Jack's Journal: Housekeeping - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Jack's Journal: Housekeeping

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In the north, hospitality is king and in the hotel business the housekeepers are the back bone of the industry.

“Without the housekeeping department, nothing else happens. Everyone relies on them for clean rooms, stocked rooms. They are the eyes and ears of the hotel. When something needs repairing they let us know,” says Nick Trahair, AmericInn manager.

Staffing depends on the season. Working as a team they decide which rooms get attention first. What conditions are rooms usually left?

 “Sometimes people leave it a real mess if they had a little fun the night before. You know, if it’s just business people it’s clean. You never know what you will walk into,” explains housekeeping supervisor, Hillary Leach.

Yes, all sorts of odd and weird stuff gets left but, most often, its clothes, jewelry or that favorite travel pillow.  Staying in the shadows, housekeepers are happy to chat with guests and make sure the stay is comfortable.

The team strips the room, double check each other and make sure all is right, keep the carts stocked.

One thing I found interesting? No mops. The floors are scrubbed by hand, and the transformation averages 20 – 30 minutes.  It’s a work until it’s done job and it is not for the unmotivated.

“I always tell people in their interviews, ‘You will never have a physical job like this.’ You don’t need a gym membership,” says Nick.

Hillary adds, “I love being on my feet. It’s never a dull moment. It’s not always the same thing.”