’t work and I can’t get into my room. What kind of fucking bullshit hotel is this that doesn’t give their guests working keys.

Me: I apologize sir. Occasionally, we get a bad key in the batch. I will get this fixed right away.

Guest: Yeah, well neither key works, don’t you even know how to do your job.

Me: Sir, let me ask you this. When you tried to use the key did anything light up on the lock?

Guest: The key doesn’t work. What part of that don’t you understand. Get me a new key!

Me: Sir, it is possible that the key is good and the door lock in your room is bad. There is a battery…

Guest: I still don’t have a fucking key. I see you standing there but you are not making me a key.

Me: as I was trying to explain, there is a chance that is isn’t the key but the lock. The lock has a battery and it might need repla…

Guest: How long do I have to stand here before you make me a fucking key?

Me: Sir, I could make you 100 keys but if the battery is dead in the door, nothing is going to work. Did you see anything light up when you used the key.

Guest: More fucking excuses, is that all you people do?

Me: Sir, did anyth…

Guest: No nothing fucking lit up. Now give me a key!

Me: Sir, then it is the door lock and not the key. I will have an engineer come right up and replace the battery so  you can get into your room.

Guest: So, basically I can’t get into my room tonight?

Me: No, an engineer will fix it in the next 10 minutes and you can get into your room.

Guest: So I guess I have to hang around here for the next hour before I can go to bed.

Me: Sir, he will probably be at your door before you get up to your room if you head up now.

Guest: What a fucking joke of a hotel.

(he storms off)

 


 

(Young female guest comes up to the desk)

Guest: I am here to check in. I made the reservation through randomwholsale.com.

Me: Ok. just need your ID and credit card.

(she hands me the cards)

Guest: I need a room on the lowest floor, away from the elevator and it has to have a microwave.

Me: Well, I have a room on the 5th floor and it is 10 doors down from the elevator. We do not have microwaves. I hope that is satisfactory.

Guest: Um, I said lowest floor.

Me: Yes, the 5th floor is the lowest available floor.

Guest: So, you are saying your hotel doesn’t have a 2nd or 3rd floor? That is stupid.

Me: No, I am saying that the lowest available room tonight is on the 5th floor. All the other rooms are occupied.

Guest: I find that hard to believe.

(I never know how to answer that statement)

Me: Well, I am sorry, ma’am but that is what I have.

Guest: Well then get me further away from the elevator.

Me: I can move you to the 8th floor and you will be 14 rooms away from the elevator.

Guest: That isn’t a low floor.

Me: Ma’am, it is 11pm and we only have 10 rooms left in the hotel. I can either put you on the 5th floor or the 8th floor. Anything else is either close to the elevator or on an even higher floor.

Guest: Why is this such a difficult request?

Me: As I said, we are almost sold out and there are a limited number or rooms. These two rooms fit your request as best I can.

Guest: Well then I need you to comp me a microwave.

Me: Ma’am, as I said we don’t have microwaves to put up in the rooms.

Guest: So, you don’t have a single microwave in the hotel?

Me: No ma’am.

Guest: So how do you heat up your food.

Me: I don’t heat up my food.

Guest: but there is a microwave in your lunch room?

Me: Yes.

Guest: So you are a liar.

Me: Ma’am, that is an employee microwave. I can’t put one in your room.

Guest: Is it your job to piss off the guests.

Me: No ma’am. Would you like the 5th floor room or the 8th floor.

Guest: Give me the 5th floor even though you have rooms on the 2nd floor.

Me: Here are your keys, ma’am.

Guest: Asshole.

(she walks away)


 

Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and Kwanza to you all. I hope you all have a great holiday season. I will be back with a new post sometime next week.

Twitter: @VegasHC

 

I guess I made the naughty list

I have found out over the last couple days that I am not only sarcastic, I am in fact, EVIL. Apparently, I am purposely causing guests at the hotel great discomfort and ruining vacations. Now, I am very sorry that I am doing this with complete malice and intent. I have no excuse for what I have done and I feel that part of my repentance should be to publicly tell you about the evilness that I have wrought.


 

A guest attempted to check in last week. He had a reservation and a credit card but his ID was his employee badge from Phoenix where he is a bus driver.

Me: Sir, I can’t accept that as a valid form of identification. I need a passport or driver’s license. Something state issued?

Guest: but this has my picture on it.

Me: We can’t accept this. I see you are a bus driver, can I see your driver’s license?

Guest: I don’t have it with me, this is all I have. You took my payment without a license.

Me: Yes, we took a deposit before you arrive, that is standard procedure but now we need proof of ID and your credit card in person.

Guest: Well no one told me that when I booked.

Me: Did you mention that you did not have a driver’s license?

Guest: No, I do have a license. I just don’t have it now because I won’t be driving.

Me: Sir, I am not sure what to tell you. I can’t check you in without an ID.

Guest: Well thanks for ruining my vacation. I won’t stay here again.

(see what I mean, pure evil. I just destroyed this man’s dreams)


 

Two women checked in. They had booked an Emerald room (btw those looking for secrets to where I work by looking at room types and things like that… I make that stuff up to hide my location… again, I am EVIL). I checked them into their room and gave them two keys. I made sure that they knew exactly which way to go to get to the elevator. I then hatched my plan. I flipped the entire hotel and casino so that the elevators were now on the opposite side of the building. Pure genius, ultimate EVIL. Now that they were completely confused and lost. They returned to the front desk. As they approached, I flipped the entire building back so I could give them the same directions. This time they found the room. Of course, I was not done yet. They came down almost immediately.

Guest: You gave me the wrong room. I booked an Emerald room.

Me: Ma’am, you are in an Emerald room.

Guest: No, you downgraded me. This is not what I saw online. This is not what I wanted and you need to fix it.

(so we have a book of room types at the front desk and I show the guest the picture)

Guest: That is wrong. That is not the room I booked. I booked this room (pointing to a different picture).

Me: (now I have to think fast because she is on to me. I spent the last hour, remaking our room type book just to screw her over. What do I do?) I am sorry ma’am but that is a Ruby room. We have them available but it will be a $20 upgrade per night.

Guest: Oh so that is the scam. You downgrade us and then charge us to get the room we booked. I am not going to fall for that. You are just going to get a bad review and we will never stay here again.

(they storm off)


 

Well those are the major ones but I will quickly mention my other discretions.

  • I made sure that an airline representative never showed up at the hotel with a guest’s lost luggage because it was supposed to be here at 7pm and it is now 9pm.
  • I checked a guest into a room knowing that the room did not have toilet paper.
  • I wouldn’t accept casino chips for payment of a resort fee.
  • and finally, I refused to check in a guest because they had booked for another hotel. I know that they had a room booked somewhere in Vegas and I should have honored that but I made them leave and go to that hotel.

I am so sorry dear readers for my horrible and heinous behavior. I will try to do better in 2018… and Santa, I really don’t even deserve coal so just skip my house. I am not worthy.

 

If you disagree and still like me, please follow me on Twitter @VegasHC

The Newlywed Game

So if you are my age or have the Game Show Network you might be familiar with the show, The Newlywed Game. The concept was to give recently married couples a series of questions about each other. The more correct answers, the more points and if you had the most points you win the game and get a prize. This was usually a vacation package (if I remember correctly). Of course, it was filled with double entendre and couples hitting each other with answer boards when they got the answers wrong.

Recently I had two couples that checked in on their honeymoons.  I will leave it to you to decide who would have won the Newlywed Game had they been on it and who you think had the best chance to actually leave Las Vegas still married.


Couple # 1 – Booked direct with the hotel, booked a mid level suite and parents came in the day before and paid for the room and security deposit. We have noted on the reservation that it is the couple’s honeymoon. Oh, they also booked 2 months in advance.

The Check -in:

A couple approaches the registration desk. They are dressed fairly casual. They are smiling and giggling at each other.

Me: Welcome to Vegas Hotel. Checking in?

Wife: Yes.

Me: Ok, I will need a credit card and your ID.  (they pass their ID) Oh, I see you are here on your honeymoon. Congratulations to you both. I have you booked into a junior suite and everything is paid for so we can get you right into your room. I am sure you have had a crazy day.

Wife: Oh it was so much fun. We got married by Elvis. We didn’t want anything fancy we just wanted to make the whole thing relaxed and have our friends with us. Tonight we are going to see LOVE! I have never been to Vegas and it is so exciting.

Husband: If I could ask, do you have any upgrades available? If not, it’s fine.

Me: Well I do have a suite with a Jacuzzi available but it would be a $40 upgrade each night.

Husband: What do you think, honey?

Wife: That would be so cool, as long as you think we can afford it.

Me: Give me a second to talk to my manager….  Ok, my manager told me to tell you congratulations and he will waive the upgrade fee for one of the nights so you can have both nights for $40.

Wife: Wow, that is so great. Thank you. We will take it.

Me: You are very welcome. Let me get our bellman to help you with your bags and you can start your honeymoon. If you need anything else, just let me know.

Husband: Thanks, man. I appreciate this.

Me: That’s what we do.


Couple #2, booked a week ago through a third party. Booked a standard room. No notification of any special requests or celebration. They are dressed very well.

Husband:  Yeah so, we just got married. What do we get?

Me: Do you have a reservation, sir?

Husband: Yes. (drops his ID and credit card on the counter)

Wife: We got married at the Chapel of the Flowers and we had all these roses…

Husband: He doesn’t want to hear about the wedding, just shut it. I got this.

Me: (to wife) sounds very pretty and congratulations to you.

Husband: Yeah so what do we get, champagne, free meal, an upgrade right?

Me: Well, sir I would be happy to get you a room with a nice view but the only suites we have would be an upcharge.

Husband: Everyone gets something in Vegas. We just got married, dude. Don’t be an asshole.

Wife: Baby, he is just doing his job.

Husband: Did I say I was handling this? Now about the room?

Me: Sir, as I was saying. I would be happy to get you a suite but it will be $40 for a jr suite or $80 for a Jacuzzi suite.

Husband: Listen, I am going to gamble so much that everything is getting comped anyway.

Me: and you can discuss that with a host at the end of your stay but right now that is the cost. I can give you a high floor with a view complimentary of the hotel.

Wife: Baby, lets just pay for the junior. I would be happy with that. I am tired and just want any room.

Husband: No, this desk jockey ain’t hearing what I am saying.

Me: Sir, I do understand but I am telling you what is available tonight for your stay. Now, I also understand you have different expectations but we just can’t meet that tonight. Would you like to upgrade?

Husband: Manager. NOW!

(so the manager talks to the guy. He gets a $20 food credit just to shut him up and he doesn’t get the upgrade… I was going to screw him on the view but I felt bad for his wife.)

Me: Would you like help with your bags?

Husband: and give this place more of my money. Screw that. You already made us late for our dinner.

(he storms off with the keys, she is almost in tears. Oh, and she is dragging the big suitcase trying to catch up with him. I imagine that their dinner was probably at a Denny’s and he would be bitching at the waitress about the quality of his pancakes in the Grand Slam special.)


Thanks for following my blog family. I appreciate you all. I still can’t believe the number of people that read this stuff.  Follow me on Twitter for my musings that aren’t big enough for a blog at @VegasHC

Superstitious feelings

Very superstitious, writings on the wall,
Very superstitious, ladders bout’ to fall,
Thirteen month old baby, broke the lookin’ glass
Seven years of bad luck, the good things in your past

When you believe in things that you don’t understand,
Then you suffer,
Superstition ain’t the way

 

I thought we would leave the front desk for this blog and venture into the casino. The front desk may be a great window to people watch in Las Vegas but some of the real interesting stuff happens in the casino.

I spend most of my lunch/dinner break walking around in the casino or sitting on a bench people watching. I find human behavior fascinating and some times it is weird… and sometimes there isn’t just a single word to describe it.

  • There is a guy that comes in every Thursday and plays the same machine every week. He plays $3 a spin and never sits at the machine, he dances and sings while playing it. He goes through his $100 bill and then curses and yells at the machine and storms off. I call him the Disco Inferno.

 

  • Another semi-regular is an older man I refer to as Thor. He doesn’t have long blonde hair or big muscles but you can hear him hammer the buttons on the video poker machines from 30 feet away. He has actually put a few out of commission.

 

  • We have a lady that comes in twice a month with a wad of cash. She plays blackjack. If she doubles her money she leaves or plays until she is broke. When she loses the casino usually comps her a few days, which is a good thing because she is gambling to pay for her utility bills. I have tried to explain to her that if she called the electric company and get on a payment plan they probably wouldn’t cut her power off. Of course, her response is that she would still owe half but this way she has a chance to pay the whole thing off. I guess the risk is worth the reward for her.

 

  • I have seen ladies shaking things troll dolls, bells, family pictures at the machine, but until last week I had never seen a person praying and rubbing rosary beads. Maybe God wasn’t in the sportsbook that day.

 

  • Then we have the people that eat at the machines. Eating buffalo wings while hitting those buttons and licking their fingers. I don’t even want to think of the science experiment that is happening in their mouth.

 

  • Then we have the girl that kisses the screen on every big win. I have heard of a one armed bandit and the kissing bandit but never kissing the one armed bandit. Just yuck!

 

  • One of the more annoying things is the player that ties up three machines. Purse on one chair, some other thing like a suitcase or take out bag on the other chair and they are in the middle with money in all three machines but only playing one at the time.

 

So what weird or interesting things have you seen or experienced? What superstitions do you have while gambling? I promise not to laugh… out loud.

Thanks for following the blog and my Twitter (@VegasHC). I was never a popular kid in school but you make this guy feel like a prom queen 🙂

 

3 Questions and a Little Story

 

So how about so about we finish off those questions.

Are rooms preselected or does the front desk clerk pick them?

Yes. 🙂  Rooms can be preselected by the software depending on the software. If they aren’t, they are usually preassigned by a supervisor. Then again, some places don’t do that at all and leave it to the clerk.

In my hotel, I have the ability to change room numbers at the time of check in and I can take preassigned rooms and give them to someone else. I do have limitations. Certain rooms can’t be moved if someone higher up tells me not to move them. That could be my boss or their boss or a casino host, etc. So, if a clerk tells you they can’t move rooms, they are not lying necessarily. If the hotel is full, there might not be much to do but if the hotel is half empty and you just want a different (not specific) floor? Well then, one of you is an asshole.

Do front desk clerks have a say on champagne or desserts in the room?

That usually falls under the casino host sending those things to the room through food and beverage. I can request those things but I really have no say. A supervisor or front desk manager probably has a little more stroke that a clerk. If I catch a note on the reservation about a birthday or anniversary before the guest checks in, I will usually mention it to someone to see what can be done. I always get approval because I really don’t want to have a bill for champagne handed to me on payday.

What are some of the best holiday events and sights in Las Vegas?

  • The Ethel M Chocolate Factory in Henderson lights up their cactus garden. Very cool.
  • There is ice skating at the Cosmopolitan. I no longer skate but it is very popular.
  • The Nutcracker at the Smith Center for your theater needs.
  • The Bellagio Conservatory is stuffed with wreaths, poinsettia and plenty of holiday cheer.
  • There is Mt Charleston for skiing. Not really holiday related but hey it is snow.
  • I haven’t been but the Magical Forest at Opportunity Village has a type of polar express, Christmas trees and, of course, Santa.
  • The Bellagio Fountains have Christmas carols.
  • Plenty of special Christmas concerts at various venues.

 

I mentioned reasons for getting resort fees comped in the Q&A and it was just a few days ago that I had a guest that pushed and pushed to get rid of his resort fees more than anyone in a long time. He had a plan and he was sticking to it right from the start.

(guest approaches my station and we begin the check in process)

Guest: I was never told of the resort fees on the website.

(I hadn’t even mentioned resort fees so if he is mentioning them, he knows about them)

Me: Sir, they are a mandatory charge. I can’t remove them. They are mentioned at the bottom of your confirmation letter.

Guest: Well, I want a non-smoking room and if anyone has ever smoked in my room, I will know.

Me: Yes sir, I understand. I have you in a non-smoking room.

Guest: Good, because this is bullshit. You are all just money grabbing corporate stooges.

Me: Yes sir. (just keep agreeing with him and get him checked in. It isn’t worth it.) Here are your keys, sir.

(now I have indentified the guy that is going to be my next blog because I am going to hear from him all day long.)

… an hour later the phone rings

Guest: My room smells like shit.

Me: My apologies, sir. I will move you to another floor.

Guest: I don’t want to pack up. I want my resort fees waived.

Me; but you said your room smells of fecal matter?

Guest: Yes

Me: Well then you should be moved sir to get away from the smell. (hey, it doesn’t smell like smoke)

Guest: I will be right down.

(he never came down… and why did it take him 60 minutes to complain about his room being a sewer?)

… later that night

Guest: I have no hot water.

Me: My apologies, sir. I can have an engineer right up there and he can try and fix the issue or I can move you to a different room.

Guest: So you are not going to refund my resort fees?

Me: Sir, our policy is to move the guest to a different room just like I attempted to hours ago. Do you want me to send the engineer.

Guest: nevermind!!

(This guy is determined. He now apparently is staying in a sewer with no hot water. His list of complaints and refusal to move rooms, continued over the next 2 days including, a noise complaint from a vacant room, a slow elevator and a maid knocking on his door at 1pm.)

Now, in all fairness he did end up getting one day of resort fees waived by the manager when the maids did not clean his room, even though he had a do not disturb sign on his door. He, of course, wanted all 5 days removed from his bill.

The stupid thing is that if he hadn’t been so belligerent about the resort fees in the beginning we probably would have comped him a couple resort fees if he had complained about those things and actually moved rooms like these things actually really bothered him.


 

Hope everyone has a great weekend!!

Twitter: @VegasHC