Day two was extremely quiet, so I mostly spent the day talking with the other attendants. In the morning I was able to do a lot of interesting things, such as complete more room inspections and prepare special room “sets.” A room set, for example, is how many tea cups or how many towels are typically in a standard room. Many VIP guests on the special floor are very particular about their room and request special items or “sets.”
I would say a typical request would be to have extra towels or more coffee, but some of the requests are super extreme and so unnecessary in my opinion; for example, is having a glass vase versus the default bronze one really going to make your one-night stay that much more enjoyable??? It’s fine though, I guess if you pay so much to stay here I will happily give you your glass flower vase. However, if I ever do become rich enough for me to just stay in fancy hotels whenever I want to, I vow to not make ridiculous requests not just because it causes more work for the staff (although we are perfectly fine with fulfilling most requests) but because some requests are just very unnecessary and not eco-friendly (i.e. receiving new slippers every day).
Speaking of funny requests and interesting personalities, you can bet that if you are a guest that likes to complain or who easily gets upset, a lot of top hotels will make note of it in your file. I do not know how other luxury hotels work, but at my internship everyone is given a list of VIP guests and we are even warned about certain guest’s temperaments in order to prevent trouble. I also vow to not become one of those guests whose file has a “warning” on it due to my irritable behavior.
An amusing task that I had to complete today was to help sew the bottom of curtains that came apart in the renovated rooms. Another attendant and I took an hour to stitch with our small hotel sewing kits that were clearly not meant for such thick fabric. Even though I do not think I made the stitches so pretty, I was happy to contribute my sewing skills…
I think my main takeaway this week, other than learning about hospitality, is going to be about human relationships. Attendants come into contact with guests “in their natural state” because they get to enter their room and must make judgements based on the state of what is left behind. Attendants must also attend to guests not just during the typical business hours, but at all times of the day, even when guests are not at their peak. Even in Japan where people are deemed polite in general when compared to most countries, problems or concerns may arise because at the end of the day, we are all just people.