In the news, I see a lot of articles about how the hospitality and restaurant industry are having issues finding and keeping employees since the pandemic happened. None of these articles go into much detail as to why these specific business are struggling. Not all of these businesses are having this issue. From what I have seen, it is only certain places.
I work in a hotel that is a part of a casino. My position is a hotel front desk clerk. I have been working there for the past six years and was one of the lucky few who got called back to work. Everyone else was let go during lockdown for reasons I don’t know and others that weren’t called back to work within a couple months of reopening were let go. Some of those people did find other jobs as well.
Ever since all of this happened, the company I work for has been trying to replace all of those positions as fast as they can. They haven’t had issues with the higher positions. My position on the evening shift is where they are having the most trouble. The reasons they have listed as why they are having issues is pay and how long it takes to go through orientation. It does take a couple months to go through the process of getting set up with a badge, uniform and all the other the other classes needed before training for the job and the pay is low compared to McDonalds. I do agree the pay is low but there are many other reason I feel are why many new people quit after the training.
- Lack of Policies
The hotel I work at has a binder filled with all the policies they train you to remember. They spend weeks making sure you know not to give out keys unless that person is listed on the reservation. In order to hand out keys to people not listed, the owner of the room has to come to the desk with their ID to add their name. You can extend a room without the person who owns the room coming down to the desk either. We can’t match cheaper rates. People can’t stay in the hotel for longer than an 7 days or have a free room for more than 3 days unless approved by someone else. They can’t have 2 free rooms in a day. There are many more policies too.
When it comes to following these, not every supervisor does. It seems like every supervisor picks and chooses which ones to follow. Sometimes they even make up their own. If you don’t follow their rules how they want you to, you can get in trouble with them even though a different supervisor told you to do it that way. The managers say there is always an exception to every policy because they prefer the guests to be happy rather than follow any of the policy that were created for a reason. Doing things this way can cause a lot of conflict between the clerks and the supervisors.
When you get hired or when you switch to a different shift when a place opens up, you are told what hours you will be working. You can also ask for your days off to be days that you like as long as no one else on that shift has those days as their days off. Unfortunately, they this is not true. I have been lied to and have had my hours not be what they told me when I was switching to the morning shift. After I switched to mornings, they gave my shift to someone else and I was working later hours still.
In the job posting they have up right now, it says they are flexible with their work scheduling. During our morning huddles they say the shifts you work are based on where they need you to be because of staffing. I have never had anyone ask me about my schedule if my hours change before. I have never been asked what would work for me. This is very misleading to anyone that gets hired expecting to have control over their work hours.
If anything happens that you need to leave early or can’t make it in, you will get pointed. It is hard to call in sick because you get pointed for that too. They don’t have sick time off where I work. People have been fired for calling in sick when they were actually sick because they got too many points.
3. Customer Service
Because I work in a hotel that is a part of a casino, there are a lot of regular guests. These people know when someone is new or has been here for a long time. Regular guests know what they can get away with and what they can’t. I see many people who are regular guests and they stay at the hotel every week almost. When I help them or if they need something, they know all the policies. There are times when they tell me what to do or answer questions for me when they overhear.
The downside to having regular guests like this is that they try to mess with new people. They think they can get things they know they can’t get my telling a new person they get what they want all the time. Regular guests can also be extremely rude if they don’t get their way and some like to complain a lot.
One popular reason people yell at us hotel clerks is that their room isn’t ready hours before check in time starts. Check in time starts at 4pm but people like to try checking in at 7am. We are aloud to check in people early if the room is clean. This is why this issue happens. People like to come back every couple hours complaining they have been waiting so long when check in doesn’t start for another 4 hours. I know of one employee who quit this year because she was fed up with people doing this.
I feel like manager and customers forget that lower level workers are people too. We can only take so much before we can’t stay anymore for mental health reasons.
Have you worked in a place that you felt you weren’t treated fairly?