Summer can be a tough time to work in the hospitality industry. It’s an industry where the customer thinks they’re always right, and it can be difficult to tell them they’re wrong.
Enforcing the Posted Pool Hours
As the clock struck the designated closing time for the pool, Andrew found himself in the midst of a heated argument. Five aggressive parents from a sports team surrounded him, their voices raised in a fury. Their main target? Andrew, the hapless hotel employee who dared to enforce the posted pool hours.
Fueled by her righteous indignation, the first woman demanded Andrew’s immediate termination. Meanwhile, a father unleashed a string of insults, labeling him a jerk and accusing him of being on a power trip. Another woman, determined to assign blame for her ruined BBQ plans, insinuated that Andrew was responsible for the $200 worth of meat she had purchased just moments after the pool area closed.
But amidst the chaos, a cry arose from one of the mothers: “What about our kids?!” Little did they know the children had already abandoned the pool and found entertainment in the hotel lobby, engrossed in a game of pool on the free pool table.
His Work Was Commendable
Let’s rewind a bit to provide some context. Andrew had been part of the team at this big corporate chain hotel for about three months. His style was well-liked by the General Manager (GM) and the Front Office Manager (FOM), and he received positive reviews from guests. His reward? A never-ending cycle of Thur/Fri/Sat shifts from 3-11. But Andrew didn’t mind; he genuinely enjoyed working with his team and felt like a true team player.
The hotel had undergone a significant transformation. The front desk team and guests had run amok in the past, with outrageous stories circulating among the staff. One particularly memorable incident involved a guest stumbling upon a front desk agent sleeping on a lobby couch, who then casually handed over the keys to the laundry room to the guest and instructed them to fetch their own sheets. Those were the wild days of the hotel, but now a fresh team was in place, ready to restore order.
A Misunderstanding Spiraled Into a Full-Blown Conflict
Their first mission: enforcing the pool hours posted on the wall from 10 am to 8 pm. Unfortunately, that morning, one of their infrequent part-time staff members, who covered shifts only once or twice a month, had mistakenly informed some guests that the pool closed at 10. And so, a misunderstanding spiraled into a full-blown conflict.
Guests insisted that the hotel’s official policy was the incorrect information they had received earlier. Andrew remained unfazed, asking them to prove the pool hours. Yet, despite the passing hours, no damning evidence materialized.
Frustrations grew, and Andrew found himself embroiled in a 45-minute ordeal with a group of angry middle-class individuals, their attempts at passive-aggressiveness proving more comical than threatening.
He Made a Risky Move
Eventually, Andrew took a gamble to end the confrontation. He boldly proposed that if the guests lined up at his computer, he would check them out and remove the charges for the night from their reservations. It was a risky move that could have cost him his job. But to his surprise, they agreed. They questioned where they were supposed to go, to which Andrew replied with a touch of sarcasm, “I don’t know, maybe you could stay in the rooms you paid for.”
The guests realized their cause was lost, and as they begrudgingly dispersed, they loudly announced their intentions of seeking refunds from the “Program of Honor™.” Andrew hoped they would indeed receive their refunds, and he braced himself for the long summer ahead, knowing that similar encounters would likely befall him in the coming weeks.
The Guests Had Been Lying All Along
Fast forward to Monday morning, when a full investigation was launched due to rumors circulating online and outside the hotel regarding the pool hours incident. And what a surprise it was! The guests had been lying all along. The hotel’s website contained no mention of specific pool hours, with only a note to inquire about its use. Furthermore, they discovered that the morning staff had not provided any definitive information regarding pool hours. It was a general rule of professional courtesy for the morning and evening shifts not to make definitive statements about each other’s policies.
Andrew couldn’t help but feel a mix of relief and vindication. The truth had come to light, exposing the lies spun by the disgruntled guests. Yet, he also couldn’t help but wearily anticipate the 15 more weeks of similar encounters that awaited him during this eventful summer.
And so, Andrew’s epic battle for pool policy enforcement had concluded, leaving him with a newfound appreciation for the challenges and absurdities that came with the territory.
In the Face of Resistance
Despite facing a barrage of angry customers, Andrew’s determination to restore order to the hotel showcased his integrity and commitment to his role. It serves as a reminder that sometimes, doing the right thing means facing resistance and enduring difficult situations.
However, the satisfaction of upholding principles and maintaining a fair environment outweighs the temporary discomfort. Let’s all follow Andrew’s example!
Have you ever been in a situation like Andrew’s? What did you do?
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Emma Dumitrescu. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.