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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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3934027,240 (3.39)28
Member:akerr
Title:Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality
Authors:Jacob Tomsky
Info:Doubleday (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags: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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Jacob Tomsky has written a no-holds-barred account of life in a luxury hotel. While it is told from the perspective of a hotel employee, it is a true guide for guests in hotels too. Tomsky tells his tale with humor and a current of realism flowing through. I read the book in one sitting. The author sums up his experiences as a hotel employee in one pithy statement: "Those who do not have will always serve those who do."
  Writermala | Aug 21, 2014 |
Absolutely hilarious, but not for those who can't take salty language. I would call myself a world traveler, and I've stayed in the less-than-desirable to the top-notch in hotels.

This book gives you personal insight into the hotel business -- how the bell person probably makes more than anyone else in the hotel, how tipping can change everything (and knowing who to tip), and the unauthorized use of Pledge.

On the one hand, I was a little appalled at how the book seems to revolve a LOT about greasing palms. But then again, when I think of what hotel staff has to deal with, and knowing how many loopholes there are in the system, I will now make sure I have the proper amount of cash whenever I check in.

Entertaining, educational on some levels, and a fast read.


Lori Anderson

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  limamikealpha | Jun 5, 2014 |
Meh. I got this book as a pass-along, and parts of it made me smile (or cringe), but... I think either you really "get" this author's style of writing and humor, or you don't. I ended up in the "don't" category. Much of it felt too raw, angry, and uncomfortably close to personal disaster, like (I imagine) watching Charlie Sheen implode on the bi-polar madness tour, or whatever that was called. Yet I loved The Bloggess's book, which ALSO uses much profanity and shares intimate personal details.

Maybe it's guilt, since I've never tipped anyone in a hotel besides room service and housekeeping (nor did I realize EVERYONE was expecting a tip), but then again, I've rarely (never?) stayed in what would be considered a luxury hotel. Maybe the tone was too New York for me?

My suggestion would be to sample a few pages or the first chapter to see if you enjoy this writer's humor, and if you do, GO for it. ( )
  writerbeverly | May 1, 2014 |
Heads in Beds is a memoir by Jacob Tomsky describing his ongoing love hate career in the hotel and hospitality industry. It is hilarious, raunchy, poignant, and entertaining as all hell. Tomsky does a great job of stripping the hotel business bare, showing warts and all, yet made it appealing. No doubt to his self-effacing and blunt attitude. He really went to town in the beginning pages on how useless his Philosophy degree was. Honestly, unless you were becoming a professor or getting your doctorate, it was pretty useless...

Although, I have never worked in the hotel industry, I have worked, and still do, in customer service and have felt, and feel the way Tomsky describes in Heads. Especially dealing with customers who feel entitled. Like the whole name tag thing. I get so annoyed and a little creeped out when customers call me by my name. It's a form of either intimidating or condescending me. The result is to make me feel small and know my place.

On a more serious note, Tomsky's feelings of burnout and drinking copious amounts of alcohol resonated with me as well. I do love him spilling all of the trade secrets of booking a reservation at a hotel and all of the tipping poltics involved. It makes want to employ such moves. Heads in Beds shows a view of a industry that has never been quite brutally before. It reminds me of Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential. ( )
  Y2Ash | Apr 16, 2014 |
Heads in Beds is a memoir by Jacob Tomsky describing his ongoing love hate career in the hotel and hospitality industry. It is hilarious, raunchy, poignant, and entertaining as all hell. Tomsky does a great job of stripping the hotel business bare, showing warts and all, yet made it appealing. No doubt to his self-effacing and blunt attitude. He really went to town in the beginning pages on how useless his Philosophy degree was. Honestly, unless you were becoming a professor or getting your doctorate, it was pretty useless...

Although, I have never worked in the hotel industry, I have worked, and still do, in customer service and have felt, and feel the way Tomsky describes in Heads. Especially dealing with customers who feel entitled. Like the whole name tag thing. I get so annoyed and a little creeped out when customers call me by my name. It's a form of either intimidating or condescending me. The result is to make me feel small and know my place.

On a more serious note, Tomsky's feelings of burnout and drinking copious amounts of alcohol resonated with me as well. I do love him spilling all of the trade secrets of booking a reservation at a hotel and all of the tipping poltics involved. It makes want to employ such moves. Heads in Beds shows a view of a industry that has never been quite brutally before. It reminds me of Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential. ( )
  Y2Ash | Apr 16, 2014 |
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I've worked in hotels for more than a decade.  (Introduction)
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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:14 -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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