Monday, June 30, 2008

Longest Shift ever yesterday...

There are supposedly supposed to be 2 staff on duty during summer at the hostel... one for the phone and laundry and one to maintain the common spaces and check in guests. There were not two staff on duty yesterday, so I was at the hostel for 9 hours... I only put 8 1/2 on my timesheet because the last bit was me scrambling to figure out the reciepts... I was way too busy to ring up every time someone bought a day permit for parking (the system makes you type in a name, price, select "parking" from the "non taxable menu" indicate cash or credit and then print it. Same process when someone wants to use the internet.) and it was compounded by ringing up a woman for $50 too much because she told me she was traveling in a group of 4, 3 females and a male, and it was only when she was leaving to get her luggage that she remembered to buy a permit (yes, I asked before I rang her up if she wanted to buy a permit. She distracted me by segueing to talking about the fires and traffic) because her sister was with "the baby" and so I had to ring her up again for $40 less and I don't know how to void, and the two staff I asked also don't know how to void.

And even accounting for that error, my register was off because I had like $12 mysteriously sprung from nowhere because I can not do receipts while I put out fires, entertain people, explain our policies to people from vietnam and sweden who decided that the goodwill of strangers would protect and uplift them in a foreign country (they did not tell me this is what the plan was, because of the language barrier, but why else wouldn't you learn just a little english before your trip?), pacify intense/insane strangers, and field phone calls. And we hadn't any clean sheets so I had to go through all of the laundry to find the unused (but already touched by guests! And other sheets!) sheets.

But the phone calls were so frustrating. Because while I'm sorry the sf hi hostel didn't tell you the right info, there is nothing I can do about it besides apologize and explain the real info. And if you can call me now, why couldn't you call me to make the reservation? Because I can pretty much guarantee that if you had done so it would be for the right number of people. We also have a neat new way to reserve -online!-, but I can't guarantee the accuracy, user error and all. And, I am not your psychologist. I am not even your friend. I can't tell you whether you can handle a co-ed dorm. I could, most people can, and if anyone were violent I would not check them in or they would probably not use such a public room. But no, the co-ed dorm is not a padded cell, there will be other people and it will even be on the second floor! Any number of ills could befall you.

And I had another call from a lady who had never seen her credit card before or something. I asked if it was visa or mastercard and she told me it was through her bank. But there are only two choices so I let it go and tried them both. Instead of telling me the number in increments of 4 she was doing increments of 2 or 3. had to give it a few tries before she felt she'd read them off properly. And when I asked for the expiration date she told me it hadn't expired. I told her I really needed the date to make the reservation she told me she didn't know when exactly it expired but she was "a good christian lady" and was sure it was in the future. (how could she know that, incidentally?) I told her that would be fine and asked if there was a number anywhere on the card in the format "09/09" and lo and behold, there was.

Darwin was a moron, judging by today's phone conversations.

But the friendly canadians and oregonians who kept me company told me I was very nice to the people who phone in or arrive with limited coherence and comprehension. Canadian people! Think I'm nice! They are like the primary exporter of nice! Also crude oil, did you know that?) Which makes me think that I should go into some sort of customer service because I really do have a lot of patience for people who are still figuring out their place in the world and how to use social tools like politeness.

1 comment:

Robert van de Walle said...

Darwin made moronic phone calls? What?

Congratulations on surviving and thriving on that very long shift. Great job!

And, amazingly told story, too.