Bad Days at Work: 10 Things that Ruin the Day of a Hotel Front Desk Agent
There are good days at work and there are bad days at work. This comes with any job, and the bad things can effectively ruin the day for an employee.
You will very rarely see a Front Desk agent without a smile plastered on their face. In hospitality you have to be professional and welcoming at all times. Regardless of how your day is going. Or what has happened earlier to ruin the day.
Many hotels have instilled in the minds of their employees that the hotel is one big stage, and they are the lead actors/actresses. No matter what you are going through inside or outside of work, once you put on your uniform, you must deliver excellent service with a smile on your face. “The show must go on,” as they say. Even on the bad days at work!
Hotel front liners have been so well-trained at masking their emotions that even when they are having the worst day, you’ll never be able to tell! However, that smile doesn’t always mean that they are happy.
Often, as in any job, there are little (sometimes big) things that immediately set the tone for the day. Even just one of these small annoyances can get you off on the wrong footing and make the day spiral downward.
What are some of the pet peeves that can bring on a bad day at work for a Front Desk Agent?
I speak from experience, and think maybe some of you may feel the same, with my 10 Petty (and Not-So-Petty) Things that can bring about a bad day at work for a Front Desk Agent
A run in your brand-new stockings
As part of the uniform, hotel front liners are typically required to wear stockings or pantyhose.
Imagine this: you are running late because of traffic. You run to your locker, all sweaty from the commute. You attempt to get dressed as fast as possible. You open your last pack of fresh stockings, pull it up your sticky, sweaty legs and then ….. Rip! A big fat run!
Ugh! This is one of the things that seriously p**s off female hotel front liners.
Not only are stockings costly because you just go through so many! It also starts off the work day on a negative note, which takes a serious amount of caffeine (or a huge tip) to recover from.
Your uniform is not readily available
One of the perks of working in a hotel is that most of them have in-house laundry that washes and irons uniforms for you. Most days, all you need to do is drop off your uniform at the end of the day and then the next morning pick up a freshly-laundered one.
However, there are times when things don’t go according to plan. And your uniform is nowhere to be found. Sometimes it gets given to another staff in mistake, or gets misplaced in a different section.
The time wasted looking for it can cause you to be late, especially if you are already cutting it close. It is no wonder that some see something like this as the herald for a bad day at work.
The elevator is not working.
Another one of those things that can quickly up the stress level of any employee who’s rushing to make it to briefing.
And doesn’t it always happens on days when you only have seconds to spare!
You have to use the emergency stairs and run while you’re at it. And then you arrive in your area all sweaty and haggard even before your shift starts!
The day starts with a sermon.
Good leaders know this; you do not lash out at your team, bringing their spirits down and then send them out to their shifts expecting them to perform at their best.
Good leaders know to reserve a reprimand until the end of the shift. So as not to preemptively ruin a good work day.
For a service-based industry such as ours, employees who are in a good mood are just more likely to provide better, more genuine service than those who are deep in their thoughts about what their boss said earlier that day.
The system is down.
Nothing brings about a cloud of doom at the start of a shift than finding out the system is not working. Or it’s undergoing some sort of maintenance.
That means having to do everything manually. Which means more work, longer transactions and a higher possibility of having guest complaints.
And, doesn’t it always happen when there is a guest with a complaint, whose anger is worsened because you can’t provide a swift investigation and response!
The registration cards are not in the right places, and the supplies have not been replenished.
When you have a queue of impatient guests in front of you, every second counts when it comes to finishing each transaction as quickly as possible.
So, when you can’t find what you’re looking for right away, because someone did not do their job properly, it can easily get you in a sour mood.
We are reliant on each other to make our jobs smooth and easier. So, when someone drops the ball, it can get pretty annoying.
The printer keeps jamming.
When you’re trying to be as efficient as possible but your printer says “no,” it can get on your nerves pretty fast!
Just when you have a guest who is rushing to go to the airport. Or a guest who has an urgent meeting to catch. Of course, that’s exactly when the printers decide to run out of ink. Or eat up the paper or jam up for absolutely no reason.
And then you have the impatient tapping of the guest’s fingers. And the question “Is this gonna take much longer?” While you’re down on all fours trying to pull bits of paper out of the machine.
It’s a recipe for a bad day at work.
The co-worker who’s supposed to relieve you is running late (or worse, absent!)
After a long, tiring day at work, the last few minutes of your shift is often spent watching the clock. You’re waiting for your co-worker to arrive, so you can give your endorsements and enjoy the rest of the day. Or get home to take a rest.
So when you get the news that they will be late, or worse, not be able to come to work at all, it just makes your heart sink as your plans for the day slowly fade away.
You finally manage to go on break but there is only lackluster, undesirable leftover food at the cafeteria.
Working long hours is hard enough. But working on an empty stomach can really make a person snappy, grumpy and bring on a bad day at work.
Then, when you finally get a chance to slip away for a quick break, you barely make it to the cafeteria before it closes. You remain hopeful. Your heart lifts. You made it in time.
And then you see the remaining few meal options; the last, bony bits of adobo, the salty remains of today’s soup, the hard, dried-up fried fish.
It’s more than enough to make a person go back to work with zero energy and a bad mood.
You end your shift with a cash float shortage.
Front desk agents are responsible for managing their own cash floats. So, when they count their money at the end of their shift and it comes up short, it can only mean one of two things:
- They’ll have to extend their hours to figure out which transaction went wrong. Or where the missing cash went. Or
- They’ll have to pay out of their own pocket, to make sure their float is complete.
A really bad day at work is when you have to do both! Nobody wants to get caught in a random cash count, with a shortage in the float. So when you worked hard, stayed late AND then have to actually shell out your own cash at the end of the day….. Worst Day!
Front desk agents are some of the most hardworking people in the industry. And being on the front lines, they must always be seen smiling and in a pleasant demeanor. These little annoyances can happen to anyone on any given day. It’s absolutely normal to be frustrated, annoyed or to get into a bad mood when it happens.
But try to shake it off as quickly as you can. Otherwise a bad moment can become a bad day at work, and ruin the rest of your day. As Scarlet O’Hara (Gone with the wind) said “After all, tomorrow is another day”.
What do you do to stop a bad moment at work from becoming a bad day at work? Let me know in the comments.
Brought to you by MY RANGGO Hospitality Magazine Philippines