Archive for November 2nd, 2010

Confessions of a Hotel Housekeeper

“Instead of Vacuuming, I Picked Up Some Crumbs”

Allison Rupp worked at Yellowstone National Park’s historic Old Faithful Inn in 2004.

Photo by stevendepolo, FlickrPhoto by stevendepolo, Flickr


The best guests sleep in
Three simple letters could inspire the “Hallelujah” chorus: DND, or do not disturb. One sign hanging on a doorknob, and the day’s work was shortened by half an hour. Two signs? Pure heaven, but only if they remained there until my eight-hour shift ended—otherwise I’d have to circle back and clean the rooms. My daily list of 15 rooms (out of 325 in the hotel) consisted of DOs (due out) and Os (occupied), which in housekeeping lingo meant the guests were scheduled to check out or were staying another night. An occupied room was less labor-intensive (making the beds rather than changing the sheets saved me 20 minutes), but there was always the possibility the guest would stay in the room while you worked. One man watched me clean his entire room, from scrubbing the toilet to emptying the trash—and told me at the end that I was “building character.” Condescension is not nearly as encouraging to a maid as a couple of dollars.

As long as it looked clean
I cut corners everywhere I could. Instead of vacuuming, I found that just picking up the larger crumbs from the carpet would do. Rather than scrub the tub with hot water, sometimes it was just a spray-and-wipe kind of day. After several weeks on the job, I discovered that the staff leader who inspected the rooms couldn’t tell the difference between a clean sink and one that was simply dry, so I would often just run a rag over the wet spots. But I never skipped changing the sheets. I wouldn’t sink that low, no matter how lazy I was feeling.

A bacterial wonderland
I was disgusted by the many guests I came in contact with through the things they left behind: the hairs on the pillow, the urine on the toilet seat, the half-eaten cookie, the stained sheets. One woman had soiled her sheets so thoroughly that we had to toss them in a biohazard bag—they could never be used again. Rooms where young kids stayed were the worst, with food ground into the carpet and piles of used diapers in the trash. That kind of demoralizing mess could take 45 minutes to clean up. Most maids wore rubber gloves when they worked, but mine were too big, so I discarded them. Unsurprisingly, I got the flu twice.

Not for loveor money
I didn’t know maids received tips, so it took me weeks to realize that the coins left in rooms were an intentional gift. My tips were paltry: I almost never received more than $1, and at times guests left religious pamphlets. One day, however, I was shocked to find a crisp $100 bill lying on a table. Although the generous tip put a little spring in my step and compelled me to do a better job that day, it didn’t change my work ethic for long. I apologize to you now if you ever stayed in one of my rooms. You deserved better. But if housekeepers were paid more than minimum wage—and the tips were a bit better—I might have cleaned your toilet rather than just flushed it.





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What NOT To Post On Facebook: 13 Things You Shouldn’t Tell Your Facebook Friends

According to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s unofficial mission is to make “the world more open and connected.” But there are limits to how open you should be on Facebook and while you might enjoy sharing photos and status updates, there are some pieces of information you would do well never to share.

Who’s watching your moves on Facebook? Employersstalkersfederal agents, and even insurance companies have been known to scan Facebook profiles for information. Just as troubling are reports of Facebook account hackers, who put users at risk foridentity fraud. Even if you safeguard personal information with a “Friends Only” setting, there is a chance you’ve friended someone whom you barely know or have never met.

What details would you do well never to tell? View our slideshow (below) for tips about what to leave out of your Facebook life. Then, check out Facebook posts that got people fired, and Facebook SNAFUs that lead to arrests.

Check out the slideshow noodles of info man.



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Lady Gaga

Pop Star Elections 2010: Less Important Than Real Elections, But Way More Fun


If you’re an American and over 18 and able to leave the house, you should, at some point today, find yourself inside a voting booth where you’ll be choosing the people who get to lead America for the next couple years. That’s very important, but it’s not really that fun. Which is why we’ve put together the “Pop Star Elections,” something that’s not important at all but is tons of fun (hopefully). Now, before you enter the virtual voting booth below and select a president, vice president, Senate and House of Representatives of pop, you should know that none of this actually means anything. None of these people will actually lead anything, except, of course, our hearts.

Start voting now. Polls close at 10 p.m. EST.

We chose these five presidential candidates based on their fame and success. They’re among the biggest pop stars in the world, they’ve sold tons of albums, and they have tons of fans. But who should lead the United States of Pop? On the ballot: Lady GagaBritney SpearsJustin Bieber,Kanye West and Taylor Swift.


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Wow the cast of this new Hawaii Five-O remake is really filling out nicely and fast becoming a cult

TV nergasm. Not only do we get Jin from Lost (Daniel Dae Kim), Boomer from Battlestar Galactica (Grace Park) and Mick St. john from Moonlight (Alex O’Loughlin), word now comes we also get Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (James Marsters). Color me intrigued, I’m going to watch this all things going well, just so I can see this cult TV lot all onscreen together, it’s almost mind blowing. All they need to do now is ad an ex cast member from something like Star Trek and this is every nerd girls dream… or maybe that’s just me?



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