John Bunker eagerly anticipates his first year as a fourth grade teacher this year at Fitzmorris Elementary inArvada, Colorado. In his former life, John worked for a large resort management company. Here is a little piece of his story. If you would like to contact John, please feel free to e-mail him at email@example.com.
“I hate hotel guests - every single one of them!” My comments make my former boss laugh. It had been a stressful week, and she understood better than anyone what I was going through. She simply saw the humor in my use of language to spew my frustration.
Those last few weeks of March usually stamped my attitude with some sort of negativity as spring break college students mixed with families, school groups, and the“Over the Hill Gang” of senior skiers up for a pleasant weekend. The hotel was chaos.Every year, the same thing would happen, yet there was absolutely nothing that could bedone about it. It was the nature of the beast… The sales department would make promises that couldn’t be kept by the operations team; the staff would burn outcompletely with three weeks of consistent overtime hours, guest complaints, and themental wear and tear suffered throughout the nearly completed ski season. Housekeeperswould not clean the rooms to standards. Who could really blame them? They wereoverworked and exhausted, but I really had no other options at this point in the season.Besides, they knew it would be like this. It is the same every year, no matter what you doto prepare for it. This year marked my tenth spring break of lodging operations, and Isimply snapped.Dorcas, my former boss, was always there for me. She was my confessional. Itwas she who taught me the expression that if something really needs to get done, it issometimes easier to ask for forgiveness rather than permission. She was my mentor. Ihad worked with her from the very beginning of my lodging career, and she taught memore about the business than I ever could have learned from Michigan State’s hospitality program. She was my confidant. I could talk to her about anything without fear of anyrepercussions. She was the one that would be able to talk me through my breakdown andget me back on the right mental track to make it through the season.
“What do you mean you hate them?” She probes much like a mother would to get to the bottom of a fight between two best friends in grade school. She often took thismotherly role with me.
In my relatively short career in the business, I had dealt with millions of guestsand became very quick at my judgments of them. Their facial expressions and voicetone, mannerisms and posture; Everything about them allowed me to read them like anopen book, beginning the very moment they crossed the threshold of the front door. Not only could I read how they were going to be as a guest, but I understood whythey acted the way they did. Taking a ski trip with a family is not quite the same funexperience they read about in the brochure. It never mentioned the long airport lines,delayed flights, screaming kids, and nagging spouse. It didn’t draw attention to the factthat after they arrived at the airport, a two hour drive still lurked ahead. Theadvertisements don’t mention the lost luggage, ski rental ques, outrageously high pricedlift tickets and lessons for the kids. In addition to all of that, the mountains of Colorado