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Monday, November 19, 2012

Heads In Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality

Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality by Jay Tomsky practically called my name. It called to me and I picked it up. I heeded the call.

In this memoir, Tomsky recounts his experiences in the hospitality industry starting as a valet and working his way up to seniority on the front desk. He finds himself in New Orleans after college taking a job at a brand new luxury hotel as a valet--and soon he is bumped up by management to the front desk. He excels there and is quickly bumped up to again--as the night housekeeping manager, that is. Lower pay and longer hours. When he has had enough, he bums around Europe for a while before searching for a new industry in New York City. He soon discovers his skill set doesn't lend itself to much--except hospitality. Off he goes, and we get to ride the fun train with him.

I had a great week-long stay with this book. Tomsky writes the way I believe he would sound in conversation, so I was drawn in by the friendliness yet formality of his tone. He treated me like one of his honored guests of which he speaks--it's like he gave me his personal email. I loved hearing about his adventures, the guests about whom he came to deeply care, and his decline into frustration with new management. I was as horrified as he was by the new management at his New York hotel--it was clear that the decline in service was parallel to Tomsky's declining love for his job.

I have definitely been there, so I was able to completely relate to this read and to Tomsky's experience. I love the little twist that came in at the end (of which I will not spill the beans) because it gave me a little giggle. I appreciate the tips that Tomsky passed on (re: tipping and general appreciation), which I hope I was already doing but I will ensure to do moving forward. There was a great tip on what to do when booking through a third party hotel booking site which I will not share with you since you need to read the book for yourself. I am now in the know--will you be too?


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