Today, I would like to discuss one of my pet peeves--that being the anal retentive housekeeper who takes it upon herself to rearrange a guest's goods for no apparent reason other than her own aesthetic pleasure. Said circumstance most recently occurred to me during a stay at the newly-renovated Jefferson Hotel in Washington, DC (highly recommended--see tomorrow's post). However, by no means is this lovely property the sole offender. Indeed, the practice seems to occur in many luxury hotels. This pattern leads me to believe one of two things--luxury hotels hire housekeepers with OCD, or the powers that be actually train the housekeepers to move every toiletry left on the bathroom counter onto a washcloth. Regardless, I, the guest, don’t want the housekeeper touching my personals, especially when you consider where her hands have previously been.
In the most recent circumstance, I had, on the bathroom counter, carefully placed my toothbrush and accompanying paste in a glass cup. My make-up, floss, lotions, and potions were either in or adjacent to an open cosmetics bag. There was also a pair of (clean) underwear taking part in the countertop action. Parenthetically, I will note that I do not usually leave clean underwear on the bathroom counter, but with limited items to unpack, I didn’t bother with drawers.
At any rate, none of said items were in the middle of the counter, nor in the way of a proper cleaning of the area. Yet, when I returned from dinner, there were my toiletries and my underwear (the latter neatly folded), sitting like a sanitary little family lounging on a pristine white washcloth.
Lest you say, come on, Laura, give the maid a break…she was just trying to keep everything clean, I will ask you, why did the fastidious factotum (look it up) also choose to move some loose change, a bottle of vitamins, and my cell phone from the coffee table in the living room to the valet stand in the bedroom? Such a move could easily have resulted in leaving said property behind.
In fact, I have had friends report losing items after a hotel housekeeper unilaterally decided to rearrange a room. In the most extreme case, one well-traveled colleague reports the housekeeper actually unpacked her suitcase and put items in closets and drawers. Lost in the shuffle--a pair of glasses and a favorite sweater.
So, to the overzealous housekeeper, I say do keep it clean, but please do not disturb.