When the innkeeper is sick...

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Madeleine's picture
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...the housekeeper quits.

At least we think she's quit, she hasn't actually TOLD us she's quit but we haven't seen her since we gave her an advance on her FIRST paycheck.

Sigh.

We've tried calling her but she doesn't answer her phone and she has no voicemail.

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Madeleine's picture
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OK, wish us luck - 5 candidates coming in tomorrow for the job opening.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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Best of luck!

Give them all the job and at least one of them should show up! (JK)

Madeleine's picture
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Breakfast Diva wrote:

Best of luck!

Give them all the job and at least one of them should show up! (JK)

For at least a couple of days! You know, the one we didn't hire from the last time has been a peach. She said she'd be happy to come in and work on her days off from her other job. Sigh.

gillumhouse's picture
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Everything crossable is crossed!

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gillumhouse wrote:

Everything crossable is crossed!

me too. 

Madeleine's picture
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I know you all want to know... with an hour to spare the room is cleaned and ready for check in tonight. The room that actually had the damage will take longer but can't be longer than tomorrow.

DH is a real trooper, getting out of bed, ripping the room apart, going to the store for supplies, doing the plumbing work and reassembling it all.

OK, here's the funny part (there's always a funny part) - the poor guests who had to move rooms came back and asked if there was any place they could keep their doves overnight? (Yes, birds. Yes, more than one. Yes, in cages.) They're part of the show.

Crying over. Chuckling has begun.

Madeleine's picture
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Oh it just gets better...guest broke a toilet. We thought it was fixed but apparently he also broke the fill pipe in the wall. It happily 'filled' the bathroom downstairs and collapsed the ceiling. Luckily, the vent fan held it up until we could get the guests out of the room and tear the ceiling down.

Really, truly hoping today's guests are late arrivals so we can turn the water back on to their room. Otherwise I am going to have to either give them their night for free and ask them to come back later on or book them in somewhere else for the night.

As it is, the guests who had the ceiling problem this morning are here as a publicity freebie. They've already been moved for tonight and if I can't move the guests who are in that room tomorrow, they'll be playing musical beds again tomorrow. So, guess who's going to get ANOTHER free weekend stay here just for being good sports.

And, of course, with both of us sick now, we're are limping along trying to get all the cleaning done. I have one set of sheets left. OK, time to hit the laundry again.

 

 

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OMG!  You poor things!  My mind is boggled how a guest could break a toilet and the tile around it.....

You could always do what the B&B here does...put a rug over the broken tile.  hahahaha....   Seriously, I know that you are too meticulous for that scenario. 

Hope you can get it all fixed...soon, and without costing an arm an a leg. 

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Silverspoon's picture
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You are one tough lady!  A lesser person would curl up in a ball in the corner!   I know that's what I did a few years ago when DH did some plumbing on the second floor but forgot to tighten a joint.  We found the ceiling in the suite below  on the floor  1 hour before new guests were to arrive.  Boo Hoo....you could hear me crying all the way to Cincinnati!  Now we laugh, but it has taken a LONG time to get to that point.  You are a real trooper if you are finding the humor in this so soon.  Good for you!

 

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gillumhouse's picture
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One Friday night I had one reservation - for my "budget" room. I then got a 2-room "walk-in". Saturday morning I hear water dripping but cannot figure out where it is from. Then I see water on the floor in the dining room. I go up and knock on the bathroom door - do you have the curtain inside in the shower? Yes. Hmmm. Can see nothing. Person in shower resumes. About 5 minutes later the tile in the ceiling in the dining room comes crashing down and it is obvious what the problem is - the drain has divorced the drain pipe. I get the showering person to cease and desist. I call my plumber - recording. I call his house - recording. I call the guys that work for him - answering machine. I start calling plumbers in the phone book. I FINALLY get one who did come out., Meanwhile the person in the shower was one of the walk-ins and the rest of their party all showered in the bathroom of their other room (pvt bath). The ONLY person who did not get a shower that morning was the one with the RESERVATION! I told her that her room was comp. She refused to accept that - she finally accepted a 50 % off. This was one year after that shower had been installed. Another reason I hate the company that did my bathroom reno.

Monday I got a call from the plumber asking if I still had the problem - it was the one weekend he was out of town and all his on-call guys either had family emergencies or had planned family stuff (graduations) and were not on-call.

I feel for you, Maddie. All you can do is laugh or cry and crying will not fix it.

Joey Camb's picture
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Its alway worce to my mind as you always have that money allocated for something else - ie my friend who had a huge leak last week has been really saving to do another room as it is looking very tired and was getting excited about the reno and now it may have to wait another 6 months she was nearly crying! its doubly rotten as they are super nice people and don't deserve it same as maddie - its a cruel trick of fate 2 steps forward 3 back

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Madeleine's picture
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And guest who had to move? They can stay put in the room they now have. The other guest arriving tomorrow agreed to take a different room. And then I moved someone else coming in on Sunday.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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OMG!!! How did they do that?? Is one of them huge?

I'm so sorry for you, but every time I hear one of your 'stories', it makes me put my crappy stuff all in perspective.

heart

Madeleine's picture
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OK, crawling around on the floor upstairs while DH solders pipe from downstairs and I realize not only did they break the toilet, they shattered, absolutely shattered the floor tiles in the bathroom. We cannot retile the bathroom floor today or anytime this month without moving guests to other rooms.

Alrighty then, off to have a good cry.

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OMG!!!!!! What  in heaven's name were they doing????  I hope you are billing them for all of this!!! It is not normal wear and tear.

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EmptyNest wrote:

OMG!!!!!! What  in heaven's name were they doing????  I hope you are billing them for all of this!!! It is not normal wear and tear.

No, of course not. There is no way to prove they did anything. Not the broken toilet, not the cracked pipe, not the shattered floor tiles.

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You  can't prove it???  The room wasn't like that when they walked in...who else would be responsible. I would confront them with the evidence and ask bluntly what went on in here!

 

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EmptyNest wrote:

You  can't prove it???  The room wasn't like that when they walked in...who else would be responsible. I would confront them with the evidence and ask bluntly what went on in here!

 

They are long gone. They never even mentioned the leaking toilet. We found it while cleaning. We couldn't do anything about it at the time as we didn't have a room to move them to. Figured it was just a leaky valve until DH got in there. And today when the ceiling came down we realized the extent of the damage.

DH didn't tell me about the floor tiles. I found those myself today,

Without before and after photos it's he said, she said. And you know the cc company won't back us up.

At this point it's just another chapter...

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Madeleine wrote:

EmptyNest wrote:

You  can't prove it???  The room wasn't like that when they walked in...who else would be responsible. I would confront them with the evidence and ask bluntly what went on in here!

 

They are long gone. They never even mentioned the leaking toilet. We found it while cleaning. We couldn't do anything about it at the time as we didn't have a room to move them to. Figured it was just a leaky valve until DH got in there. And today when the ceiling came down we realized the extent of the damage.

DH didn't tell me about the floor tiles. I found those myself today,

Without before and after photos it's he said, she said. And you know the cc company won't back us up.

At this point it's just another chapter...

So this will be a chapter chop full!  Maybe this could be the chapter to scare off the 'when I retire I am going to open up a B&B' type.  And if they get through this chapter and still are interested, they get the thumbs up!!!

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Anyone who ever says "oh we would like to open a B&B when we retire it would be so relaxing" deserves to get a poke in the eye!

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A poke in the eye. I was thinking more...

 

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Innkeep's picture
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Sending hugs up your way.  I doubt I could have handled all that as gracefully sick or well.  Surely when you write your book it will be a best seller!

Joey Camb's picture
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could you put lino over the floor as a quick fix temporary measure? if its any comfort our room 3 leaked into room 1 which meant 4 days blocked off for it all to dry out before the plumbers could fix it and it turn out the PO's complete bodgers had put in the wet board with no sealant in the corners so who knows how long its been leaking - then after all that is fixed another leak appears in room 1 coming out through the electric shower pull in the ceiling ie water coming out of your electrics - plumbers came straight out and danny is climbing into the hatch to get at the leak and a guest is trying to take a picture of him on his camera phone! then the top element in the hot water tank gave up so only tepid water unles we crank the heating which when it was blasting hot is not great - thought it was fixed but the element wasn't adjusted properly (ie the new one) so the plumbers had to come back and sort it - priceless!

Generic's picture
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Get some grout, fill the holes temporarily and call is mosaic. Just tell the guest that you didn't want to disappoint them and that you are doing your best. And then give them a beautiful plate of home made macar.... oh wait, that's me.... give them a bottle of w(h)ine (choice of red, white or fake) with all your graciousness. They shall understand. 

Method two? Run to HD and get some temporary vinyl you can lay over it. But I still think the "grout" and mosaic is the way to go temporarily. And grout is usually done in about an hour or two.

Madeleine's picture
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Not sure the lino would work, so we're going to deal with possible complaints for the rest of the summer. Seriously, the room is booked almost every day until July. We'll scrounge around and see if there are any spare tiles in the attic/basement.

Lino is a thought, tho.

Joey Camb's picture
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Just thought you could (a) put it over the top as a temporary fix - lino guy could have it down in about 30 mins

or (b) pull up the tiles, hardboard and then lino you could do it all in about 2 hours.

Madeleine's picture
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Cambs - we don't have a 'guy'. DH is the 'guy'. He also cooks breakfast and then cleans rooms. And then does laundry. We just don't have the time right now to do this.

Hiring this out around here would run about $500 for labor. IF anyone wanted a job this small.

 

Generic's picture
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Thankfully I live in a big city where craigslist will get me someone to do something for $10... more if I want a receipt.

gillumhouse's picture
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Maddie, I hope you are all better.

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On the other side of the coin, we have a housekeeper/dishwasher who lives in our basement employee apartment. He started working for us last fall while studying for the Bar exam--which he took in February and learned that he passed just this May.

After a grueling winter high season, he took a vacation and spent some time with his girlfriend down in southern Colorado, and came back to discover that he had to take an "ethics" course before being admitted to the Colorado bar.

Would I give him an advance if he asked for one? Hell, yes. He's a meticulous cleaner, a fast, thorough, but slightly sloppy dish-washer (he's chipped more than his fair share of our restaurant-grade china), and he takes initiative when he sees other things that need doing around the Lodge (and the Good Lord knows there are enough of them).

When he came back from vacation, I asked him if he needed an advance. His eyes brightened, and he sort of admitted that he might to pay the outrageous tuition for his course.

When he tells me that amount, I will gladly cut the check.

In our experience, people with low paying jobs that can't support them--particularly in resort areas such as ours with a staggering cost of living--have learned how to work the system. We would never consider giving an advance to a brand-new employee, no matter how sad their story. But for a proven employee who had shown his/her worth, we'd happily do it.

The loyalty equation works both ways.

Tom

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Thank you for your support of your employee. Though I suspect he is more than that to you Smiling Good for you.

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We do our own payroll. Work week ends Saturday, we get the checks to them by Monday. Very rarely they ask if they could possibly get their check on Saturday after they've finished. If we're feeling nice (we usually are), we'll cut the check for them while they wait. It doesn't take long to plug their hours into our spreadsheet, and we can follow up with the data entry in QB later. But we're only paying for hours worked, no advances.

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Madeleine's picture
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The fun begins again with the 'unemployment check' callers. People who just need to 'say' they 'applied' for a job to keep collecting unemployment. Oh and the person who said she'd 'consider' the job if she could live here, too, because it is a place of accommodation, right? ha, ha. (Exactly written like that.)

People, I am sick, I am not in the mood.

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Madeleine wrote:

The fun begins again with the 'unemployment check' callers. People who just need to 'say' they 'applied' for a job to keep collecting unemployment. Oh and the person who said she'd 'consider' the job if she could live here, too, because it is a place of accommodation, right? ha, ha. (Exactly written like that.)

People, I am sick, I am not in the mood.

Different state/different rules maybe but here you must accept a job if offered.  If offered and you don't accept they will remove you from the unemployment roles unless certain factors exist - don't remember but it has to do with # of hrs if I recall.

Oh brother!  Guess you could then say, sure I can apply your salery to what you will owe me $XXX for your accommodations after all you will be taking one of my guest rooms!   (banging head against desk)

Madeleine's picture
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Oh, and all the people who filled out the applications and sent such nice cover letters? Not a one of them has responded back to the request for an interview.

Madeleine's picture
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It seems like here all they have to do is call. No one ever fills out an application or sends a resume. They place a call. Period. They 'looked'.

(OK, side note here - we lived on unemployment for awhile so I am not disparaging people on unemployment. Just the people who waste my time so they can tick a box.)

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poor madeline!  i'm so sorry.

do you ever wonder if people go get hired as seasonal help all around, multiple jobs in various towns, ask for advances and then skip??  i wondered that when i saw 'my' new housekeeper who hadn't shown up for work ... 

the girl was shopping in 'the big city' and the restaurant manager i was with said ... ' wait, we just hired her, too!  and she didn't show up, but her name is kristel not kate!'  us old ladies couldn't catch her once she spotted us and disappeared in the crowd.  

that new housekeeper had asked us both for an advance but i was truthfully not in a position to advance anyone since it was just the beginning of the season.  the restaurant gave her a very small advance ... but it turns out her ss# and all the info she gave was total b.s. and she never showed up at either job.  ugh  her job is scam artist.

 

Madeleine's picture
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At least this one worked a few days so we just gave her some of what she had coming. But then she asked for the rest of it the day after she missed 2 days because she either had food poisoning, ulcers or was dehydrated and was in the ER. (Maybe. There is still no proof any of that story was true.) Then she said she 'forgot' to come to work this weekend. Why not just email and say you quit instead of jerking us around for an additional week?

And she called us to ask what her hours were this weekend!

I called the payroll people today and removed her from the payroll list because I remembered she said she knew them. I could see her calling in hours she didn't work and getting paid. Even tho we would know right away, it would still be annoying.

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Madeleine wrote:

At least this one worked a few days so we just gave her some of what she had coming.

True, but in the future all should agree that they get their pay on payday, not before.

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Madeleine's picture
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Arkansawyer wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

At least this one worked a few days so we just gave her some of what she had coming.

True, but in the future all should agree that they get their pay on payday, not before.

Could you really tell someone they couldn't have an advance to pay for medication? Altho, as it turns out it was probably all a lie. But still.

Generic's picture
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Reminds me of my parents who couldn't figure out why I wanted to make Friday payday. Absenteeism was particularly bad on Fridays because we paid on Thursdays and they went drinking that night.

Need to pay for medication? Sure, call up the pharmacy, tell them to fax me a total for the bill and the name they want on the check. I'll make out the check directly to them and deduct it from your next pay. Make it extremely difficult. Don't like your rules, don't ask you to bend them.

PS: Feel better.

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Madeleine wrote:

Could you really tell someone they couldn't have an advance to pay for medication? Altho, as it turns out it was probably all a lie. But still.

Yes, I could, and I would, especially with a brand new employee. Just went to work and already coming up with a hard luck story to get a pay advance? I am DEFINITELY hardened to stuff like this. I'd tell them to ask the pharmacy for credit.

Now if they'd worked a long time for me, so I know them, and they hadn't asked before, sure, I'd help out. But the first week or two of employment? No way I'm falling for that. Payday is on Friday.

Signed,
Ebenezer Scrooge, Businessman

gillumhouse's picture
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Sorry you are not 100% - may you return to 100% VERY soon. Being sick is the pits!

Arks's picture
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I've always found that those who ask for a pay advance continue to do it regularly. I don't give advances anymore.

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Sorry Maddie, hope you feel better soon.  May you only receive kind, gracious guests during this time.  AND that you find a HAZEL to take her place! 

Generic's picture
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Asking for an advance... not a good sign.

Madeleine's picture
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Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

Asking for an advance... not a good sign.

No, really? Eye-wink

We've got that figured out now.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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OH NO!! What the hell is the matter with people?

Sometimes a guest will ask me what do we do when we're sick? We still work of course!

Hopefully it's not too busy of a day for you. Take as good of care of yourself as you can and do self check-in by 6:00 then go to bed.

Madeleine's picture
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I'm cleaning in between bouts of being sick. But, you know, there's no rest when you're sick. Yesterday the doorbell rang a bazillion times and I had to drag myself out of bed only to see people crossing the street. Hello! Give me a frickin' chance to get to the door!

Talking on the phone last night to someone who wanted to tell me her life story. I almost got sick in the office. Just had to rush her thru her divorce, etc. Eye-wink

DH did the breakfast himself, which is ok because he's the cook. Still tough, tho, because he's usually got me running interference when guests want something and he's trying to cook. Plus, one room here had family elsewhere and they all came over this morning.

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Urgh...that's the worst!  I would consider giving each couple $20 and tell them to find a nice place to have breakfast since the cook is under the weather.  It would be worth it to me not to worry about having to pretend to be happy.

Drink plenty of fluids.  You don't want to be dehydrated on top of it!

 

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