In a hotel with over 250 rooms and an average of 500 guests a day, something always happens. Usually fun moments and conversations; helping someone to get to the Anne Frank house, arranging a birthday cake for a guest, a celebration in the bar. You want to help these people as good as possible and when you get a thank you or read your name in a review it makes you proud and happy. That’s why we still like this job.

Of course there are less fun moments. A guest who, after a long trip, insults a receptionist, problems that have to be solved, or even worse: a medical incident. As main emergency response officer, I am called when medical troubles occur. Just like today.

There is a man at the reception who’s literally “hanging around’; he sweats, he shakes and can barely speak. The receptionist, Helga, calls me and at the same time she is on the phone with the emergency number 112. I take care of the man and get a chair for him. Meanwhile, I pass on the answers to the questions the man gives me to Helga. It’s Friday and it’s really busy with guests wanting to check in or out, it is difficult understanding each other because of the noise in the reception.

It turns out the man has diabetes, didn’t eat anything but did smoke a joint. His blood sugars are either really low or really high. The nurse advices us to give him sugar water. Within a couple of minutes the ambulance arrives and the nurses are examining him. He seems to be OK and luckily he doesn’t have to go to the hospital. Sweet drinks and food with lots of sugar in it and he will be all right.

Meanwhile we’re busy calling his wife. He’s is staying with a party of 3 rooms, but his wife is not answering in any of the rooms. We keep trying because the man really wants to see her. Makes sense, right?

I take the man to the breakfast room, where it’s quieter. I get him a glass of orange juice and two sandwiches with marmalade. I wonder if he is OK because he didn’t even touch his sandwich or drink. The man says he’s dizzy and I decide to feed him, it looks like he is too weak to bring the fork to his mouth. We keep calling to the rooms of the party staying with the guests and finally we get his wife on the phone.

How do tell you someone you had to call the emergence number without making her worry? The woman comes down to the breakfast room, shocked. I want to say goodbye, as his wife is here to take care, but the man asks me to stay. So what do you do? I stay.

As I go on with my daily business, I still think about the man. I look for him, to check if he is OK, but he is no longer in the lounge. I call his wife to ask about his health. The man has slept and has eaten something and is sleeping again. She says that she is grateful that I helped.

Another problem solved. I can go home now. Tomorrow is a new challenging day!

Manager XO Hotels Park West