Rime's Stuff

Housekeeper Hell

May 10, 2020

In February, I got a job as a housekeeper at a resort not too far from where I live.

Its easily the worst job I've ever had, and I've come very close to ragequitting several times. When I started writing this in March-ish, I had planned on leaving out a lot of reasons as to why I hate this job. But now, what with the pandemic forcing most places to close and my diminishing desire to return, I figure I'll go ahead and include them.

However, in the interest of avoiding putting potentially more vulnerable employees than I at risk of retaliation from the company, I won't be naming it. All I'll say is that you can find several horrible reviews and fake-sounding 5-star reviews of this company online.

If you're desperate for a job like I was (and am), you'll probably find yourself at a job fair. In the past I have never found these helpful; they demand too much social interaction and I never make a good enough impression on anyone to even get an interview. But I still went to this one, if only because it made me feel like I was doing something.

After walking past the usual bullshit (multi-level marketing scams, police departments, call centers, etc) I manage to come out of there with some good impressions made and some applications filled out. Only one of them got back to me, and I was scheduled for an interview shortly after.

The interview was the first red flag. The impression I got from the interviewer was that she was willing to hire anyone who walked in the door, and the things she was telling me seemed a little too good. In retrospect, the interview kind of reminded me of the time I went to a Cutco presentation as a teenager, in that neither interviewer seemed to care if you were a good fit for the company or if you had the skills required to do the job expected of you. As long as you didn't actively and intentionally make a bad impression, they'd hire you as quickly as possible.

And get hired quickly I did. At the time this was a big relief, so I just kinda brushed aside how off-putting the interview was aside.

Very quickly, I learned that the things she told me about the job were misleading at best. These included

The amount of time required to clean a unit
I was told some ridiculously low time, like half an hour to an hour max. Since the job pays per unit cleaned instead of by the hour, I thought this seemed reasonable. Even if you did nothing but clean the small units all day, your income would still translate to over minimum wage.

In reality, units take at least an hour and a half if you're cleaning them according to their guidelines, and usually more depending on how nasty the unit is. I would frequently be criticized about how slow I was, and one day I was even sent home because of it. Once, in an attempt to speed up, I didn't inspect every single dish; I just shined my flashlight over them briefly without taking them out, and didn't bother at all with the ones that looked like they hadn't been moved (there's a specific way we have to arrange dishes when we set up a unit). The next time I worked, I was called back to that unit to clean a sinkful of dishes the person inspecting the unit after me had prepared for me. Some of these dishes were fine by the way; they might've had one (1) water stain somewhere on them.

I would do the math on what I had earned during any given shift, and my hourly rate would usually be in the $2-3/hr range instead of what I was promised during the interview. Of course, some of this was due to being slow from inexperience, but after my training period ended they refused to train me more when I asked. Which brings me to my next point,

The amount of training I was told I would receive
During the interview, I was told that new employees received 2 weeks of paid training, at $10/hr. Since I had no housekeeping experience, I knew I was gonna be slow and unlikely to earn the numbers mentioned above early on, so I thought this sounded pretty fair.

But when I sat through my new employee onboarding meeting, I was told the training period was actually only 3 days. And of those 3 days, I only ended up getting 2 of them. On what would've been my third day, I was told that the employee training me said that I was doing fine and was turned into a unit on my own. I brought up the 2 weeks number a few times, but was told that the training period had always been 3 days. When I checked my e-mail later on, I realized that one of the e-mails I was sent phrased it as "up to" 2 weeks, which when compared to the reality is so misleading it might as well be a blatant lie.

So based on the information thus far, this is a company that:
      lies about the amount/length of time the work takes to do
      does not adequately train its new employees, reducing the chances of them completing the work in the timeframe given
      punishes those employees for being slow
      also punishes those employees when they try to work in the timeframe established by the company

We're off to a great start, but don't worry: It gets worse!

Another problem that became apparent soon after starting the job were technical difficulties. There is a site housekeepers have to log in to on their phones to perform various tasks, the most important of which were seeing which units they're assigned that day and seeing the current week's schedule.

From day one, it never worked for me. Most of the time, I would get an error message every time I visited the log in page. When I would get my manager to do whatever the fuck she did to get the log in page to display correctly, it wouldn't accept my log in info. When I would do a password reset, the e-mail would never come. I tried several times to no avail.

I also tried and failed to get my manager to do anything about it. She knew I couldn't access the site and knew about the problems I had as a result, because I complained about it constantly. She would either ignore me or give me non-committal answers about talking to IT, but she never did.

What were these issues? One was that I had to talk to people in the office get my work for that day. Sometimes they'd be busy or not even there yet, so I'd just have to sit and wait for someone to turn up before starting my shift. Another was that instead of using the site to mark when I started and stopped with a unit, I had to call or text someone in the office. I didn't always have their phone numbers, so there were times I had to use the landline in the unit, and I wouldn't always get through. Allegedly there was a groupchat the housekeepers use that I could've also used, but no one ever bothered to invite me to it. I suspect this was intentional but I can't really prove it at the moment.

The absolute worst part though was with schedules. Not having access to my schedule was the number one thing that made me want to quit. New schedules were posted every sunday to the site and to the whiteboard in the office. Because I couldn't access the site, the only way I could see my schedule was in the office. And up until just before the pandemic, I was not scheduled sundays. So monday would roll around and I would have no idea when or if I was working.

I would text the numbers I had and I wasn't always guaranteed an answer. One time, I got a "yes you're working today" from someone in the office and I assumed that my schedule started at 10AM, because that was the time I had been coming in up until that point. When I get there at 10AM, I find out I was supposed to be there at 9AM. Another time, I didn't get an answer as to whether or not I worked until over an hour after I was supposed to be there. But don't worry, I was "allowed" to come in late that day!

And another time, my manager actually took the initiative tell me that I worked... after 10PM the night before. No start time given, just "You work tomorrow" and "Thanks", twenty minutes from 11PM. Fortunately I happened to wake up a little after 6AM and had time to ask when to get there. It was 8AM. Less than 2 hours notice. If I had slept any later, I wouldn't have been able to make it!

She also had the nerve to text me "??" when I asked her if she knew anything about my log-in issue being fixed. No other response. This was kind of my breaking point, and after a whole day of not addressing the problem (we were literally, at most, a few minute walk from each other all day), the next morning I threatened to go to the GM if she kept this up. I know IT stuff can be hard and I didn't expect it to be fixed instantly, all I wanted was some indication, at all, that steps were being taken to correct it. This finally got something resembling an appropriate (if condescending) response from her, but ultimately it didn't result in any changes. All that really happened was that I started being scheduled on sundays.

To be fair this was partly due to the expected increase in work they usually get when the weather warms up, and as March dragged on the lack of response on the issue I was having could have been due to the pandemic hitting the US which might cause IT people to stay at home. However, neither of these things change the fact that my manager knew about this problem for weeks and told me she would fix it but didn't.

So not only does the company misrepresent the actual nature of working there, but the people above you give absolutely no shits about the problems their employees have.

There were other aspects of the job that were high-octane bullshit too. Like the fact that there were several unused golf karts in the parking lot, but we were expected to drive our own cars around the property. And of course the very high turnover rate. Out of the handful of people who started at the same time as me, I was the only one left by the end of March. Even people who had been there longer than me were dropping like flies. One woman in the office, who actually seemed to give a fuck about anything, later described the place as "hell" to me one of the times I was texting everybody trying to figure out when I worked. Seeing so many coworkers disappearing over the weeks felt like being in a slow-burn slasher movie.

They were so short-staffed for a while that they actually promoted me. I had new responsibilities and was told I would be paid hourly instead of per unit cleaned, at $12/hr. I'd also be allowed to drive the golf karts! Of course, like everything else so far with this place, what I was told was not reflected by reality. During my short stint in this position, I still had to use my own car a lot because I could never figure out where the keys to the golf karts were. Also, my first paycheck I got after my promotion was a far cry from $12/hr. It was $9.66/hr. But the Pay Details section of that paystub said my pay rate was $11/hr??

There were two more pay periods after that before I had to quit when I showed symptoms of the virus. One of them shows that I was "paid" at $12/hr, and the most recent one says I was "paid" at... $22/hr?? And both paystubs say my official payrate is $11/hr. I have absolutely no idea what the fuck payroll was doing here and I'm afraid to look at my previous paychecks to see what potential nonsense they hold.

You might have noticed I put the word paid in quotation marks up there. You want to know why? Its because I never received these checks. I had hoped they would be direct deposited to me when the whole company itself shut down, but I have yet to receive them. They have my direct deposit info, I gave it to them when I started (though for some reason they only gave me paper checks during my time there). Its only when I look farther down on these paystubs that I see that what I can see of the direct deposit info is completely fucking wrong. The last four numbers are wrong, the account type is wrong.

No one has been working there so I haven't been able to get an answer. Allegedly the company is going to re-open in some capacity this coming week, so hopefully I can get to the bottom of this. But according to some reviews I've read there's a chance that I won't get my money, so I shouldn't hold my breath. However things work out, the thrilling conclusion will be posted here

Mar 22, 2021

Been a lil while, huh? My missing paychecks problem was solved a lot quicker than I expected. Basically, the company decided to switch paper check employees to a pay card during the time they were closed... even though they had my direct deposit information. Weird that they never just used that, but whatever. I was mailed the pay card and all was well.

Until they wouldn't stop fucking e-mailling me, that is.

During quarantine they would e-mail employees bullshit "we care about you and hope you're doing well (:", but when businesses started opening again, they also started e-mailing former employees inviting them to work again. By this point I had decided that I wasn't going to work there again for anything, so at the first e-mail I responded saying I wasn't interested. I also recieved a call from one of my old supervisors asking if I was coming back; I told him the same thing. I let two separate people at the company know I wasn't coming back, so I thought that was that. From that point on, they have constantly e-mailed me to tell me that they're hiring. I guess they never bothered to take me off their "former employees to harrass" list. Each time, I would reply back saying I wasn't interested. A human was behind the address doing it, I had spoken to her in person before and have gotten replies from the address before. Eventually I found her number and called her directly; she wasn't there, so I left a voice mail telling her to stop e-mailing me and that I'd rather work almost anywhere else than [Company]. It did stop the e-mails for a while, so I thought that took care of it... Until I started getting the exact same types of e-mail from another address at the company.

After enough of these I finally called the company's HR department and told them what was going on. I'm a former employee, I've made it clear to multiple people at the company that I don't want to come back but I keep getting contacted, etc. She sounded like she really didn't want to be there and didn't want to be talking to me(who can blame her?) and I was quickly transferred to recruiting. Who was closed. So, frustrated, I left another voicemail telling them the same thing I told the HR lady.

And so far... there's been nothing. But I'm not holding my breath. I'm not sure what to do if they continue to contact me. Its well past the point of harrassment I'd think, so if talking to supervisors, HR, and recruiting doesn't work, I guess I can send a complaint to somewhere Official. I hate to be a Karen, but this company really fucking sucks. It'd be nice to see them take a hit for the way they treat their employees.