When I started working in hotels the computer screens glowed in one color, alien green, and the monitors were the size of boulders. We used to confidently toss comment cards in the trash (or, as we referred to it, file them in the “T” file) making them disappear forever. I used to cash checks by picking up the phone and speaking to another human being. Music in the lobby was usually provided by a piano player, who would swivel his head at passing guests with a ridiculous, pasty-looking smile as he tapped out non-offensive cover songs played with a non-offensive classical flourish.
Now, mid-volume, beat-heavy techno seeps from recessed speakers built into the lobby’s crown molding. The screens are flat. You can’t manage to direct anything from Trip Advisor into the “T” file and all the guests want to hook up their iPad to the toilet or whatever. And if you pay with a check I still have to pick up the phone, which is extremely irritating because who pays with checks anymore? Stop it.
But all of that change means nothing. Because I’ll tell you what hasn’t changed: The front desk agents, the bellmen, the doormen, the housekeepers, the room service attendants, and the managers. Hotel employees are still version 1.0 and I guarantee if you brought me to a bar and sat me next to a front desk agent from 1897, we’d over-drink and swap the same type of hilarious stories about the same type of insane guests. Hospitality, no matter how slick it gets, will always be a business run by people who serve people. It will always be about service. It will always take a person to explain that, no, you cannot hook up your iPad to the toilet but you can use it to control the lights and wirelessly play music through the in-room speaker system. And guests still, and hopefully will forever, hand me physical comment cards, which I will continue to throw in the trash.
During all these renovations (while I said things like, “Wait, they made the internet wireless? It’s in the goddamn air now?”) I was always writing. I grew up reading novel after novel and that’s all I wanted from life, to give back and write something good. After years of hotel work and relocations that took me from New Orleans to Paris to Copenhagen and ultimately New York City, I finally conceived the idea for Heads in Beds. I put everything I had into it, all my knowledge of the industry and the writing skills I’d developed since I was a child. I truly hope you find it funny and informative and that it helps you navigate the crooked halls of hospitality. That has always been my goal, to write something good.
That and hang out with a front desk agent from 1897.
Good reading, a little long, Makes you not want to stay at a hotel. Cook book writing. He could write taxicab next etc.Published 2 hours ago by bob
Once you get used to his style, this book is not only extremely helpful, it's also funny as sh*t. I'm not much of a traveler, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book - highly... Read morePublished 10 days ago by Ms. Pickle
I enjoyed reading this even though I do not move in the circles where staying in luxury hotels is commonplace. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Garden Girl
Great book, it was funny, witty, easy to was and hard to put down. Would definitely recommend to anyone, but definitely to those working in the hospitality industry. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Damian G
Anyone can write to this author's standard - his cursing and lack of grammar is difficult to read. Some of the content is interesting and gives you a better idea of the hospitality... Read morePublished 24 days ago by Lyndsay Haywood
As someone who has worked in hotels, this book is spot on. I laughed, I cried, I commiserated. Even if you've never worked in hospitality, you've probably been a guest at a hotel. Read morePublished 27 days ago by Emily Belden, author of "Eightysixed"
As someone who works at a 5 star, unionized NYC hotel I found this book hilariously accurate! A quick, enjoyable read that could be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of relativity to... Read morePublished 1 month ago by pfwoot
An interesting account of the luxury hotel business. It gives you the perspective from the inside. And tells you how to get the most from your tips. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Lionhawk