February 25, 2020
The Devil is in the Details – or – How I Ruined Monica’s Life
Posted by: Nancy Skee
Have you met Monica yet?
She works here and she’s really nice. She’s pretty, she’s a great student, an athletic volleyball player, and a dedicated employee. Monica, along with Amazing Joan, help keep the Inn sparkling clean and a place where you can walk around barefoot.
And I ruined her life. Part of it anyway.
I'm pretty sure it happened slowly. Here’s how it unfolded.…
You might be surprised – or maybe not - to learn that I like to have things “just so” at the Inn. Beds have to be made a particular way and the opening of the pillow cases must be correctly arranged. Towels should be folded and hung so that the selvedge edges and tags are not showing. Shampoo and conditioner dispensers have to be placed so their pump tops align. And on and on and on.
After you prepare a room a few hundred times, you don’t even think about placement. It just comes naturally. However, if you’re the new person on the job waiting to have your finished room inspected, you find out that the devil IS in the details. You can get disheartened when you have to redo your towels again or dust the room again or reposition your pillows again, or fix the soap again! You would probably even wonder what difference it makes whether or not the toilet paper is triangulated. Pffft! Who cares?!
Well, it’s not that anybody would throw a fit,
it’s that aligned things in a room create harmony and peacefulness, which is what we want our guests to feel. And it’s human nature not to notice a thing until it’s out of place.
It’s kind of like when you can only focus on the stain on someone’s shirt and not the great outfit. Or like how you’re a great teacher and help all kinds of kids and teach great lessons for years and then one day you say to a boy who jumped on three desks and spit all over another kid that you want to pinch his head off and then THAT’S what your principal notices?!! Kind of like that.
Anyway, Monica being the conscientious person that she is, mastered all the tasks. It wasn’t until her last volleyball tournament that I found out how it had affected her.
MONICA: Nance, can I show you something? You ruined it for me.
MONICA: Look at this (Pulling up a video her phone)! We were at (insert name of very lovely hotel chain) LOOK at these towels! They’re not even folded right and they’re all just stuffed up there. And all of the edges are showing!
ME: Whaaat?!! You noticed that?
MONICA: Of course! And see this picture of the blanket on the bed? The TAG is right at the top where you would pull up the covers. Who does that?!
ME: That’s crazy!
MONICA: Yeah! And look at the pump tops on the soaps. They’re all over the place and not lined up or anything! AND when I went to wash my hair, they didn’t even have conditioner in the bottle!
ME: No way!
MONICA: YES! And the toilet paper was triangulated, I’ll give them that, but it was the worst triangle I’ve ever seen in my life!
MONICA: I know. And even worse: I could hear them cleaning the room next door to us and they were in and out of there in less than 15 minutes. It takes me and Joan at least 40 minutes to turn a room. How could it be clean in 15 minutes?! I thought you were a little crazy having us redo stuff, but now I get it. I’ll never go into a hotel room again without seeing all those things. Thanks!
Thank you, Monica, and Joan, too, for being the kind of people who pay attention to details and always thinking about comfort and harmony for the great people who visit with us. Thank you for lining up the towels and the soap pumps and triangulating the tp and all of the other things you do. You’re the best and I’m so lucky to have you here – even if I’ve ruined hotels for you!