In 1992, I’d just finished college, and in order to pay my student loans, I took a job as a receptionist at a big marketing firm. I was the lowest admin on the org chart, and it was an awful, demeaning experience. But little did I know that the skills I learned on that job would come in handy so many years later.
Here at Riverbend, we answer the phone when we aren’t giving tours, cleaning the pools or doing laundry. Although I do my best to sound cheery, I really hate picking up the phone; it just takes me back to that awful job. Many conversations are an exercise in Buddah-like patience, especially on busy weekends.
“Riverbend Hot Springs, how can I help you?”
“Uh yeah, we want to come and soak, after we see our aunt in Santa Fe and before we go to Arizona. Maybe we should stop on the way back though. But do you get crowded on Thursdays? Maybe we should stop on Tuesday. What’s the weather supposed to be like? Hmmm, I should ask my husband what he thinks . . .”
Oftentimes, the caller will proceed to relay their entire itinerary to me, hem and haw, then second guess every thing they ask. They might say goofy things, like:
- Hmmm. I don’t know what kind of room I want, or when I’m going to be there, but do you think I should make a reservation?
- Will it be busy today?
- Tell me, what’s in the water in the hot tubs? I have this skin condition, you see. . .
Sometimes I wish I could say “Gaaah! How do you manage to tie your shoes every day?!”
May I suggest something to you, dear readers? The next time you feel it’s absolutely necessary to pick up the phone and call a lodging establishment that you’d like to visit, please think of the poor person picking up the phone, and try to image a slew of road weary travelers waiting in line at the front desk. Before you dial, ask yourself; can I get these answers on the Internet? If the answer is “no”, then before dialing, please know exactly why you are calling, and get to the point!