25 February 2019

The Beach Hotel’s manager Jackie Batten recalls a wild 29 hours!

Thursday 31st January, I left my home at 8.30 am to attend the Somerset Ladies in Business, I then whizzed on down to the hotel as I had an afternoon and early evening of interviews booked in.

I then had a quick wonder around the hotel, something I like to do ideally on arrival, so I can spot anything out of place.  My bug bear being dirty crockery left out and out of date signs!  Suddenly there was a hint of panic as colleagues shouted you need to go, the weather is turning bad.  With that I quickly grabbed my bag and threw everything into my car, it was about 7.45 pm by then.

Well I soon realised having tentatively driven 3 miles away on my 20 mile journey that the roads were to treacherous for me to make it home safely.  I precariously made a U turn (car slipping and sliding everywhere) my thoughts then realised going back to the hotel was the right thing to do, after all if this carried on, potentially nobody would be able to get into work in the morning!

Then I realised I needed to relieve the receptionist currently on duty, even though she only lived 2 miles out conditions were deteriorating by the minute.  I quickly checked on the kitchen staff, one was staying at the hotel (already planned) and the others could walk home.  I took over reception duties, seeing out the 6 guests we had in the restaurant that night.

What room shall I sleep in, not really a problem when you work in a hotel.  I opted for a single bed in a family room, didn’t want to create too much work for the housekeeper in the morning, after all it could be me that has to strip it and clean it!

I was up quite sharp in the morning as had a much needed trip to Morrisons which opened at 7 am.  I went out with my wellies on but they weren’t required as the sea air had stopped the snow settling.  Basic supplies needed – tooth paste, brush, deodorant, moisturiser, hair band and a few nibbles for breakfast.

So with a lick and a promise I was back on reception, looking exactly the same as I did the night before, literally!  Greeted the overnight business people and then set them giggling when I reappeared in the restaurant to take their drink order.

Fortunately for them the kitchen team had managed to turn in as did housekeeping.  The team rallied round until the rest of the troops could get in.  I finally arrived home 29 hours later to a very delighted 4 legged friend.  Having passed many abandoned cars, it just confirmed my impromptu stay at the hotel was the right thing to do.