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Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels,…
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Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called… (edition 2012)

by Jacob Tomsky

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4484623,330 (3.35)33
Member:kraaivrouw
Title:Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality
Authors:Jacob Tomsky
Info:Doubleday (2012), Hardcover, 256 pages
Collections:Your library, 2012
Rating:**1/2
Tags:Jacob Tomsky, non-fiction, memoir, hotels

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Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality by Jacob Tomsky

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Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
What do you do when graduate with a philosophy degree? In Mr. Tomsky’s case you go into the hotel industry. People check into hotels all the time and probably never really think about what goes on behind the scenes. In this book the reader gets a peek behind the curtain. If you want to know how to get free upgrades, free mini bar items and free movies read this book. If you want to make sure you get the best room at the best rate read this book. Mr. Tomsky shares the secrets. Of course some of the secrets may make you rethink ever leaving your home to stay at a hotel.

Mr. Tomsky shares his decade of experience in a humorous manner that was informative yet easy to read and highly entertaining. I enjoyed the book and from now on I will definitely go out of my way to be super friendly to the front desk people in any hotel I may patronize.
( )
  ChristineEllei | Jul 14, 2015 |
Amusing and helpful at the same time. ( )
  jimocracy | Apr 18, 2015 |
I'd give this 4.5 stars if I could. I love this kind of memoir, and the story telling is fabulous.

It was funny without being obnoxious and it was just an enjoyable read from start to finish.

Got some great insight into how to actually get upgrades. I'd always been too awkward to figure it out in the past, but nothing awkward about cash in the right hands! ( )
  Crystal.Brown | Mar 19, 2015 |
I enjoyed all the inside information - we rarely think about the lives of people who work in hotels (or any service industry for that matter). ( )
  CeliciaS | Mar 15, 2015 |
While I often felt sympathy for the author (and hotel servicepeople in general), at other times I also felt a bit of contempt for him. When he was talking about substance abuse or providing a detailed explanation for how to steal from hotel mini-bars I wondered whether his moral compass had been lost before or during his time in the industry.

The book is entertaining, but in the same vein as stories about criminals are entertaining. ( )
  wishanem | Jan 27, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
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I've worked in hotels for more than a decade.
I am standing on St. Charles Avenue, uptown New Orleans, a few months out of college and a few weeks into summer.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385535635, Hardcover)

Amazon Best Books of the Month, November 2012: Always tip. If you can’t tip, be nice. And if you can’t manage either, you might be better off unwrapping a new toothbrush every day. That’s just one lesson to be learned from Jacob Tomsky’s gonzo account of his years as a front-desk clerk at hotels in New Orleans and New York. From the glad-handing doormen to the unsung workers in the “back of the house,” Tomsky exposes the machinery and machinations that make luxury hotels run (if not always smoothly), advising his potential guests about whose palms to grease (and how much) in order to get that coveted park-view upgrade. Informative and mildly salacious, Heads in Beds is an entertaining peek inside the places people go to get away, and the stunts they pull when they get there. --Jon Foro


Amazon Exclusive: An Essay by Jacob Tomsky

When I started working in hotels the computer screens glowed in one color, alien green, and the monitors were the size of boulders. We used to confidently toss comment cards in the trash (or, as we referred to it, file them in the “T” file) making them disappear forever. I used to cash checks by picking up the phone and speaking to another human being. Music in the lobby was usually provided by a piano player, who would swivel his head at passing guests with a ridiculous, pasty-looking smile as he tapped out non-offensive cover songs played with a non-offensive classical flourish.

Now, mid-volume, beat-heavy techno seeps from recessed speakers built into the lobby’s crown molding. The screens are flat. You can’t manage to direct anything from Trip Advisor into the “T” file and all the guests want to hook up their iPad to the toilet or whatever. And if you pay with a check I still have to pick up the phone, which is extremely irritating because who pays with checks anymore? Stop it.

But all of that change means nothing. Because I’ll tell you what hasn’t changed: The front desk agents, the bellmen, the doormen, the housekeepers, the room service attendants, and the managers. Hotel employees are still version 1.0 and I guarantee if you brought me to a bar and sat me next to a front desk agent from 1897, we’d over-drink and swap the same type of hilarious stories about the same type of insane guests. Hospitality, no matter how slick it gets, will always be a business run by people who serve people. It will always be about service. It will always take a person to explain that, no, you cannot hook up your iPad to the toilet but you can use it to control the lights and wirelessly play music through the in-room speaker system. And guests still, and hopefully will forever, hand me physical comment cards, which I will continue to throw in the trash.

During all these renovations (while I said things like, “Wait, they made the internet wireless? It’s in the goddamn air now?”) I was always writing. I grew up reading novel after novel and that’s all I wanted from life, to give back and write something good. After years of hotel work and relocations that took me from New Orleans to Paris to Copenhagen and ultimately New York City, I finally conceived the idea for Heads in Beds. I put everything I had into it, all my knowledge of the industry and the writing skills I’d developed since I was a child. I truly hope you find it funny and informative and that it helps you navigate the crooked halls of hospitality. That has always been my goal, to write something good.

That and hang out with a front desk agent from 1897.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:48 -0400)

"A humorous memoir by a veteran hospitality employee that reveals what goes on behind the scenes of the hotel business. Includes tips on how to get the most out of your hotel stay"--

(summary from another edition)

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