Monday, 27 April 2009


I've always said that if there's one job I could never do, it's working at a hotel and in particular, cleaning the rooms. I can only imagine the horrors that must greet these cleaners on a daily basis, no matter what star of hotel they're working in. Especially if the hotel is deemed a good base for a 'romantic getaway' and frequented by couples, copious amounts of champagne and yeah, come on, a lot of sexytime. Anyone who spends an afternoon stripping sheets has got to have seen some serious mess. Grimbo.

Although I imagine that cleaners become a bit desensitised to the remnants of a guest strewn about the room, I always try and clean up a bit before I leave a hotel. You know, "make the bed" (in inverted commas because I'm pretty sure my version of a "made bed" is not what most house trained people would call a "made bed"), shove rubbish in the bin, towels in the bath, that sort of thing. If I don't manage to do this, it's definitely the hotel's fault. Why on earth some hotels insist on a 10 or 11am check out on a weekend is beyond me. It takes the whole relaxation element out of the weekend when you have to be up, dressed, fed, packed and tidied by silly o'clock on a Sunday morning. Oh sure, you can usually pay extra for a late check out, but if I've paid extra for a lie in, you can bet your lottery winnings that I'll be wide awake and restless at 8:30am. It's always the way.

Saying that, I had no trouble waking up at 8:30am yesterday, despite not leaving the hotel bar until 4:30am. In fact, I was in superb spirits. Literally. Alcohol was still trickling through my veins at a rate of knots and as one friend nipped into the toilet to throw up, I woke up the other and demanded some Nurofen to fend off any headache that might come once I'd sobered up.

Our room was a state. At 4:30am, we'd raided the complimentary mini bar and chowed down on whatever we could find. Dresses, make up, face wipes, handbag contents and hair straighteners were discarded all over the floor. And then I noticed one of the towels.

"Oh bloody hell. There's no way I can just leave that there. Look at the state of it" I said, holding it up for the others to see. "They'll think I'm a right minger. What shall I do? I can't just hide it. That'll look worse!"

The stained towel could have had any number of unmentionable origins. The thought of a cleaner having to come in and touch it, trying to deduce what it was and who would leave such a mess, left me feeling really guilty.

So there was only one thing for it. Honesty is the best policy and, I reasoned, clarification is a cleaner's best friend.

And if they weren't English? Shove a smiley face in for good measure. That'll do it.


misa101 said...

LOL my husband used to clean at a hotel and that towel would not even have caused them to flinch after what they have seen. Feces in the bathtub or used condoms strewn through the bedding are always good for triggering the gag reflexes of the cleaning crew though. That and anything involving blood because. of course. it is a biohazard.

The Unbearable Banishment said...

Did you tip them? Is that customary in the UK? Here in the States we generally tip the maids $5-$10 per day for cleaning up after our disgusting selves. But no smiley faces.

Laid Back Lion said...

lol how kind. I would have loved to have seen the cleaners faces if there hadn't been a note.. gas masks at the ready.

I guess you need to be a special kind of person to deal with messy hotel rooms. They keep anything left behind, so theres an incentive ay lol

Miss Milk said...

How hilariously courteous of you.

Mouldy-Old-Tartlet said...

Brilliant :)

(I worked in a boutique hotel in Central London bout 15 years ago. I only lasted bout six months due to terrible working conditions - basement office w/no windows, working 9am to 9pm most days, and a boss that kept on naffing off leaving me [the newbie] to cope with the busy reservations dept. In the end, I had to leave after turning in to a corpse-skinned whale but the things that went in in that teeny tiny hotel would've made your eyes pop out of your head).

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Misa - I thought that might be the case. The good thing is that your husband must be a true diamond when it comes to icky health complaints. I bet nothing phases him now.

Unbearable - No I've never tipped a maid, if I've already paid for a hotel room, the fact that it's cleaned is part of that price in my book. I'm not sure it's customary to do that in the UK. Either that or I'm incredibly rude :D

Laid Back Lion - Yeah that's the other thing! I was thinking how much stuff I've probably left in hotel rooms, and how much money or gadgets you could get out of that job. Saying that, it doesn't look too good if the person rings up wanting their iPod back, knowing they left it in the hotel room and it's nowhere to be found...

Miss Milk - I do try ;)

MOT - I'm of the opinion that the more posh and upmarket the hotel, the worse state they're probably left in. If you're paying a shit load of money for your room, you probably feel more like you have the right to mess it up. Not surprised you quit to be honest, those hours are mental. Urgh.

Ellie said...

Been there; done something like that. x,e


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