Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wardman Park around the Holidays

Today, I am working Thanksgiving and it is so extremely slow here at the Marriott. This is my first job that I have had working on a holiday. I guess that comes hand in hand with working in the hospitality industry. It is interesting to witness serving our guests on a holiday and how different guests act towards us. We actually enjoy a stress free day, as most guests are much nicer to us regarding their rooms and their stay in general. I personally do not working when it is so slow, which at our hotel we rarely are. I was talking with another co-worker today and we discussed that since we are the largest hotel in DC and that we have high occupancy most of the time, it would be very difficult to go work at another hotel due to the fact that we might be extremely bored and feel less challenged. The best part about working at Wardman Park is the meeting so many people and how everyday is unexpected and different.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Holiday Season

During this week we are hitting our last week of large conferences and conventions before the Thanksgiving holiday approaches. This is a time where our large front desk staff including managers shifts are cut down slightly due to the lack of guests traveling to our hotel around the holidays. I work Thanksgiving next week, as I won't be going home back to Arizona. I figure since my family is not around here for the holidays I would work to cover my co-workers who do have family around the D.C. area. This week is also very busy as Janet Napolitano and the Department of Homeland Security has a convention at the Wardman. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to see well know people come to our hotel. I think that being at Marriott Wardman Park has got me spoiled only due the fact that we are constantly busy, we have a great reputation, we have a long history and that we are the largest hotel in Washington D.C. I honestly do not think I could work at a smaller hotel now that I am so use to the structure and organization of Wardman Park. I feel like I would be bored if I was not checking in or out 700 to over 1000 people a day. We are all so fortunate to be interacting with so many people from the United States and Internationally. I have learned quite a lot about many types of people. Going into the holiday season our staff works just as hard to make an impact on our guests even if there are less of them. It cannot be easy to travel during the holiday season and our staff strives to make it that much easier for all of our guests.

Monday, November 9, 2009

New Projects

This week has been so fun and busy due to the fact that President Obama and the Prime Minister of Israel are planning on speaking at our hotel in D.C. to a large convention that we have in house. We have a high level of security at our hotel right now that it feels like we are at the airport. It is nice to work at a hotel that draws influential leaders from throughout the world. It has been inspiring and exciting to get to be in my position to witness it all. This week a couple of my managers also came to me to let me do mini projects other than my daily tasks of the front desk. It is nice to see that they trust me enough to let me do other projects. I did things like help with accounting/billing jobs, as well as other tasks to prepare for over 1000 people checking in one day. All of us front desk agents work hard everyday pulling long hours/overtime and it pays off when are managers recognize us. We also have great team building days that helps us recognize how hard we do work.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Meeting with Corporate

I am really enjoying my time here at Wardman Park. I am feeling more comfortable with my job and what I need to do to be successful in dealing with guests and being able to work with co-workers and managers. I have acquired my own system on how I like my station set up and how I work with guests. My hotel is extremely busy right now as we have been sold out night after night, which brings great benefits for our hotel, but also establishes new challenges for the front desk staff as we are the ones that put people on wait status, or have to deal with a lack of rooms to give out due to a oversold situation. We are the mediators because we break the news to all guests and some are more understanding than others. This past week all the guest service represenatives had to meet with Marriotts Corporate Company as a group. The idea is to express concerns, questions and to be able to request for changes that will in return create a better enviornment at Wardman Park. As a group we got express our thoughts about each manager in our department, so that Corporate can see what needs to be fixed or altered in order to better serve and help their employees. We were all suprisingly on the same page on what needed to be changed and how the managers could better serve us at the Front Desk. It is nice to see that the Marriott Corporation lets our staff have a chance to voice our opinion in order for us to all improve as a whole. I asked one of the Corporate staff members how will we know if our feedback is actually going to in return show results and she said it takes time, but that is her job to inform General Managers and Assistant Managers of the concerns. In return they speak with the managers from our department and work with them to slowly alter certain situations in order to be more successful when we come to work everyday. The Marriott International is a well established company and has made a wonderful name for itself. I am glad that they are concerned enough to help us all to improve no matter what ranking we are with the company.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Going Green

After a little more than two months working at Wardman Park everyday brings new people, new challenges and more learning experiences for me. Everyday I get better on how I talk and interact with guests. One project that are in the works is recycling more at the Marriott. Everyday we go through and throw away several amounts of key packets, folios(receipts), reports, faxes etc. Since our hotel is the biggest hotel in D.C. and we are still in the beginning process of transforming our hotel to becoming more green, it has been hard to regulate. We have some people focused on recycling everyday and some more laxed. We really don't have recycling cans in the hotel, so it makes it difficult for everyone to contribute. One way we ask guests to help out is that in every room we have a green bag for people to recycle if they choose. We have written verbage in their rooms explaining how to contribute and help out the environment. A little goes a long way and I hope that soon our hotel gets more recycling cans and contribute more ways to help the environment. Also, another way that the Marriott hotels in the local D.C. area have contributed to helping our community and environment was about two weeks ago when we had a coastal clean-up day. Our guest service represenative staff was the largest department their. We were pretty excited that we helped lead a positive example to others and show are community spirit.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Week 8 : Empathize

I am going into my 8th week at Wardman Park and still learning so much. I really enjoy working here with all the accommodating co-workers constantly teaching me new ways to improve and master my hospitality skills. Today was an interesting day as I had to deal with a hostile guest and she was upset about not receiving a King bed over two Double Beds. We are a very busy hotel mostly hosting large conferences and conventions. We are sold out most of the time and we have more double bed rooms than kings. After coming off of a sold out night it is sometimes challenging giving guests king rooms unless they are guaranteed a king when they book their reservation. This lady that I dealt with today wanted a king and was not guaranteed one and was really hostile with me over getting a room with a king. She would not even let us explain or work with us trying to help her. Working here you really learn to appreciate not being picky and to try to understand when the shoe is on the other foot. We try to accommodate all of our guests, but it is those selected guests that really make work challenging for the staff. The one thing that I need to work on the most is to really try to stay calm. Sometimes I feel attacked when I deal with a hostile guest and then I get flustered on my words. At the Marriott we try to use the LEARN model when we deal with guests. LEARN stands for Listen, Empathize, Apologize, React and Notify. It makes it challenging when you do all that you can, empathize, apologize even if you are not in the wrong and you still have unhappy guests that are never satisfied when you go above and beyond to alleviate the problem. I wish that everyone could experience some type of hospitality or service industry job, so that they can understand what we go through everyday behind the scenes. It is a lot more challenging then it looks.

Thursday, September 24, 2009