The guest left what on the balcony?

First, thank you to my daughter for helping me with blogging homework, which is write on the daily prompt – guest.  Today there was passing comment about an experience we share, taking care of guests at a hotel.  Hotel housekeeping was the very first ‘real’ job I ever had.  Ironically, now that I think back, I believe housekeeping may have been my daughters first real job as well.

Housekeeping was physical work.  I was young, well-trained and good at my job but let me tell you there were some serious, yucky messes left by guests.  Soaking wet towels left in the floors (tiles and carpet), drains clogged with who knows what, spoiled food on trays in the room instead of put out for room service, and worse.  Don’t even ask me about the balcony.  Was it personal?  No.  Did people just feel it was ok to leave a mess because the staff was getting paid to clean up?  Did it matter?

My job was to make the messy room look like it did on their check-in day and the check-in day before that and the check-in day before that.  Oh, and report the blocked drain to maintenance.

I’m not saying it wasn’t frustrating at times.  What’s the old Benjamin Franklin saying about guests and fish smelling after a few days?

Experiences, good or bad, whether they seem significant at the time or not, can be like forks in the road.  That job made me appreciate how hard it could be to earn a pay check.  I also learned to appreciate work done well in any job and an honest effort.

As it turns out, for a lot of reasons, that housekeeping position was a great first job.  One I’m proud of to this day.  It taught me a lot about being a good employee, taking pride in a job well done, getting paid well for my efforts.  It encouraged me to watch for and accept opportunities to advance myself.  It also taught me how to make a tight bed and clean a toilet well, which were valuable skills during boot camp a few years later.

And it taught me about being a guest.  Tip the housekeeper if you can.  Tidy up, always put away your personal things, hang up your towels or put them in the tub.  Staying with family or friends?  All of the above and get some flowers or take them to dinner, on your dime.  Any host likes to be appreciated.

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