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.
I would love more books from this author! i loved it! i was sad when it was overPublished 9 days ago by Bernard Cacchione
I have worked in hospitality for more than 20 years since my first job as a teenager. Most of those years have been in hotels. Read morePublished 23 days ago by lizr79
This was a fun book to read and has a lot of good tips to saving money in hotels.Published 23 days ago by Skyler1127
As a front office manager at a full service hotel, I must admit that this is spot on. Anyone working in the hotel industry will relate to at least 1 thing, if not all of it!Published 24 days ago by Jessica M.
This was a quick and fun read; I will never look at staying in a hotel in the same way again! Good tips from an insider in the business.Published 24 days ago by Susan W. Akins
I found this book to be a quick read because of its conversational quality. I know both major cities the author spends the majority of his book living in, and this enriched my... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Christine Thelen
Fun read. Loses a little momentum in the middle, but picks up again at the end.
I love a good occupational memoir and I wasn't disappointed. Read more