The telephone rings at 5:45AM. Carlton Ritz slowly turns over and answers it.
"Good morning Stacey."
"Good morning Mr. Ritz. This is your wake-up call."
Carlton hasn't used an alarm clock in three years, not since becoming General Manager at City View Suites, a four-star hotel downtown. Wake-up calls keep him in touch with what his hotel's guests go through. The new girl, Stacey, has been doing a great job. The last wake up caller had a slight stutter.
Today is Saturday, which is usually a slower day because most of the business clients are sleeping in their own beds over the weekend. It might usually be slow, but not today—with a massive wedding reception booked for the ballroom at 4:00PM and a VIP crowd attending the mayor's fundraising dinner three hours later, the hotel has no vacancies left.
After a quick shower—with a little bar of soap and miniature bottle of shampoo—followed by a continental breakfast, at 7:00AM Carlton walks ten blocks to the hotel and stands for a moment outside the door to admire the entrance. There's something serene about the front lobby of a hotel in the morning; the big, open, immaculately clean space that's quiet now but ready to handle the hustle and bustle of a busy day.
Once Carlton takes the elevator up to the management offices, the first order of business is to meet with his assistant manager to review last night's numbers, as well as any complaints clients may have had. There's only one, a very rare and welcome occurrence. Apparently, the guest in Room 517 ordered room service—two steaks charred to a crisp and a glass of milk—and was delivered two steaks only well-done.
"It was the chef, Mr. Ritz. He refused to ruin the steaks."
"Send up a complimentary breakfast of whatever the guest would like, and I'll have a word with the chef."
Meeting adjourned at 9:00AM, Carlton takes some time to make some business phone calls, answer some business emails, and schedule some business meetings. It's always a good idea to stay on top of business—plus it's a good way to distract himself between staff meetings (by planning more of them).
Mr. Ritz then heads downstairs to another meeting, this one a 10:00AM interface with the housekeeping crew.
"Listen up folks: times are changing and we need to change with them. It turns out nobody uses those shower caps and shoehorns we've been leaving on the bathroom counters, so I need you to get rid of them. As of today, we're going to leave bottles of vanilla cake body balm butter. The company's research has shown that hipster guests will really enjoy it. Remember, this is not actual butter, so don't eat it."
The head of housekeeping takes notes, and she circles that last one a few times in red pen—that one seems extra important.
After the meeting, Carlton spends more time in his office doing managerial things, then enters the dining area at 12:00PM to mingle with guests during lunch. He shakes hands and talks food with an elderly couple visiting from Ohio. One guest mistakes him for a waiter and asks for more orange juice. He politely accepts the mission, then goes to ask the chef in which of the seven refrigerators the juice is kept.
At 2:00PM, it's time to review the ballroom for the wedding reception. Florists and caterers have been hard at work all day making final arrangements. A string quartet is setting up in the corner and the walls are being draped with champagne-colored silk. Carlton meets with the wedding coordinator and goes over the itinerary for the evening.
Minutes later the bride comes storming in, and all of a sudden the room is buzzing with excitement. The next four hours are a whirlwind of celebratory activity in the ballroom. Thankfully, Carlton has other people to deal with all that "fun." He spends the time in his office, catching up on the day's reservation numbers and occasionally getting a harried call from his events manager about some new demand the bride's making.
After dinner in the employee cafeteria with some of the team, Carlton heads over to the smaller conference room where the fundraiser is being set up. Much like the wedding reception, he meets with the campaign director in charge of the evening. And much like before, the mayor comes in after a few minutes and suddenly everything's a whirlwind.
It's amazing how much city politics and huge wedding parties have in common.
At 6:30PM, Carlton lets the event manager know he's leaving, and that he can be reached on his cell if necessary. Both events are a smashing success, and the hotel is able to book two more receptions from the attendees that night. The day was long, but Carlton is able to head home knowing he's made his clients happy and his hotel a lot of money.
He's also planning on coming in at 10:00AM tomorrow. Since he's the boss, he gets to make that call, and after a day like today he's totally making that call.