Why doesn’t my boss care?….hotel front desk job

I work at the front desk of a small, privately owned hotel in Rochester, NY. I was really excited when I started working here last August. The hours line up well with my fiance’s, the pay isn’t terrible, and I thought it would be interesting and not too stressful. That was until I found out that I was expected to work 8 hours without any kind of a break (I’m grudgingly allowed to eat a quick dinner at the front desk while I’m working). My boss (as well as most of the guests) treats me like a servant and never talks to me. He might say “hello” if he’s feeling particularly benevolent.

Also, winters in Upstate NY are very cold. We get a lot of snow. The front desk is located in the main lobby of the hotel, right by the front door. I’m comfortable until someone opens the door, then an icy wind blows around my chair and freezes me. I wake up in the mornings with a hoarse cough from spending so many cold hours at work. The solution to this problem is actually fairly simple. I have asked my boss numerous times to restore the small half-door that used to close off the front desk from the rest of the lobby. He keeps saying that he will do this, but it has been at least three or four weeks and it still hasn’t happened. Meanwhile I have had to bring a space heater from home to try and stay warm in my own workplace!

Also distressing is that I feel like I have to cover for the many lapses in my boss’s judgement. For example, the only handicap accessible bathroom in the main lobby area is currently filled with chairs (and has been for months). Not only is this illegal, it’s morally rather suspect. It’s like he doesn’t care about anyone but himself!

In addition, the Inn owes money to just about every distributer and supplier that we work with. The Inn still hasn’t paid bills from last May! So I am constantly fielding calls from irate managers who are cutting off our buying privileges and threatening to sue. It’s extremely uncomfortable and a very unprofessional way of running a business.

My final complaint is that my boss constantly bends the rules of hotel for his friends and “colleagues”. On the eve of Thanksgiving, the Inn was supposed to be closed. The housekeeping staff (who are only employed during the day–leaving only me to check in guests, take towels and other amenities to rooms, and perform maintenance, as well as answer the phones during my shift from 3pm to 11pm) had shut down upstairs and I was supposed to close up after my shift. A “gentleman” came in late that evening and asked if we had rooms available. I told him that we were closed for the holiday and he asked if my boss was there. I told him “no”. He went away and ten minutes later I got a call from my boss telling me to go upstairs and get a room ready for this friend of his. He told me to have the guy pay in advance and that they guy would just leave out of the side door in the morning. Well, I felt very strange about this and called my supervisor. He said it must be one of the owner’s “questionable” friends for him not to have checked with my supervisor about any of this. I found out after the holiday that the guy had a large group of people up to the room where they snorted cocaine off the table and broke a decorative plate. But all this is okay because the guy is a friend of the owner (my boss). I find this apalling.

If I had another job, I would leave in a heartbeat. I hate being treated like this and I feel like it’s completely beneath me. Unfortunately the economy is not great right now and it’s not a good time to be giving up a job. I don’t have any benefits here and I don’t get paid anything extra for over-time or for holidays (I worked Thanksgiving Eve, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve), but it’s better than nothing. I wish I could be working in Theatre as I have for last five years, but there aren’t many opportunities for that here. I have to stay in Rochester for just 7 more months and then I’m getting married and getting out of here! I put up with this job because I am lucky enough to have a wonderful fiance who is warm and understanding and who will go anywhere I want to go next year when we are married. I can put up with this job for that. At least for a little while longer.