Knock Knock Knock HOUSEKEEPING!
I have worked housekeeping in the past. Motel & hospital to be exact. Would I go into that field again? Probably not, and you might be asking why. Well sit back and relax, because it’s STORYTIME folks!!
The Hospital: My first housekeeping job was at a hospital. My mom was working there and helped me to get on. They would assign us areas to work in each shift. At first it started out simple, but then it all changed. Sometimes I would be sent to work labor and delivery which would include cleaning up blood at times. Sometimes I was sent to clean surgical rooms after surgery, yay more blood. Sometimes I was sent to the maternity ward where I would encounter trash left behind from women who were not trained on how to dispose of their sanitary pads so others don’t have to see your blood. I mean really, I know having a baby is tough whether it is Natural or C-section, I have had both. I still had the sense to wrap a pad in tissue before throwing it away. Sometimes I would get sent to clean outpatient surgery recovery rooms and the nurses would give me ice cream. Sometimes I got sent to clean offices which was probably the simplest of jobs. Sometimes my shift would include me going up to “The mental ward” on the 5th floor. For this one, I would always have to have a partner, it was mandatory and I liked it that way. We would have to be buzzed in and out, were not allowed to bring our carts in, and had to keep hold of the cleaning materials we carried in. Yes there would be crazy people walking around talking to us too. It was creepy, and we always wanted to get out fast. The place I dreaded being sent to the most, was the E.R.! The Emergency department always had the most blood and needles and trash to clean up after a trauma. One night a guy projectile vomited in one of the “Rooms” on top of all the blood he had lost, yup it was on the wall too.. I honestly could not clean that mess up, I called my supervisor and they reluctantly sent another housekeeper to clean it up. That poor person couldn’t do it either so of course the Head Housekeeper was pissed when she had to come and do it herself, but then again she was an evil old bitch! I did try to explain to her that the biggest reason I didn’t like working in the Emergency department, was because that was where my father had passed away. I was 14 when he died, so it was very haunting to work there a few years later…..
My next housekeeping job was at a motel that called themselves a hotel, but my mom was a housekeeping supervisor at the time and got me and my boyfriend at the time jobs there. I did housekeeping and he did laundry. Even though my mom was one of the supervisors, I still had to work hard. And when I say work hard I mean HARD! The thing with motel/hotel housekeeping is: 1. They put you on the schedule to be there at 7:00am and expect you to be done by the time the have written on your board for you to be complete. Depending on how many rooms you have and what types, that could mean they have 12pm, 2pm, or 3pm on your board and you better not go over that time because there are only so many scoldings on you being slow but the Mexican ladies are so fast! 2. They assign you a certain amount of rooms to clean and you have a time limit for each room to be complete. 3. They give you 30 minutes to clean a checkout room no matter the size or condition, and you get 15 minutes to clean up a stayover room (people who are staying) so you’d better pray for DND signs on those to buy extra time on other rooms. 4. Your cleaning time for a room does not pause if you have to run to the laundry room or storage room for something you ran out of on your cart. 5. You get paid minimum or a little more if you have experience.
With all that in mind let me share with you some of my time there. The head supervisor was a tall, lanky, older white woman we will call Carrie. We would catch Carrie coming out of vacant rooms with other employees and the room they just exited, as well as themselves would smell like weed. YUP the main bitch was smoking on the job, WITH EMPLOYEES! This happened regularly. If I was assigned to work rooms upstairs, there was no elevator of course! I would literally have to drag a trash bin (just for laundry use) up the stairs, FULL of everything I needed to stock the cart because the last person to use them never did(another reason they always got out of there on time?). Though there were male staff including my BF, they were not allowed to help us drag the bins up the stairs. A typical obstacle that you can run into with housekeeping at a motel/hotel is most people are not even checking out that early in the morning unless they have an early flight. Most people will ride it out until actual checkout time at 10 or 11, and some people get late checkouts for 1 or 2pm. Nonetheless, you are still supposed to be done by the time on the board. Supervisors do come around and check as you work, ask you questions, and sometimes take you back to a room to point out something you didn’t get “perfect”. Oh but Carrie was even slicker, this sneaky bitch would try to go and “strip” your rooms before you so she could snatch up your tips. You had to be ahead of her and try to get all of your rooms stripped as soon as you could get in them and before going down the list cleaning. She would sometimes try to send you off to clean a lobby area until you could get “into” a room. I did notice that the Mexican cleaning ladies who never spoka any English, had their very own way of speed cleaning and it seemed to please the boss, but was nasty to see. The ones who “trained” me when I first started there tried to teach me their “shortcuts” but I wasn’t having it. To put things into prospective for you, let’s say you have a checkout room with 2 beds you have to strip the linens from, each bed has 2 pillows you have to strip. There is a bathroom with a tub/shower combo you have to clean AND dry. You also have to clean the floor and toilet. There is a huge mirror above the sink to clean and get 100% streak free, lint free, dust free. You have to clean that , clean up the makeup and toothpaste from the sink, restock the towels folded just the right way, restock the toiletries, fold the tissue on the roll a certain way specific to this place. You have to vacuum the entire room, there is another mirror to clean, you have to dust the pictures and headboard and TV. You have to clean the table, the dresser, open the curtains, wipe the chairs down, check under and behind furniture, check drawers, clean off pamphlets and books that are in room items, wipe the remote, put pillow cases on 4 fluffy but not fluffy pillows and tuck them in a certain way, but putting them under your chin to help get them in the case is a no no. You have to make 2 beds, spray air freshener, count the hangers in the closet, make sure a laundry bag is still there, if not you gotta put one there! Check the bulbs in all the lamps, line up menus and pamphlets on the dresser or desk, put the remote on one of the night stands, make sure the room has a bible, oh and clean the drinking glasses on the tray by the sink. Check the mini fridge and make sure nothing was left behind, clean it, clean the microwave, clean the coffee pot and the mess of cream and sugar all over the tray and restock that too…. You have 30 minutes to complete this back breaking task before doing it again in the next room which btw in addition to the tub/shower combo also has a whirlpool for you to clean and dry too. This room has 1 king bed but 5 pillows, and you still have only 30 minutes to clean it, and GO! The Mexican ladies would take shortcuts like after cleaning the tub/shower and toilet with the toilet brush, they would dip it in solution and use it to clean the sink and DRINKING GLASSES!! These were not wrapped up plastic cups, there were actual glasses, 4 in each room. They would clean the mirrors with water only, and use the same rag to wipe and dust everything else. If Carrie hadn’t already stripped the room and the linens didn’t look “too bad” they would just remake the bed. They cut a lot of corners and never got in trouble, I worked my butt off to do it right and got in trouble for 1 streak on a mirror I could barely see. It was cool to find tips, liquor, and beer left behind by guests, but not worth the trouble. I remember one day I went to work and was assigned some adjoining rooms upstairs. I guess that these rooms had been rented by some kids parents so they could have a wild party that mom and dad didn’t have to clean up after. The parents should be ASHAMED! These little monsters had smashed cake EVERYWHERE!!!!! It was on the chairs, in the carpet, on the walls, in the tubs in the toilets in the sinks, in the beds, IT WAS EVERYWHERE! I told Carrie who still told me I had 30 minutes to clean each room without even looking at them. After I spent 30 minutes in one room, she finally came up and said they would have to get the carpets and everything cleaned so I could just stop. I have done housekeeping at another one but it was a chain. that job too sucked! But I don’t want to talk about it!
That is all, Until next time