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Blogity-blah-blah-blog: WWWE: Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

WWWE: Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn

So after my six years at Hope Enterprises was over I became a banquet server at the Holiday Inn in Williamsport, PA. Not only did I have to serve at wedding receptions and other types of banquets, I also had to set up all the tables and chairs in the banquet rooms. I hated it. Fortunately, the evening bellman was leaving soon so I got the position after he left. I loved it! I would definitely have to say this was one of my favorite jobs. You meet a lot of interesting people while working in a hotel. I got to meet some celebrities as well. Every year we would get some former baseball players and coaches who have been inducted into Major Leagues Baseball's Hall of Fame for a golf tournament just before the Little League World Series started every August. I met the Goo Goo Dolls, The Blue Oyster Cult (you know, the "more cowbell" band), and a comedian named Eric O'Shea. After Eric was finished with his act he asked me to drive him to a Chinese restaurant and we had a good conversation.

I had a variety of things to do as a bellman. My main duties were walking the hallways and making sure everything was tidy, picking up guests and flight crews at the airport, taking amenities to guests rooms when the asked for them: toothbrushes, pillows, refridgerators, etc. and picking on the front desk staff. Ok, that last one wasn't one of my duties, but I made it a part of my job. I also had to help out different departments in the hotel. I helped housekeeping fold towels, keep the pool stocked with towels, and once in awhile I had to change a room...not fun. I helped in the banquet department by taking a bottle of champagne in a bucket of ice to the bride and groom's room during the reception, plus I helped with the banquets once in awhile since I started as a server. I helped the restaurant by keeping the coffee urns filled at the front lobby of the hotel and running to the grocery store for food and other items they needed. I helped the front desk staff by checking guests in and answering the phone. It was a pretty busy job but I enjoyed it.

One of the worst parts of the job though was when a bus full of tourists came and I had to unload the entire bus and make sure all the luggage got to the right rooms. I usually had to take up to 15 or more luggage carts fully loaded and take all the luggage to the rooms. On my last night working at the hotel before I started my new job I was stacking some luggage on a cart when one of the bags came down on my hand. I pulled my hand out and it hurt. The steel casing that holds the retractable handle on a piece of luggage had crushed my hand. I went to the front desk and told them that someone else was going to have to finish unloading the luggage. When they asked me why I showed them my hand, it had swollen and my thumb was twitching uncontrollably. Nothing was broken fortunately, I just put some ice on it for awhile and then I was able to finish unloading the luggage a little while later.

So that's what I did at the Holiday Inn. But this blog post wouldn't be complete without me sharing some stories about my adventures as a bellman. Believe me, if you need to find some interesting stories to tell, work at a hotel for awhile.

Like I mentioned before, I used to pick up flight crews at the airport every night. Most flight crews consisted of two pilots and one flight attendant. I guess you could say I picked up a lot of flight attendants, ha ha.....yea, that's not funny, sorry. Anyway, one Halloween night I picked up a flight crew and one of them was wearing a hockey mask like Jason Voorhees.

When I saw him I said to him, "I'm so glad you finally found a respectable line of work instead of going around and killing people." He just kind of stared at me for a moment, it was kind of creepy.

Another time we had some guests staying with us from Texas. They were doing some construction job in the area. One of them came up to me with a piece of paper in his hand and said "Can you take us here?" I looked at the paper and it was an advertisement for the local strip club. I told him I was sorry that I couldn't because it was against our policy to take people to bars or anything of that nature. The guy didn't give me a hard time or anything he was just upset I couldn't take him and his friends there. Later that evening I was walking the hallways making sure everything was in order when I was paged on my walkie-talkie. The manager on duty said, "Could you please come and get the naked man out of the pool." My reply was, "Ummm.....". Then one of the front desk people said, "Don't worry, she'll have some people help you" which was good because I didn't really want to do this on my own. So about four of us were walking towards the pool when the man came out of the pool room. It was one of the Texans. He was wearing nothing except for his cowboy hat which he was using to cover himself. He apologized and went to his room.

I had to make an audio clip for this next one:

Okay, last story, it's a good one. It was late at night and the restaurant staff had all gone home for the night so the kitchen was empty. I went back there to use the service elevator so I could patrol the hallways. There was a man walking around in the kitchen. It was obvious that he was extremely inebriated. He was carrying around the plunger that we keep in the service elevator. I approached him and asked if I could help him. He said he was trying to find his room. I asked him what his room number was and he told me. So I got him back on the elevator and there were a few unused cigarettes on the floor of the elevator. He had tried to take one out to light it but was way too uncoordinated at the time to do so. As we got off the elevator he was still carrying the plunger and I asked him if he needed it for anything. He told me he didn't so I asked him to give it to me and I put it back on the elevator. I took him to the room he told me he was staying in and he tried using his key card on the door but it didn't work. I had a master key card that opened any hotel room and I was about to use it when I realized that maybe the room he told me wasn't his. So I used my walkie-talkie to page the front desk staff to ask what room this man was staying in. I asked the man his name and I'm glad he was aware enough to remember his own name. The front desk staff looked him up and told me his room was on the next floor. So he had the last two numbers right, he just had the floor number wrong. I walked him up to his room and told him to get a good night's rest.

So those were just some of the things I got to experience while working in a hotel. A lot of randomness and unpredictability. It was a fun job and I was sad to go, but I was about to start my career in graphic design. So I'll talk about that next time.

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