The audit is a specific shift (and job) at most hotels. It usually begins in the very late evening and runs until around sunrise.

The auditor usually works completely alone. Basically what he has to do is to do the standard hotel front desk tasks, and run a variety of reports and possibly count money and handle other assorted paperwork.

This is usually an incredibly easy job and it comes with a lot of free time. I have been doing this job for close to three years now. I am going to go into a little detail about what you actually do on the audit shift.

First thing is that a full time auditor usually isn't going to have to work any weekends at all. If someone offers you an audit job with weekends attached, say "no thanks" and call the next place down the road. Most hotels have an impossible time keeping a full time auditor, and they will usually bend to your wishes.

I arrive at work at 11 PM. I then spend about 5 minutes trying to flirt with the girl from the last shift, and then I check the computer. On the average night I will only be looking at three remaining arrivals. That means I am only going to have to check in three people all night long. Most of the action for the night is going to happen in the next hour. When I say action, what I mean is phone calls. The phone will tend to ring every few minutes between 11 and midnight before falling more or less silent for the rest of the evening.

The place really dies down around midnight. At my place that is when the last employee other than myself goes home. At this point you are looking at six hours before anything really happens again. That is six long hours that you can pretty much use however you want, as long as you manage to answer the occasional phone call.

I usually use my six free hours on the internet, but in the past I have used that time to read novels, play video games, and even to sleep. Sometime in that six hours you are going to have to do the audit itself. It usually isn't so much an audit as much as it is printing up a whole bunch of computer reports and watching them spit out of a dot matrix printer. At my place it takes about 5 minutes of typing to do, and then about an hour to print. After it prints you are looking at about another 5 minutes to sort it all out, before you get back to more important things.

The last hour of the shift is also rather busy. You will most likely end up checking a few people out, answering a lot of stupid questions, and routing quite a few phone calls. With any luck, your replacement will show up on time, and you will be out the door promptly at 7 AM.

Advantages of working the audit shift

The biggest advantage is simply the massive amount of unsupervised free time that an auditor has. You are golden as long as you manage to answer that phone and print those reports. So it is kind of like being at home with a phone that rings a little too much.

Any decent hotel will have both a kitchen and an ethernet connection. Use both of them to their fullest.

Now for the drawbacks

The biggest drawback is the fact that you have to work in the middle of the night. You can get used to this eventually. But no matter how long you work it, you will still run into life situations that eat into your precious daily sleep hours.

The other drawback is only a minor one. That is that you work pretty much totally alone, so you miss out on spending "quality time" with other people at work. Some people would probably consider this an advantage.

This writeup was written to describe what an auditor does, after someone in the catbox expressed interest, and of course it was composed at work, on the audit shift.