I somehow find myself back in customer service. A minor setback, but it’s okay because for once I have goals. No matter where I am employed however, I notice the same pattern: poor management. I realize now that I won’t be happy unless I work for myself. I don’t mean to brag, but very few people match my work ethic. That’s the problem – I can’t do it all myself, so I need a team that works just as hard and efficiently as I do. I have yet to find a company that actually cares about their employees.
Working in customer service is very difficult. It requires a lot of patience, a pleasant demeanor (though this apparently is not required in call centers – have you noticed?), a good amount of energy, and a sane mind to begin with.
I work at a hotel whose number one goal is to be number one out of all the hotels in the world. The most important thing is to make a guest happy so that they will leave great reviews. Nothing else matters. If you suck it up for enough years, you get to become a manager (at a different location) which is like a retired position. You just have to come out and show your face every now and then to prove you exist, but then you can go back into your office and sit on your ass for the rest of the day until it’s time for you to leave early. You don’t have to train new hires; current employees with barely enough training themselves can do that for you. You don’t even have to answer your own phone when someone transfers a call to you. You can disappear for long amounts of time without telling anybody, and when you do have to take an employee’s position at the front desk, you don’t have to do the job completely. No need to file mandatory paperwork or even count the cash drawer!
Besides these grievances, I’m always thinking of ways to improve something. Sure it’s barely working fine right now, but it could be better. But I might as well tell it to the toilet. My opinions do not matter. My suggestions do not matter. My grievances do not matter. I, as an employee, do not matter.
We had our first meeting the other day (before then, if a new policy came along, unless you asked (and it always depends on who you ask), then you didn’t know there was anything new). It started off promising (literally- “We’ll go through some training and new policies and then the end will be for questions or concerns.”) but then it turned into the most wasted hour of my life. We spent maybe twenty minutes training (more of a presentation really) on something that could have been taught in five, thirty minutes viewing an online program that showed us our poor hotel stats (we must be number one in the world!), and the rest of the meeting was spent going over a new policy that not even the managers fully understand. After that it was a, “Thank you guys for coming.” Nobody moved for a good minute. We were all very confused. Most of us were looking forward to the end to voice our “concerns”, but instead we were being dismissed. One guy actually spoke up and asked about this. A manager quickly went over to shut him up and then we dispersed. I was reluctant – still in shock at being lied to (I suppose I’m a little naïve) and dragged my feet. The same guy that tried to voice his concerns came over to me and let me know the one manager I was sort of okay with was someone not to be trusted. “She told me that you sound arrogant whenever you leave her sticky notes…” I couldn’t even reply because it felt like a slap. Then I guess my expression started to change because then he said, “Don’t do anything, just watch your back.” I had brought a list of my own concerns (typed and professional), but I quickly folded it up and stuck it in my back pocket and left.
This was the list:
I noticed sticky notes on the door that don’t get addressed and are just left there for at least a week. I personally leave sticky notes for something important that I couldn’t or can’t do myself. It’s frustrating because it’s usually something that is preventing me from doing my job –and the longer I have to wait, the more inconvenient it is.
One of my biggest annoyances is not being backed by the managers when I get chewed out by a guest. The guests can be as insulting and unprofessional as they want, and then a manager will come and give them exactly what they are demanding, and then walk away. I feel like the managers should at least explain to the guests not to talk to employees that way and then maybe explain to us why they gave in to them.
Another problem is sometimes at the end of the day on Fridays, managers will forget to check the drawer to make sure the front desk has enough change for the weekend.
I got training here and there from different people. The number one thing I noticed is that even on standard Marriott policies, everyone has a different answer. Nobody seems to be on the same page. Hopefully this meeting will change that.
Speaking of training, most of the time, people are hired and released on their own too quickly without full training. I understand people have to be on their own some time, but one week or a little more of training doesn’t seem to me to be enough.
I think we need a house aid every night –especially if only one person is working. It can get busy and it’s impossible to deliver things to rooms while managing the phone and desk at the same time. More than anything, honestly, it’s stressful.
Just to clarify, we are not allowed to punch in credit card numbers when guests check in, correct?
When will we be upgrading to chip readers?
There seems to be an inconvenience with the beer cage keys. Is that something only managers have access to? If so, that doesn’t make sense when the managers aren’t here at night. I would think the person working would need to have the keys, so that they can access and sell the beer.
We need maps of this area. Guests don’t really take to the interactive screen. A lot of them want a physical map to see what’s around.
Lastly, I think we should hold meetings every now and then that show people that might not have known how to do things. It could be called “Did You Know?”meetings or seminars. Popular topics are how to properly process a tax-exempt form, how to enter/charge a credit card for incidentals, how to do cashpoints, and ways to ask for a company name. It could be fun.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to find a way to remind myself everyday I work from now on that I might as well be mute.