I need a beer.

Today has been hectic. I haven’t had the chance to blog at all and I was have really enjoyed riding this wave of motivation. But it wasn’t the motivation that got me, it was work.

I was woken up by a voicemail from my manager at 8.30am. I was expecting to be off so I set my alarm for a little later.

‘Hey give me a call back, I have a shift for you’.

I have been begging for shifts recently as hours are scarce, so despite hardly being able to open my eyes I called straight back.

I didn’t know that this shift would be in an hours time…

Thankfully the hostel I am staying at is in viewing distance of my hotel, so time wasn’t an issue. I honestly cross a crossroads and I am there, waiting for the green man probably takes as long as the walk itself. It is weird being so close to work that I can be given an hours warning of a shift I wasn’t aware of, and still be able to take a long shower. It has certainly been a pro amongst the cons of hostel life.

I had walked into the hotel during the check out period (up to 11am), but being such a huge hotel check in’s were occurring. Some VIP groups, some airline crew. Two guests checking in asked me what the emergency services and media were doing on a nearby street, I didn’t know. Hospitality can be like that, we can get so much information from people around us and at the same time be so busy that we have no idea what is happening around us.

I do more check in’s at this hotel before 11am than I did all day in other hotels. This one is huge. There is just a constant buzz around the place and always something going on. We had Chinese New Year celebrations happening in house, with a huge dinner taking up a whole ballroom. Dancing dragons and beating drums took over the reception area at 6pm, before making their way up the escalators and leading the huge group to their event. This occurred as airline crew were checking out for their next flight, I wish I could take pictures at work to show you how active the lobby was during this moment of organised madness.

As I am trying to keep my work and blog life separate, I do not want to disclose where I work or too much information about my job. I’m no MI5 though, honest.

We then had a another VIP arrive, however as the concierge team were so busy I left the desk and assisted with getting the tour group’s gear to the room. This is the kind of thing I love about hotel life, we get to mingle with people that are literally idols to their fans. It makes me grateful despite the hectic nature and having to stay back longer than I should have isn’t a big deal.

I was planning to leave by 6.30pm latest, however I ended up staying until 9pm. Not a bad days work considering I was going to be off today. But sadly my time in Brisbane is coming to an end and I need all the hours I can get to fund me until I find a job in Melbourne mid March. So despite being grateful for the hours I gained today, I wasn’t blogging. I have spent so much time on my blog that it feels weird when I have a few hours away from it. I still think of posts to write about, I just can’t start them. But a quick draft entry to come back to later on will do.

So sorry for being a lot less present today than I have been, I feel like I have been engaging a lot with you all and then suddenly went cold. But I need to remind myself that it was only for one day, and the reason was out of my control. But I hate when I can’t blog as it is something I have done for years and it is just weird not doing it. And for that reason a day feels more like a week. It is a hobby that I enjoy, and I don’t enjoy having it taken away.

But here I am having a beer, with a whole day off tomorrow. I hope…

I’ll speak to you all again soon.



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I’m going to miss hospitality work in a small city

I have had a crazy Thursday. Partly the reason why I started typing this at 1.49am on Friday. I can imagine a fair few bloggers on this site work pretty awful hours and I dedicate this post to how great that can be. Sometimes, I feel like my work experiences go to waste.

I don’t disclose where I work on my blog for a number of reasons. One, I do not like the idea of people knowing my exact locationI have issues with letting family members know of the sometimes controversial blog topics I cover, let alone strangers. I would happily let you know of course, it is the others I am a little concerned about 😉

Secondly, I have to keep aspects of my job under wraps. This is pretty normal I guess, however every now and then I will work with musicians, actors and Ted Talkers (sadly I do not actually get to talk to them personally all that much due to their busy nature) and I have a duty to not type ‘Hey guess who is in town today and heading to this bar/restaurant/strip club?!’ all over my social media. Hospitality is pretty unique in the sense we can be paid very little yet be relied upon by some pretty big names to stay safe and as anonymous as possible.

Today (okay, yesterday) was no exception. It involved a musician of a band sleeping in the back of a vintage car in a car park shortly before the gig. In fact, a fair few people parking to attend the gig walked right by their idol. It makes me think of how often someone I really look up to has been right behind the curtain as I wait in line with my ticket or has been shitting in the cubicle right next to me. It certainly isn’t beyond the realms of possibility.

You never know who is in touching distance, especially if you have travelled to THAT venue to see THAT person. I have learned this by being on either side of that metaphorical curtain, sneaking people through the delivery door whilst having to plead ignorant to fans.

It is also interesting to see the build up to a gig from a performers perspective. Away from the crowds that have held in their pee for eight hours straight clinging to the barrier right in front of the stage, instead the artist being woken up and asking where they are as they are hurled into a van and driven to the venue. This was genuinely how this gig unfolded! To be fair I spoke to fans of this certain band today and was told they put on a great performance with a pretty generous encore, too. Sometimes, you just have to applaud.

Obviously this isn’t the warm up routine for every performer. It is just another insight to the wildly varying world of entertainment. I don’t really know why I haven’t blogged on this more, maybe it is because a part of me doesn’t feel right. As if this is a betrayal of the trust, despite no information being confidential or valuable after person x has been and moved on to the next location. I can only image how Edward Snowden must feel.

Working in a small city (roughly 250,000 people) I feel everything seems a lot closer to home. There is less anonymity walking through the street, I know businesses pretty well and the people that work there, too. There is a beauty and certainly an advantage to this that isn’t always seen in the New York’s, London’s and Tokyo’s of the world. Any big event in town directly affects your business and if there is that big name needing some sweet, sweet hospitality, it could well be through your doors. This is definitely something I will miss greatly when I travel in September.

If you work in hospitality and in particularly a small city, there are some advantages for sure. In the people you meet and the stories you could easily leak to the papers if you were short on cash due to the last staff night out. I’m upset I only have a month left to make the most of it. 

What a way to make a livin’

You know you work in hospitality when your chill time is 2.37am and feel it is still too early for bed…

I actually have another post typed about the predictably unpredictable life of a hospitality worker inspired by today, I will wait until sunrise to tidy up a little when I am thinking straight.

Sometimes, I feel like my stories from work are wasted, and I am sure too many go to waste every day throughout the world. I hope yours has been crazy enough to inspire you in some way.

What I’ve learned not to say when I check into hotels

Yesterday I posted a quick article from my hotel room on what I have learned about hotels from working in hotel industry. Thank you to those of you who took time to like and comment! I land in Spain just after 6pm tomorrow, plenty of time to brush up on the (very, very little) Spanish I currently know.


The post was my perspective as a guest after being the one providing the service for a number of years. I was then given the idea of posting about my perspective as the worker and my pet hates from the guests themselves- thank you to Victor over at Victor Travel Blog for suggesting. He has plenty of blog posts on many great destinations well worth a click or ten.

I guess every hospitality worker has his or her own likes and dislikes, so whether or not this is accurate across the board is up for debate. Still, I am more than happy to vent, with a hint of nostalgia along the way.


One: Requesting ‘The Penthouse’

‘I booked a room for this evening, The Penthouse of course… Giggidy’

They didn’t book it, we never had one. Or the ‘Honeymoon Suite’, the ‘Jacuzzi room’, the ‘Top floor room’, the Nimbus 2000… presumably located behind a golden door and filled with puppies. I loved seeing the joy on guests faces when they thought their joke landed, not realising it was fifth time that day. Don’t settle for fifth place, guys.

Also If you did want it, buy it! It became increasingly more apparent that the ones paying the least, often expected the most.

Two: Expecting free upgrades for special occasions 

Okay, newlyweds are exempt from the list, as are a small number of other reasons for staying. But a birthday or anniversary, that is down to your squad, buddy. Of course we were happy to go above and beyond to make the occasion a great one, but the reason you can’t have a free upgrade or a complimentary bottle of wine is because you’re the tenth guest with a birthday today! It’s a special day for the individual but in a hotel, that is the norm. I like to think people would focus on buying these nice extras for loved ones and would not rely on a hotel to do this. I am often mistaken.

Three: Wives/girlfriends asking their husbands/boyfriends to ask me something

This one is very regular and it almost always seems to be the female, channeling her thoughts through her partner like a spirit talking through a medium. There is nothing more frustrating than having to listen to someone whisper something that you can hear into the ear of someone else that then feels inclined to ask on their behalf. You can speak to me yourself you know! I don’t know why it tends to be women more than men, I am sure there is an explanation. It fascinated me a lot.

Four: Asking for an early check in/late check out and expecting it

‘What, I can’t get one? But I emailed before I arrived!!!’

That is true, but I don’t walk into a restaurant asking for a free starter or dessert and get mad if I don’t get one. It doesn’t work like that. There isn’t a problem with asking so long as it doesn’t get perceived as some kind of privilege or birthright.

And finally: Two friends sharing a bed and demanding that I know they aren’t gay

As a straight guy, I understand that it isn’t beneficial for anyone to perceive me as anything else. That is evolution. However it is always funny to hear two people of the same gender that have booked a one bed room insist in telling me that they like each other, just not that much. That is almost as frequently heard as the Penthouse request. I share beds all the time, I don’t care and thankfully from being the one allocating rooms, realise that the staff don’t really care either.


So there we have it, my immediate pet hates that I can think of from my time in hospitality. I am sure this differs between each department, and that I can make a list twice as long with a little more time. Hey, we are all human and I guarantee that tomorrow I will annoy the cabin crew and airport security more times than I can count before even arriving at the destination. We all have aspects of our jobs that we endure more than we would like, and we will all do this to other people. At least I can share a few jokes with the hotel staff before getting my room key, if my friends don’t embarrass me first.





A few things I’ve learned about hotels from working in hotels

I had an unexpected night in a hotel last night and as I sip my morning coffee, felt it was a good opportunity to talk about what I learned from hotel work. 

I spent numerous years working in hotels. I loved it, I hated it. It was relaxing and crazy. How could I be punished with 60+ hour shifts one week and a four day weekend the next? And how come a job with such low pay got me so close to celebrities? This, is the hotel trade.

Some guests genuinely have interesting names…

As I currently spend a night in one I remember what it was like to be on the other side of the desk. To be approached by an arrival claiming to be called ‘Ben Dover’ asking what the policy is for bringing prostitutes back. That kind of comedic genius. Mind you, I once checked in a businessman genuinely named Harry Potter, it’s all about spotting the trolls without infuriating the good guys.

Fear the ‘shettle’…

Once during a floor walk a housekeeper found a kettle sitting outside of a room that a stag group checked out of. She opened it to find a human dump staring back. This actually happened, and from now on I ask for a pot of boiling water from the bar to quench my thirst for tea. Flavoured tea is popular, some flavours aren’t so welcome. 

I always double lock my door

In an age of keycards you can relax knowing that the door will lock behind you after you leave, gone are the days in which we have to remember to physically lock the door after us. This doesn’t mean the door cannot be opened without some fairly simple information. To get a new key to a room we are often required to provide a name, room number, I.D or to state the address on file, although this isn’t always so strict. I’ve been given a room key by using the right name and room number, easily obtainable by listening closely to the person checking in before you. I have never heard of such a trick being used to gain access to another room, thankfully most people are good and any creeps looking to abuse such a system are often terrible at going under the radar. It is still good to be over cautious. 

A ‘do not disturb’ sign doesn’t always work

Prepare for a housekeeping invasion around 9am, they are easily the hardest working department in my eyes and like anyone, want to get the workload out of the way. Rest assured the hand squeezing through the door isn’t you dreaming of the anticipated zombie apocalypse, it’s just housekeepers eagerly wanting to swap your towels for fresh ones.

I don’t go into attack mode if something  goes wrong

As much as the unexpected 6am fire alarm wasn’t my fault, it probably wasn’t the fault of the reception staff either. As much as I want to vent it is important to remember that the staff are only human and if they are shown compassion, will probably be a lot more helpful and understanding with an understanding guest. We are emotional creatures and whether we like it or not, this impacts how a situation unfolds. Staff aren’t there to make your stay difficult, this would make hotel work very difficult indeed. A civil conversation is just as effective as anything.

I still love staying in hotels

I always thought going into the hotel industry would kill the magic, a bit like working at Disneyland but on a much smaller scale. It didn’t and if anything I appreciate the work that goes into making a stay a great one a little more. 

I do certain certain things differently now from the experienced I gained however this is not a hindrance. I’ve adopted many of the do’s and don’t at home, too. I just trust the kettle a little more. 

I hope you’re in a hotel right now and if not, very soon!