Ask/Talk To the Hotel Night Clerk

I am the Night Auditor at a hotel in Idaho. I am bored. I am a long-time doper but haven’t been around in a few years.

Ask me questions about the hotel industry (my part of it, anyway), Star Wars trivia, the Lewiston/Clarkston area, or just what the hell ever you have on your mind this late at night. Shoot! (please)


Can I talk you into a lower room rate, if I arrive at, say, 1:00 am and your place isn’t full?


Why do all hotels have those fuzzy blankets that warm up to about 500 degrees two hours after you go to bed? Where do they come from?

What exactly does a Night Auditor do?

I have seriously always wondered about that.

Quasi- yes. If we were, say, 70% or less, I’d give you a $59 rate just to get you in. Our rack rate is 89, so that’s a pretty good discount, I think.

Brahesilver- we don’t have electric blankets, which I suppose some hotels think are a good idea. We do have those orange-ish fuzzy ones, though, which I always thought were quite comfy.

Lsura- my job is kinda threefold. My shift is 10pm to 6am. for about the first two hours, I just man the front desk, check people in, answer phones, stuff like that. Then once everyone goes to sleep, I start the audit (which I am kind of half-heartedly working on right now). The audit consists of collecting all the guests’ folios, making sure everyone who needs to be checked out is checked out, everyone who needs to be checked in is checked in, then I charge the credit cards, print reports to send to the property owners and who ever else has an interest in our daily operations, and then bundle all the daily paperwork, folios, reports, reciepts and stuff into a nice little manila envelope. Then I find something to do for about three to four hours. At about 4am I slip reciepts under the doors of our prefered customers and then set up the continental breakfast. The whole time I am making coffee, delivering toothpaste, blankets, pillows, and roll-away beds to guests, finding one of those HBO guides to see if Dennis Miller is on tonight.

So my job is customer service, accounting, and food service. And I have my name on my shirt. My mom is quite proud.

What kind of things do you do to fill the quiet, boring periods?

How do you deal with drunk (funny, aggressive or ill) customers returning late?

Do you ever have to deal with any bizarre requests while on duty?

Sorry, Brahesilver. I thought you meant electric blankets. It’s been a while since I’ve slept with the orange fuzzy blanket, but I see how they can get warm after a while. If I was having that problem, I’d call the front desk and ask if there are thinner blankets (I dont’ think we have any) or a few more sheets and discard the blanket all together. Or if you have room in your luggage, pack your own. We have guests who stay for months ata time, I sure hope they have their own blanket and pillow. I’d miss mine after a while.

You know, I’ve been a night auditor for 8 years now, and I’ve never thought of starting a thread like this…

Crusoe- I have a few things I can do to pass time. I read, draw, watch TV if it’s a really slow night, I’ve recently started posting more on the SDMB. Lately, I’ve been working on ‘mobïus flows’, which are a paper cut-out craft I do that the other employees really like. I’ve been making some for them.

This is a slightly classier hotel, not a four star, but nice, and we mostly have business travelers as guests. Sometimes there is the odd drunk, I treat them like any other guest. The just want to get some sleep and take a shower- fine with me. At least they’re not driving. It’s the art of “Smile and Nod.” I’m great at it.

The most bizarre request we get is for porn. We just say “Sorry, HBO is the best we can do.” There was a coworker of mine who checked in a girls’ tennis team, and the coach asked him if he could show them around town. It was a Penthouse Forum just waiting to happen, but he turned it down on account of wanting to keep his job.

Galen Ubal, feel free to help me answer any of these questions, then. I’ve only been at it since February.

It’s always nice to meet another NAD (Night Auditor Dude)

Always nice to meet another member of the International Night Shift Auditors Network - what hotel do you work for? I’m doing a Hampton Inn (at the moment). Nice quiet place.

The job: Babar714 pretty well nailed it, though I’m on 11p-7a.

Stories? Oh Lord, when I get home, I’ll have time…it’s 6a here and people are starting to wake up and check out…

I’m not really sure it’s a good idea to post who you work for, is it? Can’t problems arise from that? It’s not that I’m complainig about my employers, I really like who I work for. If a few dopers attest that it’s not really a problem, I’ll go ahead and tell you.

How many rooms do you have, Galen?

I can’t wait 'til I have stories. I’m a Night Auditor rookie.

Ok, I have another question - I’m an upcoming grad student, and I’m going to have to find a job that allows me to attend class and still pay rent, and this is one of the possibilities I’ve considered.

What are approximate rates of pay? I have no hotel industry experience, but seven years of experience in customer service/managment/internal auditing (which I know from your description above is completely different from Night Auditing!). If I were offered a job at say, a Hampton or a similar hotel chain, what could I expect as an offered rate of pay?

150 rooms, 3 meeting rooms.

Shy of having 'dopers show up requesting really cheap rooms (and getting huffy if I don’t come through) I don’t see how it could be a problem - I’ve got (mostly) good things to say about this place, and I’m not going to name names when I talk about “interesting” guests.
Like the suicidal cop I had here a few months ago. Fortunately, he’d left his gun at home. If he just hadn’t been calling down every five minutes asking if the cops were watching him I’d never have been suspicious of him. After a time of this, I called the cops just to see if anyone was looking for him. Turns out they were - his wife had called in saying that he had taken off and seemed depressed. Seven cop cars and about twenty relatives later, they took him out. Don’t know what happened to him after that…
Bear in mind, that was here, and I consider this a quiet place. The place I worked before was fancier but had a much weirder clientele. Some stories about that later.

Varies widely. This is a very poorly paying area overall - I started here at 7.25/hr; the only benefit is health insurance at $10/week single.

Not sure about Atlanta, but I would assume no more than $8-$9 to start. Hotel clerks - even night auditors - are pretty disposable in most bosses’ eyes.

Thanks, galen ubal.

Actually, I’m moving to Knoxville in a couple of weeks for school - and based on my calculation of known expenses $8-$9 is a livable income (with a little “extra” left over each month for savings). But I’ll have to decide if I can work nights and manage school (though the health insurance would be a great benefit!). Plus talk to some temp agencies and see what I can come up with through them :slight_smile:
Now I have to go to work.

I started at 7, and am now up to $7.25/hour. I don’t know about other companies, but I think that’s fairly consistant with most larger chains. We also have benifits and pto at 6mos. With customer support experience alone, I’m sure you could do this job. I had no previous education in the field. I think as long as you’re willing to work the late hours and, in my case, be prepared to deal with an emergency should 80 rooms catch fire. I am the only employee in the building right now, which always seemed odd to me- seeing as I’m responsible for their saftey and don’t even have a can of mace.

But yes, it’s one of those common sense jobs, and being good with people certainly helps. Certainly beats pumpin’ gas or flippin’ burgers.

Don’t mind my question, Babar. I think I stole it from a Louie Anderson bit; I can’t remember. Or was his about how they would ride up via static electricity to block your view of the TV?

Anyhoo, just to give you a question, how extensive is the continental breakfast at your place? Just croissants and beverages, or the whole deal: tub of scrambled eggs, cereals, juice, etc.?