A Day in the Life of a FOM

Old Feb 25, 10, 6:51 pm
  #1  
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A Day in the Life of a FOM

My GM is away at a conference this week so I decided to keep minutes of my daily routine just to see what it is I do all day. Then I had a very me-centric thought: FlyerTalkers might care about this! Or you might not. Either way, here's what I did all day:

11:02 am - Get to work two minutes late, or as I like to call it, eight minutes early.
-Check emails. Submit tomorrow's USA Today order. Delete 10 "reply alls" to a mass message about some property's Facebook page.
-Ask housekeeping why they only put out one of the new lobby trash cans when I clearly told them that there were two. (Answer: the second one was still in the box and thus protected by some sort of dark magic)
-Informed by front desk that I need to call back a guest who wants us to release an approval taken against his debit card.
-Challenge my breakfast hostess to a cheesecake bake-off. My brother will compete as my proxy. He does not know this yet.
-Check TripAdvisor for new reviews, guest satisfaction website for new surveys and guest assistance for any open cases.
-I really need a cup of coffee.

11:30 am - Inform my breakfast hostess for the second time in two hours that yes, should we decide to throw out the old garbage cans, you can have them.
-Exchange email volley with my GM about opting out of the new healthcare program.
-I never got the cost difference.
-Yes you did.
-No I didn't.
-etc.
-Start collecting folios and certificates for HHonors award stay reimbursement submissions.
-Check TripAdvisor for new reviews, guest satisfaction website for new surveys and guest assistance for any open cases.
-Delete 10 more "reply alls" asking to be taken off of the list.

12:00pm - Opt out of the new healthcare program. I still maintain that I never got the cost difference.
-Tell a Priceline.com representative that I will cancel a reservation for tonight and not charge them. I need to throw them a bone every once in a while.
-Call back the guest with the debit card issue. No answer.
-COFFEE!
-Finish collecting folios for HHonors submissions.
-Now that the new garbage cans are out can you please remove the plastic wrap and use the stainless steel cleaner? Thanks!
-Check TripAdvisor for new reviews, guest satisfaction website for new surveys and guest assistance for any open cases.
-Yogurt or muffin+peanut butter?

12:30pm - Yogurt. Blueberry.
-Send out email to DOS and GM about some potential leads in the area. Copy Regional DOS and VP of Ops so I get credit.
-Only one cigarette left and it's terrible outside... Maybe I should save it. Maybe I should quit.
-It's not that bad out...
-Use Twitter and Facebook to capitalize on the massive blackouts in the area.
-Try not to lose my patience with our DOS... My god she is such a compulsive liar
-I can't believe this many people with Hilton don't know proper email etiquette... just stop replying, delete from your inbox, set up a junk rule, whatever.
-Check TripAdvisor for new reviews, guest satisfaction website for new surveys and guest assistance for any open cases.

1:00pm - Mr. Smith is checking in! I love that dude. So glad his room was ready early.
-Try not to lose my patience with our DOS... My god, who puts a bagel in the toaster and walks away? We already had two smoke heads go off in the past three days...
-My brother calls back. I let it go to voicemail. If I don't hear him say no then he has to compete, right?
-Get to work on those HHonors submissions.
-Check TripAdvisor for new reviews, guest satisfaction website for new surveys and guest assistance for any open cases.
-Your child is more than welcome to sit in the lobby, color and watch TV, but I need you to work your scheduled shift.
-Empty my trash can
-Finish HH submissions, waste time do valuable research on FlyerTalk.
-I CAN'T BELIEVE SHE TOOK THE BAGEL OUT AND LEFT THE TOASTER ON.
-I might need to buy a new toaster.

1:30pm - Check TripAdvisor for new reviews, guest satisfaction website for new surveys and guest assistance for any open cases.
- Just like my man hamptoninnsider said, breakfast variety and HSIA are killing my scores...
-Exchange text message volley with my GM.
-Hilton email server is having trouble (big surprise, AMIRITE guys?!). Sending confirmation pages through Outlook instead.
-Coffee order isn't coming in today because of the snow. I hope I'm ok until Monday. I mean, afterall, we're just a Hampton Inn, it's not like we need coffee available 24/7...

2:00pm - Speak to groom, confirm wedding group, enter block into system
- Accept GoToMeeting invitation for tomorrow
-Comment on my PM desk agent's Facebook post about wishing there were snow days for work. I do, too...
-Make department's schedule

2:30pm - Call WebEx helpdesk to make sure my account, which I didn't know I had, would A) not be deactivated and B) that I haven't been getting charged for it.
-Account reinstated, not getting billed unless we use the service.
-Reviewing these minutes has made me realize that things get pretty slow for me around 1:30
-I guess it's time for lunch!

3:00pm - Meet with hotel owner to discuss occupancy
-Relieve AM shift since PM shift is running late
-Swarm of check-ins --- mostly walk-ins
-Swarm of people needing to sign swimming pool waivers
-Small talk about the weather and roads with EVERYONE
-Free gym membership for me and the GM for giving the gym owner a free room in the snowstorm! YES!
-Discuss weekend staffing with front office and housekeeping
-Chat with Mr. Johnson for a little bit while things are calm. Cup of tea.
-Wait, I drink coffee.
-Allocate rooms for staff use tonight – this storm is brutal
-A new hire from housekeeping just shoveled the stairs without being asked? She’s getting something nice from me tomorrow!
-Resolve hot water issue (you need to turn the faucet all the way to H)
-New front office hire training online at Hilton University
-Exchange emails and text messages with GM.
-HOW LONG HAS OUR BACKUP GENERATOR BEEN RUNNING?!
-Oh right, today’s Thursday. It’s the weekly test.
-I really should have packed more than one change of clothes.
-Yes ma’am, there is snow outside. No ma’am, I don’t think it will be gone in the next hour.
-Resolve internet connectivity issues (you need to type in the whole access code)
-Resolve telephone issues (you need to select a line before picking up the handset)
-Give a guest a Diet Pepsi
-Explain to my DOS that I have no way of checking if somebody else received her text messages.
-Organize a snowball fight against the Holiday Inn later
-Change into jeans and help dig out some guests’ cars
-Cancel the snowball fight with the Holiday Inn later
-Organize cocktails with the Holiday Inn later
-Yes, I am wearing jeans. Yes, I can still check you in.
-Give some guests a couple of beers to go with their pizza.
-I should have ordered some pizza
-CHECK-INS, CHECK-INS, CHECK-INS
-Cookies!
It’s 8:00 already? I better type up the past five hours!
Hhonor Gguard is offline  
Old Feb 25, 10, 7:08 pm
  #2  
 
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That email issue was a riot. For you folks at home, an owner of a few Hilton family properties set up a facebook fan page for his hotels and somehow managed to send an email to seemingly every email address in the Hilton system. That on its own was just annoying. Then some people decided to reply all. Then some more people didn't like getting the emails and replied all themselves. And it continued. Eventually a message came up on the computers saying the email system was down. Good times.
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Old Feb 25, 10, 7:20 pm
  #3  
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It went from funny to sad REAL quick. I'd love to see your day if you want to do one tomorrow.
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Old Feb 25, 10, 7:31 pm
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Originally Posted by hamptoninnsider View Post
Then some people decided to reply all. Then some more people didn't like getting the emails and replied all themselves. And it continued. Eventually a message came up on the computers saying the email system was down. Good times.
This happens more often than you would think ...Even brought down Microsoft's internal exchange environment several years ago: http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/20...08/109626.aspx

I used to be on the email team at a company of similar size, and when one of these reply-all storms occured an employee in europe decided to capitalize on the opportunity and mention he had some skis for sale - why not? he had the attention of about 70,000 people!
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Old Feb 25, 10, 7:48 pm
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People using reply all to tell everyone to stop using reply all was classic. One guy said "stop the madness". Reminded me of elementary school where everyone was shushing each other, getting louder and louder.

Working evenings are a lot less hectic and usually involves a lot of doing nothing. My hotel is very relaxed most of the time. This is today:

2pm - come in an hour early, chat with coworkers and morning manager who usually leaves before I come in

2:30 - check emails and surveys, cover desk while arriving reservations' rooms are checked and water/snacks are put in rooms

2:45 - cancel around 150 reservations for a local account, make another 35, sometimes it's the other way so I don't panic

3 - finish project from day before, replacing all wall lamp light bulbs

3:30 to 5 - chat with boss, discuss how to improve rooms, think of questions we want answers to during the brand conference, put together paychecks, answer questions from another Hampton about what we do to get such high scores, talk about how the online travel companies are trying to screw local hotels and towns

5 to 6 - check future reservations for anything that should be noted or corrected , do nothing

6 - take down flags due to high winds, make cookies, refresh coffee, eat cookies

6:45 to 8:30 - do nothing, check emails and surveys, post on flyertalk

It's a very slow night

Had this been a Monday it would also involve more payroll and tax work.

Not as exciting as your day. Through the night I will walk the property, picking up the trash and food people leave outside their door (call us people!) as well as keeping an eye and ear out for anything amiss. Other nights will involve more maintenance and cleaning projects. Since we have just one other person here there is little to manage, just making sure she does things right.
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Old Feb 25, 10, 8:11 pm
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Most of our nights, especially Thursdays, are pretty quiet. Besides check-ins there isn't much to do other than coffee/cookies and the occasional towel run. Tonight we're getting a lot of highway pull-offs and walk-ins due to the horrible snow storm which has left thousands without power.
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Old Feb 25, 10, 8:25 pm
  #7  
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You guys are terrific!

What is a DOS though?

Also, as Hilton is the only chain that actually forces its members to print out (and remember to bring!) a reward cert, what happens to the piece of paper afterwards? In this day and age you guys actually have to snail them back to corporate?

I've never run across the situation, but if there were too much garbage for the in-room trash cans, I would not leave stuff in the hall.
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Old Feb 25, 10, 8:43 pm
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It was fun reading this. Thanks.
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Old Feb 25, 10, 8:46 pm
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Originally Posted by Points Scrounger View Post
You guys are terrific!

What is a DOS though?

Also, as Hilton is the only chain that actually forces its members to print out (and remember to bring!) a reward cert, what happens to the piece of paper afterwards? In this day and age you guys actually have to snail them back to corporate?

I've never run across the situation, but if there were too much garbage for the in-room trash cans, I would not leave stuff in the hall.
DOS = Director of Sales

As for the certificate, we don't need it. There is a reward # and a 4 digit code that we use at Hamptons that is printed on the certificate. It's usually included in the comment box on the reservation. For the handful of times it's not we just need to see the certificate or email to get that info. If all else fails and you don't have either, we can submit a request to Hilton for it.

All the information regarding your reservation, including those 2 codes are entered into an online form for reimbursement. The few certificates we are given are stuffed into an envelope, put into storage and never seen again.

Regarding the trash, I don't mind if people put it into the hall (though we do have trash cans on each floor), just a phone call letting me know would be nice so I can go get it. I walk the floors usually a few times each night but there's always a chance the trash will be put out right after I leave the floor. It could then be awhile before I get to it and it just looks and smells bad.
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Old Feb 25, 10, 8:51 pm
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Interesting, then, that I have never NOT been asked for the paper reward cert at every Hampton I've ever stayed in -- even when the comments field indeed included the cert number.
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Old Feb 25, 10, 8:59 pm
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The certificate used to be required when I first started because the info wasn't in the comment box. The request for info can take some time to process. Also, I have seen reward reservations that didn't have the info and neither did the guest. It turned out the reservation was made but no reward # was issued and the guest hadn't been docked points. To get the info then required the guest to call Hilton and confirm the reward stay. That was years back though.

Since the info is transmitted to the hotel most of the time, there is no real need to get the certificate. I know we don't ask for it unless we didn't get the codes. Can't say why some of those Hamptons still do.
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Old Feb 25, 10, 9:12 pm
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Thanks. Interesting.

About ten years ago, I had a reward stay at a fairly upscale, west coast Doubletree.

Despite giving the reward cert (which -- talk about devaluation! -- the total points was 60K for 3 nights), the points were never actually deducted from my account. (This was when you could make a reward reservation without having the points in your account, and just show up with a cert -- and only when the the hotel sent the paper cert in were the points deducted).

I then had a decision to make....
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Old Feb 26, 10, 5:43 am
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Originally Posted by Hhonor Gguard View Post
-Ask housekeeping why they only put out one of the new lobby trash cans when I clearly told them that there were two. (Answer: the second one was still in the box and thus protected by some sort of dark magic)
I really enjoyed your entire post, but have to tell you I really and truly did lol when I read this. Thanks for sharing that. Both you guys/gals are great to have here and I love your insights.
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Old Feb 26, 10, 6:26 am
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nice fun reading after a long hectic day....thanks guys....keep up the good work....
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Old Feb 26, 10, 7:00 am
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That was great - thanks for sharing
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