Anyone who has ever watched a Garfield cartoon can remember is favorite line: “I hate Mondays”, why did he, a cat, without a job or any responsibilities hate Mondays so much? Simply put, because anything that could go wrong did go wrong on Monday. In the case of timeshare resorts, with specific check in days such as Saturday, we tend to hate the day before our check in day.
At our resort our check in day is Saturday and over the course of the years I’ve been working here I’ve noted that Friday is always the most stressful day of the entire week. Whenever we think have everything under control there is a last minute wrench in the plans. My colleagues and I even joke about the jinx of a good Friday, which usually means something ominious is going to happen on the Saturday.
We almost breathe a sigh of relief when a guest unexpectedly shows up in the wrong week or a year ahead of their scheduled check in (that has happened an unusual amount of times over the last 4 years!) and it gives us something to have to fix. I’ve found that it doesn’t matter how hard we work, how much information we gather during the week, how well coordinated and prepared we are, there is no combating vacation brain.
Vacation brain is our greatest enemy, this condition usually features our guests forgetting to mention things to us, such as the fact they will be checking out and sending a guest for their following week or that they are staying with friends in another room the following week. We don’t usually get this information until we have finished up all our assignments and sent in everything to the front desk and housekeeping so that they have the completed lists.
At that stage all you can do is laugh through the frustation, make the necessary changes and send your third correction email to all departments again and hope it is the last time you have to make a change.
As much as I thought this was a phenomenon isolated to our hotel or our members, in speaking to colleagues from other resorts, it turns out it is quite a common issue, which none of us have found a solution to yet.
We often trade tips on methods we have tried to remediate the situation such as announcements in our newsletters, posts on our social media pages and even being as specific as possible during members meetings about providing us timely information. The only thing that has seemed to work has been making notes of these events and reviewing past reservations to try and predict the future pattern.
It is a hit or miss method as sometimes our guests can surprise you, but so far it has been the most effective combatant against vacation brain. At the end of a long Friday we are all happy to pack it up for the day and use our weekends to prepare for the battle of the following week. One day I do believe us reservations agents will win the war against Fridays!