Hotel Employee Dishes On What Really Goes On At Work

By Jill Krasny

When you want the goods on the casino, lottery and airline industries, the only place to go is Reddit.

Recently, Beastmachine, a self-proclaimed five-year veteran of Citadel hotels in Halifax, Nova Scotia, did an "Ask Me Anything" on the service industry that was pretty revealing. We've picked out his highlights, edited for grammar and clarity, and posted them below:

The craziest customers he's met:
"One guy a few years ago went crazy in a room (he was by himself). He said there was a ghost in his room and for some reason he tore up the carpet, smashed some walls and had an accident in the middle of the floor ... The strangest thing I've found in a customer's room was a full set of bondage gear and women's clothes. The room belonged to two men ... Another guest asked me to check on their room every hour because they had an irrational fear of dying and no one finding them. He gave me $30."

What the guests always steal:
"Bath robes."

What the maids always steal:
"Cash, although I've only known of one person who was accused of stealing. He was fired-it was $5,000 in cash."

What to check when you get there:
"Always check the duvet on the bed. The sheets are changed, but in some lower-end hotels they reuse the duvets when people check out."

How to score a free room:
"Once you've checked in, if you find anything wrong in the room-i.e., a single hair in the tub or bed or bathroom floor or something-if you act upset enough the better hotels will comp your room."

Why TripAdvisor's a good thing for the industry:
"Any (review site) like TripAdvisor attracts negative comments far more than positive ones. There are some good people who post positive reviews, but in my opinion it's more of a place to say what's wrong with the hotel. It's good because the hotel can see this and fix the problem."

The laziest workers in his industry:
"Maintenance. They get away with not doing a lot of work at all."

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What I have learn after four years as an employee at Turnberry Isle Resort Miami. You have the good with the bad and nothing is perfect. I loved giving unexpected service that exceed above and beyond limitation. Information stated above is very much true unfortunately. I was a Hk supervisor and made sure all linen were replaced with new and had the ladies on their toes when it came to servicing and taking care of the guest. But, right now they have no supervisor at the department and they have room attendant inspecting rooms. Quality in service is not good at this hotel anymore. I was terminated. My HK position to reopen with another position called inspecting which is the same thing. They just want to lower the salary. They said they will contact me and never did. They lost a very good worker in me. A hotel that treat an employee or any employee like that do not deserve wonderful customer to stay there. When Fairmont ran the hotel it was the best place to work and that is why they don't have Fairmont repeat guest anymore. By the way, I was nominated for reporting discrepancy in the rooms. Travelers should always review on site before going to any type of hotels.

October 01 2012 at 7:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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July 05 2012 at 3:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I bring my own sheets and blankets to hotels, and hang the "do not disturb" sign on my door. When I need fresh towels, I send a request to the front desk and receive them while I'm in the room. A couple hotels I've stayed at have had maids who moved my bags around (they were in the closet, not in the way of anyone's cleaning) and although nothing was stolen it's a risk I won't take again.

July 04 2012 at 2:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Tip well and try to tip personally whenever possible to ensure the right people are receiving the appropriate tips. If you feel the hotel overcharges for your stay, do not take it out on their employees.
Be thankful and be genuinely grateful. Respect all who are helping you enjoy your stay. You are never superior to anybody just because you are a patron -- (can't stand anybody in life who acts as though they are somehow better than anybody else...the millionaire staying in the penthouse is no better than the shoeshiner--they are equals).
Also, we always ask for a freshly laundered bedspread to be brought up whenever we check in...

July 04 2012 at 1:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

you should always prepare things like you would like to find a room if you were travling ; beleive me most folks do check the bed bathroom and floor most of all

July 04 2012 at 11:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Marie Speranza

I think in addition to learning a lot as a traveler, and becoming an expert on what to look for and what to do, it is always helpfu fo pay attention to traveling clues.

As for Maintenance...Don't care where it is, it is one of the most important jobs. If you have the best crew, who like what they are doing, they are to be all starts with how clean and sanitized things are anywhere you go...and some people take it for granted. You must like what you is important...and many suffer from people who don't care about maintaining what they should -- or others who don't appreciate it. Also, some people think b/c someone cleans up after you ... you can be sloppy.

Maintenance proud of your job, and who you are. We need people who care about the cleanlienss of things we take for granted. Bless you all.

July 04 2012 at 10:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Marie Speranza's comment

Most Hotels cut on the maintenance staff. They are paid as little as possible so they get people that can't do anything. In a hotel they are gofers for every other department so there is no motivation to maintain the property. Most General Managers have no concept of taking care of the property. It doesn't bring in money but then they don't understand why nothing works. I could write a book on the dumb azz stuff that comes from the front desk, banquets, restruant etc.

July 04 2012 at 1:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We like to go to the hotels and steal clothing out of the laundry area and then sell it to other humans at what you earthlings call second hand gets good money and also messes with the psyche of the guests....sometimes we just switch the clothing for rooms and watch as people complain that the item they got back was not theirs. You earthlings are such dolts! Sincerely, Emperor Ming, Planet Mongo.

July 04 2012 at 8:41 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

"Maintenance. They get away with not doing a lot of work at all."

This guy is an idiot.

July 04 2012 at 4:14 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to brennemanbelkin's comment

You gotta remember this is coming from a person too dumb to change a light bulb, never mind change a refrigeration compresson.

July 04 2012 at 1:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well said. I used to do hotel maintenance for Marriott and we had to ALWAYS deal with the upset guests. NOT the happy ones. Its a thankless job.

July 04 2012 at 2:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It is sad to see this disgruntled line level employee who probably lacks any passion and pride in their work trashing one of the oldest and greatest industries in the world just to get less than a second of fame. I started out in high school as a bellman, studied hotel management in college, have been in many positions up to & including General Manager. I also am an adjunct professor because I want to give back and pass on my experience to the next wave of hotel managers.

To call maids thieves is simply disgraceful. I have seen plenty of "daily tippers" who are upset that these great employees would not pick up the cash left for them as my people would never take money from a guest who is not checking-out. These great guests understand and appreciate that it may not be the same person attending to their room each day and do not want anyone left out. Most of these employees are so honest and hardworking that it breaks your heart when you see how little some have, but how much of themselves they are willing to give to make guests happy.

I also would never bash guests online. Sure we have good ones, we have bad ones, and the majority are so transient and casual that you would not remember them. I have been yelled at and even threatened by an enraged guest before. The bottom-line is that they all have given me the opportunity to provide for my family while doing something I love and I will do anything to make them happy by the time they leave my property. Also if your maintenance department is "lazy" well then I argue that your entire property right up to top level management are also lazy and part of the problem. A hotel simply does not run properly without dedicated housekeeping & maintenance departments as part of your team.

I do agree that is a great asset to our industry. It makes us better at what we do and if you look closely at the site the best properties are the ones who respond to all guest feedback whether it be positive or negative. That is the sign of a property that is intuitive of and genuinely cares for their guests.

July 03 2012 at 10:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to PMini's comment

We ALWAYS leave a tip before we even leave for the day! These folks work hard for their money after picking up after slobs,I always lay our towels in a neat pile on the vanity etc. We are in our 70's and REALLY appreciate coming back to a freashly cleaned room! I guess a lot of prople think they are MAIDS and thats their job!!!

July 04 2012 at 12:17 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Ruth's comment

They don't make much that tip means alot.

July 04 2012 at 1:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down

I'm sitting here as a night auditor of a 4 diamond, 217 room hotel and seething at the article and the comments that followed. Yes, there are a lot of transient employees that care little about their job and even less about the guests, but they don't last long. The men and women that care are the ones keeping the industry going. This "Beastmachine" clearly works with a lot of the former. It saddens me that people will read his comments and accept them as universal truth when they are far from it. We have an extremely dedicated staff here that includes maintenance, housekeeping, front desk and management. In my seven years here I've heard of maybe three people getting fired for stealing. And then there are those that will go to any length for a guest. Just tonight one of our housekeeping crew dug through the trash to find a guest's retainer that was mistakenly thrown out. Why? Because he cares about his job and the guests that he does it for. Of course my experience is not only with this one hotel. I've worked at four others. I have found employees with the same level of dedication at each of them. And you are right PMini, if there are problems with laziness and lack of ethics, the attitude likely goes straight to the top. But given the incredible number of hotels worldwide one can hardly judge an entire industry by the failings of a few.

July 07 2012 at 5:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What the maids always steal:
"Cash, although I've only known of one person who was accused of stealing. He was fired-it was $5,000 in cash."

Who in their right minds would leave that much money in a hotel room ? I wouldn't leave $5 let alone $5000

July 03 2012 at 9:00 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

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