Staying in a hotel this Thanksgiving weekend? Here's a sobering look behind the scenes. Among the lies that a front desk agent at a hotel tells, says Jacob Tomsky, are: "There is nothing I can do," "My pleasure," "I would like to offer my deepest apologies," and "We hope to see you again!" Tomsky, who started as a valet parker and worked his way up the ranks in the hotel business, reveals what working at a hotel is really like, from the good to the sometimes very, very bad. Here, from his book "Heads in Beds," are six of his stories plus some tips for getting the best service from hotel workers.
Tomsky says that making sure you don't drive your car home with a new scratch from a valet is hard to prevent, but the best idea is to walk around your car, looking at its present condition, before you hand it off to the valet. "Performing your own walk around and familiarizing yourself with any present flaws might pay off later," he wrote. "Should something happen, this little bit of surety will come in handy, and if the valet happens to watch you checking your vehicle, he might be more careful not to add anything fresh. If you do see the actual valet getting into your vehicle, it wouldn't hurt to drop a few dollars at the outset, so you are on his mind as he pulls it off. Then again, even if you manage to establish initial contact with the parking valet, the valet who retrieves it later will have no connection to you and all the alone time he needs with your car. If you cannot stand anyone having private time with your baby, then you can always leave it in direct charge of the doorman.... How can you secure a coveted spot right out front? Give him a nice crisp twenty-dollar bill... Doormen love twenties. They love it even more if your car is luxury and makes their driveway look expensive."
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