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Lunch » Tags » Untagged » Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality » User review

Laugh Out Loud Funny

  • May 4, 2013
I love reading about unusual experiences and occupations. You learn the inside of the hotel industry in HEADS IN BEDS. Tomsky started in the New Orleans hotel business and during this lively book moves into New York City.

The book is peppered with advice and yet the writing is exceptional. Yes, at times a bit profane but still fascinating writing.

On my way to New York, I was reading HEADS IN BEDS. Many people try to use a story to get an upgraded room when they check into a New York hotel. According to the author, these stories do not work. He worked for years as a front desk manager and heard all of the stories about birthdays, special events and first time experiences. What works? Cash.

I used the advice in my recent trip to try it. When I checked into my hotel, I didn't ask for any upgrade. When I gave the clerk my driver's license and credit card, I also gave him a $20 bill (called a baby brick in the book).

The man at the desk said, "Mr. Whalin, thank you very much. You need a better room. I'm going to upgrade you to a junior suite."

I don't know where they planned to put me in this 16 story hotel but I was moved to the corner room on the 15th floor. My view of the city was outstanding and I had a little larger room—all without asking and for a $20 tip. Remarkable. The advice in HEADS IN BEDS works. I recommend the book and the practice.
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About the reviewer
W. Terry Whalin ()
Ranked #120
I am an Acquisitions Editor at Morgan James Publishing. I have written more than 60 books for traditional publishers and for more than 50 magazines. My blog on The Writing Life has more than 1,100 searchable … more
About this product


Amazon Best Books of the Month, November 2012:Always tip. If you can’t tip, be nice. And if you can’t manage either, you might be better off unwrapping a new toothbrush every day. That’s just one lesson to be learned from Jacob Tomsky’s gonzo account of his years as a front-desk clerk at hotels in New Orleans and New York. From the glad-handing doormen to the unsung workers in the “back of the house,” Tomsky exposes the machinery and machinations that make luxury hotels run (if not always smoothly), advising his potential guests about whose palms to grease (and how much) in order to get that coveted park-view upgrade. Informative and mildly salacious,Heads in Bedsis an entertaining peek inside the places people go to get away, and the stunts they pull when they get there. --Jon Foro

Amazon Exclusive: An Essay by Jacob Tomsky

When I started working in hotels the computer screens glowed in one color, alien green, and the monitors were the size of boulders. We used to confidently toss comment cards in the trash (or, as we referred to it, file them in the “T” file) making them disappear forever. I used to cash checks by picking up the phone and speaking to another human being. Music in the lobby was usually provided by a piano player, who would swivel his head at passing guests with a ridiculous, pasty-looking smile as he tapped out non-offensive cover songs played with a non-offensive classical flourish.

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