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Willowpondgj

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For those of you who run your inns on your own (no staff), during high season do you take a regularly scheduled day off, meaning no bookings, or do you plow through until winter? If you plow through, how do you stay sane?
 

muirford

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We have housekeeping staff, but we still schedule days off as they can't really run the inn on their own - since my one star college student four years ago, I haven't really trusted that they can do the job properly. We are in the busy season right now, and it started earlier this year than usual, so I have blocked off some days - one tonight, two in mid-July, five days in late August. In August we will actually go away from the Inn for at least two or three of those days - the others we will be here but no guests. So those are only half-vacation, since we will still answer the phone.
 

gillumhouse

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I run mine alone. I only block off days when I absolutely must - as in the beginning of the month when I had a consulting job in Kentucky and we did an overnight. Although I used the trip don to deliver MABB Directories and do a few other things, we treated it as a mini-vacation. I am "off the path" but near it so I have to grab everything I can while I can.
I stay sane by being in the Community Band and being involved in things in my city (we are over 2000 so we are a city). I have a weekend in August blocked off for a group coming to visit my county - we were in a training program with them - and am providing lodging for 2 nights and a dinner for them at no charge. I block off for Conferences - B & B in Jan., Trails in Mar., and Museum in Mar. These are mini vacations. I will block off again this fall for the Governor's Conference on Tourism. Being involved is sometimes that one thing too many, but it makes me switch gears - that is its saving grace and what saves me.
 

Samster

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It is basically just me with my dh to help on weekends. 5 rooms/suites in 2 houses & 2 suites can be 2 rooms. (It's almost like having 7 rooms) I can have a total of 8 beds to make up. We've only been open 4 months, so we haven't figured out our "high season" yet. Summer is the sloooooooow season here with the heat, although we're booked on 4th of July weekend with various folks. (2 wedding nights...interesting)
I have blocked an occasional Monday off at the last minute to catch up (we also don't take walk-ins except referrals from our other inns or the C&VB). My dh & I are looking at the calendar to block off some 3-4 day mini vacations. We were just closed for a week when I went to TX to help out another innkeeper and then I got sick and had to block off a week and actually refer guests away to another B&B.

I think you definitely have to schedule some time off if you can...I will help your sanity & protect your health!!
 

The Tipsy Butler

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Well, I just took a look at my reservation calendar and as it stands right now my next day off is September 2nd which realistically probably means no days off until my scheduled break after Columbus Day. We don't employ staff and I survive because I genuinely love what I do (and we need the $$$). What I find most tiring is simply knowing that I can't take a day off even if I wanted to and by mid October I'll be absolutely totally exhausted. Once it gets to this point however I want to fill as many rooms as I possibly can. If I have one room, I may as well have 4 rooms. The real time consumer is the ironing but I've decided that I just need a major attitude adjustment. I'm going to view my daily ironing time as my time to watch stupid TV, convince myself that it's an indulgence and try and ignore the fact that I'm actually doing one of my least favourite chores. (just call me PollyAnna)
 

Samster

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Well, I just took a look at my reservation calendar and as it stands right now my next day off is September 2nd which realistically probably means no days off until my scheduled break after Columbus Day. We don't employ staff and I survive because I genuinely love what I do (and we need the $$$). What I find most tiring is simply knowing that I can't take a day off even if I wanted to and by mid October I'll be absolutely totally exhausted. Once it gets to this point however I want to fill as many rooms as I possibly can. If I have one room, I may as well have 4 rooms. The real time consumer is the ironing but I've decided that I just need a major attitude adjustment. I'm going to view my daily ironing time as my time to watch stupid TV, convince myself that it's an indulgence and try and ignore the fact that I'm actually doing one of my least favourite chores. (just call me PollyAnna).
It's hard to ignore your least favorite chore. I'm with you on that ironing. ugh
Even watching stupid TV hasn't helped me, haha!
I agree that it's almost as easy to be "on" for a full house as it is for one room. Unless there are a lot of special packages or something going on.
Since we rarely have a Monday booking, that's been a good day to block off here.
 

EmptyNest

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I ALWAYS TOOK MONDAY OFF! No ifs ands or buts about it!!! Doing it all alone...with my husband I mean:) I could not bear to face anyone after a full weekend and getting all the cleaning and laundry done.
YOU MUST Give some time to YOU!!! Or you will burn out before you know it. REALLY...this from someone who could only do it 7 years.
 

mooseberry

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Only open since February, so far I have taken time when there were no bookings. Pretty much just sitting on the deck with a glass of wine and listening to the birds, gives me a "mini vacation"...
Last weekend I had to run into town, over night, and I left dh in charge. Somebody must had known that I was not there, no guests....lucky dh....haha
I guess I will push trough til the fall, then close for a couple of weeks for a family reunion in germany.
I love what I am doing, especially that I am working "at home", so I just take time when I need it. If I don't have anything planned, why take time off?
So far it works for me, but that might change later down the road. I am planning on hiring some help eventually.
 

Samster

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Only open since February, so far I have taken time when there were no bookings. Pretty much just sitting on the deck with a glass of wine and listening to the birds, gives me a "mini vacation"...
Last weekend I had to run into town, over night, and I left dh in charge. Somebody must had known that I was not there, no guests....lucky dh....haha
I guess I will push trough til the fall, then close for a couple of weeks for a family reunion in germany.
I love what I am doing, especially that I am working "at home", so I just take time when I need it. If I don't have anything planned, why take time off?
So far it works for me, but that might change later down the road. I am planning on hiring some help eventually..
After being down for about a week with this sinusitis, asthma, and bronchitis, I am bringing in someone next Monday afternoon after our full 4th of July weekend. She can help catch up on the dreaded ironing & maybe get to some extra cleaning with me. It will be worth the $$$

 

Morticia

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This is our first year without housekeeping help. We are going to have to take a day here or there, or at least not be full some days. We generally need a day toward the end of July and then in August. We try to get a weekend in come Sept. Then we go straight thru until Nov. After that, days off are easy (too easy) to come by!
And who said we were sane to start with?
 

YellowSocks

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I've just begun my insanity... this was my first weekend of full house Friday (4 rooms), three rooms Saturday, one today. Yesterday I was pretty close to exhausted. I was going to start a post about this wonderful 5 to 9 job but I was too tired (and didn't have time).
I got up before 5 to start breakfast for the horse lady, and met a same day reservation who checked in at 9:10 p.m. THEN we went out for dinner because dh wanted to go out (and the kids had had a nap, and I needed more strawberries, so why not?) 'Why not' is because I went to bed at 10:30 and I was whupped.
I think I'll be fine working through until August when I have my first break, but yesterday reminded me that not only do the kids and the business need me, dh wants some of me, too. He has been fabulous about working his 48 hours and then coming home and helping to flip rooms. (His specialty is my dreaded job, the floors.)
Today was nice, though. We only had one check-in, and everyone was done with breakfast by 9. So we went to Sunday School then let the kids play in the play area, then wonderful dh gave me "cherry therapy!" That is, he flipped the one room that was checking in while I went out on the roof and picked cherries from the neighbor's cherry tree that were growing over the fence. Mid-70's, low humidity, lovely breeze, childhood memories of our cherry tree in our back yard.... ahhhhhhh. And dh did a great job on the room and off we went to lunch... at the grocery store with the staffed children's play area so we could sit and chat while the ds4x2 were in kid heaven. Ahhhhhh. Then we came home and the boys and I took a nap. Ahhhhh. At least, I napped until a reservation called, which was fine, I had a break. Now I'm on the patio, on the forum, kids still asleep, dh here reading a book as he puffs on a homegrown, home-rolled cigar which he's stuffed into a Sherlock Holmes style pipe. Ahhhhh.
So, I can see the value in taking Sunday nights off, but being new I just can't do it in peak season. I'm just going to have to do my best to at least clear out Sunday afternoons, because this has been just what I needed. Tomorrow I can finish the flips.
And, as Bree said, who said I was sane to begin with? I just keep reminding myself, "work is good for me, work is good for me, work is good for me."
=)
Kk.
 

seashanty

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i have a chambermaid - 2 girls actually - one who will supposedly come in when the other can't. eight rooms ... varies how much to be cleaned. mostly one night stays. that is my 'staff'. if i had more help, i would get more rest, get my bookkeeping done, and get out of here once in a while.
i get up between 5 and 6 to do breakfast and am never quite fiinished cleaning up the kitchen, the dishes, the breakfast room and the library where there is coffee fixens until early evening. because other things happen as you know that must be attended to all day long like check outs and guests needing things and check ins. sometimes i do not have housekeeping help. i am very tired.
right now, it is about 6. we had a weekend of full house ... with changeovers in the middle, just three checkins tonite ... two will be late ... and i just want to say 'my shift is over' but your shift is never really 'over'
i have to block some time off for me (i don't know when yet but soon) or i will just start crying ... that is when my defences all break down. i was advised as a newbie to schedule in days off ... normal workaday jobs, you have time when you are 'off' when you live at your job, you are not off. that would mean ... checkouts all out of here on time ... housekeeping help so i can stop 'doing' and then no check-ins that evening and no getting up for breakfast the next day. feels very decadent to say it, especially when money is so tight. but if i just let in one checkin on my night off, i am still having to see to guest's needs and get up in the morning, etc. when you get slammed by several days of nonstop, you will feel it in your bones and you will know you need time off. it's only natural.
it is like the advice 'pay yourself first' ... at least, take care of YOURself first so you can take care of your guests.
 

YellowSocks

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i have a chambermaid - 2 girls actually - one who will supposedly come in when the other can't. eight rooms ... varies how much to be cleaned. mostly one night stays. that is my 'staff'. if i had more help, i would get more rest, get my bookkeeping done, and get out of here once in a while.
i get up between 5 and 6 to do breakfast and am never quite fiinished cleaning up the kitchen, the dishes, the breakfast room and the library where there is coffee fixens until early evening. because other things happen as you know that must be attended to all day long like check outs and guests needing things and check ins. sometimes i do not have housekeeping help. i am very tired.
right now, it is about 6. we had a weekend of full house ... with changeovers in the middle, just three checkins tonite ... two will be late ... and i just want to say 'my shift is over' but your shift is never really 'over'
i have to block some time off for me (i don't know when yet but soon) or i will just start crying ... that is when my defences all break down. i was advised as a newbie to schedule in days off ... normal workaday jobs, you have time when you are 'off' when you live at your job, you are not off. that would mean ... checkouts all out of here on time ... housekeeping help so i can stop 'doing' and then no check-ins that evening and no getting up for breakfast the next day. feels very decadent to say it, especially when money is so tight. but if i just let in one checkin on my night off, i am still having to see to guest's needs and get up in the morning, etc. when you get slammed by several days of nonstop, you will feel it in your bones and you will know you need time off. it's only natural.
it is like the advice 'pay yourself first' ... at least, take care of YOURself first so you can take care of your guests..
I agree... the biggie is breakfast. The one room in the house is our long-term guest and I don't have to get up and make breakfast for her. Ahhhhhh, luxurious. But luxury means $$$$ not coming in!
=)
Kk.
 

Samster

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I've just begun my insanity... this was my first weekend of full house Friday (4 rooms), three rooms Saturday, one today. Yesterday I was pretty close to exhausted. I was going to start a post about this wonderful 5 to 9 job but I was too tired (and didn't have time).
I got up before 5 to start breakfast for the horse lady, and met a same day reservation who checked in at 9:10 p.m. THEN we went out for dinner because dh wanted to go out (and the kids had had a nap, and I needed more strawberries, so why not?) 'Why not' is because I went to bed at 10:30 and I was whupped.
I think I'll be fine working through until August when I have my first break, but yesterday reminded me that not only do the kids and the business need me, dh wants some of me, too. He has been fabulous about working his 48 hours and then coming home and helping to flip rooms. (His specialty is my dreaded job, the floors.)
Today was nice, though. We only had one check-in, and everyone was done with breakfast by 9. So we went to Sunday School then let the kids play in the play area, then wonderful dh gave me "cherry therapy!" That is, he flipped the one room that was checking in while I went out on the roof and picked cherries from the neighbor's cherry tree that were growing over the fence. Mid-70's, low humidity, lovely breeze, childhood memories of our cherry tree in our back yard.... ahhhhhhh. And dh did a great job on the room and off we went to lunch... at the grocery store with the staffed children's play area so we could sit and chat while the ds4x2 were in kid heaven. Ahhhhhh. Then we came home and the boys and I took a nap. Ahhhhh. At least, I napped until a reservation called, which was fine, I had a break. Now I'm on the patio, on the forum, kids still asleep, dh here reading a book as he puffs on a homegrown, home-rolled cigar which he's stuffed into a Sherlock Holmes style pipe. Ahhhhh.
So, I can see the value in taking Sunday nights off, but being new I just can't do it in peak season. I'm just going to have to do my best to at least clear out Sunday afternoons, because this has been just what I needed. Tomorrow I can finish the flips.
And, as Bree said, who said I was sane to begin with? I just keep reminding myself, "work is good for me, work is good for me, work is good for me."
=)
Kk..
Just be careful that you don't work too hard and overextend. Then, you'll go down hard.
Take from one who is just starting to recover today.

It's taken me all afternoon to clean 3 rooms (that were partially cleaned, too)..........
 

gillumhouse

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i have a chambermaid - 2 girls actually - one who will supposedly come in when the other can't. eight rooms ... varies how much to be cleaned. mostly one night stays. that is my 'staff'. if i had more help, i would get more rest, get my bookkeeping done, and get out of here once in a while.
i get up between 5 and 6 to do breakfast and am never quite fiinished cleaning up the kitchen, the dishes, the breakfast room and the library where there is coffee fixens until early evening. because other things happen as you know that must be attended to all day long like check outs and guests needing things and check ins. sometimes i do not have housekeeping help. i am very tired.
right now, it is about 6. we had a weekend of full house ... with changeovers in the middle, just three checkins tonite ... two will be late ... and i just want to say 'my shift is over' but your shift is never really 'over'
i have to block some time off for me (i don't know when yet but soon) or i will just start crying ... that is when my defences all break down. i was advised as a newbie to schedule in days off ... normal workaday jobs, you have time when you are 'off' when you live at your job, you are not off. that would mean ... checkouts all out of here on time ... housekeeping help so i can stop 'doing' and then no check-ins that evening and no getting up for breakfast the next day. feels very decadent to say it, especially when money is so tight. but if i just let in one checkin on my night off, i am still having to see to guest's needs and get up in the morning, etc. when you get slammed by several days of nonstop, you will feel it in your bones and you will know you need time off. it's only natural.
it is like the advice 'pay yourself first' ... at least, take care of YOURself first so you can take care of your guests..
I agree... the biggie is breakfast. The one room in the house is our long-term guest and I don't have to get up and make breakfast for her. Ahhhhhh, luxurious. But luxury means $$$$ not coming in!
=)
Kk.
.
This morning and tomorrow moring are heaven for me. No guests -a good thing except at bills time and we do not walk on weekends and Monday is End of Year for my walking buddy so we will not walk in the morning. Even if I do not have guests, I am up at 5 so we can walk on the trail because the only time we both have is at 6 am.
I am extremely grateful for no breakfst this morning because my 1 am relief at the Chapel last night (or should I say this morning) did a no-show and I was there until 2.
Band picnic was great - gulley washer just before the picnic was supposed to start and another about half an hour after. Ruined the pool party, the the eating part that was most important to the most people was rain-free! At least 3 people asked about my salad - what was in it? it was sooo good! Secret ingredient was 2 kinds of basil, cut up Italian basil and the tiny leaves of spice basil.
 

Morticia

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Well, I just took a look at my reservation calendar and as it stands right now my next day off is September 2nd which realistically probably means no days off until my scheduled break after Columbus Day. We don't employ staff and I survive because I genuinely love what I do (and we need the $$$). What I find most tiring is simply knowing that I can't take a day off even if I wanted to and by mid October I'll be absolutely totally exhausted. Once it gets to this point however I want to fill as many rooms as I possibly can. If I have one room, I may as well have 4 rooms. The real time consumer is the ironing but I've decided that I just need a major attitude adjustment. I'm going to view my daily ironing time as my time to watch stupid TV, convince myself that it's an indulgence and try and ignore the fact that I'm actually doing one of my least favourite chores. (just call me PollyAnna).
I have so many 'free' days between now and Sept, it is scary! I know last year looked the same and then guests came in droves for August.
We planned a lunch out tomorrow with friends. All fluffs in the morning, then we got a walk-in. Still, only 5 rooms and after doing 7 all weekend, it'll seem like a mini vacation!
 

Samster

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i have a chambermaid - 2 girls actually - one who will supposedly come in when the other can't. eight rooms ... varies how much to be cleaned. mostly one night stays. that is my 'staff'. if i had more help, i would get more rest, get my bookkeeping done, and get out of here once in a while.
i get up between 5 and 6 to do breakfast and am never quite fiinished cleaning up the kitchen, the dishes, the breakfast room and the library where there is coffee fixens until early evening. because other things happen as you know that must be attended to all day long like check outs and guests needing things and check ins. sometimes i do not have housekeeping help. i am very tired.
right now, it is about 6. we had a weekend of full house ... with changeovers in the middle, just three checkins tonite ... two will be late ... and i just want to say 'my shift is over' but your shift is never really 'over'
i have to block some time off for me (i don't know when yet but soon) or i will just start crying ... that is when my defences all break down. i was advised as a newbie to schedule in days off ... normal workaday jobs, you have time when you are 'off' when you live at your job, you are not off. that would mean ... checkouts all out of here on time ... housekeeping help so i can stop 'doing' and then no check-ins that evening and no getting up for breakfast the next day. feels very decadent to say it, especially when money is so tight. but if i just let in one checkin on my night off, i am still having to see to guest's needs and get up in the morning, etc. when you get slammed by several days of nonstop, you will feel it in your bones and you will know you need time off. it's only natural.
it is like the advice 'pay yourself first' ... at least, take care of YOURself first so you can take care of your guests..
I don't know how you do it...you have a much steadier stream of guests than we newbies after having been open for awhile. Take care of yourself & find some time to rest when you can.

 

Sanctuary

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Currently, I take one vacation a year - a long weekend in October - Columbus Day Regatta. Ironically, that's a weekend that we get the most requests for charter bookings (not B&B) FOR the Regatta, but no way, Jose, not any day, am I taking a charter for Columbus Day Regatta, and we're not at the dock to do B&B that weekend. When I have no bookings, there is always an endless amount of maintenance to be done, and not a day goes by that I don't work here in some fashion. The more I accomplish, the longer the to-do list gets - it's the "while you're in there" factor that always comes back to bite me. But, that long weekend in October is my weekend where I don't have to clean up after anyone and I can eat on paper plates if I want to!
Once we get down to the British Virgin Islands, my final destination, we'll stop doing B&B and convert to just doing week long charters where we'll work about 20 weeks straight and go out of service for the remaining 32 each year. I'm not sure how that's going to feel yet, but at $16,000 to $18,000 a week, I'm sure I'll manage to cope with the schedule.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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But mondays are not days off. Guests for breakfast, check outs, stripping rooms, cleaning, laundry. Monday is never a day off. No check ins that night maybe if you block it off.
We almost always have rooms booked on Sunday nights. Travelers for the most part.
Our occup is nothing like you Mainers, so we can book a day off if we see a 15 days stretch ahead and we do. Ahem, I do. Or we start to go for each others throats. DH gets all pathetic and uncared for like I am trying to neglect him and that only makes me mad as I am so tired that sleeping is a luxury.
 

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