Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
In the tradition of Kitchen Confidential and Waiter Rant, a rollicking, eye-opening, fantastically indiscreet memoir of a life spent (and misspent) in the hotel industry.
Jacob Tomsky never intended to go into the hotel business. As a new college graduate, armed only with a philosophy degree and a singular lack of career direction, he became a valet parker for a large luxury hotel in New Orleans. Yet, rising fast through the ranks, he ended up working in “hospitality” for more than a decade, doing everything from supervising the housekeeping department to manning the front desk at an upscale Manhattan hotel. He’s checked you in, checked you out, separated your white panties from the white bed sheets, parked your car, tasted your room-service meals, cleaned your toilet, denied you a late checkout, given you a wake-up call, eaten M&Ms out of your minibar, laughed at your jokes, and taken your money. In Heads in Beds he pulls back the curtain to expose the crazy and compelling reality of a multi-billion-dollar industry we think we know.
Heads in Beds is a funny, authentic, and irreverent chronicle of the highs and lows of hotel life, told by a keenly observant insider who’s seen it all. Prepare to be amused, shocked, and amazed as he spills the unwritten code of the bellhops, the antics that go on in the valet parking garage, the housekeeping department’s dirty little secrets—not to mention the shameless activities of the guests, who are rarely on their best behavior. Prepare to be moved, too, by his candor about what it’s like to toil in a highly demanding service industry at the luxury level, where people expect to get what they pay for (and often a whole lot more). Employees are poorly paid and frequently abused by coworkers and guests alike, and maintaining a semblance of sanity is a daily challenge.
Along his journey Tomsky also reveals the secrets of the industry, offering easy ways to get what you need from your hotel without any hassle. This book (and a timely proffered twenty-dollar bill) will help you score late checkouts and upgrades, get free stuff galore, and make that pay-per-view charge magically disappear. Thanks to him you’ll know how to get the very best service from any business that makes its money from putting heads in beds. Or, at the very least, you will keep the bellmen from taking your luggage into the camera-free back office and bashing it against the wall repeatedly.
chances were the New Orleans Saints were playing. I’d start hitting the larger suites until I found the one room filled with twenty-five employees, some standing on the damn bed, watching the Saints lose. Terrance would have suspended every single one of them. But me? I let the Saints finish the drive (in a punt) and then escorted them all out, making the last three to leave touch up the suite. Maybe it made me a weak manager, but I never felt disciplinary action was the best corrective. Not so
like a slave owner with that headpiece,” Walter said. “Nah,” Perry said. “Chuck a cool motherfucker. You just enjoy that free drink you got,” and then he took a long finishing pull from his own bottle of Heineken. Everyone was smiling. Everyone was friendly. Everyone had a name tag on. It was like a big crazy family, and we opened tomorrow. We were all in this together, and everyone in that banquet hall, after two weeks of service training, two full paychecks for nothing, couldn’t wait to
“is some bullshit.” “Sure about that? Care to put some money on it?” Alan asks, staring King Benjamin in the face. “Here’s what we’re going to do,” I say, removing five ones and five hundreds from my hotel-issued two-thousand-dollar bank. “I got twenty says I blindfold you, hand you one of each, and you tell me which bill is the hundred. Three out of five, and my twenty is your twenty.” “Kid’s going for the hundred-dollar-bill challenge? I was just waiting for the offer. But it ain’t gonna be
nickname “Just for Men”), right hand always in right pocket, and, you know, drunk. He would touch his free left hand on the desk, like a bird landing briefly on a branch, and clear his throat to quickly ask the same thing every time: “So, hem, what’s the occupancy tonight?” “Running at 73 percent, sir.” Another clearing of the throat or some pressurized release of air, like a bus settling to a stop, then his hand would take off again, fly back into a pocket, and he’d beeline to the lobby bar.
meet-and-greet party mode, right? You are not there yet, buddy, you’re still in the lobby, but I hope you had fun when you got there, and I hope everyone who shook your hand felt as honored as I felt. I’m so sorry you had to die for our sins, Brian, and thank you so much. Two weeks after that I met Ginger Smith. Ginger Smith. For the purposes of this book, that is a fake name of a fake name, meaning the name she stayed under was fake to begin with and I have altered it again. How awesome is