A day in the life of a receptionist

It’s Tuesday. My experience shows that Tuesdays are usually not the most exciting days for a hotel receptionist. Why? You know, all the regular corporate guests that are staying every week, arrived already yesterday and people who were in Dublin for a fun weekend have already left. So it’s scientifically proven (okay, I made that up) that it’s going to be a peaceful  afternoon at the Metro Hotel Dublin Airport’s reception.

My shift starts at 3pm (brilliant, I know! I can sleep long every day!) so I am lucky to meet almost every single person staying with us. To tell you the truth, sometimes at the beginning of my shift I take a look at the arrivals list for the day and try to guess what are people like behind these names. I am nearly positive I am not the only receptionist doing that. It’s interesting, I swear! I am not too good in this though, I have to admit. Once I had a lady due in with a first name Esmeralda. When I was a kid, I saw a movie about a young Mexican girl called Esmeralda, her temperament was unreal, she was a bubbly and chatty girl with long black hair and dark brown eyes. Based on the movie I had an image in my head of the arriving guest. Guess what, this guest was a blonde elderly Swedish lady, very quiet and not into small-talk. So there you go. But I’ll keep practicing!

It’s 3.20pm and my first check-in. A family of four – mum, dad and their two daughters. About the age of 3 and 7, I’d say.. Oh, they are flying out to Disneyland tomorrow. No wonder these gorgeous girls are so excited! It’s a good thing their flight leaves in early hours, there is no way these kids will sleep long. If they will sleep at all.

Few guests and phone calls later it starts to sink in – it’s nearly Christmas. Bookings for a night after Christmas shopping seem to be a hit today. It’s a great way to make your shopping trip a bit more relaxed – unwinding in a hotel with a glass of wine after a busy day in shopping centers, that’s the best way to prepare for Christmas. Alright, I’m good in theory but terrible in reality – I’m the one who does all the shopping in the evening of the 24th December. Every year I admire those, who come to Dublin few weeks before Christmas, stay in the hotel for 2 nights and do their shopping in advance. They are so organized and look 100 times more relaxed than me running up and down Henry Street on Christmas Eve.

 Actually I can’t wait until we get the Christmas tree up at reception. It shouldn’t be too long now, few more days maybe. Reception just lights up then and Christmas becomes ‘real’. Not that it isn’t real now, but then it sort of sinks in even more.

Just had a little chat with one of our regular guests. He is quite possibly the nicest guy in Dublin. Or on this planet. It’s weird how you learn to know your guests so well, they almost become part of your family. You will know by heart what room he likes to stay in, how he drinks his coffee or what time he heads down for his dinner. I love our regulars. Metro Hotel wouldn’t be the same without them.

It’s pretty late, not too many people left to arrive now. Restaurant is about to close. I could hear them ‘spooning’. No, it’s not the spooning you think it is – it’s actually polishing cutlery. Including spoons. Spooning. Get it? Yeah, I bet at times staff here have a conversation that people who have never worked in the hospitality industry would not understand. This job really gets to you. I have wished a cashier “pleasant stay” in Tesco after paying for my goods. And folding the toilet paper in my bathroom at home has become normal.

My shift is pretty much over and I was right – it was a nice Tuesday, everything went smooth and I met some interesting people. Oh and I totally want to go to Disneyland now, I’m not too old, am I? I love my job, I really do. See you at the Metro Hotel!





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