Thursday, April 2, 2015

maid raid!

I walked into the hotel, and immediately felt that something. Just. Wasn't.  Riiiight.  It was too quiet?  Something...?

This was back in time, like mid 1980s.  I was working as a desk agent at a hotel in Denver.  I typically worked second shift which started at 3:00 pm and went until 11:00 pm, so we mainly checked the guests in and made them all comfy cozy in their temporary homes.

So I get to work and there's all this Heavy Heavy in the air, but at the same time, it was all very Hush Hush.  Then I see that nearly all of the rooms are showing as not clean, and I'm all, "Why hasn't the housekeeping report been done?"


Actually, the housekeeping report, such as it was, had been done.  We were just very very low on housekeeping staff that day.  Eventually - since it was all so Hush Hush - my deskmates and I were filled in.

There was an INS raid at the hotel that day.  INS was the Immigration and Naturalization Service back then, currently known as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.  So, yeah.

So, at first we were all, "*GASP*, they hauled in our housekeepers?!"

But, NO!  The plot thickened.

See, our housekeeping department was managed by this assistant manager, Richard.  And no, I'm not using a euphemism for a more blunt term, his name was really Richard.

And apparently, Richard had some connections with - who knows - someone who could get undocumented workers on the cheap.  Now, this was news to us, but recall that this was back before 9/11, so undocumented workers weren't all that uncommon around here.  Most of them were from Mexico.

So my fellow desk workers - C and D (really) - and I were feeling bad for the housekeepers, who we did not know were illegal, thinking they'd been hauled off the hoosegow before their deportation.  But no.  It just.  So.  Happened. that most of housekeeping COINCIDENTALLY called in sick that day...

Apparently Richard had another friend who was actually part of INS.  The FRIEND gave Richard the heads up about what was going to go down at the hotel, so Richard got the word out in time.  INS showed up all, "RAAAIIIIID!" only to find a few U.S. citizens cleaning rooms.  Very few, thanks to the housekeeper flu or whatever.

So when we showed up at 3:00, there weren't a whole lotta rooms to rent out, and we were all "*frick*, what we gonna do about all these reservations?!"

We tag teamed,  making sure someone was at the desk at all times, while whoever was able - desk agents, maintenance guys, managers - went and prepped rooms.

The next day?  Everything was back to "normal".  Housekeeping was fully staffed.  Richard was Richard.  Rooms were cleaned.  Business as usual.

And to this day, I can fold a toilet paper point like nobody's business.

 In response to SR300 regarding my housekeeping training and...
For Mama Kat's prompt
5. A memorable day at work.


ShadowRun300 said...

That sounds like a nightmare! Glad that it worked out for everybody.
I have to admit, one of the hardest parts for me was "folding" the pillow cases around the pillow, and folding the toilet paper! I tore off so many pieces trying to get the point sharp and even. I have to leave that to the experts.

Riot Kitty said...

God. I am always stunned at the outright racism against immigrants, when the same people have no vitriol for the employers who exploit them.

Abby said...

Ah, the pillowcases. "Open ends TOGETHER!" To this day, it bothers me to have the open ends facing out. I got pretty good with the TP, but if I never make another toilet paper point, I won't be disappointed.

Abby said...

The whole place seemed a bit seedy after that incident. I knew there was something I didn't like about Richard, and who knows what else he had going on.

Mama Kat said...

Wow! I'm glad the housekeepers got the memo to stay home that day, but Richard sounds like a sleeze!

terri said...

What a weird experience! Good for the housekeeping staff, I guess, that they were able to be warned off. But Richard. Hmmmm.

I've never worked in the hotel industry, but I have a pet peeve about open ends of pillow cases facing outward. Maybe I missed a calling!