I work in a hotel. Actually, it’s a large inn with a restaurant and someday soon a bar. I work the front desk, which I’m sure in a large chain like a Holiday Inn or some such, you get to sit around, answer the phones, and wait for people to check in. Where I work, the person running the front desk is more like the quarterback to the hotel, because you’re playing host for the restaurant and concierge for the hotel while answering the phones and checking people in. You have to be able to multi-task and queue tasks in your mind so you can jump from one task to the next without getting too far behind or forgetting things.
The most surprising aspect of this job is the number of people that require you to acknowledge their existence EVERY SINGLE TIME they walk by the front desk. They may take two, three, or four trips to unload their vehicles and put stuff in their rooms. They may come out of the restaurant to use the bathrooms. Each time they walk by, they have to make eye contact, nod their head and if this doesn’t elicit some sort of reaction they’ll say, “Hey,” or something else that will force you to respond in turn or be socially rude. Of course, as the front desk attendant, I’m not supposed to be rude. In fact, being in the service industry, I should be the exact opposite of rude. So I acknowledge their existence.
But I have to ask what the deal is with these people. Why are they so insecure that they have to be noticed every time they enter a room? Or is it something else? Is it some sort of psychosis? Or did I not learn a social norm as a child that I should have?
I can’t say. I have no common point of reference. I try to go as unnoticed as possible when I check into a hotel. If I’m out traveling or on vacation, the last thing I want is to be bothered by strangers, and certainly not every time I walk into a room.
What about you? Are you the person who has to be acknowledged wherever you go? Or is there something wrong with me?