Hotel Night Audit
Trip Start Feb 16, 2011
113Trip End Jun 11, 2012
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I had such fun writing a few fun facts about living in a Canadian Winter that I felt I should impart a few stories about my experiences working at night in a hotel. I'm not going to romanticise it, this job is hardly glamourous, but there are a few interesting things that happen from time to time which I can say wouldn't happen in a 'normal' job. I could probably classify these events into three categories: medical, security and just plain random.
My normal duties are pretty straight forward: check ins/outs, reconcile the front desk, lounge and restaurant credit card payments, run the night audit, print off the sign in sheets and other reports and make sure the place doesn't burn down. The following are just bonus.
Thankfully I haven't had many medical emergencies, but there have been a couple of occasions where it has been necessary to call an ambulance. Firstly, during the peak of summer, it was 6:30am and Adam and I were just getting ready to come off shift when a girl runs down to the front desk requesting a doctor. Adam calls 911 while I run up to the room with her and find another young woman sititng on the edge of the bed holding her head. Turns out she probably fell over in the bathroom and hit her head giving her a seizure. She was assessed by the paramedics and went off to hospital for a few checks. Certainly woke us up as we were winding down to go to bed!
A month or two later, was the longest night of my life with three events in one night. Typically it was a Saturday night and at around midnight I was walking through the Spruce Grove lobby when a man stops me for change for the vending machine. He was trying to get his wife's blood sugar up because she was diabetic. When I came back with the change, she was non-responsive so we had to call the ambulance. The paramedics came and after giving her an IV drip, she starting coming around. She went off to hospital for checks, but turned out to be fine.
Later that night we had to do an eviction because some guests were refusing to be quiet despite numerous noise warnings. That took another 2 hours once you get security guards and the RCMP involved. The final surprise of the night was finding a man passed out in the hallway after a heavy night's drinking and he had vomitted on himself. Needless the smell of fresh vomit is quite pleasant when you are cleaning it up. I slept well after that shift.
Probably the biggest portion of a busy Saturday night is receiving noise complaints. Most week nights are fairly quiet and you can just do your work and spend 4 hours killing time on Facebook or Youtube, but occasionally you have to handle some noisy drunk people coming home from the bar at 3am or throwing a party in their room. It usually follows a similar pattern:
1. We get a call from a guest about a noisy room and go and knock on their door and give them a warning.
2. You get another call or you walk past on a security round and they are still noisy and they get a final warning.
3. You call security and, if the guests are refusing to vacate the premises, the RCMP to evict them. It isn't nice to sleep in the car instead of a nice warm bed.
Of course some people skip right through to Number 3, although we seldomly have to call the RCMP. There are a number of drunk people who want to gain access to the hot tub at night which is closed. This week, Dave and I had two couples trying to bribe their way in and one of the men even offered that we could film them in the hot tub and sell the video on the internet if we let them. Well it was worth a shot...
Just Plain Random
Some things just wouldn't happen anywhere else, I'm sorry to say that if you think that your job puts you in weird situations, then you should try working nights or security. The security guards always have pretty good stories.
1. I walk past a room with a security guard and there is a man standing in his underwear holding an inflatable palm tree. We keep walking...
2. I walk out of the Spruce Grove parkade into the elevator area and find that someone has done a poo on the floor and its a messy one. This tops cleaning up human vomit, they don't pay me enough for cleaning this but I have to.
3. I receive a call about a dog whining in one of the pet rooms. There isn't a reply and I open the door with the master key. I find a small terrier and a small 4 year old girl sitting on the bed and no adults in sight. Eventually I find the parents sitting in the bar having a drink and I have to demand the mother goes back to supervise her child and dog.
4. I walk around the corner and hear a woman having sex in one of the rooms from down the other end of the hallway. This isn't as common as you might think as there is decent sound proofing. It wasn't the only time that night either...
5. Dave walks around the hallway and finds a big wet patch underneath one of the doors. We call the room and there is no response. We call security and knock on the door and there is no response. I open the door with the master key and go into the bathroom to find a naked, drunk man passed out in the bath with the water still running. It takes two hours to soak up the water with towels which has also dripped down into the room below.
6. Last but not least. I walk out of the stairwell and see a thick plume of smoke heading straight towards me. I get Adam to call security and race around to the other side of the stairwell hoping to catch someone coming down the stairs. I walk into a white cloud of powder which is covering the entire hallway and sets of the fire alarm. People start to open their doors and vacate to the lobby. I am covered from head to toe and look as white as a ghost. The RCMP investigates, but doesn't have enough evidence to change anyone. Someone has found it funny to set off a powder fire extinguisher and completely empty it into the hotel. This also happened on a separate occasion except during the day. It took me a week to get over the coughing.
There are some perks to working nights. It is the perfect time to Skype home to Australia and speak to family and friends. You also wouldn't believe the amount of drunk people that drop change and even notes on the floor.
Of course all these things help break the monotony and they are far more interesting than turning off alarm clocks in empty rooms, resetting the sliding doors that people have pulled free and getting stuck coins from vending machines.
As they say, truth is stranger than fiction.