I worked at a popular hotel chain for three years, and many things about the job surprised me.
The staff was welcome to raid the lost and found if no one claimed items after 90 days.
I noticed that many guests didn't actually check out of their rooms, which made my job harder.
I used to think I was good at traveling until I started working at a hotel. Being behind the scenes for three years completely changed my perspective.
Here are the most surprising things about the job.
I could offer a number of surprising toiletries to guests
Before my job, I thought a hotel's complimentary toiletries only included little soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and lotions. But front desks often have much more to offer.
My hotel had things I never thought to ask for, like makeup wipes and hairbrushes.
Now, when I stay at hotels, I check with the clerks before going out and purchasing toiletries I forgot to pack.
Our lost and found was a gold mine
Guests would frequently leave belongings behind, and it was surprising how seldom they'd come back for them.
My hotel kept lost-and-found items for 90 days before they were fair game for the staff to claim.
Occasionally, I'd find something worth taking, like a hair straightener that I still use to this day.
The employee perks and discounts were great
I worked for a pretty large hotel chain, so I got a hefty discount at all of its locations. I once paid only $35 a night for a room.
My hotel also has a membership program, so our staff would receive points for signing guests up. By redeeming them, I could get free stays at hotels and gift cards to popular retail chains.
Guests rarely checked out of their rooms
The checkout process lets hotel staff know when a room is vacant so they can start cleaning and reoccupying it. Unfortunately, many guests skipped this step.
Some days, I'd have to run around the hotel and inspect 50 or more rooms, which made my job harder.
Checking out doesn't have to be difficult — shouting at the front desk on the way out that the room is empty can sometimes be sufficient.
I often learned a lot from our guests
Some of our guests came into town for business reasons, which often meant they were working on interesting projects.
I got the inside scoop on cool professions and local events from our guests, like the city's upcoming construction projects from contractors.
International guests were also fun to host in our small Canadian town. The diversity made for interesting and educational conversations, which taught me so much about different cultures.
I also enjoy learning new languages, and having guests from around the world often helped me practice them.
My job was pretty easy and not very stressful
My hotel was small and usually pretty quiet.
When I wasn't helping a guest or doing other tasks, I could read, watch TV shows, or do schoolwork.
Overall, it was a surprisingly low-stress job. I'd highly recommend working the front desk of a hotel to anyone who enjoys customer service.
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