My Experience As a Housekeeper

in , , , by Rejoyce Canaynay, September 26, 2017

I already mentioned in my previous blog post what work I did in The Lodge at Bryce Canyon for my cultural exchange program. But before anything else, if you are not familiar with the cultural exchange program, it is a program available for college students and provides them an opportunity to have a cultural experience in the US while having work opportunities to fund their stay. Participants have the chance to acquire jobs that do not require highly knowledge or skills while staying in the United States for a maximum of four months. At the end of the work program, students may remain in the US for another 25 days for travel and entertainment purposes.

And as for me, of course, I made the most of my stay in the US and went home two days before my visa expires. I stayed and finished my work program in Utah for almost 4 months and later on took my remaining weeks to explore Las Vegas and to visit my friends and relatives in Los Angeles before heading back to the Philippines. 

And as I have mentioned, I work as a housekeeper back in Utah which I believe is a perfect training job for a hospitality student like me because this experience shows us how the hospitality industry really works in real life.

In my workplace, there are two hotel style buildings which are the Sunrise and Sunset Point, we also have cabin areas that are scattered around and suites rooms too which are located in the main building of the lodge. The photo above is one of the cabins you can find in the lodge park and I must say, this is the best choice of room to stay in the lodge if you want to feel a cozy, mountain-like vibe because it has a really nice wooden structure and has a gas-log fireplace inside.

I usually do my cleaning duties in the building, particularly in Sunset Point. Rooms in both of the two-story hotel style building have either one king or two queen beds with 8 guest room each floor. And each building only has four housekeepers, one at the ground floor another one in the second floor, our supervisor as the bed stripper and we get a reliever/helper sometimes who usually also cleans the two suite rooms located in the main building. I was the extra hand actually since I came late for the season but work is equally divided to all of us.

Together with our cleaning cart filled with bottles of liquid cleaners, white sheets, tissues and everything we need for the day, we lift up big and heavy beds, we change sheets and linens, vacuum the floor, clean the toilet, wipe the bathtub and mirror, fold towels and refilling the bath amenities. These are the things we do as a housekeeper every single day for months we stayed in Lodge, it was tough and tiring but it's fun and of course, we learned.

I learned:

  • That the real challenge in life comes outside the school after you graduate college and start working and earning money. 
  • How hardworking the people in this industry, the housekeeping department especially who keeps everything neat and clean in the hotel. 
  • The joy of getting a thank you note from the guest in the bedside table with a room tip left on top of it. I remember always getting excited everytime I enter a check-out room to look for tips and note for me.
  • That you really need to work hard to earn.
  • The importance of having a good working relationship with co-workers. Learn to give and take and help one another.
  • The importance of time and day-offs! Hehehe.
  • Lastly, I learned the proper way to change sheets and linens. 
  • And of course, how important the housekeeping department in this kind of industry. 

And as for my part-time job in the restaurant, it's actually a shifting work with my housekeeping co-workers, I only get some days to work in the restaurant because we divide the shifts equally so everyone could have extra hours of work. We work as a hostess in the restaurant but aside from greeting the guest and assisting them in their seat, we're also a busser who clear and set up the tables. I'm not sure if it's just in this lodge or it's a thing in the US when the server must be the only one who can clear the plates and the busser's job is to just clean and set up the table afterward. And if they don't need a hostess in front, they give us a job inside the kitchen as the dishwashers' helper. I forgot how we called it but we're the person who takes the leftover in the plates and put it in the trash before we hand it to the person in charge of washing the dishes.

Anyway, my work in the restaurant gave me the opportunity to interact with the guest which we don't usually do in the housekeeping department. It thought me a good learning experience that I know I'll be able to use back home and one good example is the importance of good customer service. It's not all about just greeting the guest, lead them in their seat and serve them good food but it's about how you deal with your customers and how you serve them well.

I remember watching my co-hostess before, as soon as the guest came in the restaurant he didn't just greet them but he also leads them in their seat while casually but respectfully makes a conversation like he is making sure that the guests feel at home. And for the servers, they don't just serve well but they always offer something new, asking about their food and all. And another thing about the restaurant, as soon as the guest was seated, we are thought that we should serve them drinks and pica-pica and hand them the menu immediately. They always make sure that the guest never kept waiting. I'm not being biased here because I work in this restaurant but from what I experienced, this restaurant really offers good customer service.

And on top of all my work experiences and learnings during this work program in Utah, I wouldn't be able to survive it all if it weren't for these people. Without all of them around me, I can't imagine staying in a place without television, the working hours and being stuck on the mountain. These people become my friends to family, even though I only spent a few months with them and we grew up with different cultures, values, and language we still found ourselves comfortable with one another. That I call friendship!

To my agency and university, aside from giving me the opportunity to know American culture, meeting new people and sharing my culture as well in this work program it also develops my knowledge, skills and I gain experience that I'll be bringing back home. Thank you for this wonderful experience!

A wave of nostalgia swept over me while looking at the photos, you should visit this site to see more photos of the Lodge where I worked. It brings back so many memories, I think I'm gonna cry.

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  1. Sobrang nostalgic! I still remember the days when I was still studying in Australia. I love everyone there and I miss them already. You're so lucky you had the opportunity to be part of that program, and you were able to learn more about the culture in US.

    Your next post should be "Dirty little secrets from housekeepers" or something like that. Spill the beans! Hahaha. Just kidding.

    4 months could be a short time, but see how you still remember your experience <3 I can't wait to read more about your exchange program, Rej!

    1. I got motivated to do this 6 years ago experience because of your Australia post actually. Thank you!

      Hahaha! But really, walang interesting masyado dun, mabait ako e. Nasunod sa rules and regulations when it comes to cleaning! lol!

      Thank you! Excited to share it with you guys as well!

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  3. Hi Rejoyce Canaynay

    I have read your article, it is very informative and helpful for me.I admire the valuable information you offer in your articles. Thanks for posting it.

  4. Hello Ms. Canaynay I really like your content here po it gave me a better idea and what to expect sa housekeeping side just like what other thoughtful hospitality-related vloggers did. do you mind po ba if I share this in my housekeeping class?
    Question lang po hehe.. have you encountered challenging situations or nakakatawa moments while on the job?
    Hoping you'll see this po.