Saturday, June 12, 2010

Breaking the Rules...

Not me personally. I tend to like following the rules.

As part of my duties at the hotel, I am responsible for setting up the breakfast room and keeping it stocked until I leave at 8 AM. The process for getting the breakfast room set up properly are as follows: At 6 AM I drive to the grocery store to pick up the doughnut order and purchase bread and milk as necessary. I drop off some doughnuts at the our sister property and get back to the hotel at about 6:20. For a normal occupancy morning, it takes me about 15 minutes to get breakfast ready. On a busy day, it takes about 20 minutes. I'm very efficient. Normally, I'm ready to open the breakfast room between 6:45 and 6:50. Well before the 7:00 open time.

Now, this open time is very clearly posted in two places in the lobby. One of the signs is rather portable, and I place it in the middle of the entryway to the breakfast room, which connects to the lobby. This arrangement makes it possible for me to run the breakfast room and cover the front desk.

Every morning, at least one guest walks in just after 6:30 and asks if they can eat breakfast. Most days, I haven't even started the set up at that time. I tell them that we open at 7. These people invariably come back about 10 or 15 minutes later and start helping themselves to whatever I've managed to set up. Now, if I were more bold, I would ask these people to leave and come back at the proper time. I'm not that bold. However, if what they are looking for hasn't been set out yet, and they ask about it, I tell them that I haven't prepped that item yet and that it will be a few minutes. And that item automatically becomes the last thing that I take to the breakfast room from the kitchen.

Petty? Yes. Satisfying? Also yes.

It just bugs me that so many people think it's okay to ignore the rules, that their particular situation warrants an exception. If you're in such a hurry to check out, check out and go to a fast food joint. The ten minutes it will take me to finish setting up won't affect you that much. I can keep up with a busy breakfast morning, but only if I can get completely set up before it all starts disappearing. It's one person, me, against 100 rooms of people, if we're sold out. Those odds aren't in my favor if I can't get a head start.

Rant over. I'm staying up late to watch the beginning of the USA/England match of the World Cup. I like soccer.


refugee from reason said...

Interesting, Adam. You might have been in Studs Terkel's "Working." Thanks for an interesting essay.

Adam said...

Thank you! "Working" looks like something else to put on my "to read" list. Very intriguing idea.