Friday, February 22, 2013

Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality by Jacob Tomsky

While it's not an "expose" on hotels, this book IS a great peek at what happens in the "back of the house" where paying guests can't see. Tomsky has worked in numerous hotels, both higher-end and not. He's been a valet, desk staff, and housekeeping management, both union and not. The point is, he's been around, and in this book while he's telling his tales you'll learn a lot about what to do (and more importantly, NOT do) the next time you're an overnight visitor.

Honestly, tipping is the biggest theme in this book: who to tip, how much, how to do it, what it means, and what it can bring. While you'll also learn a bit about cleanliness, amenities, and bringing your own pillow (don't do it), the heart of the hustle is the crinkly handshake. And what it boils down to is courtesy - how you treat hotel employees affects how they treat you. While that seems like it should be common sense, anyone who's worked in customer service understands it's more truly a rare thing.

The book's funny, and light reading. It's a well-written memoir and a topic that I hadn't seen covered much in the past. I'll highly recommend it.

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