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 - Jacob Tomsky As a certified nosy person, I'm a sucker for employment memoirs; I will happily sit and read about life as a doctor, nurse, vet, explorer, retail assistant - in fact I will read about anything that is different from what I do myself. So I was excited to request Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality from Netgalley. In it, Tomsky details his rise through the hotel industry from valet parking through to front desk manager. Having worked many jobs within the industry, Tomsky is in the perfect position to detail what life as a hotel worker is really like and to give insider information for potential guests keen on upgrades and other perks.Heads in Beds was very good light relief and I enjoyed reading it. I'm not a frequent hotel user, but I've checked into enough hotels to recognise lots of the situations detailed in the book. As always, I was shocked by how inconsiderate and rude members of the public can be towards service staff. Tomsky does come across as a bit angry in places, but having worked in retail myself (thankfully, many years ago now!), I'm sure that this anger was justified. There's only so long you can take being treated like the dirt on someone's shoe before you want to snap! There are mentions of polite customers and good experiences but these become less frequent as the book goes on and Tomsky becomes more disillusioned with his job. It's safe to say I won't be applying to be a front desk operator any time soon!One thing I found very interesting was the comparison between the two main hotels Tomsky worked in, luxury hotels in New Orleans and New York. In New Orleans, the staff were valued and trusted and consequently often went above and beyond in order to provide good service to their guests. In New York, they were constantly monitored for any slip up, treated as if they were slackers and initiative was punished rather than rewarded. This led to resentment and poor service, with no one willing to go the extra mile. Even though Tomsky is writing specifically about the hotel industry in Heads in Beds, I've seen this kind of thing in every single working environment I have been in. When will managers learn that staff work better if you trust them, value them and simply leave them to it?Heads in Beds was on the whole clearly written with lots of humour. It didn't set my world alight, but I found it interesting and enjoyable. I think it could have benefited from being edited down slightly as it dragged in the later sections, with too much page time being devoted to Tomsky's time as a front desk operator. I'm sure that fellow nosy readers will enjoy this book as much as I did!