What's the difference between a 12" pizza and an artist?
... The pizza can feed a family.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Behind the scenes: Part I

I've worked in the hospitality industry for most of my adult life. It's not my dream job, but I enjoy it and I'm good at it (at least I like to think so.) I've worked at three different properties (to protect the innocent I won't say where but they're nice places) and have worked in nearly every position starting in food and beverage, then front desk, then front desk supervisor (Yeah, I know, impressive, right?), to my current position of housekeeping manager. I know it's not glamorous, but I really love it. I work with amazing people, I get to speak Spanish everyday, and I make my own schedule where I only have to work three days a week so I can be home more with my babies.

Anyway I thought I'd start a series of blogs about some of the memorable experiences I've had during my 11 years in the industry. In case you've always wondered what goes on behind the scenes of a hotel. (Really, I couldn't think of anything else to blog about.)

Today's blog will be a tribute to The Perverts...

Ah, the pervert. I’ve seen many in my day. Exhibitionists love hotels! Where else could they get off on being overheard by many while having loud, passionate, very vocal, sex without breaking any sort of indecent exposure laws? There’s always the male guest that refuses to leave his room when the room attendant is cleaning. He’ll sit on the sofa in his boxers staring at her the whole time totally getting off on how uncomfortable he’s making the poor girl. Or he’ll ignore her knocking, making her think that the room is unoccupied so that she’ll walk in on him when he’s completely naked. Then he’ll stand there in the buff, completely unfazed with a stupid smile on his face. (This has happened to me more than once.)

The majority of our guest's are long term business men, often staying months at a time. I’ve gotten used to all the porn left under the mattresses, but was caught off guard once when I found a penis pump and anal beads under a dresser of a guest's room. (I should clarify that we were not snooping. We were doing a routine deep clean where we move all the furniture away from the wall to vacuum and clean the baseboards.) This guest had been with us for nearly a year, we knew him well. We also knew his wife and children who would come visit him on the weekends. Because of the way the items were "hidden" we weren't sure if they had been left by the previous guest or if he was storing them there because he didn't want room service to find them. Our dilemma was whether or not to leave them where we had found them, because if they had been left by the previous guest and our current guest found them he would be furious. But if they were his and we took them that could be worse. We ended up leaving them under the dresser. And when he checked out a month later they were gone. I know that having those things doesn't make someone a pervert; it was just kind of embarrassing because we knew this guy. It would be like finding something like that in your dad's room. Weird, you know? (And funny, because sometimes I have the sense of humor of a 12 year old boy.)

We currently have a streaker that frequents the hotel. He’s just someone off the street who walks the halls until he finds a room attendant, exposes himself, does an obscene gesture, and leaves as quickly and quietly as he came. We’ve gotten the police involved but haven’t had any luck in catching him. I've only seen him on our security cameras, but would love to catch him in the act and give him a piece of my mind.

Anyway, that's it for my tribute to perverts. Stay tuned for my next blog which will be a tribute to germaphobes.


Chris said...

I would pay hundreds of dollars to witness you verbally assault a naked pervert. And what exactly is the chiding that you have rehearsed? I guess we have some material for our role playing later. I'm so excited!

lavitadajessica said...

After almost as many years as you in the hotel business... I can't wait to hear more stories. I always knew we should write a book... remember all the fun we had?! ;)

Anonymous said...

Ooh, tell me more, tell me more! I love knowing about the stuff "behind the scenes".

But first of all, I can't believe people seriously stay in a hotel for a year. I mean, wouldn't it be cheaper to rent an apartment? Even if you paid someone to come in and do your housekeeping every single day? Wow, and I can't believe that this is such a recurring issue.

You know, tabloid magazine shows are always doing news stories on what the housekeeping staff is REALLY doing while they're cleaning your room (you know, like not actually cleaning glasses or sheets between guests), but it sounds to me like the more interesting story would be about what they have to put up with. Why have you waited so long to spill the beans?

And, by the way, the verification word I had to type in to leave this comment was "ableetip". I just thought that was funny. It sounds like you're trying to say hello in Martian or something.

Frequently Thinking said...

I think, as hard as I may try, the guy would know I found his toys ;D

This is one industry that I have never had the desire to be in. But I am glad there are people who do, otherwise, a vacation would be a lot more work ;D

Melissa said...

Oooh...my goodness. This is great. Can't wait for more.

J said...

Very nice read, now that I work in a hotel I hear stuff like this all the time. Keep them coming.

Anonymous said...

Great idea for your blog! I don't know why but I am shocked at your first post, I guess I am just naive and sheltered. The poor housekeepers, having to deal with naked men!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for using "he" to protect me when referring to the flasher:)

My sister worked in the hotel business too. She worked at a place called 'the Inn' in Beaver Creek Colorado. VERY POSH.

She told me some strange stories..porn requests, guests asking about where to find drugs, finding half eaten raw meat in a room, etc.

What else goes on?? Tell us more!

Andrew said...

Fun read. Like Robin, I am always curious about "behind the scenes" stuff. And now I am going to have to find out what anal beads are. Never heard of it before. Sounds unpleasant.