Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Secrets Beyond the Naked Eye

To start off the day, we had a quiz on transient displacement. It was almost exactly like our homework problems, so I knew I was confident in my answers. Reneta continued with a lecture about overbooking and overselling. The difference is that in overbooking, the rooms haven't been physically taken yet, but in overselling, the rooms are fully occupied. For my break, I bought a travel mug and tea! Class reconvened and Mark taught Group A how to show a Payoff Matrix on excel. Payoff matrixes basically show how much money you would lose if you had empty rooms or if you completely overbooked and had to take customers to a different hotel. Group A and B switched, so then we hear another lecture from Reneta.

After lots of technical difficulties, the class had a conference call with Bob la Fleur. He's a Cornell alum who focused on food and beverage. He found out that his passion actually wasn't in food or beverage, so he worked several jobs before having his own office on Wall Street. He analyzes different hotels and casinos stocks, and advises people which stocks they should buy. He also gave us explanations to the hotel stock trends because we didn't know anything except "the economy is down" He explained that the hotel business is actually constantly in demand, so the economy doesn't affect it too much. We began to go into the realm of casinos which we'll be learning more about tomorrow.

Being busy people, Bob had to go back to work and so did we! We watched two shocking videos of housekeeping. Two different news companies put hidden cameras in hotel rooms to see how housekeepers cleaned everything. They revealed that the glassware in hotel room is merely rinsed in the same dirty sink of your bathroom! They don't use soap or a dishwasher, and this applied to luxury hotels such as the Ritz-Carlton too. Inspectors even went as far as to swab the windows, sinks, tubs, and toilets. They brought a black light into the room and found out that the walls, bedding, and furniture were stained with urine and other bodily fluids. Isn't that a disgusting thought? Imagine paying hundreds of dollars for a dirty room! The swabbing conclude that 21/25 hotel rooms were covered in bacteria. These hotels are violating health violations and they released press reports saying that "most rooms are not like that, the housekeeper must have coincidentally cut some corners"

For our office hours, everyone had to run their final game of CHESS. My hotel did not improve from the last game, but my team was able to come up with a more profitable hotel together. We'll probably spend the next few nights working on our report past six!

As our last ILC dinner, the Cornell cohort met up with Yueming Wang, a 2011 alum of Hercules High. She also took the hotel course while in the ILC! Yueming told us a lot about her lifestyle in college. Even though Cornell isn't as busy as Columbia, she said that you become so occupied with studying that there won't be time to be bored. She says she misses being in a bustling city, but after four years of hard work, she can move into a larger city. She's majoring in engineering and she got an internship in NYC! Not only does she get experience, but she gets paid and potentially a job after graduation. I really admire her because she doesn't let anything weigh her down from becoming successful. We tall talked about classes, college life, and opportunities until it was time to leave the restaurant.

A few of us came home to decorated doors because a friend of ours put pictures and a congrats letter on our walls! We haven't officially graduated yet, but class is coming to an end. I'm glad that I've been able to look ahead and not look back because there isn't anything to regret.

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