Is it worth it?

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Madeleine's picture
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Took a little time today to go out for lunch with another innkeeper. Had to hurry up and get all the ironing done before I left. Get the laundry started. Get the check-ins printed out and the door codes entered/deleted. Answer emails.

Came back and immediately had deposits to run, laundry to flip, check-ins (the actual guests) to do, more emails to answer.

Is it worth it to even leave for something fun like lunch? I'm not sure. I didn't feel like I'd even had any time away.

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Madeleine's picture
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OK, on advice from all I decided to try again today. Went out and had my haircut at a place that also does a very nice head and shoulders massage while rinsing hair. Walked around town. Got my pretzel that the pretzel lady always saves for me at the farmers mkt. Did a little window shopping.

Several rooms checked in while I was gone. Last of the laundry in the dryer now.

Much better. Thank you!

 

Country Girl's picture
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Madeleine wrote:

OK, on advice from all I decided to try again today. Went out and had my haircut at a place that also does a very nice head and shoulders massage while rinsing hair. Walked around town. Got my pretzel that the pretzel lady always saves for me at the farmers mkt. Did a little window shopping.

Several rooms checked in while I was gone. Last of the laundry in the dryer now.

Much better. Thank you!

 

Good for YOU!!!

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Joey Camb's picture
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see told ya!

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Aussie Innkeeper's picture
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 having a B&B is the closest thing I've experienced to having a new born baby.

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 And most importantly block time off to have a well needed break. Don't pigeon hole your life!

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Breakfast Diva's picture
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I'm with you Maddie, most of the time in the busy season it's just not worth going out for short periods. I hate keeping my eye on the clock, rushing through a meal and not being able to relax. Now, if there's no check-ins that afternoon, then I'll go for it. The work I had to push aside is much more tolerable if I can actually have a relaxing time with a friend and feel like I'm a 'normal' person again.

I just get into the mindset that for a few months out of the year, I need to push most of the social time aside. It's when family come to town in the busy season that I get resentful of my time restraints.

Silverspoon's picture
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 Any time you can make a memory with a friend it is worth it.  Who know what might happen in life.  Take a little time, smell the roses, hug a friend and THEN, get back to work! 

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MarcZ's picture
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I co-sign Silverspoon. It is difficult to sometimes take a well needed break, however, it is important to enjoy the company of friends and family. Sometimes running a small business feels all encompassing, but we must remember to cherish those important to us even if for only small blocks of time.

Silverspoon wrote:

 Any time you can make a memory with a friend it is worth it.  Who know what might happen in life.  Take a little time, smell the roses, hug a friend and THEN, get back to work! 

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Country Girl's picture
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 Yes, it's worth it, just to maintain the friendship and get away from your job for a while. It's especially worth it if you have a few laughs together. There will ALWAYS be work waiting for you when you return.

Highlands John's picture
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Just to get out for a couple of hours helps, IMHO.

 

Someone said to us why don't we do our grocery shopping online, going to Tesco/Asda  gets us out the house and we actually like going. it's not like when we had a 9-5 Mon-fri job and grocery shopping cuts into your weekend.

 

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Joey Camb's picture
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its all about balance - but I do agree with maddie - here I have 77 bb's and 15 hotels fighting me for every booking its that simple, people expect an answer right away and if they don't they will have made a reservation somewhere else.

We however send all laundry out - I would never leave the house otherwise - have just had a stack of 1 nighters and sent out 12 large bags of laundry yesterday it was bad enough sorting the sheets from the towels and bagging everything up.

My trouble is - when its quiet DH does a part time job at a nearby hotel so as it was dead this week had signed up for quiet a few shifts - however really picked up and we have been virtually full since monday and will be till sunday so I am virtually holding the fort on my own. My chamber maid is back from holidays as all last week I was doing all the housekeeping with a little help from my mother who is a full time crazy person. (however my calves have tonned up nicely from all the running up and down stairs!) To top this off as it "was quiet" he dragged me off to a football game (Blackpool which has 798 bb's according to trip adivser) didn't get back till 12.15 and I am knackered!

Combined with a full house tonight and 8 check in's! I am lucky as my closest friends are bb owners or small business owners and know the drill about when to phone and so on. Plus their quiet times are my quiet times (of year) so we plan around that when we can,

 

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 Until I stopped being an innkeeper in Nov.. And until I actually left my town in June, I had truly forgotten the luxury of time to myself. I now have it and can enjoy time at the coffee house and linger over a lunch. For my birthday last week I took a day off (from my other job) and had my hair cut, nails done, out for dinner - without worrying about have to " get back to the B&B".

Dont get me wrong, I look back and dont know how I could possibly have changed my hectic days... Nights ... Weekends... It's only when you get your life back that you realize how "not your own" our life really was.

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Agreed, Agoodman!  You totally don't realize how your life is sucked up & into the daily repetition of innkeeping duties until you leave it.  Now, I can't imagine how I did it virtually on my own for two years! 

I still don't dedicate much time to doing things "just for myself", but I'm working on it.  I know that I don't feel anxious when I go to the dentist or go to get my haircut anymore....

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gillumhouse's picture
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It is DH who makes my life not my own. Husbands demand attention and mine is one who demands it when he surfaces from whatever he is involved in and I can do whatever until that time.

seashanty's picture
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well ... if it was so very short ... maybe too short a time once in a great while is not worth it.

but i used to feel so much more like i had a LIFE outside the b&b just going over to the general store across the way, sitting at the counter, and drinking their coffee for a change. 

but i had to do it more often if it could only be in really short bursts. 

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Madeleine's picture
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seashanty wrote:

but i had to do it more often if it could only be in really short bursts. 

That's the secret I think...getting out more often. I do go out for walks but that is when EVERYTHING is done. Going out midday and coming back to the whole mess again wasn't a good idea.

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I agree, I much prefer to get everything done and then go out, this way I'm much more relaxed, the list is dwindled down and my mind is calm. The laundry last loads are the only thing that I can leave. They take an hour each anyway. Okay 52m for cold and 116m for towels. And drying takes about 45m and then goes on anti-wrinkle.

But the height of relaxation for me, an hour nap at 4PM or 5PM if all the guests are in or someone else is around to greet them.

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I still need a haircut. I'm about 3 weeks behind in that. I kept thinking I should have taken the lunch to have my hair done."

I was thinking about this today, how people tell me how nice my hair looks when I have the stacked bob, but I need it cut too often to keep the lines clean, so I think to myself, how can I wear my hair in this biz without needing it cut so much? 

Yeah these are the things we think of...

This is a business that could be very difficult for people who need to accomplish big things and have end results. I say this as we can everything done, and then bang, the very next day we have to do it again, then bang the very next day we have to do it again...it is like an Innkeeping version of Groundhog Day!

 

Madeleine's picture
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Seriously, anyone getting into this has to have had some sort of family responsibilities beforehand. Something where you spent all day cleaning up after them and feeding them and taking care of them and then wake up and do it all over again and NOT think it's the most absurd use of your time.

On days when we're turning the same rooms again and again and again and thinking, 'Didn't I just do this yesterday?' there has to be some sort of cosmic joke going on that we're just not getting.

The 'payoff' is the thanks and the happy, relaxed guests who loved their stay.

OTOH, I think a lot more pressure is being put on the 'B&B experience' to be the ONE thing that reignites a failing marriage, makes the kids LIKE being on vacation with their parents, gets the guy to finally pop the question, soothes all the cares of the world.

gillumhouse's picture
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I think you are right. We are considered Av is so we have to try harder to prove we are the Bett er Way to st ay.

My generation of women is kind of used to it - we had to work twice as hard as any of the men to get half as far and still made less. I will never forget the fact that as 3rd shift which always paid shift differential with experience, I made 50 cents an hour less than the 2nd shift guy who had a lot less experience as a computer operator. I have to try harder because my city is not on most maps! I hear we are down to 2250 - we have had a few funerals. Not the right ones.

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I agree that it can sometimes feel like it's not worth it if you can't let go of what needs to be done or is waiting for you when you get back to the inn. 

Sorry that you didn't feel like you got the best amount of time away with your friend.....

Give it another go though!

gillumhouse's picture
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Now I have a bit of a different attitude about things. The ironing, laundry, and things like that will still be there. E-mails have no concept of when you read them. I would have run the deposits and the check-in lists before I went to lunch and then enjoyed lunch - including taking an hour for chat and relax.

I think we sometimes put too much pressure on ourselves. Yes, I may be up an extra hour to iron while the load of laundry runs or dries but if I am going to meet a friend for lunch I am going to take the time to enjoy that time with a friend.

I know, it is easy for me to say with my 3 rooms in Podunk - I do not have 7 or 8 rooms to cope with. I DO however have a DH who can barely do the dishes (would be faster for me to just do them but makes him feel useful) and expects me to be Steppin' Fetch-it.

One month from now, I will balancing Band rehearsals on Tuesdays, Knitting classes (I teach it) at 3 and 5 on Wednesdays, City meetings on Mondays, plus the on-going chapel duty at 11 PM every Saturday night in addition to the other Civic organization meetings/staffing booths at events. I just have other stuff to work around besides guests so please do not think I do not understand how you felt. I just am blessed with the "it will be there waiting for me" gene.

Madeleine's picture
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gillumhouse wrote:

Now I have a bit of a different attitude about things. The ironing, laundry, and things like that will still be there. E-mails have no concept of when you read them. I would have run the deposits and the check-in lists before I went to lunch and then enjoyed lunch - including taking an hour for chat and relax.

Kind of what I'm saying is that I DID all of the work before I left...there was a whole new pile when I got back! In that hour or so there were 4 new reservations (not complaining about incoming biz!) that needed attention and all of the laundry that needs to be done before tomorrow's 4 rooms check out and all of it needs to be done again.

We booked in a dog room tonight while I was out for lunch which means the whole room needs to be swapped out with dog bedding. Well, we had a dog in that room last night so ALL the bedding had to be washed so the new dog doesn't get wound up smelling the last dog. Just finished that. Luckily they don't arrive until after 8.

Emails may not care when they're read but guests waiting for answers do.

You understand how different this B&B is from yours. I've got 8 other B&B's in a half mile vying for that guest. Emails have to get done ASAP as well as returning calls. I was on the phone last week making a rez when my phone beeped an incoming call. I finished with the guest on the phone and by the time I called the 'beeper' back (who left a msg) she had already booked elsewhere.

Even tho we do have a lawn service they don't weed and deadhead. That's got to be done today. DH just weed whacked the patio (brick pavers so the weeds come right up). But all the summer stuff is gone by so that all needs attention before we hit the weekend.

I still need a haircut. I'm about 3 weeks behind in that. I kept thinking I should have taken the lunch to have my hair done.

So, no, it wasn't really relaxing. Sigh.

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10/07/2008

No.

Not if you couldn't stay out and hang out for a bit longer, it only added more work. 

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