I spent the first two years of my adult life housekeeping in high class hotels in Cork. It was the best of times, but more often than not, it was the worst of times.
However, it was a massive learning curve for me, and it taught me A LOT of valuable lessons.
1. Guests will ask anything of you
Within the service industry – especially within the likes of a five star star hotel – you are expected to go above and beyond for guests.
During my first week, a woman with broken English approached me in the corridor and asked me to change her sheets. Her room hadn't been allocated to me, but I obliged, and went to change them.
When I arrived at the room I finally understood what she was trying to tell me. "I menstruate... I menstruate on the bed."
2. Housekeepers sweat on everything you love
Sorry – have you seen those trollies?! If you weren't lucky enough to have been gifted with a plastic wonder on wheels, you were forced to haul a wooden and metal cart twice your weight between floors.
Linen is deceivingly heavy – and don't even get me started on navigating elevators.
3. Pillow cases double as cloths
Yep. That glass you drink out of from the bathroom? That was more than likely polished with a dirty pillowcase.
The gravity of how gross this action is didn't really hit me until after I left.
4. The sheets aren't always changed
Now, let it be said that this very rarely happens, and that I never did this while working at the hotel – frankly, I wouldn't have gotten away with it.
A recent undercover investigation divulged that hotel bed sheets aren't necessarily changed every day, and I can confirm that this is true.
If you're under pressure to have your list of rooms cleaned, you will cut corners if you can.
5. Wedding guests are the worst people to walk the earth
If I had a euro for every time I had to unclog vomit from a hotel bathroom sink... I would have €5.
Seriously though, the STATE of rooms after weddings – have ye no shame?!
6. Everyone in the hotel is having sex bar you
Save yourself the embarrassment and put the Do Not Disturb sign on your door – and even at that, we knock three times!!! JUST TELL US TO COME BACK LATER!!!
Also, the amount of sex toys that are left behind is ridiculous, but we have good craic with them – there's a lot of dildos thrown around the store rooms.
Speaking of which...
7. We keep everything you leave behind
Well, there's usually a six-month wait policy before we can get at anything in the Lost & Found, and most people usually make a follow-up call for valuable stuff... But otherwise, it's ours.
A friend of mine worked in a very reputable hotel, and previously had rapper 50 Cent stay over. He left a Rolex in the safe of the room – and never asked for it back.
8. We only clean under the beds once every two months
This could vary by establishment, but this is considered 'deep cleaning' for house keepers.
Unless there's something really obvious, like a wine bottle, under the bed, we literally don't care what's underneath.
9. If you're staying over and you ask for your sheets changed, we hate you
And we probably won't do it. Long-term stayovers? Yeah, that's no problem. Staying for a night and requesting a full linen change? That's just evil.