When I moved to Hawaii, I applied for and got a job with a timeshare company as front office staff. Let me make it very clear, they were not licensed nor allowed to sell timeshares in the state or I would have never worked there. So my job was to check people into their unit, help with the ‘orientation’ on Monday morning where we explained and hawked excursions and generally performed troubleshooting of issues.
Our building was mostly owner-occupied condos with timeshare units interspersed. Some condo owners rented out their own units. The site was on the ocean and a short walk to stores and restaurants. Other than that, we had a salt water pool and a small jacuzzi and a small area to relax. There was a soda machine and some underground parking. These were 1 bedroom units with the bedroom on the street side and an overhead fan because the walkway to rooms was just outside the bedroom. The kitchen/ livingroom had an airconditioner on the ocean side where you had a small balacony. Some units had full ocean view, some partial ocean view, some beach view and one with a view of a wall. The Managers apartment was on the top floor with beach view. There was a washer/drier stack combo in a closet. For all this luxury (snide remark) you used twice the points you would have for a vegas resort!
On Saturday, we may have 20 units to fill. The later checkins might get a worse room. We also had the issue every week where a checkin would be given a room assignment and almost instantly come back to the office with the compaint that they were supposed to have an ocean view. We woudl shuffle as best as we could but the availability we had never matched the persons expectation. I remember a guy who came with his family (probably 14 to 20 hours with layover), got to his room and came down to the office. He offered that it was not our fault but his expectation was different. He asked for the telephone number of a real resort up the road (one that charges $800 to $1,000 a night and up).
Because we needed good ratings from visitors, certain timeshare customers who had booked through a certain booking agency were given preferential (VIP) treatment where they got the ocean front rooms, we even put flowers in those rooms and I went to COstco for fresh pineapples and fruit. They didn’t deserve the VIP treatment except that we hoped their reviews would help.
One of the units we put people in, we had no documentation that we actually owned it. You see, the company that owned and managed the units (right then it was us) had changed so many times that much of the paperwork was lost. One elderly woman came often but never had an ocean front room which she was supposed to have. She had 2 timeshare with our comapny. I was shopping and she aproached me and we chatted. She asked if getting a THIRD timeshare whould help her get a better room next time. I told her off the record, “Why not stop doing timeshares and just book a real hotel room at a real resort?”.
In the two years I worked there I went through three managers. I still have the comment card a guest left saying of all the timeshare places he has ever stayed at, world wide, I was the best and most caring employee he ever saw. I don’t know if that reflects on me or timeshares on the whole.
I enjoyed doing the orientations and telling people about the volcano, the boat rides, fishing and tours. I did not like the rest of the job. I especially enjoyed serving my own Kona coffee to guests, many of whom hated coffee because of its bitter taste. I had some guests who became customers of mine for over 10 years.
So for orientation I would be tasked to go to Costco for fruit, pasteries every week. Some times I was asked to go buy an airconditioner or washer/drier for a unit. I bought them on my persoanl credit card and get paid back by the company. What a great way to get extra cash or miles and to get a higher credit limit!