There is always at least one duty that all Social Hosts consider the bane of their existence. For me it is the 6-9amish (if you are lucky) shift at the accounting desk on disembarkation day.
Any duty that starts before 8am is never one we particularly enjoy, especially since we only finish around 11.30pm every night. But Accounting is a very particular kind of torture.
The gist of the duty is to helpfully collect all the signed CREDIT CARD INVOICES from guests who are disembarking. The truth of the matter is that you do this and become a target for numerous frustrations.
First you have to wake up around 5.40am… yup I sleep as long as possible.
Then the staff mess and crew bar only open at 6.30am so you have to face numerous guests without even one sip of coffee….
Now, of course, I completely understand the guests are tired as well, I mean they have relaxed all week and having to be out of bed and out the room by 7am (our cabin stewards have an entire 4hrs to clean almost 2000 cabins) would make me a little edgy too.
But seriously, yelling at someone who is trying to help because there is a mistake on your bill does not help you get anywhere.
A few examples of the sheer joy that is this special type of hell:
Now we have all heard of Road rage and phone rage etc… but on the day the Divina was due to set out on the trans-atlantic, I had the joy of discovering Crossing Fury. Guests were just on a whole other level of, dare I say, crazy.
One German guest who had an issue with his bill and not williing to take the time to try and understand the ENGLISH hostess trying to help him, began yelling in German. My reply was a calm “sorry don’t speak German”. To which he countered with scrumpling his bill and throwing it my face. As it bounced off my cheek I calmly said “I still don’t speak German”, then turned to the next person and said “now how may I help you?”.
Today I had the joy of attempting to send someone who stated he was paying in cash to the correct line. He promptly started yelling in Italian, with a couple of “then we not pay our bill”. I tried to explain I did not speak Italian well. To which he yelled that it was my job to know Italian. I pointed out that I was the English Hostess and spoke English, Afrikaans and Korean (ok a smidge of this) but not Italian. He continued to yell at me as I turned to help the next person. Then he walked up to the counter, yelled at my collegue then signed his credit card invoice, then walked off still yelling at me.
There are so many examples like this that I could go one forever. Needless to say after close to 4hrs of this (as we are usually finished closer to 10am than 9am), you are utterly exhausted both physically and emotionally.
The one good thing is, that when some guests get completely unreasonable and yell, the guests who witness this become exceptionally kind and generous.
So at least there are some guests who make my job worthwhile!
For all future guests of a cruise ship, please may I give you a tip. If you READ your paperwork, or WATCH the informational video / talk… disembarkation would be so much easier. But it appears that the skill of reading and listening become very difficult once someone walks across the gangway….after all you are on vacaiton