Bibles on the nightstands

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MountainMystery's picture
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So, without trying to start a religious debate, do you guys think it's appropriate for Bibles to be left out on nightstands after cleaning guest rooms ?

My hubby and I just became the new managers for a 20-room motel down south, and I learned from a housekeeper today that the current out-going manager (who will sill be around and working part-time as a housekeeper until we get settled) has a rule that Bibles are to be placed on the top of nightstands after cleaning.

Although we are very respectful of the personal and religious beliefs of others, we are not ourselves Christian and don't think it's necessary or appropriate to leave Bibles sitting out on display. Not all our guests are Christian and May not feel comfortable walking into a room to find a Bible sitting right out beside the bed. And the housekeeper that told me about this practice said that most guests stick them in the drawer. I know Bibles are often found in nightstand drawers, and I see that as more than enough (although I personally don't even see that as necessary).

We're a little concerned that if we tell the previous manager (who will now be working as a housekeeper) to start leaving them in the drawer, she will take offense and may even get the owner involved, who is also a strong Christian. Are my husband and I being rediculous in our belief that the Bibles should be put away although still available for those guests who want them? Think it's something worth rocking the boat over? Does anyone else do this, or have seen places that do?

 

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Madeleine's picture
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Personal opinion only here - anything like this should be put away. The guest will find it if they want it. If I stayed with you and kept finding religious material placed by my bedside you would find said material missing until I left.

However, if it is a mgmt decision that the guests need and expect to find this right away, then you keep your job by doing what mgmt wants.

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I hope Miss City Folk comes back to tell us how she handled the situation. 

MountainMystery's picture
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Sorry to ask the question and then just disapear! I have been overwhelmingly busy this past week!

I really appreciate everyone's comments and suggestions and I think I'm on the same page as most of you. I will be starting very soon as the new manager so I'll share my experiences and results as soon as I have some! But after some talking between my husband and I, I think we agree that although we personally don't think the bibles should be left on top of the nightstands, we also don't want to immediately start rocking the boat. We'll give it some time, put them in drawers ourselves when checking rooms after they're cleaned, and just see where it goes!

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MountainMystery wrote:

Sorry to ask the question and then just disapear! I have been overwhelmingly busy this past week!

I really appreciate everyone's comments and suggestions and I think I'm on the same page as most of you. I will be starting very soon as the new manager so I'll share my experiences and results as soon as I have some! But after some talking between my husband and I, I think we agree that although we personally don't think the bibles should be left on top of the nightstands, we also don't want to immediately start rocking the boat. We'll give it some time, put them in drawers ourselves when checking rooms after they're cleaned, and just see where it goes!

Welcome back.

Be careful. I know if i had something set up a certain way and you were "rocking the boat" by doing something totally against my wishes I may fire you. So be careful Mountain Mystery! I say this as I have a child who is passive aggressive and will do the opposite of whatever I ask EVERY TIME. If it were someone I had hired to do this job *your job* I would not be pleased.

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Generic's picture
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See, this is definitely not an issue around here. We would just find bibles sit around to be very odd and off-putting. I've only seen them in the drawers at big hotels in the US.

We have had a guest or two leave us religious pamphlets over the years. They just go into the recycling. The odd thing is that with all the clergymen and clergywomen we have had over the years, from priest to rabbis, we have never had any of them ever leave something religious. And in all the years of running the B&B we have only had one couple ever say a prayer at breakfast.

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gillumhouse's picture
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I often have guests who say a blessing and some have even asked if I would mind if they did.  None have ever done an obnoxious loud or long blessing and I do not have 15-20 guests at table at the same time (not with 3 rooms). Although we have several Bibles in the house, we do not have any in the rooms nor in the bookcases of "to be stolen" books. Never thought about it as we do a "to each his own" on religion in general.

I DO tell guests about my City having the only Chapel of Perpetual Adoration in our State. Many Most have never heard of it and I explain what was explained to me since it is not my brand. BUT I also tell them the part that we are most proud of - although it is a Catholic Chapel, keeping the vigil (now in its at least 15th year of 24/7) are Catholics from all over the area as well as Methodists, Baptists, Lutherans, and Presbyterians and these are just the ones I know of. Many have visited and have been impressed with how peaceful and welcoming it is.

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Jon Sable wrote:

See, this is definitely not an issue around here. We would just find bibles sit around to be very odd and off-putting. I've only seen them in the drawers at big hotels in the US.

We have had a guest or two leave us religious pamphlets over the years. They just go into the recycling. The odd thing is that with all the clergymen and clergywomen we have had over the years, from priest to rabbis, we have never had any of them ever leave something religious. And in all the years of running the B&B we have only had one couple ever say a prayer at breakfast.

Our guests said a blessing this morning at breakfast. Perhaps the atmosphere is different at each B&B and this impacts how and what goes on, and what you see and hear.

We actually had a Hebrew New Testament here as a gift from a guest. They were part of "Jews for Jesus" and said that many Hebrews have never read the New Testament, so left it for us. We did have a Jew here who was interested in reading it, so I gave it to him and he took it with. He was from South Africa and his Mother stayed with us the following year.

Generic's picture
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I think it has more to do with country than the atmosphere of the B&B. Around here, it's something people consider something you do at home or in private, not in public. How much so? It's likely more acceptable to nurse in public than pray in public. And if you have been reading the news, we have entire fights about secularism and the state. 

TheBeachHouse's picture
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The less 'stuff' on surfaces, the better.   Books should be tucked away, not taking up precious serface space.   Just another take on the issue.

I did find one Bible when we moved in.  I put it in a drawer in the coffee table in the common room. 

If I found a Bible on my bedside table, I would move it out of the way and wonder about the owners.   But only for a split second.   (I am Christian.)

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Tom
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Conclusion: you are employed to do a job, ask your employer how to do it.

Specifically, I would be offended if my room had a bible left out.  We don't provide bibles at our Inn because we don't need to.  Quite a few guests read the bible at the start of breakfast; they appreciate the individual table seating so they are not imposing on anyone.  Folks who rely on the bible carry one with them.

The practice of leaving bibles in hotel rooms was largely a mission to reach a traveling public unfamiliar with the Word, hoping perhaps they would pick it up for study -- out of boredom in the pre-TV days.  This is the drift of the Beatles:

And now Rocky Raccoon he fell back in his room
Only to find Gideon's bible
Gideon checked out and he left it no doubt
To help with good Rocky's revival, ah
Oh yeah, yeah

These days, Rocky can read it on his iPhone.

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We hope you will be back to share an update with what you decided to do or not do. SS makes a good point, perhaps the owners are not the ones who do this or requested this, it may be the housekeeper, ie former manager. 

I would not stir the waters and get canned over it without seeing how things go. That is all I am saying. 

seashanty's picture
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  Never seen bibles out on the nightstand - and I've stayed at lots of places. Even in a small inn run by a southern baptist family - no bible on the nightstand.  Have sometimes seen them in the drawer, mostly in hotels not in b&b's as I believe the hotel bibles were provided free and I never had the Gideons offer bibles for my b&b rooms.

 You say you are not Christian, so this was not a 'hoped for' when you were hired. Most places it's illegal (isn't it?) to deny employment on the basis of religious beliefs - unless it's a religious institution. 

 I'd probably scoot around and tuck them in the drawers after the going out manager 'helper' leaves on days she is there until I sorted it out.  After you are there a while and develop more of relationship with the owners, you'll be able to determine if it's their rule or hers. They may not even know. 

 

Breakfast Diva's picture
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When we bought our place, the nightstands had bibles in the drawer. We've left them there. They've actually grown in numbers since Gideons leave them. We then put those extras in the book case with in the common areas. I've often wondered if we should remove them, but really, I don't think it's guests should take offense if it's in a drawer. It's sort of tradition here in the states.

I do not believe they should be on top. As JB said, more than likely people would put drinks on top of it and that certainly would be disrespectful. Having it so front and center would offend many others and in my opinion, not appropriate.

Arks's picture
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I'm just a conformist, I guess. I've never seen a hotel room with a bible on the nightstand, so I would never do that. Save the religious views for one's private life. It has no place in a business, in my opinion.

Remember my post last year, "Inn Church" where the B&B I visited had bible verses posted all over the place.

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Well I have to say unless you own the place, you have to do what they ask as this is the way they run their business.

If you are asking what we do, you can put a poll on here to get a bunch of answers.  Is is an old monestary (i can't even spell it sorry) turned hotel? or just a southern hotel who puts Bible in their rooms viewable to the public.

Gideons place Bibles in hotel room drawers. For me personally, I would not want the Holy Scriptures to be on top of the nightstand where someone would place their drink on it.

I can think of plenty of other things that would offend people.

dumitru's picture
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I'm pretty much against any kind of religious symbols in a hotel room.

It is a hotel, so your business involves (in theory) different kinds of people, with different beliefs and views on life.
It would be a good idea to just stay out of this whole thing and not have ANY objects of this type.

Have innkeeper had many customers coming to the reception asking for a spare Bible?

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Bible or any other religious books does not belong in the room-whoever needs one -should travel with their own. In here it is not something you would find in the hotel and B&B, maybe in Salvation Army shelter

Arks's picture
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Bibles ON the nightstands. That's just way too "in your face". When I see things like that, that I've never seen anywhere else, to me it's people wanting to appear more holy than average folk.

I'm reminded of some wisdom from that book: When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men.

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Bibles here are in the nightstand drawer.

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white pine's picture
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I have never seen them ON nightstands...in drawers yes.  I would speak to the owners....

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Highlands John's picture
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It's difficult to advise on this as we don't know all the background.

Why is the previous manager no longer the manager and how is their relationship with the owner, is it possible the owner has instructed the previous manager to leave them out.

I think you have to judge the situation, maybe wait until the previous manager is no longer around.

I also agree with cambs.

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Joey Camb's picture
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in the UK it would be considered very weird

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Generic's picture
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It would be in Canada as well. Honestly, I would be offended.

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Personally, I think the drawer is the appropriate place.  That is where I would expect it to be if traveling. 

You state you are in the south, the south is considered the Bible belt.   Have you discussed this with the owner?  It could be what the owner prefers.  That is how I would handle it. 

 

gillumhouse's picture
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My personal feeling is in the drawers BUT if you are having to deal with the previous manager who is chummy with the owner (why is she previous may help in this) rather than making an issue of it with a RULE, let the other housekeepers put them in the drawers or not until she is no longer around. As a Christian myself, I do not expect a Bible on the nightstand and actually do not even have them in the nightstands. I leave that to my guests - if they want to read the Bible every night, they will have it with them.

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