Myths About Innkeepers

I’ll never forget the morning when I was serving breakfast at the Carriage House Inn and a guest asked me what my plans were for the day. Before I could recite the list of chores I had lined up, she chirped, “It’s so beautiful out. Are you heading to the beach?” It took every fiber of my being to refrain from telling her about the previous night when, after a twelve hour day, James had surprised me by shucking some oysters and opening a bottle of bubbly for no reason, in particular. I was just about to slurp up a plump one when the phone rang – a guest’s heat was on the fritz and James headed over to determine that the thermostat needed replacing. So, on a Saturday night, we paid time and a half to have the problem fixed, the champagne went flat and the oysters went bad. But, I bit my tongue and reminded myself that the good days really do outweigh the bad.

In addition to the misconception about our “lounge by the pool” lifestyle, another myth about innkeepers is that we live in pristine homes with organized, labeled spice racks, homemade cleaning products, and sock drawers sorted by color. In reality, we have cabinets full of mismatched, chipped reject mugs from the inn, stained sheets and towels which were unacceptable for guest rooms, but a shame to throw away, and odd pieces of furniture which needed replacing at the inn, but again, were in decent enough shape to relocate to our house.

You will also never find a new bottle of shampoo or a full roll of toilet paper in an innkeeper’s home. You know how when you check into a hotel whose rating is anything above that of, say a motel that has five deadbolts and bullet proof glass, and there is a practically full roll of toilet paper in the bathroom? What do you think happens to all the quarter rolls that are too skimpy to leave for the next guest? That’s right – they find their way into the housekeeper or innkeeper’s giant basket of dinky toilet paper ends. Same with leftover shampoo – I have a permanent siphoning system set up in my bathroom where the little travel shampoos are funneled into my economy size Suave bottle. Also, my floor hasn’t seen a vacuum in weeks. Despite my anal retentive tendencies, I use all my vigor to clean at the inn. I mean, really, do chefs come home after cooking dinner for 200 people and decide to fix themselves a gourmet meal?

Yes, the life of an innkeeper is different from what most envision and this blog will continue to take you behind the schenes to showcase that life. You may also wish to visit PAII (Professional Association of Innkeepers International) which is a fantastic resource for both aspiring and seasoned innkeepers and also provides networking opportunities.

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