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.
Funny reminded me of my hotel sales days. LMBO!! Some of the best friendships, we worked HARD. If I ever headed home after a 10 hour day, I heard, "leaving early?? Read morePublished 4 days ago by Monkey
I expected this book to be a series of tips on how to get good hotel service. It was that but it also was a great story, reading more like a novel. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Kindle Customer
This book is a hoot. As a front desk agent in a much smaller hotel, I cannot actually identify with the hustle that supposedly goes on, or did, in large hotels. Read morePublished 5 days ago by F. Lucchese
Awesome book, a MUST read for Hotel Employees AND frequent travellers.Published 6 days ago by Paul Simmons
My son requested this book for Christmas as he got a Master's in Hospitality Management. He said it was very good and insightful.Published 9 days ago by Maria Kathleen Tenney
Fun and easy read. Great oversight of the hotel industry with the proper ways to get upgrades. Language is a touch rough but the industry is rough to work in, so their you go. Read morePublished 11 days ago by DallasT&I
Loved the sarcastic/snarky yet honest writing. Highly recommend!Published 12 days ago by Rachel Carter-Shadle