Chambermaid Confessions #6: No I in Team

by Holly Rhodes

So much for team unity. Photo: Emrank / Flickr.

Chapter 6
(Catch up on chapters 1-5.) 

After two weeks of room attendant training with Eve (the maximum allowable time), I graduated to training with a fellow housekeeping manager. This time, despite what I knew about the increased pay for trainers, no one was willing to step up to the plate. It felt like the grown-up version of being picked last for dodge ball. Although I was again at least fifteen years younger than my co-workers, this was the group of peers that I was going to be thrown in with. So much for the team unity and togetherness I had heard about during orientation. 

I couldn’t help but blush as the executive housekeeper, David, asked for volunteers to train me during our morning meeting: “Who would like to bring Holly around today to show her how we work?” The five women were not as verbal as the room attendants had been in their lack of enthusiasm for getting to know me; they simply looked me up and down and just stared. I was grateful when the most senior member of the team finally grunted to break the silence. Only to pick up her clipboard and walk out of the meeting.

Considering that David had worked with these ladies for the past five years, he must have known this was the reaction he'd get. I wondered if this was all part of the training — another test to see how I would handle their treatment and how I would react to less than welcoming circumstances. I hoped that no one noticed the nine shades of crimson my cheeks had turned and I reminded myself to keep smiling. Three other supervisors shuffled out of the room, leaving Esther behind. She hadn't stayed behind to volunteer to train me, but to complain about her floor assignment for the day. Too bad for her, because her presence meant that she was the lucky one with the task. 

After arguing with David for what felt like an eternity (okay, ten minutes), raising her voice, and wagging her finger in his face, the meeting concluded with her laughing and him patting her on the back. How he had turned the conversation so artfully? Note to self: Study his interactions with the ladies. Her smile quickly faded when she turned to look at me. Begrudgingly, she motioned for me to follow her to the elevators.

Read more Confessions of a Four-Star Chambermaid.