Friday, 16 December 2011

My sister’s wedding……


Indian weddings are termed as the real fat weddings. Fat in every way, the celebrations, the emotions and the people involved….Witnessed one closely, as my own kid sister was getting married. I guess I have observed it even closer than my own wedding.
The venue was decided almost a year ago. The shopping started as early. Since it was going to be at the boy’s hometown, mutually agreed upon venue, the family had to shift base a couple of days before the D day. It was a nice family outing and meeting of relatives, people we hadn’t met in years; it was totally a family time! reliving the old memories.
Each event be it Sangeet, Mahendi, Haldi was perfect. Everyone participated whole heartedly and had loads of fun. Many cultures came in together by virtue of us siblings marrying into different communities and adding our friends to the brood. Each event had the flavour of the different cultures, that’s when I realized how rich the Indian culture is and how closely we all are bonded. We had Bengalis (brother’s in laws) Punjabis, Gujaratis, Paharis, Maharashtrians even south Indians… we had a mini India at the bungalow we were staying in.
As the D day drew closer, it started getting emotional. Most emotional for the bride to be and her dad. My dad had a tough job as a marine commando but at heart he is a man who loves his children (grand children even more!)… we are his world.
The wedding day saw a perfect weather; the venue was all decked up to host the newlyweds, their families, friends and well wishers, the rituals went off as planned by punditji. The groom and the baraat was received with the traditional arti, tika and a lot of warmth and festivity. The crackers started to burst announcing the arrival of the groom ready to be with his beloved, being a part of his new extended family.
The food was great, showed the true hospitality of the north. There were counters for snacks to different cuisines, a juice bar, desserts and the pan bar. The guests’ had a good time, according to them the venue and the food was perfect. All credit for the choice goes to our brother who personally looked into the minute details.
The actual marriage ceremony (the pheras ) was scheduled for 1.30 am. The pundits were in rhythm reciting the mantras; we all loved listening to their chorus. It was divine. Finally, it was time to send the bride with her groom, the car decorated in floral finery waiting for them. To me this was the most emotional moment. Vidaai is the most difficult and emotional moment of our fat weddings….. As we said goodbye to the new couple, everyone was teary eyed. Dad just couldn’t stop crying, he just couldn’t control himself. That’s when I realized how he must have felt when he gave me away in marriage.  I always felt the need to have a daughter, I always wished for one (I have two sons) but at that moment I don’t think I missed that and I won’t ever complain.
We are happy that our princess in married into a good family and has got a loving man as her husband but we miss her….. Especially dad. Just learnt how fathers are when it comes to their daughters. even the toughest of men can go all weak for their daughters. No wonder a daughter is called  a "father's girl".


Thursday, 10 November 2011

My wish list...

If I had to make a wish list of things that I would buy from Quendo - luxury gateway of western fashion and accessories. It would be a list of something for my entire family. Right from my Father in law to the kids and also for my maid. I love to share the previliges I get, no matter how big or small they are. So would have a gift picked for everyone and handed over to them on the eve of the new year. Everyone will welcome the New Year 2012 with the surprise.... I am sure it'll bring a smile on everyones' face. That hapiness is priceless to me!!

If I got 2 extra hours in a day, how would I spend them?

“Time is free, but it’s priceless,
 You can’t own it, but you can use it.
You can’t keep it, but you can spend it.
Once you’ve lost it, you can’t get it back”
-          Harvey Mackey.

If I got two extra hours in a day how would I spend them?
Well if you think of it we have 24 hours in a day, if I was given another 2 hours it would just be “Me” time.
I would sleep for half an hour more, as it’s supposed to be therapeutic, catch up on my beauty sleep! And the next half an hour that I have will be purely for exercising and meditation as the saying goes, “A healthy mind is in a healthy body”. The remaining hour will be for my kids. Of that half an hour will be the interaction time and half an hour will be ‘story time’.
The rest of the 24 hours are of course planned or taken for granted! They are well utilized both for personal and professional means. In fact life is more of clock work. It keeps ticking. With Modern technology and mechanization we do have a lot of time at our hands for doing what our heart desires. A lady doesn’t have to keep herself occupied with the household chores in her waking hours but she can use the modern gadgets like the Mixer grinder, pressure cooker, Microwave oven, Washing machine, dish washer and loads of others to do her work in a jiffy and with precision.  Technology and inventions are used for better efficiency and more free time. She can think of having a career and leading a fulfilling personal life. Managing her roles well and not feeling guilty about not giving her 100%. Today’s woman is lucky in many ways. She is smart enough to understand that and make the most of it.
My generation has seen the transition in a big way. When I was a kid, my mom switched from a kerosene stove to the LPG stove, we got our scooter, the mixer grinder, refrigerator, electric oven. Then came the water filter, later replaced by Aqua guard. Life seemed to be so much easier already. Soon to join was the food processor, double door refrigerator, scooter was replaced by the family car, and the washing machine was fully automatic with even a 6th sense and the microwave entered the kitchen. I felt there could not have been better inventions; the mundane chores hardly required you to break your head at them. Instead you had so much more free time that you could use it for much more and get much more from your life! Voila!!
When I got married and moved into my own house, these gadgets got me going and I understood their importance in my life. I see myself as a successful home maker and a career woman. It would not have been possible without these modern gadgets.
 A quote by Stacey Charter summarizes my ideas and beliefs about time.
“Life is all about timing, the unreachable becomes reachable, the unavailable becomes available, the unattainable … attainable. Have patience, wait it out… it’s all about timing.”

Thursday, 20 October 2011

My good hair moment...

A celebrity is any well-known TV or movie star who looks like he spends more than two hours working on his hair.  ~Steve Martin
Hair brings one's self-image into focus; it is vanity's proving ground.  Hair is terribly personal, a tangle of mysterious prejudices.  ~Shana Alexander
I was always blessed with thick, black hair. They were also long till my mom used to take care of them. That included oiling, washing, oiling again and tying them into neat plaits. Readying me for school. One fine day I asked mom whether she didn’t feel that I should manage my own things, I was probably 11 years old then. That’s the last time mom washed my hair… I was in my 7th grade had a haircut soon after I took things on my own hand, it was a Bob cut. Life got busy and I didn’t bother oiling or taking any care of my hair. My hair still looked great, Everyone loved the volume it had.
Taking care of my hair actually started when I was in college. I guess that’s when everyone starts paying attention to how one looks. The evenings at the girls’ hostel used to be fun. We would have all the beauty regimens going on right from waxing, pedicures, manicures to the face masks. Most important being the hair care activities. Saturday evening would be the day for oiling the hair. One girl would do it for the other and the favour would be returned. At times it used to be quite a sight to see a queue of 10 girls one behind the other and giving the one in the front a nice head massage. My hair looked the best then. It got the nutrition from food (was quite a balanced diet as I was studying in a catering college where menu planning was quite an integral part of the whole mess affair), regular oiling, head massage and use of a good shampoo and conditioner.
This followed all the while till I was married and had my elder son. With the baby requiring my attention, me going back to work and managing things at home too. Hair care was the last thing that was on my mind or I had the time for. The result was me losing a lot of hair. I guess I wasn’t loving my hair enough and in return it too didn’t give me the due attention. The companionship going kaput!
This went on till I had my second child. Now my kids are 5.2 years and 2.3 years old. I got an invite to attend the DoveSpa women blogger’s meet on 16th October 2011 by virtue of me joining the Indiblogger. I was seriously in luck. I am not a serious blogger and I just happened to be joining the other bloggers to see what they were doing. There I see the bloggers meet and the free gift hamper… wow, what else could I ask for! I registered for both anyway.
Then I was wondering whether to attend the event, it being a Sunday and I had loads of things lined up. My boys to take care of. I spoke to my in laws and parents about it. They asked me to go ahead and they would  manage the kids. With a possibility to be able to attend the event I started getting to know the other girls who were from my area and had registered for the event. I sort of became the group leader, we were travelling from really far!  We all decided to meet at a common point and travel together to the venue Four Seasons Hotel, Mumbai.
Sunday 16th October 2011, I dropped my boys at my parents place and headed to meet the other girls. Met all the girls (the Navi Mumbai gang, as we called ourselves) at the appointed time. What I learnt from them was they wouldn’t have made it if they had to travel alone. It was the same for me. It helped us interacting with each other and making it to the venue. Believe me the journey was hardly anything. We didn’t realize how time flew. We were at Four Seasons dot on time. We had a great time there enjoying everything that was arranged for us from the foot massage to hair wash and styling. Dove launched its new damage therapy hair care product, Nourishing oil care range. The presentation was really nice, a sort of eye opener for me… who had lost the romance that she had with her hair. It took me back to my college days. While I was getting a hair wash, the girl told me about the benefits of the new range and how it would make a difference to my gorgeous hair. I could  really feel the difference at the end of it, my hair which is dry and frizzy felt nice. This was probably my best hair moment. The Oil care range is meant for a person like me. Who has a super busy life managing home, kids and a career. I totally loved the new range of products that they gave us in the hamper and I have already started using them. I promise my hair that I’ll be back into the special relationship that I shared with it. Let the flame of love be lit all over again!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Your guide to the nine months and becoming a Yummy mummy

Hello!  It’s time for another blog entry….  I guess I should be more regular here. Will try!
This time let me write on ‘Yummy Mummy’!! 
I don’t really know what it means but have been reading the phrase here and there often. Since I am a mommy (have 2 lovely boys) people often tell me that I have maintained myself well. Just the other day I was chatting with a Dietician friend of mine after almost 8 years, on Facebook.  She had uploaded her children’s pictures but there wasn’t any of hers. I asked her to upload a few of her snaps too so that I could see how she looked after so many years. She said she couldn’t dare put up her pictures as she had put on a lot of weight during her second pregnancy and it didn’t shift at all. I was surprised to hear this coming from a Dietician.
A school friend of mine who is a full time homemaker and has a 6 years old daughter wanted tips on how to lose weight. I told her just two things, have a 9-6 job and have another child. Do the running around and you are fit as a fiddle and in shape too!  On a serious note if you are wondering, why people are seeking weight loss tips from me. The background is I put on around 20 kgs weight during both my pregnancies but managed to knock all of it both the times. My kids are three years apart. So my friends have seen the before and after effect both the times. I never joined any gym or went on a diet. But I ate smart and had a healthier lifestyle. A few changes here and there take you a long way! That’s exactly what I did.
This made me share my own story with the new mothers who are struggling to shift their weights after pregnancy. Especially the ones who cannot hit the gym or follow a diet plan and have busy lives. I am not an expert on the subject but what has worked for me I would like to share with others. Here’s your guide to the nine months and beyond to becoming a yummy mummy!
1.       Don’t get worried about the weight you put on during pregnancy.
These days when a woman learns that she is pregnant starts looking up on the internet for advice and tips. What used to come from the elder ladies in the joint family in the olden days now comes from many internet sites and there’s loads of advice out there like weight calculators, baby development charts etc. Believe me every pregnancy is different.  Even for the same woman the pregnancies will be quite different from each other. Don’t compare yourself with the other women. So don’t worry, eat healthy. Monitor your weight; the gynecologist will point it out to you if there is anything of concern.  

2.       Visit your gynecologist on schedule.
Maintain a diary and make sure that you follow the routine visits to your gynecologist. Note down any concerns/ questions that you may have. What happens is you have many things to ask and can’t recollect them when you are with your doctor. Keeping a diary comes handy. Always ask and clarify your doubts no matter how small or silly you feel they are. Nothing is silly, it could be bothering you so make sure you clear that doubt.

3.       Create and celebrate special moments.
Nine months is a long wait, your hormones are high and your body is changing. For some it’s a difficult change to handle. But create those special moments and understanding that why you react this way, is important. Keep your partner in confidence and share your emotions and anything new that you learn about this phase. Basically talk! He’ll understand you better and accept you with all the changes while the two of wait for your bundle of joy to arrive.

4.       Prepare for the new member to arrive home.
In the last trimester the moment you get into the 8th month. Make sure your home is ready for the new member to arrive. Keep the clothes ready. New ones to be washed, dried and be ready for use. Some babies are in a hurry to meet you, so you be prepared. In India some cultures believe that one should not keep the clothes and other stuff ready before the baby actually arrives. But there has to be some preparedness, otherwise it can get very tricky.

5.       Be mentally ready.
It is a time of anxiety, no matter how prepared you are. I have seen that the husband/ partner gets more panicky than the woman who is going to deliver. But when one knows what to expect, both for a natural delivery or a Cesarean section the anxiety is much less. Make sure you have briefed your partner too, it helps when he is ready as well.

6.       Baby comes home.
Now is the time when you eat healthy so that the baby gets good nutrition from you. In India especially in the North, women are given a good amount of ghee (clarified butter) and other things generally considered to be fattening. There are some women who refrain from taking them thinking that they’ll put on a lot of weight. Make sure you eat wisely, taking into account your nutritional requirements.

7.       Change your lifestyle to get back to your natural self.
Some ladies join gyms and go on diets just after the baby turns 3 months old. Now everyone has to adapt things to fit into her lifestyle. For some it’s just not possible to make time for the gym or other fitness activities, in that case, make some smart changes in your lifestyle.
Once the baby starts taking the top feed the calories and nutritional requirements for you changes. You don’t need so many calories now.  Have frequent smaller meals. May be instead of 3 large meals, it can be 6 smaller ones. Eat healthy. Have an early dinner. With the baby around you won’t get your beauty sleep but a mother’s body gets used to whatever sleep she manages.

8.       Have realistic weight loss targets.
When the child has already celebrated the first birthday, do a reality check on yourself when it comes to the weight. Work on how you wish to look. If you do some walking. May be just 30 minutes a day, a bit of exercise may be just 15 minutes in the morning and watched what you are eating. You’ll lose weight gradually.

What I did I watched what I was eating. I listened to my mother in law and had all that was traditionally given to a young mother (amongst the North Indians). That included ghee and other stuff made with Ghee, dry fruits, sugar/ jiggery etc.  I exclusively breast fed my kids till they were 5 months old and later just in the mornings and evenings when I went back to work. This went on till they were 1.5 years old. This helped me losing the remaining weight gradually.
I used to exercise for 15 minutes upon waking up. Walked to the station to take the train to work, which is just 10 minutes away. After getting off the train it’s again a 10 minutes’ walk to my work place. This is repeated in the evening as well when coming back home. So in all I walk for 40 minutes (in stages though) everyday. Also, I fast on Mondays, have only fruits that day. Apart from the religious sentiments it also cleanses your system. This is what I have done to lose the extra weight that came with my pregnancy.

Of the 20 kgs that I had put on during the entire pregnancy, 10 kgs was gone soon after delivery and the remaining 10 went off gradually. It took about 15 months for the remaining weight to shift. For my child’s second birthday I was back to my normal self. Everyone could see the difference. 20 Kgs is a good weight to shift! How I wish I had not given away some of my good clothes… thinking that I may never fit into them. I guess it’s a good idea to keep those clothes and take them out of their storage once in a while, that’ll keep you motivated to reach your goal quicker and you’ll remain focused.

9.        Take pride in yourself.
Be your own critique. Be happy with yourself and accept the real woman…. you!  Pay a bit of attention to your appearance and spend a little bit of time taking pampering yourself just the way you do for numerous other things. You may not look like the models on the magazine covers but you’ll be a confident new mother. This confidence in you gives the new meaning to your life and you are the Yummy Mummy!

Friday, 30 September 2011

Indian women are stressed....

A recent Nielsen survey of 6,500 women across 21 different nations, Indian women are the most stressed in the world today. An overwhelming 87% of Indian women said they felt stressed most of the time, and 82% reported that they had no time to relax.
The Nielsen survey's respondents blame the difficulty of juggling multiple roles at home and work. Career opportunities for women in "the New India" are rapidly expanding, but family expectations and social mores remain rooted in tradition.

                                  Reading this I thought of introspection. Certainly it is alarming…. Indian society has rules and its difficult to break from them. In fact the educated working woman is more stressed and of what I see I somehow agree with it so thought of checking out with my own set of friends (both males and females).
A friend responded, “Agree! Also, not to miss the stress of missing a train or a bus to work”. She lives in Mumbai where every waking moment is clockwork, especially for the working class.
I asked another friend what was her stress?
To which she replied, “I do get stressed when I try to be ideal in all roles... for some years now, I have given up being "ideal" and have started taking all roles as they come - no more of stress now - in some roles I guess I am doing really bad but I guess that is ok with me. I can’t change rules & expectations so changed myself :) ”
Another friend said, “Not true....life is not a competition at office or at home. Be what you are and do what you can. At the end when you fall sick nobody will be there to look after you other than your husband...... Count on your individuality because you have one life and if you think of living for others, then when are you going to live for yourself.....all the rankings as best wife, best daughter in law, best employee will not do much for yourself.... think of your health first and then live your life...
The friend says, “you said it right - the educated woman is more stressed because she knows too many things and tries to excel in everything. There were days when I have felt my maid servant has a better life than me - not anymore :) ”
I knew what she meant and I also know a lot of women who were on the same boat. But education does give one the logic to hold the strings and be in control of herself.
A professor friend (male) of mine reacted to the question, “Correct! May be more. In a seminar where they stressed on retraining of women teachers I had to argue that unless you change the social attitudes this is useless. A woman gets up at five in the morning, cooks breakfast and readies the children for school, leaves herself for school to teach, comes back and cooks lunch for the family, then teaches her children, home work etc, then evening tea, dinner and sleeps at 11pm.Besides other household chores to complete. If there are more members, more stress and more work. So please change this environment first and then talk of re-training etc. And this is just one example, what to say of lower middle class and the poor? After this there was absolute silence! ”
Another male friend  commented on the professor’s remark, “I agree to the latter part of your statement , but I think they are capable of handling both home and work.”
Now only the males are discussing the issue. Another one chips in
“when we were growing up there was a lot of talk about women empowerment and how they should have freedom to work and I tended to agree. But now I realize women in India have to juggle 2 jobs. They are always full time house wife, this job profile never leaves them and additionally they have to work to provide additional income. It is less of a choice then a matter of necessity. Two jobs mean double the stress no wonder 80% of them are stressed. Now I think our traditional set up was better suited to provide better support. Government  is doing something good in this regard as it gives 2 yrs of paid rest to working mothers”.
To this one more friend commented, “ Working for money is the woman's choice. She is never forced to work. Today's so called 'liberated women' find it compulsory to work to prove something. (exceptions exist for every rule) What has happened is that you tend to find your identity in your job. Go back to your natural roles as the homemakers and you will find that though you have lesser 'say' in the marriage, you have a more fulfilling life: stress free! (provided you can recognise that the man respects you as much for your contribution in his family)
Now turn for my female friends
One says, “Its true and thats the challenge every woman takes and comes out as a winner. You are the creator of your own destiny..and everyone should be thinking they are individuals without gender bais....if we want to work let us work and find space for others happiness if we have committed our lives to those people be it our parents , our family... Stop complaining and being worried!!!! “
A college friend of mine shared her views, “Wow...so many comments! My two cents worth... I felt exactly like you said till a few years ago when I gave up trying to be the 'ideal' anything! I am happy to be who I am, with my strengths and 'non' strengths! I now do what gets me happiness in the time that I have! Only a happy me can spread happiness! It works for me and my family and that's what matters!”
To this comes the guy who didn’t somehow support the study, “Why does nobody consider what stress the man has to go through? I feel today's educated husbands are going through more stress than women! ”
No one is denying that, but women have always been on the receiving end ,for centuries.
He adds,I agree...but it may be the case of 'crying baby gets the milk'...men never complained...today's husband to wife -father to child (combined with the huge task of providing a roof) is a BIG job profile!
BTW, I think I and  Prof. are definitely comparing different types of wives. I've seen wives/mothers who get up at 8am since they insist on their beauty sleep, supervise the servants who come to wash clothes, cook breakfast, dust & clean the house, wash the utensils. Later they supervise the nanny who looks after their child. They make the effort to call up the driver, ensure that the car is cleaned properly, go to office. When these 'abala naaris' return from office, they make the effort to halt at the market on the way and buy food of their own choice. (The husband has already given up trying to suggest menu) The cook prepares dinner while the children return home from their playground/tuitions with the nanny... STOP this gender discrimination! Everybody can be stressed regrdless of age, sex etc.”
A study might show that men are 100 % stressed, but that won’t change the thing for women. The discussion really got interesting so I thought of sharing it on a larger platform and feature it on my blog!
I am not a feminist I believe in equality, May be my traditional upbringing has made be more like my mom and mom in law who, to me are ideal in every role that they have played. I have the additional urge to have a career and I am able to do so with the help of these two women. I can never measure up to them but I am happy who I am. Everyone is important including "Me"...

Monday, 22 August 2011

Herd mentality....

My thoughts on the herd mentality….
We human beings have evolved from the apes… We are animals definitely… civilized may be! I have seen this being lived and relived by all of us each day.
In fact in my teaching career it has come as an example proving my theory all the time.  Let me share this with you, you can try it too. Ask a question that the group may not be very familiar with and pick one person to answer it. Don’t give your feedback or let the group know that that was  not what you were looking at as an answer and cliff hanger it to another person from the group. The second person’s answer will always be picking up cue from the first person. Try it with some more people and you’ll get very innovative wrong answers inspired by the first person’s thoughts.
You may wonder how so many people answer on the same lines as the first person spearheading it. Not once I see it happening almost always and across all age groups. My students have been in the age group of 17 years to 50 years. And I do share this theory with all my students. Make it happen in their class and make them realize how sub consciously we do it.
We take this mentality to every sphere of our lives be it in the family, among friends, peer group, colleagues and even on social issues. We get influenced by someone else’s opinion so much so that we forget that each one of us have the power to use the grey matter bestowed on us. Why do we let ourselves be the second fiddle?
We need to accept the difference of opinions and the power of a good debate. Ultimately what comes out of a healthy debate is something that’s sustainable, viable and acceptable by all.Even on social causes we have the media going gaga over issues that hardly need so much of our newsprint and airtime….. but we will live with our herd mentality!!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Changing face of hotel housekeeping


Housekeeping was an area not taken by many students from the catering colleges. There were more graduates from the other streams working as housekeepers. When I graduated in 1997 from IHM Mumbai and joined a reputed hotel group we were only 5 Management Trainees from all over the country, who had taken Housekeeping as a career. We were a batch of 45 Management trainees. The work place was dominated by lady housekeeping managers and the room attendants were all men.
…..I used to wonder why men couldn’t be good housekeepers. And felt that there was certainly a need and there were plenty of opportunities not just in India but also in countries overseas.

Housekeeping is a science more than an art. It requires men, material resources and machines in a good balance. It requires you to have an exceptional eye for detail and good people skills. Can men and women be different at these qualities?

I would say “no” Men are also more open to different shift timings, which can be an advantage for the hotel.
It requires you to prepare for the job and when I was in the catering college I knew I had to take up accommodation operations as there was so much to learn there. We were handling interiors, taking care of all the areas, be it floors, restaurants and other public areas, had a fabulous inventory to maintain and manage and also handling the largest department in terms of manpower and area covered. There was something new to learn each day. The toiletries were changing, the chemicals were improving and more automation was coming in the department. I joined the industry at the time when there was transition happening. SOPs were being made for all operations and were getting standardized.

I think a lot has happened in the last 10 years. Today you walk into any hotel you’ll find quite a few male housekeepers.  Many executive housekeepers are men and yes they are also going on to becoming the General Managers of the hotels.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Good hotel housekeeping begins with experiencing the product before delivering it.

Experience the product that you deliver….
A business keeps its customers by treating them Right every time!
A consistently superior customer experience cultivates customer loyalty, strengthens the brand value and gives better revenues.  It also turns the customers into advocates of the company. In today’s hyper competitive market, it’s just not enough to have the best product at a nominal price. To sustain and progress the business must deliver a great customer experience – a delight! Hotels must deliver superior guest experience from his view point.
In my hospitality career, spanning over a decade and a half, I have met people right from the entry level staff to the General Managers and Managing Directors. All these interactions have been extremely fruitful; each one has been a learning experience.  When I joined as a Management trainee with a reputed 5 star hotel I got to learn a lot about hotel operations that I hadn’t learned in my student days. Also it brought about a few questions on my mind. When working in the housekeeping department I came across Room attendants who were on the job for more than 25 years. They were good in what they were doing but didn’t understand some finer nuances of the trade. I always wondered why and started looking out for those answers.
I have seen room attendants who haven’t ever used the rooms that they make.  For that matter, even the Executive Housekeepers may have worked in the same property for many years but would’ve never stayed a day in the hotel room or had a shower in the rooms that they are responsible for. They would’ve never experienced the services that they provide to the others. When it comes to the chefs and the kitchen staff they have to test and then taste the dishes on the menu. The same applies to the Food and beverage service staff, each dish or a drink is reviewed before it finally sees itself on the menu card. But we don’t look at the room as a product. In fact it’s a product that gives the highest revenue to the hotel. It deserves the same level of commitment that goes for the items on the menu. The Guestroom is the customer’s personal space for the time that he is staying at the hotel. Housekeeping staff are the eyes and ears of the hotel as they get the first hand feedback of the guest experience or feedback.
Housekeeping staff need to know what happens when they make the bed a bit tighter, or ignore the areas below the vanity counter or the area under the WC.  Sometimes the guest gets no soaps and at other times two present in a packet, or no shower get but two shampoos printed with writing that is so small that its impossible to read while you are in a shower. Guest keeps certain amenities in the place of his convenience but while cleaning the room housekeeping attendant tucks them away at a different place that is the standard for placement of amenities. This can get annoying for the guest. Are we giving what the guest wants and how he wants it or are we imposing our standards on him.
This situation can be altered when we make our Housekeeping staff stay in the rooms for a day or two to experience the services and understand the product that they deliver. They’ll learn about the aspects that they need to focus on or areas that they can’t afford to overlook.  For example when lying down on the bed the guest can see below the writing table, if it is dusty, it is visible to him. Whereas while checking the room Housekeeping staff may have overlooked. Similarly while having a bath the guest can see the areas below the vanity counter and the WC. So these areas require the same attention as the vanity counter or the mirror. And many of such minute details which add up to the guest experience.
Housekeeping department should evaluate their Standard Operating Procedures and practices making sure that they are guest friendly at the same time convenient for the staff. Guest feedback can come very handy here. The key is to make the Housekeeping staff experience the product that they deliver – the guest room and its facilities. Thus they can give a zero defect, comfortable room to the guest.