Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood: Chamber Maid
Ever talk to a chamber maid? To hotel guests they are supposed to be cat-like: if seen then certainly not heard. I know a chamber maid, Marie, who actually speaks and when I asked her my standard questions, this is what she said:
What is the best part about being a chamber maid?
Like many folks with unenviable jobs, this took Marie a minute to answer, but then it finally did come to her: you can go home early in the afternoon. She explained this was because morning shift chamber maids have to have their rooms finished in time for afternoon check-ins. She explained that this allowed her to have a life away from her job, which is clearly where most of her actual interest lies.
What is the worst part?
Marie reports that people are pigs. She can tell story after story about what slobs folks can be, especially when they are on vacation. These include not only gross cleaning stories, but weird ones, like when she was cleaning at a seaside hotel and someone left a sandcastle in the bathtub.
What would most folks not know about your job?
The news is this people: you are supposed to tip the chamber maids. Apparently this a pleasantry most guests either do not know about, forget, or simply choose to deny after taking a look at the bill. But Marie points out an interesting gender piece here. Apparently it is an open bias amongst hotels to only hire women in the room cleaning jobs and only men for the bell-hop/luggage handling positions. While, bell-hops are routinely tipped for carrying your stuff, maids get no tip for cleaning your surroundings. For those interested in righting this wrong, Marie reports standard tip would be a dollar for each a day you stayed, per maid.
Anything funny ever happen?
Whether simply her luck, or something about the job itself, Marie has had the chance to work with some very funny people -- although she is quick to point out they may just be funny to her. There were the two old-lady-maids she was assigned to who loved her like a granddaughter, but made her do everything (that meant ten bathrooms a day-- talk about tough love). There was also the mouthy college girl who wore a complete set of clothes under her uniform because she could not allow polyester to touch her skin. But Marie said she found the girl who got stoned between rooms especially entertaining because she would beg to vacuum just so she could leave interesting patterns in the carpet.