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Samster

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I don't know how some of you do it. We had a full house a week ago (6 bedrooms/baths), then a few guests here & there during this last week, and I am still recovering from the lack of rest when we had the full house for 4 days running. I can't even imagine running full all the time. Of course, it is really just me for the most part with my dh helping with the serving and kitchen clean-up on the weekends. I am so far behind on paper work and other stuff that it's not even funny. We are getting ready to get slammed here again in another week for 6 days running. It's great to be busy but hard to keep up with everything and we aren't making enough money to afford help yet. I know that it's got to be different with a partner or two full-time innkeepers for the most part. My poor dh also takes call in his "real" job, so it's not fair to ask him to pitch in more than he is already.
It is no problem for me to handle a few rooms at a time but when you get over 3 rooms, the work increases exponentially. Thank goodness the guests aren't seeing it yet how I'm getting pooped and our room journal comments are great as well as our reviews.
Just had to vent a litttle about how this can wear you out......
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Your gentile smile is delirium, they will never know. Hang in there. You know me and my "innkeepers favorite pasttime? A NAP!" No early check ins as that is the primo hour for that when everyone is out of the house. (OOPs did I let the cat out of the bag! 20 minutes with mr sandman makes for a happy innkeeper)
 

nanhinchliff

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Samster said:
I don't know how some of you do it. We had a full house a week ago (6 bedrooms/baths), then a few guests here & there during this last week, and I am still recovering from the lack of rest when we had the full house for 4 days running. I can't even imagine running full all the time. We are getting ready to get slammed here again in another week for 6 days running. It's great to be busy but hard to keep up with everything and we aren't making enough money to afford help yet. It is no problem for me to handle a few rooms at a time but when you get over 3 rooms, the work increases exponentially. ......
I know exacly what you mean I run my business by myself and I am in my 70s, which doesn't make it any easier. This is my second career and I've been trying to retire again for the past couple of years, but having trouble selling my house. It's big and it's expensive, although not so much so since the housing market slump! The value has definitely gone down. I love having a B&B and enjoy my guests, but sometimes I'm so happy when they leave, I feel a little guilty.
Anyhow, what I finally had to do was hire (nearly full time) help. I started using young girls in the culinary arts and hotel mgmt. programs at one of the local universities. Some do their internships here (I'm a former teacher), so the salaries are not too high. It works out quite well. Maybe you could find college kids in the summer, who wouldn't expect to much in the way of salary.
 

SweetiePie

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I'm in a similar situation running the place basically by myself. I have a chef whom I use for the gourmet dinners and food for meetings and massage therapists, but everything else falls on me.
What I have done is concentrate mostly on packages. That means I work intensely for a short period of time with breaks in between guests. Since most of the work comes from cleaning and laundry, cutting out one nighters and keeping people longer reduces both of those things.
 

Samster

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Samster said:
I don't know how some of you do it. We had a full house a week ago (6 bedrooms/baths), then a few guests here & there during this last week, and I am still recovering from the lack of rest when we had the full house for 4 days running. I can't even imagine running full all the time. We are getting ready to get slammed here again in another week for 6 days running. It's great to be busy but hard to keep up with everything and we aren't making enough money to afford help yet. It is no problem for me to handle a few rooms at a time but when you get over 3 rooms, the work increases exponentially. ......
I know exacly what you mean I run my business by myself and I am in my 70s, which doesn't make it any easier. This is my second career and I've been trying to retire again for the past couple of years, but having trouble selling my house. It's big and it's expensive, although not so much so since the housing market slump! The value has definitely gone down. I love having a B&B and enjoy my guests, but sometimes I'm so happy when they leave, I feel a little guilty.
Anyhow, what I finally had to do was hire (nearly full time) help. I started using young girls in the culinary arts and hotel mgmt. programs at one of the local universities. Some do their internships here (I'm a former teacher), so the salaries are not too high. It works out quite well. Maybe you could find college kids in the summer, who wouldn't expect to much in the way of salary..
Good idea in theory but the Summer is our slooooooooooow time here
I have to work through this until we can pay off some debts, too. We're just feeling really, really tired.
 

Samster

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I'm in a similar situation running the place basically by myself. I have a chef whom I use for the gourmet dinners and food for meetings and massage therapists, but everything else falls on me.
What I have done is concentrate mostly on packages. That means I work intensely for a short period of time with breaks in between guests. Since most of the work comes from cleaning and laundry, cutting out one nighters and keeping people longer reduces both of those things..
We have very few one night stays here. But there is a fair amount of work to just re-freshing rooms when we are full and keeping up with everything else. If I could outsource the laundry, I definitely would but there is no one here to do it. boo hoo...

 

happyjacks

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Hang in there! We innkeepers are a crazy bunch who (many of us anyway) give up 50+hrs/wk jobs to work 80++hrs for ourselves. I don't even want to count the hours!
It's a killer combination of physical exhaustion from too much work and not enough sleep, plus the mental/emotional exhaustion of always being 'on' and focused on the needs of others.
Is there any way you could get a jump start on things to take some of the pressure off during the next onslaught? Things like bake-and-freeze, premix dry ingredients, plan menu/shopping. Sometimes when I know I have a bunch of flips I make laundry baskets up with the bedding, towels, tp rolls, tissue boxes, etc for each room so I can just grab and go. Of course if I'm still digging out from the last hit, there's no time for advance prep.
If that's the case, just plow through and have a good cry when it's all over. You're doing great!
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Samster you are entitled to be weary, you have worked your buns off! Don't feel there is anything wrong with needing a DAY OFF.
Now you can see why many of us actually schedule days off when it gets super busy, even though we turn away guests and needed income. It is not easy to do, but it is a necessity.
But some days one little room is not that big a deal, but you still need to be "on" and have the same routine. I am the one who says I would rather have em all at once then teeter here and there. So once they are gone they are gone and you can have that nap even though you have ten years of laundry waiting for you!
You are SUPER BLESSED to have multiple night stays - even all the added NEW chit chat for the many one nighters can wear you down. Remember me saying last year "Can they ever ask anything else!?" When guest after guest asked the same exact two or three questions at check in - I mean check in 4 or 5 rooms in one evening and the same questions, then next night check in 4 or 5 rooms - same questions - this went on for weeks! I nearly lost my mind. Nearly.
 

Morticia

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I hve no idea what you must be going thru...there is no way I could do all of that by myself.
 

YellowSocks

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Ooooohhh.... BTDT and you absolutely have my sympathy.
You ask how we do it... well, for me at least...
. no turndown service
. paperwork gets piled up until slow season
. my new website is a year behind (oh well!)
. nap as often as possible (which, unfortunately, isn't often in peak season!)
in other words... although I have perfectionist tendencies they get squashed. I opened before we were done with construction but we got open. We still don't have room notebooks. Not only don't I do turndown, sometimes I don't even get the cookies out in the afternoon... but we're open, running, and good enough, with repeat customers to prove it.
=)
Kk.
 

gillumhouse

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Yes, I only have 3 guestrooms but by the end of a weekend of a full-house with a dinner and packed lunch for at least one couple, I also am ready to crawl into bed with a Do Not Disturb sign and that will be the night DH wants what else - pudding!! It does not matter how many of us have BTDT - YOU are the one who is desparately in need of pillow and blanket, the heck with us part. Right now YOU are the one who needs the coddling, a backrub would be nice, and a pat on the head.
We all do understand and you just go right ahead and vent - it helps. We will all tell you exactly what you need to hear (and you DO need to hear it) Poor, Baby.... try to get a nap.
 

Samster

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Hang in there! We innkeepers are a crazy bunch who (many of us anyway) give up 50+hrs/wk jobs to work 80++hrs for ourselves. I don't even want to count the hours!
It's a killer combination of physical exhaustion from too much work and not enough sleep, plus the mental/emotional exhaustion of always being 'on' and focused on the needs of others.
Is there any way you could get a jump start on things to take some of the pressure off during the next onslaught? Things like bake-and-freeze, premix dry ingredients, plan menu/shopping. Sometimes when I know I have a bunch of flips I make laundry baskets up with the bedding, towels, tp rolls, tissue boxes, etc for each room so I can just grab and go. Of course if I'm still digging out from the last hit, there's no time for advance prep.
If that's the case, just plow through and have a good cry when it's all over. You're doing great!.
I do as much ahead of time as I can...all of the things you mentioned. Unfortunately, I don't have the space to pre-make laundry baskets for the flips.
That is not that big a deal though because I do have a linen closet near my rooms in the main house & a laundry room in the second house.
I am still digging my way out of laundry. I need to figure out how to do that smarter!
 

Samster

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Ooooohhh.... BTDT and you absolutely have my sympathy.
You ask how we do it... well, for me at least...
. no turndown service
. paperwork gets piled up until slow season
. my new website is a year behind (oh well!)
. nap as often as possible (which, unfortunately, isn't often in peak season!)
in other words... although I have perfectionist tendencies they get squashed. I opened before we were done with construction but we got open. We still don't have room notebooks. Not only don't I do turndown, sometimes I don't even get the cookies out in the afternoon... but we're open, running, and good enough, with repeat customers to prove it.
=)
Kk..
Room books were really not that big a deal and have helped a lot with guests needing to ask a lot of questions! It's all in the books. :) It is the day-to-day that gets me down when we are full - up at 6 and in bed at midnight or after and on the go the entire time in between.
We still have major de-crapifying to do in our area which I was hoping to do this weekend but we were both too worn out. Wah!
 

Samster

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Yes, I only have 3 guestrooms but by the end of a weekend of a full-house with a dinner and packed lunch for at least one couple, I also am ready to crawl into bed with a Do Not Disturb sign and that will be the night DH wants what else - pudding!! It does not matter how many of us have BTDT - YOU are the one who is desparately in need of pillow and blanket, the heck with us part. Right now YOU are the one who needs the coddling, a backrub would be nice, and a pat on the head.
We all do understand and you just go right ahead and vent - it helps. We will all tell you exactly what you need to hear (and you DO need to hear it) Poor, Baby.... try to get a nap..
I actually walked away from the ironing today & took a 2 hour nap!! Turning in now for the night, too....
Thanks, all, for letting me vent. I need to look at doing some things a bit differently too, I think.
 

YellowSocks

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Yay on the nap!!! Isn't it a beautiful thing?
I do find myself becoming a little more efficient with time. But yeah, in July, 5 or 6 a.m. to midnight or 1 a.m. is pretty much the norm.
Which is why I've lived here three years and am finally unpacking some boxes (lots more to go!) and decrapifying... but we're in the off season here. Whatever doesn't get done by June won't be done until next winter.
=)
Kk.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Yay on the nap!!! Isn't it a beautiful thing?
I do find myself becoming a little more efficient with time. But yeah, in July, 5 or 6 a.m. to midnight or 1 a.m. is pretty much the norm.
Which is why I've lived here three years and am finally unpacking some boxes (lots more to go!) and decrapifying... but we're in the off season here. Whatever doesn't get done by June won't be done until next winter.
=)
Kk..
YellowSocks said:
Yay on the nap!!! Isn't it a beautiful thing?
I do find myself becoming a little more efficient with time. But yeah, in July, 5 or 6 a.m. to midnight or 1 a.m. is pretty much the norm.
Which is why I've lived here three years and am finally unpacking some boxes (lots more to go!) and decrapifying... but we're in the off season here. Whatever doesn't get done by June won't be done until next winter.
=)
Kk.
NEXT winter you say? ha ha Sorry, it just cracks me up. We have those items on the list too for NEXT winter which were to be done last winter, the winter before and so on and so on. But whatever NEEDS to be done gets done first as there is only so much time. Oh well...can't fight the wind.
I am beginning to wonder what we even have in those boxes in the basement now and if we really need them. They know me by name at teh GoodWill drop off, actually at all of them. When will we learn to stop buying so much stuff!!
 

YellowSocks

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Yay on the nap!!! Isn't it a beautiful thing?
I do find myself becoming a little more efficient with time. But yeah, in July, 5 or 6 a.m. to midnight or 1 a.m. is pretty much the norm.
Which is why I've lived here three years and am finally unpacking some boxes (lots more to go!) and decrapifying... but we're in the off season here. Whatever doesn't get done by June won't be done until next winter.
=)
Kk..
YellowSocks said:
Yay on the nap!!! Isn't it a beautiful thing?
I do find myself becoming a little more efficient with time. But yeah, in July, 5 or 6 a.m. to midnight or 1 a.m. is pretty much the norm.
Which is why I've lived here three years and am finally unpacking some boxes (lots more to go!) and decrapifying... but we're in the off season here. Whatever doesn't get done by June won't be done until next winter.
=)
Kk.
NEXT winter you say? ha ha Sorry, it just cracks me up. We have those items on the list too for NEXT winter which were to be done last winter, the winter before and so on and so on. But whatever NEEDS to be done gets done first as there is only so much time. Oh well...can't fight the wind.
I am beginning to wonder what we even have in those boxes in the basement now and if we really need them. They know me by name at teh GoodWill drop off, actually at all of them. When will we learn to stop buying so much stuff!!
.
JunieBJones (JBJ) said:
YellowSocks said:
Yay on the nap!!! Isn't it a beautiful thing?
I do find myself becoming a little more efficient with time. But yeah, in July, 5 or 6 a.m. to midnight or 1 a.m. is pretty much the norm.
Which is why I've lived here three years and am finally unpacking some boxes (lots more to go!) and decrapifying... but we're in the off season here. Whatever doesn't get done by June won't be done until next winter.
=)
Kk.
Some of them are from when my mom died almost four years ago. I packed them up, moved them from Ohio to Maryland. Then back again. Then they got shuffled around during various stages of construction. Now I'm almost ready to see what's there and sort it all out.
=)
Kk.
NEXT winter you say? ha ha Sorry, it just cracks me up. We have those items on the list too for NEXT winter which were to be done last winter, the winter before and so on and so on. But whatever NEEDS to be done gets done first as there is only so much time. Oh well...can't fight the wind.
I am beginning to wonder what we even have in those boxes in the basement now and if we really need them. They know me by name at teh GoodWill drop off, actually at all of them. When will we learn to stop buying so much stuff!!
 

The Tipsy Butler

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Samster - I'm really sorry .... it's a rude awakening and yes - it's tough.
Paperwork - HAH
Making ends meet - HAH HAH
IMVHO 6 rooms are too much for one person. I do 4 rooms by myself with a degree of sanity, however the regulars on this forum know that I have my breakdowns and will spend two days sobbing for no particular reason at the end of the season.
NOW don't get me wrong, I love love love what I do and have a tremendous amount of pride in it. Here's one thought that has helped me. When I get seriously pissed off or am doing something I really don't want to do I remember the daily, rewardless, slog of corporate. I did things that I hated on a daily / hourly basis but I did them because that was my JOB. The inherent rewards of what I do now are extraordinary ....
HOWEVER I go back to my original thought ..... 6 rooms by yourself are too much. Don't forget, ideally you're in here for the long haul which means taking on too much initially to get "the show on the road" but not not so much that you can't cope. It isn't a sign of weakness, it's an understanding of what any sane person can deal with.
 

YellowSocks

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Samster - I'm really sorry .... it's a rude awakening and yes - it's tough.
Paperwork - HAH
Making ends meet - HAH HAH
IMVHO 6 rooms are too much for one person. I do 4 rooms by myself with a degree of sanity, however the regulars on this forum know that I have my breakdowns and will spend two days sobbing for no particular reason at the end of the season.
NOW don't get me wrong, I love love love what I do and have a tremendous amount of pride in it. Here's one thought that has helped me. When I get seriously pissed off or am doing something I really don't want to do I remember the daily, rewardless, slog of corporate. I did things that I hated on a daily / hourly basis but I did them because that was my JOB. The inherent rewards of what I do now are extraordinary ....
HOWEVER I go back to my original thought ..... 6 rooms by yourself are too much. Don't forget, ideally you're in here for the long haul which means taking on too much initially to get "the show on the road" but not not so much that you can't cope. It isn't a sign of weakness, it's an understanding of what any sane person can deal with..
The Tipsy Butler said:
IMVHO 6 rooms are too much for one person. I do 4 rooms by myself with a degree of sanity, however the regulars on this forum know that I have my breakdowns and will spend two days sobbing for no particular reason at the end of the season.
I agree... I have four rooms, and dh is a lot of help. I can't imagine six by myself, especially when some of them are suites.
The first innkeeper I ever talked to about innkeeping had six but only rented four as it was too much for her and her [grown, special needs, but able to help] daughter to do more.
TB said:
NOW don't get me wrong, I love love love what I do and have a tremendous amount of pride in it. Here's one thought that has helped me. When I get seriously pissed off or am doing something I really don't want to do I remember the daily, rewardless, slog of corporate. I did things that I hated on a daily / hourly basis but I did them because that was my JOB. The inherent rewards of what I do now are extraordinary ....
I just read a fabulous book by Malcolm Gladwell (actually, all three of his books are fabulous) called "Outliers." A major theme that keeps recurring is the importance of meaningful work... work that is creative, autonomous, and produces a visible result. It's a grind to run this place, but it's my grind, done my way, and when things go well, people are pleased and the business grows. How could I want it any other way?
=)
Kk.
 

Morticia

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Samster - I'm really sorry .... it's a rude awakening and yes - it's tough.
Paperwork - HAH
Making ends meet - HAH HAH
IMVHO 6 rooms are too much for one person. I do 4 rooms by myself with a degree of sanity, however the regulars on this forum know that I have my breakdowns and will spend two days sobbing for no particular reason at the end of the season.
NOW don't get me wrong, I love love love what I do and have a tremendous amount of pride in it. Here's one thought that has helped me. When I get seriously pissed off or am doing something I really don't want to do I remember the daily, rewardless, slog of corporate. I did things that I hated on a daily / hourly basis but I did them because that was my JOB. The inherent rewards of what I do now are extraordinary ....
HOWEVER I go back to my original thought ..... 6 rooms by yourself are too much. Don't forget, ideally you're in here for the long haul which means taking on too much initially to get "the show on the road" but not not so much that you can't cope. It isn't a sign of weakness, it's an understanding of what any sane person can deal with..
I have to agree that 6 rooms are too much, but I think JBJ does the 6 by herself, too. We talked with someone the other day who has 10 rooms she does by herself. Now, I didn't push the 'by myself' thing back on her by asking 'who does this' and 'who does that' but if she is doing 10 by herself I don't want to think about how things must be falling down around her ears all the time. There is not enough time in the day to care for 10 rooms and everything else.
 
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