I debated whether or not to write this blog. It is hard, if I write it, not to sound negative. I have shared mostly beautiful pictures and positive experiences. Should I write about the “other side” of the story as well?
Well, you are reading it, so I have decided to tell the not so “rosy” side of the experience. After all, this blog is about my life experiences, positive or negative. Luckily I have never mentioned the name of the company I worked for so it is easier to write. Even though I don’t like the company, there is no need to “bad mouth” the former employer.
Yes, you guessed it right – I am leaving the job. Although I enjoyed very much the perks of working for a travel company (as you can read in post #48 to #64), working and living here has been a frustrating and uncomfortable experience.
If you read the comments in my previous posts, you probably noticed that I complained about employee housing being very noisy. A seasonal job like this is truly geared towards young people who love party and drinking. As much as I hate to admit it, I am too old for this type of jobs.
Yes, I have used ear plugs and it did help in some ways. However, when someone slammed the door, which happened everyday all throughout night, the whole room was shaking. One of my co-workers had to stay in his tent rather than his room since the ceiling fan running next door shook his bed too much. You can imagine how thin the wall is. I could hear people talking on the phone, not just the person here, but also the person on the other line!
In the past 2 months, I have only had a handful of good night sleep – 2 nights were spent outside the property and a few nights I had to use sleeping pills. The lack of sleep made me feel constantly tired and I was sick a couple of times.
If the job was rewarding or I was proud of the company I was working for, I would probably “touch it out”. Well, the job is as frustrating as the living condition here. Without going into detail, I will just give you an example.
For a property containing 46 cabins, we had 63 parties checking in one day – 17 rooms overbooked! I had never heard a hotel or a motel has to send people to a different accommodation simply because they overbook. Well, overbooking has been a constant struggle for us. For unknown reason, the reservation office (located in a different city) kept on doing this on a regular basis. Not only we had to do more by organizing and providing transportation for the people we send to other hotels (once we had to send them 20 miles away since everyone close by was fully booked), but also we were blamed for doing so. Of course the guests were not happy to be sent away from their originally planned location. Guess whom did they blame it on? Us, the people working at the front desk! We are the “face of the company”, as we were told before.
The other area of frustration came from the customers. Before I took the job, I thought I was going to meet people who love travel and who are happy to be here. Of course there are people like that. However, I have met so many unhappy and impolite people in just 2 months! I was yelled at, for things out of my control, so many times that I lost count.
I thought my early shift (starting 5:30am) had something to do with it. People may be grumpy so early in the morning. Well, my other co-worker who worked different shift had similar problems. “I used to think people are nice before I took this job,” a young guy also works at the front desk said sadly “but the more I work here, the more I think differently.”
I have considered and debated about leaving not long after the beginning of the job (also had problem with poor training and a difficult manage at the beginning). As I told my family and friends, I hated the idea of “quitting”; even this is just a seasonal job. “You should do what is good for you” One friend said. “Your health is the most important thing to consider” commented the other. Yet, I was hanging on.
Then, people started to leave! For a place with about 20 workers, 4 has already quitted and 2 have been fired (one general manager whom I actually really like was fired for unknown reason the second day and restaurant manager was fired for showing up drunk the third day)! I am now the 5th one to leave and I am not even the last one. One of the 3 original front desk clerks just gave his notice to the company yesterday. I knew he debated and struggled about leaving as I did. I am happy for him that he finally made up his mind. I felt so much better once I gave my notice 2 weeks ago.
So, even though my experience of working with a travel company turned out to be not as good as I imagined, I did gain some insight of a travel company and I truly enjoyed all the perks very, very much!
As where I am going next? I just rent a room in a house in Girdwood which is about 40 minutes south of Anchorage. Alaska is such a long way from home. I doubt I will ever come here again so I would like use as much of the left over summer as possible to travel the rest of this wild and magic land. Stay turned to my next adventure. 🙂
(I took this picture right outside of my room!)
PS. my photo website: http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/qing-yang.html