6 a.m. My alarm clock is ringing. Time to wake up. Fast shower, a little bit of make up and breakfast. Off we go! Today I have a morning shift!

Each shift has its own good and bad sides. Morning: you need to wake up really early but then you have still half of the day to enjoy your life. When it comes to the afternoon shift obviously you can sleep longer but don’t have too much of the day to do your own stuff. Lets not mantion the night shift.

7 a.m. I change my colleague from the night shift. Fast swap of all the info, what was happening while I was gone, all the scandals that have passed and of course all the mess that I need to fix.

Ok, I will start that day in a good way! First my morning coffee and we can proceed with work.

While preparing coffee I hear my friend from the maintenance calling me:

„Ewa can you please go to the first floor and say to that girl who I have just seen that she should not piss on the balcony? She must go to the toilet for that!”

I mean, for real? Is this real life? This day definitely is not starting in a good way… But keep calm and carry on.

10 minutes later…

The girl comes to the bar (which is just behind the reception and I’m all alone)

Girl: Ekhm, can I have a breakfast?

Me (already deep down in my work, preparing housekeeping list): Yeah sure 1 minute please!

I give her breakfast and then she starts…

Girl: You guys should give notes about the rooms

Me: What do you mean?

Girl: Well now I need to sleep in the park

We are fully booked this day.

Me: Well did you ask before at the reception if we have any availability?

Girl: Your collegue told me few days ago that for sure you will have free beds

Me: You know it’s changing every day. You should come earlier to the front desk and make a reservation. For now I don’t have anything left. But there is another hostel just around the corner

Girl: Yes but I don’t have money for that hostel. This is the cheapest one.

Excuse me? You don’t have money? So why the hell you buy everyday so many things in the hostel bar? (obviously I’m not saying that to her).

Me: Well prices are more or less similar.

Girl: Yeah, but now I will need to sleep in the park.

Breathe in, Breathe out. After this stimulating conversation I go back to work.

11.30 Check out time is until 11. But I still have 5 people pending to leave the rooms. I’m waiting for the day when all the guests will give back the keys on time. And not like always: late and probably at the same time so I have 20 people talking on one to me, because of course each one of them is in hurry and don’t like to wait.

But you know what? I’m only one, with 1 pair of ears and hands so even if I would love to help you as fast as I could, you need to accept the reality and wait.

And I know you imagine that apart from checking you in and out, I have nothing to do but well…the truth is this is just the small part of my tasks.

11.30-14.00 Time is passing by so fast. I don’t even have time to go to the toilet. 100 times I have already been asked how to get to the beach. Or heard that electric kettle doesn’t work: it does you just need to plug it in.

„Excuse me my key for the locker doesn’t work”. It does you just need to use it to the locker with the same number as your bed you moron!

“I’m sorry but someone is sleeping on my bed”. Great once again they change beds and don’t even bother to let us know about it.

Todays my favourite:

„Sorry but do you know if the people from my room are staying tonight too? Because last night they were doing sex and I couldn’t sleep”

People! Seriously you have no limits! I really need to drink a beer NOW.

14.00 OMG I need to start closing my shift if I ever want to finish. I need a beer!

15.00 My friend from the afternoon shift appeared. We exchange ale the news and scandals and… finally the beer time!

15.30 I’m sitting at the hostel bar, chilling out with my cold beer…

I see a hostel guest coming closer and I can see on his face he wants to ask about something. Oh no, no, no! I’m not working anymore! „Excuse me…(Shit- I think) is it possible to change my bed from the bottom one to the top one?”

Ekhem didn’t you notice I sit here with my beer which obviously means I’m not working now and I don’t even have computer in front of me? „Yeah sure”– I answer- „you can ask my colleague in the reception because, as you can see, I don’t have a system in front of me so I’m unable to help you. But I’m 100% sure that my friend over there will”.

Why people are like that? I always ask myself about that. I’m not saying I’m the bightest one but at least I’m trying to think from time to time. But well I guess „es lo que hay” as they say in Spain. So it’s time to go home and tomorrow I will be back again in the hostel world.

Keep calm and be scandalous!

Make sure to check out the rest of “The Receptionist Diary” Series:

Multifunctionality Is My Second Name

How To Screw Up The Whole Hostel With One Click

The Wi-fi Armagedon

The No Show Story

The Night Shift


Posted by Ewa Gabara

Posted by Ewa Gabara

Founder of Don’t Mess With The Receptionist. I geek out on hostels and I’m a long-time receptionist turned into a copywriter. I help the hospitality and travel brands conquer the world with words.

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