We Don't Need No Stinking "Hospitality" May 7, 2013
My worst fears about the ?hospitality? industry have been confirmed in this book. Never again will I leave my motel room for the day without worrying. There are stories here of bellmen urinating in aftershave bottles when they don?t get the right tip, and going through personal belongings. The author, a front desk denizen at a New York City hotel, describes the scams and hustles he perpetrates on a daily basis; all for that coveted twenty-dollar bill.
I have always been suspicious of the whole booking system. Have you ever gone through the process online and reserved a so-called room, but they don?t tell you the room number? In the book the author goes into detail about how they assign rooms, (after the ?reservation? process and at their own discretion), and how they bump Expedia members, (and others), based on the ability to pay, (in cash, ?under-the-table?). He details the ?upgrading? process for big tippers, (which can also include late check-out and deleted movie and booze charges).
My wife and I recently tried to take advantage of ?privilege points? we had earned at a high profile corporate chain, (by being loyal customers for a number of years). We booked two nights at a Pennsylvania motel last September. On our second day we went out for a ride and came back to find a note on our luggage apologizing for the fact that all of our stuff had been brought down to the lobby because someone thought we had checked out. (We still had another night left.) They then realized their ?mistake? and dumped everything back in the room. (Somebody in the ?food chain? who wasn?t getting their cut probably ratted on the others.) They had not cleaned the room. Take heed my friends. This is the kind of treatment you get when you try to cash in your free nights. Maybe they had other ?paying? customers, (in the tipping sense), that they wanted to put in our room.
The author, Mr. Tomsky, (who is an hourly unionized employee with great benefits), goes on a rant at the end of this book about how it is the customers duty to spread the tips far and wide, (or suffer the consequences). In an area, (Manhattan), that offers rates beginning at $400 per night, he must be under the impression that all of his guests are bulging with cash. It is this attitude, (and that of his employers), that keeps many of the ?bridge-and-tunnel? and outer-borough residents of the New York metropolitan area from ever being able to enjoy the amenities that many of our tourists take for granted; (some of whom must go heavily in debt for the ?privilege? of enjoying our fair city). Based on what I learned in this book I will stick to an express bus ride back to Staten Island. I don?t need your stinking hospitality. If you are considering a trip to New York City make sure you bring plenty of the green. You?ll need it. If you ask me, (and I know you won?t), this is just another shakedown.
The author is in need of a reality check. Customers here need to be very concerned. (He goes on-and-on about so-called cheapskates who refuse to get with the program of tipping every employee in sight.) If he feels he is being underpaid he should direct his anger at management. He should engage himself in the collective bargaining process and stop bilking the customers who are already being overcharged as it is. Are we supposed to believe that rooms in that price range preclude a decent rate of recompense for the employees? Or is it just a case of too much greed all around; you know, being around the wealthy and all, and wanting some of that for themselves? (The corporate owners are as guilty here as anyone else.)
Now don?t get me wrong. I am sure there are many employees who really need a raise in that industry, and who are severely underpaid. I just don?t get the impression from reading this book that Mr. Tomsky is one of them, (nor are the bellmen from what the author says). But if you want to get a glimpse of what the hotel world is all about, Mr. Tomsky will tell you. It may leave you to reconsider a few things.