I have just returned from a 3 month cross training in Front Office. I was guilty of not being patient with Front office staff hence my manager decided to send me to their department for 3 months. For me, this was being taken out of my comfort zone
We all had a good laugh on the first day even though I felt they were pretending. I thought my greatest challenge would be with my Front office colleagues but it turned out that the challenge was with my guests. As a housekeeper, the guest in the room is usually relaxed and may not even want to say a word to you. It was completely different at the Front Office. I had to learn to speak politely even when I was being shouted at and to always have a smile on my face. The worst part was when at check-in, rooms were not available. I couldn’t blame the guest for getting upset after making reservations and confirming with payment. It was always so frustrating standing there and not being able to offer much assistance.
I also hated the long hours of standing. We stand in housekeeping but you are physically active so you also take some other postures like squatting, bending or even sitting. I had to broaden my knowledge of the hotel as all enquiries came to us at the desk. I hated having to balance my account, confirm payments or fake a smile when the POS was not working.
I know Housekeeping is stressful but Front Office stress is a completely different type of stress. I would say housekeeping stress is physical while front office stress is more psychological. At the end of 3 months, I must say I feel more empowered. I have more respect for my Front Office colleagues, I have improved my computer skills, my customer service skills and I am a lot better in mathematics. I think I should say thank you to my boss for coming up with the idea
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