Stop helping me.

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Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

Need a polite way to tell guests to stop helping me. I just lay down to rest when a couple of guests who had already checked out came back to empty their stuff out of the fridge. Not a problem, I knew they were coming back. I hear them get all their stuff, then go into our laundry room. Presumably to use the toilet. It's not clean. We don't take care of it because no one uses it. There's not even any tp.

Well, that's their lookout, we don't advertise that is even there for guests. If you're nosing around, tough on you.

Then they let someone in. Which I didn't know because the person just stood there in the kitchen. I am assuming I am alone in the house and I hear talking. NOT the voices I was expecting. Now I have to get up and go check to see who is in the house.

This morning guests start busing their tables. I have 2 square feet of counter space to work with in the morning. I was plating starters while DH was plating main courses and it all ends up in that 2 sq ft. I see them coming, laden down with plates headed right for my work space. That, or they dump them in front of the coffee pot where, lovely sight, the guests coming in to get coffee find crappy, dirty plates stacked up like a high school lunch room.

I stopped them. 'Please, you're on vacation, leave those on the table.' And I get back, 'Oh, no, we can't do that, it's not polite.' I have to stem the tide again, 'PLEASE, there is NO room here for dirty plates. They CANNOT be near the food I am plating.'

Stop trying to help me. You interrupt the flow. It does not help me to have you standing there blocking all traffic in and out of the kitchen with your dirty plates. And, besides which, half of them are still on the table so why did you even bother??? I STILL have to bus the table leave it to me to do, please.

Well, nap over I guess.

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08/12/2009

Finally this year there is a lockable door to the kitchen.  There is a small look out window at my eye height so I can see how the meals are progressing.  The door is kept closed at all times when guests are in the house.  Keeps the kitchen odors from wafting through.  Keeps the sink clatter and noise of the ventilator fan out of the dining room. And keeps the ice and microwave searchers at bay.  I do keep an eye on the status of their meals.  When the forks are put down and they look 'finished', I go out with the coffee carafe, ask if they are finished, would you like some more coffee, and take the plates then.  How to carry the coffee and the plates?  My indispensible tray!  Who knew those early waitressing stints would come in so handy!

We do have a small guest fridge in the hallway outside the guest room doors for the half and half for the coffee station,  (also in their hallway) for meds that need refrigeration, for their bottled water (many bring it), for their dinner doggie bags etc.....the only thing some ask for is ice, then I bring up an ice bucket.  They do have to ask for that.  (Not enough requests to put in one of those table top ice machines, and some on this forum say they can be noisy)

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

If you ever replace that guest fridge, you can get one with a freezer compartment. They are just a little taller than the usual 'guest fridge' size. We keep ice in there. No more guests in the inn fridge (mostly) and no more requests for ice. And no noise.

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07/21/2009

Our best recent purchase was the table top ice maker. Great for guests (and innkeepers).  Love it. 

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06/24/2008

Helpful guests are not, I agree! 

DH tells them that he is up for his appraisal and if he has help, he will loose his raise.  Then if they still try, we say we have a system in place that has taken years to master - one false move and we may just break everything. 

Madeleine's picture
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copperhead wrote:

Helpful guests are not, I agree! 

DH tells them that he is up for his appraisal and if he has help, he will loose his raise.  Then if they still try, we say we have a system in place that has taken years to master - one false move and we may just break everything. 

That's a good one! When we get guests who are lavish with praise about the breakfast I usually yell into the kitchen, 'Looks like your job is safe for another week!'

Happy Keeper's picture
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10/24/2011

LOVE IT! I think it is kinda funny how some humor totally gets the serious point across.

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07/21/2009

Couldn't agree more.  Even if the humor just benefits me it helps me deal with the PITAs without getting a bad attitude for the other more agreeable guests.

See the following thread for an example.  The full version is better, but you'll get the idea.

http://www.innspiring.com/node/5887

Happy Keeper's picture
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10/24/2011

That's really all it takes. Stay away from cynical stuff and sarcasm, put the humor on yourself and the danger of offending a guest is almost zero. I would go so far to say that it contributes to the, "How DO you do handle all of this with a smile. I could never do that." factor: AND I am not one to turn away a compliment.

seashanty's picture
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06/02/2008

i wonder if people are feeling more like house guests than paying guests when they stay with you and they try to help with the housekeeping ... or if they strip their beds in hotels and try to help with the dishes in restaurants.  i think not!

not saying you're wrong to have the feelings you do ... i had them, too.  i'm just wondering why they do this.

 

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Aussie Innkeeper's picture
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I hate when they try to 'help' by stripping the bed and then FOLDING all of the dirty laundry!! This completely messes up my system! I have two flights of stairs that the dirty stuff has to go down. I usually wrap everything up in the fitted sheet so that it can roll nicely down the stairs and then I carry it to the laundry sorting bin.

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Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

Both stripping the bed and making the bed on the day of departure drive me round the bend. This isn't either your mother's house or a rental house. Do not make the bed, you waste my time. Do not strip the bed, you throw off the momentum by my now having to unfold everything and check for the stains you think you're hiding from me.

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08/12/2009

Here here!  I don't even really want DH to strip the beds.  My stain-eye is sharper!

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

Aussie Innkeeper wrote:

I hate when they try to 'help' by stripping the bed and then FOLDING all of the dirty laundry!! This completely messes up my system! I have two flights of stairs that the dirty stuff has to go down. I usually wrap everything up in the fitted sheet so that it can roll nicely down the stairs and then I carry it to the laundry sorting bin.

I use my "laundry chute". I stand at the railing in the hall and call out - look out below! There is no way I am carrying dirty sheets or towels down stairs - an accident waiting to happen. When I come back downstairs, I lug it all to the kitchen to the laundry corner.

seashanty's picture
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goes with the job. helpers insist on helping. made me nuts. i would have new breakfasts i was trying to carry out to serve and would be presented by people blocking my way with their dirty dishes in hand. wanting to help. 

they just aren't thinking ... but that letting in of other people is sooooooo not helpful!

 

Happy Keeper's picture
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10/24/2011

We nip it in the bud the very moment we see the helping behavior. Humor has always worked.

"There's an extra fee for helping."

"What would my mother say"

 "I don't get to have a cocktail this evening if I don't clear the table."

ETC

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

What I got back when I mentioned there was no room to put them down was, 'Well, if there's no room...' totally sarcastic because they could see that 2 sq ft of space had nothing on it at the moment. Because I had the plates going out in my hands!

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06/15/2008

 I just smile and say oh no I this is my job and I am suppose to take care of you. It usually works. 

Yesterday I had someone ask to use the microwave. I don't like it because it means they have brought dinner. Well I am down stairs and I hear them using the microwave and after many times opening and closing it they are going through the kitchen drawers. I went up and said is there something I can help with. She said yes they need plates and silverware. So I went in the dining room and got them. She followed and he asked if he is not suppose to be in the drawers. I said with a smile my " board of health guy would have my head on a platter".  Grrrrrr

She asked if we lives here. I told her we did and she said her hubby thought we lived next door. I am glad I went up when I did so he knew we were here. 

I know this is a don't go in my kitchen thing but this doesn't happen too often. I don't want to put a microwave in the guest area because it encourages them to bring food. Go OUT to eat is what I want to say. 

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06/15/2008

 I just smile and say oh no I this is my job and I am suppose to take care of you. It usually works. 

Yesterday I had someone ask to use the microwave. I don't like it because it means they have brought dinner. Well I am down stairs and I hear them using the microwave and after many times opening and closing it they are going through the kitchen drawers. I went up and said is there something I can help with. She said yes they need plates and silverware. So I went in the dining room and got them. She followed and he asked if he is not suppose to be in the drawers. I said with a smile my " board of health guy would have my head on a platter".  Grrrrrr

She asked if we lives here. I told her we did and she said her hubby thought we lived next door. I am glad I went up when I did so he knew we were here. 

I know this is a don't go in my kitchen thing but this doesn't happen too often. I don't want to put a microwave in the guest area because it encourages them to bring food. Go out to eat is what I want to say. 

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

We stop them (or I do since DH is not even visible that early most days) by saying DH has a system and it will put him totally off if they do not leave everything as it is. There is no flat space in the kitchen to put dirty dishes. IF I take the early breakfast dishes away for a later breakfast, I have to set them on top of the washing machine. For me to do the dishes makes DH feel unnecessary - so I don't do them.

I have an area of about 2 x 2 in the kitchen that is NOT taken up with DH stuff. That is my work area - that and the top of the stove. Perhaps that is why I started serving family style - no room to do plating and that way I serve it in the dish it was baked in. I have very few breakfasts that I serve on another platter. The sideboard that I thought (silly me) was going to be mine now holds his steamer and other stuff. Old houses do not have a lot of counter space.

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