Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mr. Monk's Worst Nightmare

Here's a report from a hotel housekeeper in which she spills some dirty little secrets:
My daily list of 15 rooms (out of 325 in the hotel) consisted of DOs (due out) and Os (occupied), which in housekeeping lingo meant the guests were scheduled to check out or were staying another night. An occupied room was less labor-intensive (making the beds rather than changing the sheets saved me 20 minutes), but there was always the possibility the guest would stay in the room while you worked. [...]

I cut corners everywhere I could. Instead of vacuuming, I found that just picking up the larger crumbs from the carpet would do. Rather than scrub the tub with hot water, sometimes it was just a spray-and-wipe kind of day.

After several weeks on the job, I discovered that the staff leader who inspected the rooms couldn't tell the difference between a clean sink and one that was simply dry, so I would often just run a rag over the wet spots. But I never skipped changing the sheets. I wouldn't sink that low, no matter how lazy I was feeling.

It's to be hoped that Ms. Rupp's colleagues feel the same way about the sheet-changing thing.

There are a lot of things one could say about an article like this: that our nation's standards of cleanliness leave a lot to be desired, that people who trash hotel rooms shouldn't get to demand perfection, that it's not such a bad idea to take a can of Lysol along on vacation, etc. But the part of the article I'm pondering is this one, from the end:

I didn't know maids received tips, so it took me weeks to realize that the coins left in rooms were an intentional gift. My tips were paltry: I almost never received more than $1, and at times guests left religious pamphlets. One day, however, I was shocked to find a crisp $100 bill lying on a table. Although the generous tip put a little spring in my step and compelled me to do a better job that day, it didn't change my work ethic for long.

I apologize to you now if you ever stayed in one of my rooms. You deserved better. But if housekeepers were paid more than minimum wage -- and the tips were a bit better -- I might have cleaned your toilet rather than just flushed it.
And all I can think--along with dozens of other stay-at-home, laundry-and-dishes-and-bathroom-cleaning-and-vacuuming-and-tidying moms, I'm sure--is hey, sister, at least you got paid.


matthew archbold said...

So how much more would have been enough to make her actually do her job?

opey124 said...

Yes, how much more indeed, Mr. Archbold.
We always bring sleeping bags because of this and never never never give the kids baths, just showers.

eulogos said...

I have hardly ever had any issue with the degree of cleanliness in a motel room. But then, I am not fussy.
As long as they change the sheets between me and the last person, and it isn't obviously filthy, I am happy. We humans are made with pretty good immune systems and are meant to encounter a few bacteria in the course of our lives!

Scott W. said...

A hotel room cleaned by a corner-cutting maid is usually a step up from my house. :)

MommaLlama said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MommaLlama said...

I, like you, am one "of [the] other stay-at-home, laundry-and-dishes-and-bathroom-cleaning-and-vacuuming-and-tidying moms, I'm sure--is hey, sister, at least you got paid."

And I say AMEN, sister!

Look for whatever reason, this person works as a maid. If she feels that this work is below her... well go find another job. If she doesn't think she gets paid enough, look elsewhere. But if this is what you are qualified to do... THEN DO IT for crying out loud and get over yourself!

KC said...


Anonymous said...

Have you ever seen one of those TV shows that ask "How dirty IS your hotel room?" And they do that black light thing? And they find there is human fecal matter and semen on rugs, comforters, chairs, etc?

It's everywhere.

Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, EVER stay in a hotel room without spraying a disinfecting spray over everything your flesh touches.

I swear I am not a germ-phobe.