Hi SummerSeed, welcome to the group. Glad you decided to post and open up about your problem. You have found a place that can help you. This group has already provided you with a good start with the information you have provided. I know in the past we have had a couple of other hired innkeepers on the forum hopefully they are still around and will chime in.
After reading the posts, sit down with a blank sheet and right a list of what you like (or liked) about this job in one column and what you dislike in the other, then go back and highlight under the dislike items that YOU can control whether it be on your own or by having a heart to heart with your boss. Change what you can on your own and see where that gets you. Then get with your boss on other issues including the big one - time off! It is only after determining where the problems are can you then work toward the solution.
Others mentioned wanting more info so we can assist you more - My questions are about the B&B's history - Has this been a B&B prior to you being the innkeeper? How long did the previous innkeeper stay? If your guests are mainly problem guests - maybe there is a need to raise rates, when was the last time rates were raised? You mentioned 'things braking' - (read other threads and you will know that this is common) but was the place well maintained?
As you work through all this, you have us to sound off to. Let us help you!.
SummerSeed is actually my husband, so I think it appropriate (since we're Co-Inn Managers) to elaborate further and help answer questions. Forgive me if this is a bit rambling, there's so much on our minds and making it perfectly eloquent is too much work! (Maybe a list is most efficient?)
Firstly, we relocated almost 4 hours away from all our friends and family to take this job. We were interested in relocating because the area we liked was young, progressive, open-minded, environmentally-concious, and had a milder climate. In essence, it was the exact opposite of the apathetic, ultra-conservative, snow belt town we were leaving. We made the naive assumption that the area the job was in would be just like the area we loved even though they're about an hour apart. In reality, our new "home" has an average age of 55 (we're early 20's), and is well known for it's "lush culture" [think classical orchestra and ballet] and "luxury living". Getting a job was a time sensitive issue, and when we were offered this one we didn't think to make sure it was a place we wanted to be [much less a place we wanted to "sell" to our guests]. Needless to say, we pretty much hate it here and are convinced we'll never feel at home.
We wanted to try to assimilate, but in an area where a thrifty dinner out runs about $50, we just can't find a way to socialize without blowing our paycheck. And the people here just aren't our "type".
Additionally, the longer we are employed (we don't own the Inn, just manage it) the more and more we find piled on our plates. My welcome tour has literally expanded from 5 minutes to 15 in the last 6 months because new policies and procedures and offerings and sales techniques get added on. Some guests are more curious/questioning than others, so it's really quite common for a tour to take 30 minutes. We have 17 rooms, and sometimes have 10 or more check-ins in a day, so this is just plain exhausting.
I'm realizing more and more that the real reason my days are so exhausting is because we have a very high-end clientel. Like, the kind of people that give you a 2-star review because the pillows weren't feather [they could have asked]. These are the kind of people that want *me* to pick where they eat dinner every night, make the reservations, order and hold their theater tickets until they arrive, confirm the quality of the seating, print off door-to-door directions, and answer every question they can think of while they scowl at me. Honestly, I don't believe in "luxury". Opulent living offends me. Yet I'm in a position where I coddle and spoon-feed spoiled rich people for a living. AHH!
On top of that, even on the days when we have no one in house (which during the slow season would sometimes be 4 or 5 days a week) We still work for 10 or 12 hours. Research needs to be done, emails replied to, workers and maintenance people are constantly show up unannounced, the phone rings and rings and rings, packages are dropped off, it never ends! Worst of all, people will show up completely unannounced all the time [even on Mother's Day, no kidding] wanting a tour of the Inn for a possible wedding or future stay. I can't wear comfortable, non-stuffy clothes on MY DAY "OFF" because we have NO privacy and are at the beck and call of everyone.
We have almost no control over our own privacy or personal time management. For example, we get 3 weeks paid vacation every year, but we have to take it between december and mid april to fit with our owner's demands. When we finally did plan our big vacation and told our boss the dates (which fit the period he had told us to plan within two weeks before) he made us cancel and rebook our flight and rental car to accomodate ONE DAY he wanted free so he could pack for his vacation. We didn't even get to choose when we could go on our own vacation!!! And every time we've been able to leave the Inn (for our big vacation, the mandatory Christmas vacation, and our anniversary) we've come back and literally been back at work before our coats were off or luggage taken out of the car. And by back to work I dont mean answering a phone, I mean having an unannounced business conference or doing a check-in.
The best way I can describe how I feel is this: Imagine if this Inn were underwater; when we started I had a big ol' air tank and complete set of scuba gear. If soemthing went wrong or broke or came up, I could take a deep breath and carry on. Now I've got a snorkle. If there's a bump in the road I'm gasping for air, panicking, and desperately trying to reach the surface. Trying to GET OUT.
When we told our boss last week that we wanted to leave we gave him 6 weeks notice and offered to train our replacement for free. He demanded almost 7 months. I honestly don't think I can tough this out. For the sake of my sanity, I really don't think I can....help!