Things For You Not to Do if You Want to be a Successful Bellhop
Never say, "This is your carport."
Do not act like "Capt. Stubin," of the Love Boat.
Guest Services Manager, left, and Head bellhop.
A look at some bellhop history
Bellhops, what few exist, those “Bastions of Baggage,” “Liasons of Luggage,” must lead a lonely life. Just my own observation. I have never been tempted to be a bellhop. Not that I am casting disparaging comments toward such a noble vocation.
I have never met an ambitious bellhop. In all of the states I have traveled, all of the vacations I have taken, in all of the motels, cheap and superfluous, not one bellhop I’ve talked to (on his company time), ever said to me, “Mister, I love being bellhop, but one day I want to be the C.E.O. of this motel chain.” Not one.
In my travels, I spent some time just watching the bellhops at the then-Marriott House in Atlanta, doing their jobs and monotonous as they were, still carried “that” company smile that labored to say, “I am the Marriott House. Stay with me,” but truthfully, I could barely hear the faint voice made weak by an arrogant, aloof front desk clerk who thought he was God. I knew right off that he wasn’t God, for God wouldn’t be seen in a starch-tight stuffed shirt with a noose for a necktie.
I recalled his crusty mug as my wife and I checked into this “luxurious” motel in 1983. “Cash or credit card?” he asked looking past me. I hate that from anyone. “Cash,” I replied. His look was reminiscent of a pile of cow chips as he acted like handling a hundred-dollar bill was beneath him. But if my wife and I had not been so tired, I would have been filled with glee to stay at the Motel 6 a few blocks away—even with the six Atlanta police cars, blue lights flashing, in the parking lot with one security light.
I used“luxurious,” in telling you about the Marriott House, because if I had said “swanky,” I would be an out and out lie.
It was while I watched the four bellhops lugging luggage, sometimes six bags at a time, and not complaining, that I felt that soft spot in my heart get much softer for the bellhops of the world.
I’m sorry, but there is not a whole lot to say about bellhops. Not that I expected much. They clock-in, have their name yelled a thousand times, work like pack mules—mostly on tips, clock-out, go drink with their bellhop friends and head home. What a dreary life. These guys must love their lives.
Why aren’t there any female bellhops? I wonder about that. There might be a progressive-thinking motel chain somewhere in the United States that give the gals an opportunity to go home with aching backs, sore feet and fifteen-dollars in tips for a day of excessive and unappreciated labor. (If you know of one, send me the motel’s phone number and I will try to talk to their female bellhops for a future hub).
Bellhops have a lot more guts than I ever did. Can you see this happy-go-lucky bellhop of 14 years going to his high school reunion with his wife who has tried in vain to beg him not to make her go to this social event or even go himself, for all intents and purposes, she actually loves her husband, “Tim,” the bellhop.
As you well-know, high school reunions or reunions in general, can many times be a vicious affair with the “social climbers,” back-stabbers, all telling a fair share of lies about how “they” have succeeded at some gruesome job filing the heads in alphabetical order that were taken off the cattle at a local slaughterhouse. But “this” job is never mentioned. What job is mentioned frequently is that they, the cattle head filing manager, is doing great as the Assistant to the Vice-President of Verizon.
“Not to brag,” they brag. “I am pulling-down around $1 mil a year.”
And our friend, “Tim,” the bellhop went to high school with this jerk. Oh, he was a jerk in high school too. But “Tim,” endures. Actually, “Tim,” looks forward to this special event all year long and no one, not even his loving wife knows why.
I would wilt like a young daisy in the noon sun if I were in “Tim’s” shoes. Thrown like chum into a choppy sea ready to be consumed by veracious piranha without a soul. And friends reading this: You might as well agree that all high school reunions have their share of insecure shadows of people who cannot tell the truth about their lives, but lean hard on the lie that they have built to camouflage their dull and uneventful lives.
Can you see “Tim,” sitting with his nervous wife at a circular dining table with his classmates dining on rib eye, baked potato and salad? I can see this, but I do not want to because “Tim” and his wife rarely dine on good food like this at his comical paycheck.
After dinner, the reunion emcee, or Class President when “Tim” was a senior, stands up, belches, takes a huge sip of Segram and Seven, then says, “Every table get ready. You, the class member will stand, tell your name, and what you do for a living,” then drains the crystal glass of the rest of his stiff drink.
There sits “Tim,” excited, happy as a clam, and not showing any shame (about his job) if any as each of his classmates get up and say things like, “I am Sammy. I played football, and went on to own my own medical supply company,” or “My name is Jenny, and I am the president of Union Security Bank in Los Angeles.” “Tim’s” wife is fighting the temptation of just excusing herself to the ladies room so she won’t hear her husband speak of his job as a bellhop.
Too late. The speed of light has gained a few hundred miles per second. “Tim” proudly stands. Then smiles with a real smile as he says, “I am ‘Tim,’ I love my wife of 21 years and I am a bellhop.” Then sits down. No apology. No look of dishonor about him. Some choke on their last bite of rib eye while some manage a weak “my word,” to their husbands or wives. “Tim,” is solid as a rock. Personally, “I” am proud of our buddy, “Tim.”
“Tim” is a living-example of someone who is proud to have a job. And he knows that being a bellhop may not pay as much as a pimp or drug dealer, but it’s honest work.
A sad statistic: For every rare “Tim,” there are six jobless bellhops who did not know how to carry themselves like “Tim.” These unemployed bellhops wanted to get to the top too quick and take every short-cut that got them out of the work that it takes one to land on the mountain top.
If these poor suckers who are too proud to re-apply at other motel chains for bellhop work, I offer . . .
”Things Not to Do if You Want to be a Successful Bellhop,”
in case they get another bellhop job.
In small motels, bellhops also serve as waiters in the kitchen.
Bellhops should go first. Not customers. I see why bellhops are in bad moods.
Bellhops sometimes work until all hours.
Work. Work. Work. Bellhop's motto.
Sometimes, bellhops "do" get good perks
I can't wait to try on these clothes.
- Never open a female customer’s luggage (in front of her) and say, “Mind if I try on your panties?”
- Never open the customer’s suite and yell, “Well, here it is. Your dump, so get ready to kill flies and watch-out for the lizards.”
- Do not say, “Is this the best you can do?” When you are given a tip for taking the customers and luggage to their room.
- Never toss the customer’s suitcases on the bed, throw-open the window and yell, “Hey, Frank, dude! Ya’ need to see the skanks that just checked in!”
- Never shove a customer against the wall and say, “Some say I have anger issues, but I don’t. And if you do not give me a hundred-dollar tip, I promise to sneak back in here when you are dining and wreck this room worse than a squad of war-weary Marines on leave.”
- Asking a married woman customer out for a “night on the town,” in front of her husband is never a wise thing to do.
- Never pull your pants off and lay on the bed when you are finished showing the customers all they get with their room.
- Do not answer customer’s questions in a sharp tone. “What? You want me to show you how the door card works? I am not your personal servant, bud!” You could lose your job instantly.
- Never run ahead of elderly customers and although you are younger and carrying two bags, look back at the elderly customers, laugh and say, “Come on, gramps, granny. I ain’t got all day.”
- If you and another bellhop are having friction on the job, you do an extra-bad job of carrying luggage for customers (while out of the desk clerk’s sight), showing them the wrong room, spilling their bag’s contents in the floor and other irresponsible acts, then if the customers ask your name, give them the other bellhop’s name. Write it down for them, if the want to lodge a complaint.
- Open the customer’s door, sit their luggage down in the hallway, and then you sit down in a chair in their room. When the customers get over the shock of your cold-hearted service, you simply say, “I am on my break, so back-off from asking me to anything else for fifteen-minutes.”
- Do not ask a newlywed couple if the groom wants you to carry the bride across the threshold.
- Do not remark on the size of a female customer’s behind—to her face. Then ask the husband, “She needs to drop a few pounds in the trunk area, don’t you agree?”
- Take all of the condiments, soap, hand wash, toothpaste, coffee and filters, and stuff them into your pockets and then if the customers ask what you are doing, say, “On my salary, I can barely afford to eat lunch, so do not say anything about this.”
- When you are taking the customers up on the elevator, remind them, “I am the owner’s son. I am working my way up from the bottom, so I expect a hefty tip for all of the things I am going to do for you.”
- Yell, “No animals allowed!” When you look at the couple you are to escort to their room. The man, outraged, will reply, “We have no animals.” Then you snap back, “What about your wife?”
Now that you are armed with ammunition to carry you from bellhop to manager, all you have to do is be proud, bellhops.
"I'm not only the front desk manager, but the only bellhop."
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