A day in the life of a hotel manager

8.30 a.m. – Arrived at work bleary-eyed due to the late finish of wedding party the night before – 3 a.m. – and made myself pot of tea and some toast.

9.00 – Cashed up bar takings from day before.

9.15 – Received phone call from local tourist officer to arrange meeting to discuss new resort brochure targeting conference market. Sharp intake of breath when discovered no government funding for any part of the project.

9.30 – Room attendants arrive (late again and only seven of ten employed) and await any special guest requirements from me.

9.45 – Breakfast over without many mishaps, tour guides speak with me about places to go during their stay.

10.00 – Receptionists arrive which frees me to do a ‘tour of duty’ around the hotel.

10.05 – Entered kitchen with hope of speaking with head chef about inventory for forthcoming week only to discover two trainee chefs had failed to turn into work on time on account of some vigorous socializing the night before. Result – slow production of meals in kitchen leading to misunderstandings and friction between kitchen and food service staff. Recommendation – written warning to absentee chefs – already happened before. How will this affect staffing profile if dismissed?

10.30 – Spoke with restaurant head about friction between two departments and requested all staff attend meeting scheduled for 5.00 p.m. today.

11.30 – Visited head bartender in public bar about previous night’s activities. Two fights broke out, police were called, no serious injuries. Bar looks like a bomb’s been dropped. Contact housekeeper to tidy up.

11.45 – Return to office to deal with first of many irate complaints about this morning’s tardy breakfast service.

11.50 – Phone call from utility company offering cheaper gas and electric, provided I make an upfront payment of $1,500 AUD

12 noon – Mended two upright vacuum cleaners after complaints from room attendants that they weren’t powerful enough.

12.30 p.m. – Another complaint from guests about poor breakfast service.

12.45 – Visit from tour operator wishing to check the facilities, operations, etc. for inclusion in their brochure for next year. Walking tour of the hotel, sample menus, tariff.

12.50 – Another complaint about breakfast, all I need when discussing future business.

2.00 – Phone call from one of last night’s wedding party to explain that they had slipped over in the ballroom because the floor was too highly polished. Intention to prosecute – will have to get some witnesses to refute claims (among other things).

2.30 – Message from elderly resident that husband isn’t feeling too well, has a history of heart disease. Called doctor, spoke to a very rude medical secretary. Doctor arrives one hour later and pronounces man dead at 3.40 p.m. I sit with bereaved for as long as I can and try to make the appropriate noises. I contact relations who plan to arrive today to collect wife.

4.00 – Bank manager calls inviting me to meet to discuss my rationale for financial plan for construction of gymnasium and swimming pool in hotel.

5.00 – Sit and wait for chefs and food service staff to turn up to meeting. Only head chef and restaurant head show. Meeting abandoned after brief discussions – waste of my time.

6.30 – Dinner service begins. Walking tour to meet and speak with people, without interrupting the flow of operations too much.

7.00 – Called into kitchen because fight breaks out between two kitchen porters. Both walk out, I have to do some dish washing for a while – the pleasures of management.