The Housekeeper

I spend the night at a hotel over 300 nights a year due to my job. It’s very rare that I stay at the hotel past 6 or 6:30 in the morning. That being said, there are times where I stay until checkout 11:00 in the morning or so, when I work overnight. I don’t get much sleep, but when I do, I really need it.

Most of my late mornings involve getting up before the sun, chugging some coffee, checking emails, and going back to sleep. Falling asleep in the morning at a hotel means drifting off to the gentle sounds of children screaming and running up and down hallways, the subtle shouts of married couples yelling at each other, a symphony of hotel room doors opening and slamming shut, and housekeepers banging on doors, yelling, “Housekeeping!” All of this is done with no regard to other guests.

Before I go any further, I need to tell you that I have stayed at every kind of hotel imaginable, from the crime scene/drug-dealer/sex-solicitation hotel to the luxury resort. It doesn’t matter where you go, the guest are the same, especially in the morning.

I understand that rooms need to be cleaned ASAP to get ready for the next night, and that it’s perfectly acceptable to start knocking doors down a little bit before the posted checkout time. But if I request a late checkout, and the front desk receptionist makes notes saying that I will be checking out at exactly 11 or 12 or 1, and I have a DO NOT DISTURB sign hanging from the doorknob, and both latches are locked and secure, then IT’S NOT OKAY TO BEAT ON MY DOOR AND SCREAM “HOUSEKEEPING” AT 8:30 IN THE DAMNED MORNING. If I call the front desk to ask why someone is trying to clean my room when I have made it clear that I am checking out at checkout time, and not 3 hours earlier, then an appropriate answer is not, “They thought you might have checked out early.”

Even if I hadn’t requested a late checkout, or said that I was checking out at the normal checkout time, 8:30 is too early to find out if I’m still in my room. At least wait until 9. I know I’m complaining, and that I may sound unreasonable, but, come on. Anyway, this doesn’t happen every day, and I still enjoy staying at hotels. Housekeepers and hotel staff usually work hard and it’s a thankless job. You take the bad with the good, I suppose.

Stay classy, and I’ll see you at the next stop.

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