When staying at a hotel, it’s important to be mindful of the hotel staff’s roles and boundaries. Members of an online forum recently shared issues they’ve had at work, and who would blame them? These mistakes can create discomfort for hotel employees. By avoiding these missteps, you can ensure a smoother and more enjoyable stay for yourself and the hardworking staff who make it all possible.
1. Assuming Employees Reside On-Site
Maria H., an experienced housekeeper at a Florida resort, often faces misconceptions from guests who assume she lives on-site and enjoys the resort’s perks. Despite the discomfort, she clarifies her role and emphasizes that it’s a job for a paycheck, not a passion for cleaning.
A better approach: Avoid asking staff for extra work or personal details, and maintain a friendly but respectful attitude.
2. Not Immediately Reporting Issues With Your Stay
Ken, a hotel concierge at a four-star hotel, gets frustrated when guests try to be polite by not reporting problems to him. They endure uncomfortable situations because they hesitate to speak up.
A better approach: Guests should inform the concierge about issues promptly. Ken’s job is to ensure their comfort, and reporting problems simplifies his job. He prefers receiving a call about missing room service rather than guests going hungry and finding out the following day!
3. Flagging Down the Housekeeper for Minor Requests
Guests approaching housekeepers for help with issues like an air conditioner not working correctly or being low on toilet paper can frustrate hotel staff. Housekeepers have set tasks and schedules, and interruptions can cause problems. They may not have the skills or tools for specific issues, especially mechanical ones.
A better approach: Call the front desk and explain the issue, letting the appropriate staff member handle it.
4. Asking About Their Personal Life
Engaging in friendly conversations with hotel staff is appreciated, but avoiding personal questions is best. Sara P., a Utah housekeeper, often gets intrusive inquiries about her personal life from guests, which many public-facing workers dislike.
A better approach: Maintain a professional boundary and stick to light, casual topics like local cuisine, area activities, hotel amenities, weather, or TV shows when chatting with hotel staff.
5. Assuming Workers Want to Remove Their Masks
During the pandemic, guests told workers to remove masks, causing issues as workers had to follow health rules. One housekeeper, Maria, still wears a mask and gloves at work, even though most mask mandates have ended.
A better approach: Avoid commenting on workers’ attire and not permitting them to break the rules, as it’s not up to guests and can lead to consequences. This applies to cruise ships, too.
6. Offering Assistance With Cleaning
Guests sometimes try to help housekeeping by cleaning or anticipating their needs, like stripping bedding. But this can create problems, especially if the same guests are in the same room, as the bedding isn’t changed daily. It adds more work for the housekeeper, even if guests do some cleaning.
A better approach: Guests should keep their things tidy and dispose of trash properly. They should avoid doing extra cleaning tasks to “help” the housekeeper.
7. Asking Them to Perform Additional Tasks for Compensation
Sara, a non-driving 15-year-old, finds it amusing how guests often ask her to bring their cars to the front, thinking it’s fun or a quick money-making opportunity. Aleph also faces guest requests for errands during his shift, like going to the liquor store. They offer good pay, but he can’t leave his shift.
A better approach: Using the hotel’s valet service is a better option, as those workers are trained and insured. Guests should avoid making uncomfortable requests, especially if the staff could get in trouble.
8. Keeping Them Company
While traveling, avoid long conversations with the front desk manager, as their role doesn’t include being a friend, therapist, or confidant, advises Ken. He also prefers not to be asked for alibis or to lie on behalf of guests to their partners or bosses.
A better approach: Ask the concierge for recommendations on places to meet people, such as nearby bars, clubs, libraries, or churches.
9. Getting Your Own Items From the Housekeeping Cart
Aleph S., a seasoned housekeeper at a California three-star hotel, advises against taking items from housekeeping carts or closets without assistance. Such actions disrupt inventory tracking and can lead to trouble for staff.
A better approach: Call the front desk for items they need, similar to requesting a drink from a flight attendant rather than helping themselves from the cart.
10. Hiding Tips for Housekeeping
Guests sometimes hide tips to ensure the right housekeeper gets them, but this can make finding the tip difficult and may result in it being turned in at the front desk if unclaimed.
A better approach: Leave cash ($2–$5 per day) with a thank-you note in plain sight on a table or counter. If guests prefer not to leave it in the room, they can take it to the front desk and request that it be placed in an envelope with the housekeeper’s name.
11. “Letting” Them Look After Your Pet
Aleph, working at a pet-friendly hotel, declines requests from guests to care for their pets when they’re away. It’s not his job, and he doesn’t get paid for it. He’s also mindful of the potential issues it could cause for the hotel and himself if things go wrong.
A better approach: Pet owners should hire a professional pet sitter from a service like Rover instead of asking hotel staff. Also, they should always inform the hotel staff if they bring a pet into their room to avoid unexpected problems.
12. Destroying the Key Card
Ken often sees guests destroy their room key cards, fearing they contain personal information like credit card data. Some guests believe the key cards are only used once and will destroy them to save the staff’s time.
A better approach: Leave the key cards in the room or return them at checkout. Key cards are reusable and don’t store personal information, so there are no identity theft concerns.
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This article was produced by Our Woven Journey.