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Working at a hotel front desk...?

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I have a full-time job, which means I usually work 8-5pm or 9-6 pm, plus 2-3 Saturdays (halfdays) each month. The pay is decent, but I'm in grad. school and really looking for ways to get through my second (and final) year debt-free.


My goal, as unreasonable as it might be, is to find a second job where I can get some homework done. There are a few hotels in my area that are hiring, and I'm thinking about applying...but I'm wary about the whole hotel industry. I currently work in a public-oriented field, and have dealt with abrasive customers on occasion. I don't like it, but I've done it.


Two of my friends have worked in the hotel industry, one was in my current town, another was in a much larger city. Neither of them lasted more than a year in their positions. The friend who worked at the hotel in the large city, pretty much disliked her job, often complained about belligerent/demanding hotel guests, and quit as soon as she could find another position.


The other friend only quit her job because she got into college, and had to move 45 minutes away--she wanted to stay on there, but they needed someone full-time, which she couldn't do.


So...I'm wondering which scenario is more indicative of the hotel industry as a whole? Anyone here worked a hotel front desk before? The job(s) I'm most likely applying for are for front desk agents, for nights and weekends. I'm assuming that the nights, at least, are the more mellow than the days...but I could be wrong.


Basically, any insight into working at a hotel, particularly as a nighttime and/or weekend desk agent would be helpful.

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Very, very stressful and you have to be very, very good with people. Obviously it depends on what kind of hotel you are thinking about. The higher you go, the tougher it gets. Nights are hard in the sense that you may get people asking you to check them in because their plane was delayed and they had to take a later flight and that's why check in time is over but they still need it bla bla bla bla

And much, much more. You can get calls "hey can i get room service" "uhhh sir room service stopped at 3am" "but i'm so hungry! go get me food!"

I'm not even kidding about the last one.


If you want a job in which you can do homework.... I suggest a call center. You get breaks, and as long as you don't get calls (which can sometimes happen), you should have plenty of time.

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Nights and weekends are worse than days. I was a front desk/guest services rep for three summers... ugh! Depending on the hotel and the expectations of their staff I wouldn't rely on it being a position where you will have free time to study. We were non-stop go, go, go the entire shift. I think audit (11PM-7AM) was pretty dead, but I am not sure that is the shift you are looking for. The hotel I worked at, most of the in house staff (house keeping and maintenance) left around 6 - which meant front desk was responsible for any guest issues. I unclogged toilets, changed linens, cleaned up vomit, did minor repairs ... and then there are the clients..... UGH. Don't get me wrong, some of them were nice and some of them were absolutely rotten. Demanding doesn't even begin to describe it. Some people enjoy it - I worked with a "lifer", he had been with the same company for 7 years at that point. Last time I talked to him (a year or two ago) he was still in the industry but had switched companies. But I honestly don't think it is really the kind of job you are looking for.

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Have I understood you correctly, in that you want to retain your current full-time job, AND continue to attend grad school, AND now get a second job as well? If so, then I applaud your energy and ambition, but I'm not sure that's really a good idea. I think you do need some dedicated, non-sleep-deprived hours in which to study, as well as some time for relaxation. I'm sure you're not overwhelmed with free time as it is. Some debt during school is okay; you'll be able to repay it later, and with a lot less pain than you'll experience doing it this way.

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Ugh. Well, you guys have basically confirmed what I suspected. Like I said, I work in a public-oriented field, and I'm constantly dealing with snippy, rude and just outright confrontational people. Given, for every one of those crazies, there are about 10-15 decent patrons, but still...


Aaaanyway, yeah, I'm still considering applying for this position, then if I get an interview, just asking how busy nights generally are. I have no idea what the hours are or might be, so it could be early evenings or the late night shifts that someone else mentioned.


I don't know. I don't really need anything too "professional," since I'm currently employed in my field. I just need something that I can do during the evenings, really, that has a decent amount of downtime.


Still brainstorming ideas...

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My sister-in-law worked front desk at a chain motel for a couple of years. Do the words, "Job From H*ll" mean anything to you? She didn't have much down time and always came home tired. She worked all shifts and was called in randomly all the time. You have to be prepared for that. In most hotels/motels, people call in sick to work all the time and the other staff have to cover for them. Sometimes she would have to work twenty hours in two days.

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