During the summer of 2009, I worked at a very large waterpark resort in the tourist town of Wisconsin Dells. My summer at the Kalahari was fun, chaotic, and full of surprises daily. Some of the stories I have from working there are hilarious and funny, while others are shocking.
I think having the experience working in a hotel has created a strong desire for me to read “Heads in Beds” by Jacob Tomsky. A memoir and tell-all of the hotel business is exactly what I need to read to remind myself exactly why I left working in the Dells once and for all in spring of 2010.
Some memorable stories from that summer are as follows:
The summer I worked at the hotel, we were suggested to have our hotel guests fill out comment cards about their stay. I had over 60 people fill out comment cards suggesting their stay was fantastic, which allowed me to earn a free night’s stay at the hotel as well as movie tickets to the connecting theater.
I also earned a small percent of a commission when upgrading rooms for people staying on their vacations. I was able to earn quite a bit of money to my additional paycheck from helping guests get a good deal on an amazing room during their stay.
I once had a guest walk off without paying for his stay at the hotel. One of my co-workers was able to track him down at his job to receive the payment from his stay.
I had many unhappy guests from when movies were purchased via pay-per-view. We actually had a machine in the back room where we were able to tell whether or not the movie was viewed, and if so, for how long. We ended up refunding many movies because they were accidentally purchased and subsequently not watched.
It was fun working at the hotel, but I learned a lot more than I ever expected. I learned to be prepared for anything. I earned more respect for those who work in service industries, since they are working hard and unable to make changes to corporate policy. But, I learned tips and tricks. Such as, it is less expensive to go to the waterpark after five in the afternoon. That Tuesdays are much less expensive days to vacation than any of the weekend days. And, that if you have a question, it’s always best to ask.