Couple of questions as I move forward in my innkeepers journey...

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I'm putting this in this forum though I am not an owner but passionate innkeeper! This is the third inn I've been in and as the season winds up and I go forward in my search for my next inn, there have been a couple of things that I personally never heard of being done. So, my first question is I'm not a live-in, however I sleep in the basement (no windows) when I have to work until 8 or 9 and be back in at 8 a.m. (I live an hour away.) The owners had me sign a lease? Is that common practice? As a live-in at my other inns it never was done.

My other question is cameras. Cameras are on us, I fully understand maybe there's concern? for your business, however they watch us on their phones and then will text us saying they just saw what we did...very odd behaviour and uncomfortable. I'm a grown woman, as we all are at this inn and I'm just wondering, as we all are, is this, normal? My other inns had no cameras, were/are very well known, and lovely. I also did not feel comfortable when I arrived at this inn that the owners had told employees my age. I was shocked. Common? 

This is why I joined this sight. Because I really am not sure of certain practices and want to be at ease in next position. Thank you!

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inntropical

 

Halfmoonbay's picture
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i am waiting to find out the outcome from thsi situation.

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You all have been so wonderful and supportive. Here I am in a tropical paradise and I have a sneaky feeling Morticia was right. Referring to Morticia saying they probably know you are writing about them....I could be wrong, but decided to just be calm. No, I don't write on inn computer, actually never use that computer for personal use. But something seems a little odd. Cameras gone inside but we're still being viewed. 

Anyhow, Happy Labor Day weekend to all! We're straight out, but I do hope we all get a breather, and you all can put your feet up wherever and whenever you can!

Cheers!

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inntropical wrote:

You all have been so wonderful and supportive. Here I am in a tropical paradise and I have a sneaky feeling Morticia was right. Referring to Morticia saying they probably know you are writing about them....I could be wrong, but decided to just be calm. No, I don't write on inn computer, actually never use that computer for personal use. But something seems a little odd. Cameras gone inside but we're still being viewed

Anyhow, Happy Labor Day weekend to all! We're straight out, but I do hope we all get a breather, and you all can put your feet up wherever and whenever you can!

Cheers!

So now they have changed were the cameras are or the type of cameras?   At least they now know you question why they felt the need.  

Each day is one step closer to being away from there.  You will find another job.  Keep your eyes peeled and the right one will appear!  Good luck.  

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Undersea, it's a huge deal to me.

JimBoone, I totally disagree. 

You hire me to run your inn, I even sleep there, I don't expect cameras trained on me. I expect you to trust me. You want one at the place where payments are logged? Go ahead. You want them on the doors for your piece of mind? Fine.  

Are we talking b&b/inn or huge hotel? Even in a big place, if there's a question you log in and see who has done what ... it's very easy to track employee logins and card lifting. Stealing checks? A proper accounting system with one person taking payments and another checking receipts against deposits should prevent this. What kind of losses are we talking about? Something's amiss, we have a discussion.

I ran the cards, just me. Unless I had an innsitter.

Occasional items went off in occupants' suitcases and you can't monitor guest rooms with cameras. That is another discussion for another day. 

You're always talking about all the businesses you've owned and run so I will say this ... I've run lots of offices and businesses also and never had an issue that warranted such supervision. What are the owners doing all day? Watching the cameras? Not for me ... no way. This poster asked and so I still say ... Wouldn't want to work this way, wouldn't want to run a business this way. It's not Tar get or Wal mart or Mo tel6

I suggest these owners should be living on site

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the amount of time they must waste sitting watching the camera's they might as well be!

My camera which covers the car park is worth its weight in gold as I can make sure they are parking properly before they get the engine stopped - one covers the front door and one the hallway to the breakfast room so I can see them coming while doing some paperwork.

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I don't like this at all ... and you know what? Are you posting messages using the inn computer because if you are then I am sure they are now on forum. 

 

Helloooo out there inn owners, what you are doing is wrong, wrong, wrong. Security cameras? Fine. But UP FRONT employees are told about such cameras, not after the fact. I've worked in many many places as have and do friends and family with security cameras ... and this is the standard. People are TOLD they are there beforehand. Where are the cameras? Are you invading someone's personal privacy with your cameras? Are there lots of CASH transactions, I got so few I never had enough change to make for a guest when it happened ... just what the heck are you monitoring?

As for having your employee sleep in a dark windowless basement as a 'favor' ... is it safe? Can they get out quickly in case of fire? You DO know the laws about using any space for a bedroom, right? 

 

Inntropical, Right Now, I'd put a bandaid over the built in webcam 'eye' on any computer, tablet, etc you're using because this makes me think for sure you're being watched via the inn computer(s) and I hope you find another position very soon. I would not / could not work in such an environment. I urge you to get another position asap. 

My paranoia alarm would be screeching. 

Best of luck to you inntropical.

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having a couple cameras is not a big deal, as long as in common areas.  Cash is not the only thing.  Employee theft includes stealing checks, and stealing credit information from customer cards.  Knowing they are watched is proven to dramatically reduce theft and shrinkage.

But going 1984 (Big Brother is watching) on the staff ruins morale. It is how you use the information that is damaging.

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Hey everyone, It's not that they were singling me out about my work attire, they came in laughing telling us all they'd been watching all us for a while and that was just one part of the conversation that was told. I looked at them and just shook my head saying, really? really? Seriously need to get a life....too me it's creepy....I've worked at retailers that of course do this, but this is just trust/control issues on their part. I firmly believe this and I asked if anything has ever happened to warrant them to put this particular camera in.....nothing.

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Just a quick update folks. Today, at my inn, I was told they'd been watching us for 1/2 an hour from home and told me they were trying to figure out what I was wearing cause they didn't want to be wearing the same thing. Morale of the story? I'm so actively looking at the speed of light!!! I told an innkeeper today, this is illegal. She said it wasn't because no audio is used. Really? I said well it's just plain unethical. oh dear......

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At this point my mind would be trying to figure out how to drive them absolutely crazy. A secret satanic altar. Voodoo dolls of them? Things just to drive them out of their mind. Nothing that the guests could see, though.

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Hahahaha! That's hilarious! I love it!

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inntropical wrote:

Just a quick update folks. Today, at my inn, I was told they'd been watching us for 1/2 an hour from home and told me they were trying to figure out what I was wearing cause they didn't want to be wearing the same thing. Morale of the story? I'm so actively looking at the speed of light!!! I told an innkeeper today, this is illegal. She said it wasn't because no audio is used. Really? I said well it's just plain unethical. oh dear......

Ha! What a joke.  If they wanted to know what you were wearing #1 they could call #2 no way they needed 1/2 to figure it out.  They are spying on you.  Period.  And they want you to know they are.  

Having cameras for security is one thing, using them to spy is quite different.  

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inntropical wrote:

Just a quick update folks. Today, at my inn, I was told they'd been watching us for 1/2 an hour from home and told me they were trying to figure out what I was wearing cause they didn't want to be wearing the same thing. Morale of the story? I'm so actively looking at the speed of light!!! I told an innkeeper today, this is illegal. She said it wasn't because no audio is used. Really? I said well it's just plain unethical. oh dear......

I think that now you know they are doing this, planning their attire around yours, that you should change every hour. Pop on a different top. If you're allowed to wear t-shirts, change colors several times/day.

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Joey Camb's picture
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plus who plans what they are going to wear round what their staff are wearing? I neither know nor care what my chamber maid wears! we have a sudo uniform of white T-shirt and dark pants (basically so all dodgy parts are covered) and I wear whatever comes to hand when I get up!

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I have polo shirts with my logo that I wear ONLY when I have guests - my uniform (with apron of course)

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I'm not trying to be difficult, but our lives are no longer private, someone is always watching over our shoulder.  Many places have cameras on traffic signals watching our driving, look around most retail stores, cameras recording while we shop, everyone has a cellphone with a camera and we may find ourselves on the internet, my "day job" has cameras around the building and grounds (TV screen in front office displays the pictures), my "day job" has cameras on our public buses and vans (with sound).  Unfortunate perhaps, but that's life today, the other side of the picture is that they do come in useful in the event of an accident or incident as it eliminates the argument of he said/she said.  I figure I'm a nobody and at the age where I'll never be important or famous so if you catch a photo of me in my work clothes or a trash bag poncho while pushing snow in the winter, well enjoy the laugh.

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I have no problem with cameras, as they are all over at work.  Secure facility.  But some owners do not understand the impact on workers.  They are useful for lawsuit prevention, parking lot security, and theft prevention.

Joey Camb's picture
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we have a massive spy base near me where they listen to phone calls and stuff searching by code words etc - I always think if they listen to my phone calls they must be board ridged!

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Sorry but this is a different kind of spying. A true invasion of privacy. To watch every movement is totally uncalled for in this case. 

Joey Camb's picture
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I am not sure but I do know in the UK it is different between recording and just seeing - watching you don't need to put signs up but recording you do.

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  The question is, can they lip read?!?  My sister can from across the room.

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Good luck to you and please keep us updated.  I'm really curious to hear how this plays out. 

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Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I KNEW this all couldn't be right. But I've been doubting myself as this particular inn I guess has not been my cup of tea. I'm the only person there who has worked at an Inn (as an Innkeeper) before aside from housekeepers. The lease? I feel its a tax write off. They have it waaaaaay over valued. It does have 2 doors in basement but my fear has been what if there WAS a fire? NO window to push out? This is where all the mechanics of the inn are and in this space is actually where ALL the circuit breakers etc are for the whole inn. Cameras? The staff are the ones who actually showed me how to stay out of the way of them if we want to have a conversation or even take a breath. I don't work like this, never have, and I am done. There is a lot about this place that if I didn't have a strong and lovely point of reference to refer back to I might have been like everyone else there and thought it as the norm. It's been so off that I actually thought I needed to get out of the industry.....BUT! I really like innkeeping and kept saying to myself, hang in there....

I am actively looking for a new inn. Thank you all so very, very much.

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Nope - happy to concur this is super weird!

I have 3 camera's in my B&B one covers the front door, one the car park (so I can see people pulling in) and one the front hall - nothing upstairs or covering the chamber maid - and to be frank I think guests would not be at all happy if they knew how much they were on film at the place you work.

Also in the UK it would be illegal to tell other staff your age as it would open to Age discrimination law suits - you don't even put it on CV's etc so in the UK they wouldn't even know it to tell.

The lease however might be to cover them against squatting issues but in the face of all the other stuff I'd be looking for a new position - its beyond odd.

 

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Thank you! totally agree with everything you said. Actually in the USA its illegal I believe to tell staff my age.....the owner just laughed at me when I confronted her with this.

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Sounds like you have a paranoid idiot for an owner. I would be getting out of there ASAP!

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I would get out of dodge faster then a hornet could fly. First off what if there was a fire you in the basement no windows to push out . You are trapped cameras watching people at all time. You have not given them the right to follow you and look at you 24/7 . . It is not normal to have cameras like that. Even the police are not allowed to put cameras in homes unless they have a warren to do so.

Run run run as fast as you can. Some thing is not right. This is very wrong.

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This is all so true. As a matter of fact just yesterday they told one of the staff about something they saw being done while watching us off property.

So sad. 

 

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inntropical wrote:

This is all so true. As a matter of fact just yesterday they told one of the staff about something they saw being done while watching us off property.

So sad. 

 

The owners were off property or they were watching staff off property??? One might ask how!

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Watch us on their phones......creepy

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The only folks with the correct answer would be the owners that employ you, but I offer these idle guesses. 

Why a lease/rental agreement?  I'm a detail person so to me it would spell out the rights and obligations of both parties, just good business.  In our area a rental without a rental agreement for a period of time would be subject to lodging tax, maybe this agreement is just a way around that sort of problem, maybe it is a way to prevent another employee for asking for the same sleeping arrangement.

Why cameras? Hopefully just a new toy, an idea someone sold them as needed or they lead a dull life and have nothing else to do except watch others work.

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The only thing I can figure out is tax write off...I don't know why. They have a crazy amount on it stating that it is part of my pay. I'm very uncomfortable in this type of situation, and have been from the get go, especially after coming from a such a welcoming type of atmosphere in my previous inn experience.

Trust me, I'm not a disgruntled employee whatsoever, but I am a concerned employee.

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inntropical wrote:

The only thing I can figure out is tax write off...I don't know why. They have a crazy amount on it stating that it is part of my pay. I'm very uncomfortable in this type of situation, and have been from the get go, especially after coming from a such a welcoming type of atmosphere in my previous inn experience.

Trust me, I'm not a disgruntled employee whatsoever, but I am a concerned employee.

What? They are claiming your sleeping in the basement is part of your pay? They are 'giving' you lodging as part of the job? You are going to pay tax on whatever amount they claim that 'rental' is worth. Is there ANY way you can go home and come back in and get out of this 'lease'?

It would be one thing if you had an apartment there or at least a couple of rooms. But it sounds like you have a cot in with the equipment. That is NOT providing you with lodging as part of your employment. Not from where I'm sitting anyway. But I'm not a lawyer or an accountant.

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This is what I'm trying to do is commute at this point before I get another position. No it's more than a cot. And there is my own bathroom and cooking spot. But it is most definitely not the value they've placed on it, trust me, and I thought it to be totally unfair of them to add this in as what I am being paid. The housekeepers are making more than I am.There are many questions I've had about the whole place as I have a very good point of reference. The sad part is the whole staff talks about them behind their backs, and for me this is just not a healthy environment. It's just not me. Thank you for all your support!

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This raises more questions - are you getting a W2 or a 1099?.  Because if they are considering the "crazy amount" as part of your your pay, you could end up seeing that on a tax document at the end of the year.  Now is the best time to find that out, not on Feb 2nd when you get your tax documents.

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Oh no! I never even thought of that until I saw your post. I'm on a W2. Thank you. I need to check into that asap.

 

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There may be fed, state and local tax, insurance, zoning, privacy and legal violations by them. Once you get free of them, report these freaks to all the appropriate authorities.

I was victimized by someone many years ago. The extent of the illegalities was breathtaking. Hang them out to dry.

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I have two cameras in my inn. One watches the parking lot so I can keep an eye peeled at night for late checkins.

The other covers the front door so that when my door chime rings, I can see if its a checkin I need to come down two flights of stairs to greet, or a current guest I can just let be.

I would never think to use cameras to spy on my staff. I respect them too much. 

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No, the things you mentioned (lease for occasional overnight, cameras, basement lodging with no windows or second exit) are not common practice and sound a bit bizarre to me.  It is good that you are planning to leave soon.  Better sooner than later IMHO!

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sounds like you should be entering a marathon! Smiling 

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gillumhouse's picture
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Totally not the norm and I would run. I hope you read that "lease" before you signed it. And unless there is a second exit from that basement room, I would never sleep there. It would be illegal in most any State to lease a basement with no windows or alternate exit.

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I would run.

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No, not normal.  I sure hope those cameras are only in the common and work areas!!!  surprise

I do not think I could stay working for someone who was always watching me.  Occasional checking up maybe but not constant.  

A lease for sleeping in the basement on occasion? No, don't think I have ever heard of that either.  Wonder if they are writing that off somehow?

I would be moving on as quickly as possible.  Glad the season is almost over for you.   

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Well, if you're asking this question in your dark basement my guess is your owners know all about this and you'll be hearing from them.

No. None of what you mentioned is normal. Those folks have some (serious) control issues and I hope you're on your way out the door.

Will you owe them anything for your 'rental' if you leave your job early?

Seriously, you are supposed to sleep in the basement with no windows? That is so many kinds of wrong.

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  I'll say "adios!" and run!!!!!!  

Your sanity and privacy, etc. is more important than any money or job.  How private is that place in the cellar?  Does it have a lock?  Does it have cameras in it?  Trust me, there are better jobs out there!

 

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NOT COMMON!!!

Sounds pretty strange if you ask me. Never heard of anything like this being done. Sounds like owners have been burned in the past and want to keep track of their employees and what they are doing.  BIG BROTHER run a muck if you ask me.  I would approach them on this with your feelings. If they say too bad, I would personally start looking for a new position. I wouldn't want to work anywhere where this kind of thing is done. 

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