All posts tagged hotel

A New Career?

Published April 27, 2017 by mindfulofchatter

I am not particularly happy with my job. My immediate supervisor has no experience doing the job she manages. This leads some ridiculous scheduling, and impossible work loads to deal with. But the other day, whilst in the middle of cleaning a room, I had a thought.

Why not become a paid convention speaker and talk about housekeeping?

You know, basically get paid to shame the audience who traveled to the convention and is now staying at local hotels. All done with love and humor, of course. Sort of….well….maybe…okay – mostly with love and humor.

Just imagine – a convention for *insert your occupation here*, all gathered together to discuss all the ups and downs of working in the *insert your occupation here* field. When a one the colleagues takes to the stage to introduce the next speaker;

‘Ladies and Gentleman. Welcome the *insert your occupation here* annual convention. Tonight we pleased to have with us here tonight, a very special speaker. She is here to speak to you all about hotel housekeeping and hotel guests. Please welcome, Mind Full of Chatter.’

You can hear it can’t you? The murmurs of the audience as they think…

What the hell kind of name is Mind Full of Chatter?

Why the hell is she here at an *insert your occupation here* convention to talk about hotel housekeeping?

What on earth can be said about housekeeping? That’s kinda of boring, isn’t it?

And then the slow dawning, and fidgeting, of several audience members as they realize will be outed for being the worst hotel guests ever. Because no one wants hear about their own apparent inability to put trash in a trash can, change out their own toilet paper and flush their own toilet when staying at a hotel.

The Intentional Mess Makers will all fidget and cough. Some will try to sneak out. Others will suddenly be very interested in anything other than making eye contact with anyone else. A few will try to hide in their coffee cups and hope no one realizes they are the ones being spoken about.

The Unintentional Mess Makers will nervously laugh and spill their coffee. They will covertly glance around to see if anyone noticed they spilled their coffee, thus spilling more coffee and leaving drip marks all down the fronts of their shirts. They will then try to sop up the mess they made with a napkin, only to make a slightly larger mess.

The Neat Nics will look satisfied with themselves. Some will turn the person next to them to tell them all about the last tip they left. Others will simply smile and nod knowingly. A few will try to help The Unintentional Mess Makers clean up  their coffee spills.

Most everyone will laugh nervously (because I am hilarious) and glance around trying to identify whomever I am currently speaking about. In the end they applaud – because they don’t know what else to do.

And I will be paid to shut up and go on my merry way, leaving the audience of the *insert your occupation here* convention to go back to their hotel rooms, clean up their messes, change out their own toilet paper, flush their own toilets, and leave a tip for the housekeeper so they don’t feel so guilty about their own poor behavior.

Sounds like a win win to me.


I Need An ‘Older Person’ Job.

Published April 12, 2017 by mindfulofchatter

All is sort of well in my world. I found a job, hated it, so I found another job. The new job pays more with more hours. To top it off, I got a $1.00 an hour raise after a week on. I thought it was because I was awesome. But it turns out they are raising the hiring wage, and decided I ought to be at that rather the old rate. I guess I’m no so awesome after all. Damn it.

I am back to working as a hotel housekeeper. But this particular hotel was built to be condominiums. This means ALL the rooms have full on bedrooms, full bathrooms and full kitchens. This not some run-of-the-mill hotel room. This requires more work per room, and my body isn’t having any of it.

We usually work in teams, and that helps. I love my teammate, but they aren’t letting us stay as a team. She is officially the new housekeeper trainer. This means I am getting dumped to work on my own or with one of the other housekeepers. I don’t really care for the males, and the other females are Hispanic and speak little to no English. The language barrier would make working with them impossible for me since my Spanish is pretty much over after ‘hola’ and ‘buenos diaz’ (unless you count the song about beating chocolate I remember from high school Spanish class, though I can’t see that as being relevant in housekeeping).

My very first day was a 10 hour day. I still find that to be a ridiculous first day in a housekeeping situation. My second day was close to that. My teammate and I had 28 rooms condos that included 11 checks outs, 7 of which were two bedroom rooms condos. That is an exhausting amount of work, even for two people.

This place keeps wondering why they can’t keep housekeepers. Hmmmm…let me mull that over a bit…

For those you are not familiar with how hotel housekeeping works, ALL the rooms (including those with people staying more than one night – called stay overs) are supposed to be finished by check in time. Check in times varied hotel to hotel, but you can see how this puts pressure on the people who actually do the cleaning.

We also have what is called metric time. This the amount of time we are given to completely clean a room. This includes cleaning the bathroom(s), changing the bed(s), re-stocking linens and soaps, cleaning the kitchen, removing all the trash and cleaning the floors. Every check out is completely cleaned. The sinks and tubs are scrubbed, all the counter tops are cleaned, carpet vacuumed, hard floors swept and moped – in short, the works. And all done within a certain amount of time no matter how dirty we find the room.

Stay overs have a shorter metric time, but still certain things are done. This depends on what the guest wants. If the guest is not in the room, they get beds made, bathrooms cleaned, fresh towels (if the towels are on the floor), dishes put away out of the dishwasher (remember, these are condos), dirty dishes loaded and the washer started, floors swept and carpets vacuumed. We also re-stock soaps, coffee and the like. Some guests want the beds made fresh every day. Because they make their own damn bed at home fresh every day, don’t they. Whoops. Uh, snark alert?

This is why I have written before about those guests who are pigs and leave huge messes. It makes our day longer and tougher. We don’t need your mess to have a job. We get paid for cleaning your room, even if you are heavenly and leave it neat. But the big messes put us behind and make us work a lot harder than we already do. Oh, and tips are always highly appreciated.

Which brings me back to my complaining body.

I hurt. My feet hurt (yes, I have compression socks and proper work shoes). I am exhausted most days. My body simply isn’t catching on to the workload. Instead it is demanding sleep and hurting. I slept a total of 18 hours my last day off – not good. I am grumpy and tired. This time around, my body is just saying – NO! Or perhaps it is more along the lines of ‘What in the hell do you think you are doing?!?’.

So I will stay on until I find something else, or my body gives out. I’m not a money hound, so I can stand a cut in pay.

I know I need something more suited to a slightly chubby 58-year-old.


When Staying at a Hotel…

Published October 17, 2016 by mindfulofchatter



One of my new jobs is at a local hotel in the housekeeping department. I have been a hotel housekeeper before, a long, long time ago. The job of a hotel housekeeper, or maid, is the prepare the rooms for the next guest, and refresh the rooms of the people who are staying longer than one night.

Many people do not realize how hard that work is. The bed linens are heavy to carry. There are sometimes up to 14 bathrooms to clean in one day, per maid. Some of those 14 rooms have more than one bed that needs stripped and remade. We dust, we vacuum, we pick up the trash left behind, clean out the fridges and change out all the towels. If you think it’s easy, please, be my guest and try for one day. After your 2 day recovery period, let me know how you’re feeling.

So I want to say a few things to those of you who travel and stay at hotels, and to those you who chaperon bands, drill teams and the like on road trips.

Stop being pigs. Stop being disgusting humans.

My job is hard enough without you trashing a room. I don’t need to spend 20 minutes, or more,  picking up the trash you’ve left all over the room. I don’t need to have to search to find all the towels you’ve stuffed behind the furniture. I don’t need to pick up all your nasty dishes, fast food wrappers, half full coffee cups and endless kleenex. Nor do I need to crawl on the floor fishing your crap out from under the bed. There are trash cans in every room. Use them.

Have an accident? Did your dog or toddler take a dump on the bed? Call the front desk and ask for help. The desk is there 24/7. I don’t need to find the bed and all the sheets full of shit. Or the towels. The nice dude, or dudette, at the front desk can get you some plastic bags and help you get it cleaned up before it becomes a mess with a life of its own. And you can have a clean bed to sleep in as well.

For those you who think that by trashing a room I am keeping my job. Stop being so stupid. I HAVE a job. My job is the clean that room for the next guest. You acting like a disgusting pig and trashing the room only makes my job harder, and makes my day longer. You being a disgusting pig, impacts everyone’s day. From mine to the other maids to the laundry people. Thing only you’ve really accomplished is make us all more tired, and show us what horrible, nasty human you are. We are not impressed.

So be thoughtful. Put your damn trash in the trash cans. Need a bigger bag? Ask at the front desk. They will gladly give you a large trash bag or several more small ones.

What to help a little?

Pile all the used towels together in one place, preferably the bathroom. Toss all the used soap and shampoo in the trash can. Make sure the toilet has been flushed. No one likes that surprise.

Put all of your trash in a trash can or trash bag. Empty out any half bottles, cans or cups, and toss them in there as well.

Want to really help?

Strip your bed. Put the sheets and pillow cases in a pile, the bedspread and blanket in another pile.

Mostly, think about someone besides yourself. Don’t be a pig. Don’t make a huge mess just because you can. Don’t think you are helping people keep their jobs, because you aren’t. It’s just you being disgusting.

If you are chaperoning a band, drill team, debate team, or whatever; check on your kids. Don’t let them trash a room either. I don’t care that you aren’t their parent, you agreed to be responsible for them on this trip, so be flippin’ responsible! Stick your head in their rooms and make them pick up after themselves. At check out, do the same thing. Don’t let them zip out and leave a trashed room behind. There is no need for them to learn to be a disgusting human so early in life. Stop it before it becomes a habit.

Mostly, just be polite. Pick up after yourself. Call the front desk if something goes awry. Above all, enjoy your stay.

We really do love having you come to visit.






The Overnight Get-Away

Published March 30, 2014 by mindfulofchatter



Luke and I had a fun little over night get away. Last year, Luke did some work for trade and received some coupons for various and assorted things. One was an over night stay at a local lodge. This included vouchers towards a room, dinner and breakfast. This meant we could scoot off for the weekend without it costing us an arm and a leg. And maybe a finger or toe or two.

Luke made the reservations. He got a room with a whirl-pool tub and fireplace! This sounded so nice, and a little romantic to boot. After such a marvelous birthday last week, this seemed like the perfect add-on. We were both looking forward to a mini-vacation!

This room goes for $349 a night. That is a lot of money for a hotel room for one night. At least it is in my book. We checked in and headed off the find our room. The room was pretty nice. The fireplace was set up and ready to light. All Luke had to do was click the lighter wand and set the kindling a flame. In not time flat, we had a nice little fire crackling away.

Now, I want to stop right here for moment and explain a couple of things. Yes, I am going to complain about a room I stayed in for free. Why? Because the room is a $349 + room on a normal basis. If we had been paying for it, I would have been angry and disappointed. And also because a lot of the things we found with this room are things one finds in almost EVERY hotel room one may stay at in the U.S. (I can’t really speak for Europe, as my European experiences are very few). And I can’t figure out why they continue to build hotel rooms this way! I mean, really guys, there are better ways to do this stuff!

We opened the door and flicked on the lights. I said ‘We flicked on the lights’. Lights. Lights? Even with the lights on, the room was dim. As seems to be the custom here in the U.S., the light bulbs were a blistering 15 watts. Maybe 10. I don’t know for certain, but I DO know they did little to shed light on the room. Even with both sets of overhead lights on, you couldn’t see well. The bedside lamps were better, only because they were 3 way lights and could be made brighter. Why is it we can’t have real lights in hotel rooms? Especially at $349 a night! How much profit am I going to use up with a 60 watt bulb? Better yet, why don’t hotels use the compact florescence bulbs in their over head lights? What are you people trying to hide?

The wall heater/air condition was in the traditional hotel placement. Right next to the bed, under a window. This means whomever sleeps on that side of the bed has air blowing on them all night, not to mention listening to the thing cycle on and off all night long. Even with all the vents pointed as far away from me as far as possible, I still had air blowing on me all night.  Why do you builders do this ??!!??? There are plenty of place to put those wall units that are NOT next to the bed! Above the balcony door, above the entry door, the wall on the other side of the room to name a few. There is a remote for the TV, so get a wall unit with a remote and put the darn things up over the doors where they won’t bother the people trying to sleep. One of my crappy apartments had a wall unit with a remote. If they can do it, hotels certainly can. Especially higher end hotels.

As we unpacked our few things, we noticed it was a very noisy room. A Motel 6 is quieter than this room! We joked about it, and then we noticed it – our room was sharing walls with the dining room and the kitchen. We were hearing the kitchen crew washing dishes, yelling out orders and banging plates about. We could the live music in the dining room. So now we have an expensive room that is not going to be quiet until after 11 pm when the dining room closes and the kitchen crew is done with clean up.

The room had dings in the paint. Little chips missing in places that could easily be dabbed over while housekeeping is cleaning and the paint would be dry well before check-in time. So why isn’t this being done at some point? Yeah, I know. I know! All hotel rooms are going to get dings in the paint. This room was so fresh looking over all, it was disappointing to see that was not being kept up as well as it could be.

We did have a laugh when we saw the hot tub. Luke is 6’6″, and I am 5’10”. The tub was not built for two larger sized people. There was no way we were both going to fit in that thing at the same time. At least not very comfortably.

Dinner was pretty good. The service was a little slow, but not horrible. Our server was very nice and friendly. We went back to our noisy room and sat in front the fire and read. Later we squished into the tub and relaxed a bit. Well, our ankles and bums relaxed a bit. After the kitchen closed and the room got quiet, we crawled into bed. The bed was comfy and warm. (yay!)

Breakfast was another matter. So very different from dinner. We each got a cup of fruit to start with. Not in season fruit, so it was not very flavorful. Some bits were hard and chewy. Not what you look for in fruit. The ‘pastry’ was made with canned pie filling. All rather flavorless and lumpy. Luke’s breakfast entrée was good. Mine not so much. I ordered buttermilk pancakes. How can you screw up buttermilk pancakes? They are easy. Some are better than others, that is true. But it takes a true genius to really screw up a pancake. Apparently, this place hired that genius.

I received three crepe-like pancakes on a plate with butter and what I will call syrup (for lack of a better term) on the side. To begin with, the ‘pancakes’ were burnt. Okay, not burnt. Over browned (a term my mother used to get us kids to eat slightly burnt food). They tasted awful, almost bitter. The ‘syrup’ had no flavor. None. It was like thick, sweetened water. I even had Luke try a bite. Luke made a face. I think he wanted to spit it out. I wasn’t about to eat it.

I sent it back and ordered a different meal. The basic ‘bacon and eggs’ breakfast. It was pretty good. Nothing fantastic, but tasty and edible. After the ‘pancakes’, edible was a dream come true. Nothing was offered to make up for the horrible first breakfast. Most places would have offered something like a free dessert or hot chocolate. Here? Not a thing.

Would I stay there again? For free, or at a huge discount, yes. At full price? No. There were too many little things that could have made our stay quite unpleasant. Had we been staying there for more than a night or two, I would have asked to be moved to a quieter room. At the regular price of that room, it should have been much quieter and pleasanter to stay in.

It was nice to sit in front of a real fire and read and talk. It was nice to not have to get up and take care of a dog or holler at a kid to go get his chores done. It snowed a little overnight, so we had a pretty sight out our window in the morning.

All in all, we had a very nice time.