It’s no surprise that housekeeping can be a dirty job, but on most days, these Cast Members have it pretty good. Standard rooms are quick and easy to clean, you always have the perk of potential tips, and you enjoy more freedom with your lunch and breaks than Cast Members in other positions. However, housekeeping certainly has its dark side. You never know when you’ll encounter a disgusting surprise in one of your rooms. Sometimes guests will cook up something so bad, you don’t even know how to begin handling it.
1. Live birds
Fresh out of training, I confidently knocked on the door of my first solo hotel room with a cheery “Housekeeping!” No one answered, but there were some strange noises coming from the other side of the door, so I tried again. Still no answer. Nervously, I unlocked the door and looked inside. The room was filled with live birds.
It was a check-out, so the previous guests were long gone, but a few bad choices on departure had left me with a housekeeping nightmare. Not only had the guests left the door to the balcony wide open, they had also left the remnants of their breakfast on the bed. The combination was too tempting for the local wildlife to resist, and at least half a dozen birds had made their way into the room for a meal.
I didn’t know what to do at the time, so I backed out of the room, closed the door behind me, and moved on to the next room on my list. When I returned a few hours later, the birds had departed, so the threat of a beaky attack was past and I only had the mess left to contend with.
2. The black bathtub
The Grand Floridian is the most expensive and elegant hotel on property, complete with triple-sheeted beds, its own line of exclusive bath amenities, and plush ornate carpet in every room. Housekeeping here includes plenty of special touches, from changing the sheets daily to pressing the hotel’s logo onto the tip of the toilet paper, but it doesn’t usually include the kind of careless messes you might find at other locations.
Not so with the case of the black bathtub. Ironically, the rest of the room was immaculate – the guest even made his own bed, lined his sandals up carefully along the wall, and neatly hung up his robe. Yet the bath tub was left full of water. It would be unpleasant enough to plunge your hand into dirty bathwater in an ordinary instance, but this bathwater was black. Not murky grey, or dingy-looking, but so black I couldn’t see the plug at the bottom.
Before you write off rubber gloves as the perfect solution to this dilemma, it’s worth noting that those gloves don’t go high enough to keep the water from flooding inside when you try to reach the bottom of the tub. After a great deal of steeling myself for the task ahead, the black bathwater was eventually drained, but the mystery of why it looked that way still remains.