Lessons Learned As A Hotel Manager’s Daughter

Jim and I stayed in a hotel over the weekend and each time we left the room I followed my usual “tidying up for the housekeeper” protocol.

Starting in the bathroom, I toss my cosmetics into my makeup bag and scoot that into the corner. I make sure our toothbrushes and toothpaste are off to the side, and put Jim’s stuff in a pile. Then I make sure that any towels we want to continue using are hung on the hook and any towels we no longer need are in a neat pile on the floor.

I go back into the bedroom area and make sure all of our clothes are either in a drawer or in the suitcase, which I zip up. I straighten up the desk and the coffee table, and throw away any trash that is laying around.

Being the daughter of a hotel manager, I’ve been doing this for years. When we were kids, my mom always instructed my sister and me to clean up because we didn’t “want to be embarrassed”. I get that, especially when your dad’s the boss of the place. There’s another reason, though: to make the housekeeper’s job easier. I believe that it’s just nicer in general. Why make it more difficult for someone to do their job when it only takes five minutes of effort on your part to prevent that from happening? (In the case of hotel housekeepers, they have lots and lots of rooms to clean in a very limited timeframe. Every minute counts!)

Expanding on that as I sigh heavily…I also do my quick pre-clean for the hotel housekeeper because I’ve heard all kinds of horror stories over the years from my dad on messes that these women (and sometimes men) have had to clean up. *Shudder*

You don’t want to know. Also, people are gross.

Another lesson learned partly as a result of spending so much time in hotels as a kid is to always make sure the door is shut tightly behind me when I leave. My friends who walk out of a hotel room with me during the BlogHer conference get this reminder at least once each year, because somebody always walks out last and just lets the door shut on its own, resulting in my making a scene by making a face at them and dramatically going to pull on the handle myself. It’s very funny. Well, to me.

I would have learned to clean up after myself and pull a door closed properly even if my dad didn’t manage hotels, but I think that those things were ingrained at such a young age that I credit my dad’s career for it.

That brings me to a question: what lesson(s) did YOU learn earlier or faster as a result of what your mom or dad did for a living? Leave it in comments or, if you’re participating in NaBloPoMo, how about blogging your response? (Great idea, right?)(Right.)

This is Day 4 of NaBloPoMo and I’m getting into the groove. What about you? I’m happy to announce that the post I wrote last week about how to survive during NaBloPoMo is being syndicated at BlogHer today! Go check it out: it looks pretty over there! (Click here!)


  • Deb Rox

    This is very interesting. My dad was in vending. I learned a lot of not useful things, like all about slug quarters. But I also learned a few great entrepreneurial lessons, and one was that small profits add up. Each vending sale profit was tiny, right, but man, they pooled into Willy Wonka rooms full of coins shooting through counting machines. I also learned what I hope everyone already knows: never, ever eat a meat sandwich from a machine.

  • Liz

    I still check to make sure my door is locked and now say it out loud, “It’s locked, Melisa!” even when you’re not there.

  • Mollytopia

    I do all that, too! My dad was the drummer for Ringling Bros, so I learned to love traveling very early : ) Great post! Also, thanks for the tips in your other post about getting through NaBloPoMo(Fo) – super helpful!

  • Shannon

    My dad was an appliance repair man. Don’t leave your house with the dryer running and be vigilant about cleaning out the vent. And, contrary to popular belief, there is not more than one right way to load a dishwasher. Just ask him. He’ll tell you.

  • Sheryl

    Here’s mine. My dad was a cabinet maker, and my mom worked with/for him. As a result, they were great at putting things together, and I know what most tools are and how to use them. As a result, when my boyfriend and I moved and got rid of some of our furniture, guess who put all the new furniture together? Yep! In about a week’s time, I put together a couch, two desks, a coffee table, and a whole set of patio furniture.

  • Sylvia Joy

    You forgot to say double lock your door when you are in the room. But great job I am glad we taught you and your sister well.

    Great job.

    Grandma W

  • Dad

    Great blog Melisa! You and you and your sister always made me proud when we traveled and stayed in hotels managed by my friends and peers in the business. I always received compliments about how well both of you behaved and how polite and considerate you were. Like your fantastic Mom, both of you always cared about your dealings with every hotel staff no matter whether is was my staff or any hotel we were at. That’s called RESPECT for others and always being aware of how difficult their jobs were. For all the years we traveled and stayed in hotels, I was NEVER embarrassed by what my family did and how all of you acted.

    Know what….? All of you STILL make proud! I’m a lucky husband and Dad!

    Love you,

    Old retired me! 🙂

  • JustHeather

    As the daughter of a produce shipper, the lessons learned at my father’s knee are incredibly useful now. My watermelon selection skills would amaze you. Also, I always say my superpower is picking the perfect avocado.

  • Jen

    As a plumber’s daughter, I learned how to unclog a toilet. I also learned how to answer the phone early on and to take messages for my dad. It was a small family business. I also learned that it is a must for all showers to have a drain catcher that collects all the hair. Nothing clogs up a tub quicker than long hair.