Attention, travelers: If you've ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at a hotel, Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality will give you a gleeful glimpse.
It's so funny I am certain I woke up my upstairs noisy neighbors by guffawing out loud in many places. The book is simply written and is a fast read.
Jacob Tomsky is the author, and he's got lots to tell as he weaves his way from hotel valet driver up through industry ranks. (Alert: Today's coarse language is the style, but, of course.)
Got tips? Tomsky has some for you.
If you are told "all rooms are alike," it's a lie. Surprise! Cash talks.
You want an upgrade? Gimme $20.
The mini-bar is yours for the taking (stealing). When it shows up on your bill, just say you didn't touch the mini-bar, and poof! Off it comes from your bill. Take everything, Tomsky writes in his breezy style. You'll never be questioned.
You can also check into a room, stipulating "no smoking," and after you get to the room, stuff the mini-bar contents in your bag, smoke a cigarette, and call the front desk to complain about having a smoking room, summon a hotel staff member to verify, and change rooms. Because the room is considered "non-occupied," no one will track it and off you go to a new room.
If you complain too much and get on the wrong side of the front desk, look out! How would you like a room under the 300 lb. gorilla who checked in just before you?
If you make a racist or homophobic comment to the staff, listen for your room phone to ring all night, or how would you prefer automatic curtains which are stuck?
Never, ever book a room with a third party. You always get a better room communicating with the hotel directly, but if you must use a third party, call the hotel before you arrive to establish "personal communications."
Always use a bellman and never, ever tip in coins. (Tomsky says professional athletes are the worst tippers. One left no tip after a bellman carried 14 bags to the room. Names are omitted unless it's a positive anecdote.)
Included are lists for "Things a Guest Should Never Say," "Things a Guest Should Never Do," "Things Every Guest Must Know," "FYA-Finding Your Agent," and "Standard Lies That Spew from the Mouth of a Front Desk Agent."
The ending seems to repeat the contents too much, and perhaps it was padded to reach a certain page count. Nevertheless, this book is fun.
Compliments to book designer Emily Mahon and jacket photographer Scott Nobles who created an eye-catching jacket, like the title.
Whatever shall Tomsky write for an encore?