When you go out to a restaurant or get a taxi ride, you tip. It’s an unwritten law and most people do it. Unless the service really sucks… you should give a tip. If you don’t do it, you really suck as a person and I don’t want to be your friend.
The thing about tips is, you would not necessary tip somebody whose service you didn’t have in front of your eyes. You wouldn’t tip the guy at amazon for getting your things or the mailman who brought you some nice postcards from your friends travelling around the world. Of course, if you see the waiter bringing your food, you know that he did something to earn your well-earned money. Some jokes while doing his job and a nice compliment often gets him/her even more of your money.
What about those people you don’t see during their work? Let’s be honest, just a few people ever went to the kitchen to give some tips to the cooks preparing your food. While I was working in the kitchen or in the restaurant, exactly one guy did this. If you have really cool team with you, you share the tips, so everything is collected and shared once a week or a month.
Back to the guys and girls doing your bed. It’s true, it’s not a difficult job if you think of a difficult job in order of diplomas etc.
On average in a big hotel they do around 20 rooms a day. Often they get paid by rooms not by working hours, so the more rooms they clean, the more money the earn. For an average room, it takes about 20-25 minutes, depending on size and equipment. Usually, to my experience (which may be different in other countries), they work between 4-6 hours day, which doesn’t seem too much compared to a “normal” job. However, you have to be “on the run” the whole time. You are always hurried to get your work done. In most hotels the rooms have to be ready at 2 or 3 pm. Up until then, the room has to be cleaned (first step), checked by a supervisor, the minibar has to be refilled and in some case some kind of amenity has to be prepared or the concierge needs to get in the room as well. So, the faster the room is cleaned, the faster other people can do their job. I think you can imaging how stressful it can be when other people’s work depend on yours.
As said, it usually takes about 20-25 minutes to get a room ready. However, this is only the case if the guest isn’t a complete dickhead (sorry for that – I love all my guests! Promise! :)). Back in my apprenticeship, it took around 30 minutes for me to clean a standard room (which was quite slow, I am definitely not made for this job), however, sometimes it took more than an hour if the guest was really messy. This time truly made me question if people even care about flushing their “legacy”, if it even finds the way to the toilet, or if they are some wizards who could walk on broken glass spread all over the floor. And no, these are no exceptions, you have at least one of these a day.
I think you get the idea of how this job works. I will go into more detail in the future but hopefully this gives you a first impression of how hard this is.
Please, when you go on your next vacation or on a business trip, just leave a Dollar or an Euro on the bed before you leave. Don’t put it on the table (this place is kind of sacred) but leave it on the pillow or on the bed. One Dollar/Euro won’t make you poor. If you take out your girlfriend and tip 10% of the bill, it’s more likely to make you poor.
These guys and girls truly earn it, although you don’t necessarily see them doing their work. But you will see the results and it is their achievement that you don’t see the “results” of the guest who stayed in the same bed as you the night before. Tip them!