This incident took place during my internship stint at Fairmont, where I worked as a room attendant. On that particular day, I received an impromptu request from my housekeeping manager to set up the guest room according to the guest requirements. Due to the imminent arrival of the guest and other workload I had on hand, I merely listened to the instructions without taking down notes. Hence, I prepared the room to my best ability, thinking that I had remembered all the instructions, but I was wrong. After I updated the room status to “vacant clean”, my manager returned to inspect the room and found out that it was not prepared based on to her specifications!
It turned out that the number of towels and bottled water replenished were not the correct quantity. The guest also required buckwheat pillows, instead of the usual foam pillows. I felt sorry for this mistake and quickly did the necessary arrangements. Thankfully, this happened before the guest checked-in, and it was part of the operating procedures for all at least one manager to conduct a check for rooms requiring special attention.
Reflecting back, neither had I performed my duties well nor listened effectively to the manager, thus resulting in unfulfilled guest requests. This communication breakdown between the manager and I was partially due to my carelessness and poor memory. While communicating, I hear but did not listen, with the intent to understand completely. Moreover, due to the overwhelming workload on that day, I folded my arms and just said I understood the instructions already, which in fact I just wished the manager left right away so I can focus on cleaning the rooms as quickly as possible. This acted as a constraint and prevented effective two-way communication between the manager and myself.
To conclude, it was undeniable that I caused the problem and I learned to be more aware of my verbal and non-verbal communication cues. In this way, my coworkers will then be more inclined to clarify with me regarding the instructions given. Lastly, my ending question for this post would be: What are some good advice that you would give me, to tackle similar problems from happening again?
Revised 25th February 2017.