I saw this book advertised in The Caterer Magazine and for £3 figured it is worth a whirl. For a Bed and Breakfast owner the poem introduction is hilarious and what we deal with every day, the other most useful section is complaint handling which I also found informative and useful. I am going to quote the intro section for you hear as I laughed out loud as I used to be a receptionist in a large hotel and dealt with situations like this on a daily basis -
"I have advanced degrees in Accounting, Public Relations, Marketing, Business, Computer Science, Civil Engineering, and Swahili. I can also read minds.
Of course I have the reservation that you booked six years ago even through you don't have the confirmation number and you think it was made under a name that starts with "S".
It is completely my fault that the blizzard shut down the airport and you have to sleep in a warm king-sized bed while 5000 of your co-travellers are sleeping in benches at the airport, I am sorry.
It is not a problem for me to give you seven connecting, non-smoking, poolside suites with two king size beds in each, four rollaways, 3 cribs, and yes I can install a wet bar. I know it is my fault that we do not have a helicopter landing pad.
I am a Front Desk Agent. I am expected to speak all languages fluently. It is obvious to me that when you booked your reservation for Friday on the weekend we're sold out that you really meant Saturday. My company has entrusted me with all financial information and decisions, and yes, I am lying to you when I say we have no more rooms available. It is not a problem for me to quickly construct several more guest rooms. THIS time I will not forget the helicopter landing pad. And it is my fault that everyone wanted to stay here. I should have known you were coming, after all, you stay at our brand of hotel all the time, 300 nights a year, and this is only the first time you've ever been to our city.
I am a front desk agent. I am quite capable of checking three people in, two people out, taking five reservations, answering 15 incoming calls, delivering 6 bath towels to room 625, plunging the toilet in room 101, and restocking the supply of pool towels, all at the same time. Yes, I will be glad to call the van driver and tell him to drive over all the cars stuck in traffic because you've been waiting at the airport for 15 minutes and you've got jet lag.
I am a front desk agent, an operator, a bellhop, houseman, guest service representative, housekeeper, sales coordinator, information specialist, entertainment critic, restaurateur, stock broker, referee, janitor, computer technician, plumber, ice-breaker, postman, babysitter,dispatcher, laundry cleaner, lifeguard, electrician, ambassador, personal fitness trainer, fax expert, human jukebox, domestic abuse councillor, and verbal punching bag. Yes I know room 112 is not answering their phone. And of course I have their travel itinerary so I know exactly where they went when they left here 9 hours ago, and what their mobile phone number is.
I always know where to find the best vegetarian-kosher-Mongolian-barbecue restaurants. I know exactly what to see and do in this city in fifteen minutes without spending any money and without getting caught in traffic. I take personal blame for airline food, traffic jams, rental car flat tires, and the nation's economy.
I realise that you meant to book your reservation here. People often confuse us with the Galaxy Delight Motel, Antarctica. Of course I can "fit you in" and yes, you may have the special £1 rate because you are affiliated with the Hoboken Accounting and Bagel Club.
I am expected to smile, empathise, sympathise, console, condole, upsell, downsell (and know when to do which), perform, sing, dance, fix the printer, and tell your friends that you're here. And I know exactly where 613 Possum Trot Lane is in the Way Our There subdivision that they just built last week.
After all, I AM a Front Desk Agent!