Heads in Beds

A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality

By Jacob Tomsky
(Doubleday Books, Hardcover, 9780385535632, 247pp.)

Publication Date: November 20, 2012

List Price: $25.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the December 2012 Indie Next List
“Here is the authentic voice of the Front Desk Agent: funny, experienced, profane, and able to tell a good story or two. Tomsky shares his story of beginning as a parking valet and rising to the heights of the front desk, with a horrifying detour through the housekeeping department along the way. This book is packed with characters, anecdotes, celebrities, and useful information for any hotel guest, such as 'Don't be afraid to tip the Front Desk Agent if you are after an upgrade.' Heads in Beds does for hotel workers what Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential did for restaurant workers. It should be an instant classic!”
-- Mary Muller, Market Block Books, Troy, NY


Description

In the tradition of Kitchen Confidential and Waiter Rant, a rollicking, eye-opening, fantastically indiscreet memoir of a life spent (and misspent) in the hotel industry.

Jacob Tomsky never intended to go into the hotel business. As a new college graduate, armed only with a philosophy degree and a singular lack of career direction, he became a valet parker for a large luxury hotel in New Orleans. Yet, rising fast through the ranks, he ended up working in “hospitality” for more than a decade, doing everything from supervising the housekeeping department to manning the front desk at an upscale Manhattan hotel. He’s checked you in, checked you out, separated your white panties from the white bed sheets, parked your car, tasted your room-service meals, cleaned your toilet, denied you a late checkout, given you a wake-up call, eaten M&Ms out of your minibar, laughed at your jokes, and taken your money. In Heads in Beds he pulls back the curtain to expose the crazy and compelling reality of a multi-billion-dollar industry we think we know.

Heads in Beds is a funny, authentic, and irreverent chronicle of the highs and lows of hotel life, told by a keenly observant insider who’s seen it all. Prepare to be amused, shocked, and amazed as he spills the unwritten code of the bellhops, the antics that go on in the valet parking garage, the housekeeping department’s dirty little secrets—not to mention the shameless activities of the guests, who are rarely on their best behavior. Prepare to be moved, too, by his candor about what it’s like to toil in a highly demanding service industry at the luxury level, where people expect to get what they pay for (and often a whole lot more). Employees are poorly paid and frequently abused by coworkers and guests alike, and maintaining a semblance of sanity is a daily challenge.

Along his journey Tomsky also reveals the secrets of the industry, offering easy ways to get what you need from your hotel without any hassle. This book (and a timely proffered twenty-dollar bill) will help you score late checkouts and upgrades, get free stuff galore, and make that pay-per-view charge magically disappear. Thanks to him you’ll know how to get the very best service from any business that makes its money from putting heads in beds. Or, at the very least, you will keep the bellmen from taking your luggage into the camera-free back office and bashing it against the wall repeatedly.

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