Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Good and nasty trends in the BnB biz

Well, I've been open just over a year and as I anticipated, my first repeat customer came back and he's a keeper.  

I love this business and putting smiles on faces but after they leave, I give myself a little time to do the happy dance for a few minutes, and plunk myself down in front of the boob tube to relax, then I have to commence the laundry.  When  a full house booking leaves, I have to do 5 loads, and this blows.... my mind. I haven't done this much laundry in my life.  I've given up rushing it before 11am which my Hydro company strongly suggests.  Guests tend to get a little testy when I'm shoving them out of bed to do laundry before they are awake.  Second only to laundry is ironing all the pillowcases and duvet covers.  Oh, duvets are the bane of my existence.  Stuffing the quilt back in without wrinkling the hell out of it is almost an impossibility.  I actually had an "Iron Off" contest with my man, who claimed the iron worked better than the new steamer.  I knew he'd lose but alas, I was wrong, AGAIN!  And to add insult to injury, I was ironing wrong too- I'm not doing circles and I should be.  Finally, I have three rooms and I am often running a full dishwasher 3, yes THREE times a day.  Now I don't mind filling a dishwasher as my house gets to look cleaner but man I hate emptying it.  Now here is the kicker.  My house is full a lot, and business is good, so the water man sniffs out a money leak and bills me twice my monthly rate.  I thought it was that the previous month wasn't automatically deducted.  Nope, it's all the damned soaker tubs that have caught on, in spades, and the showers, and dishwasher and washing machine running and finally some for the gardens, but not much.  This has been a rainy season in Ottawa.  TWICE the price!!!!  Next  person enjoying the soaker tub will either be dragged out of there kicking and screaming, or everyone will be sharing the water and taking turns, like the good old days when I was knee-high to a grasshopper.  And speaking of nature...   
So this weekend was bizarre.  I had a full house and at 5am woke up to use the facilities and so glad that I could go back to sleep for another 1 1/2 hours.  Then I heard it...chirp.  Bird? Chirp! Cricket? Chirp...wth!  It's the smoke detector in the basement just outside the occupied bedroom.  OMG, what do I do.  I have no idea how to change a smoke detector in the dark, since I only "technically" test it twice a year and replace the batteries often.  Hmmmmm.  That's all all I'm going to say about that.  I was wearing a ratty flannel bathrobe which was missing most of the buttons, and experiencing menopausal heat waves to rival an industrial furnace.  I couldn't take the box off the ceiling and tried many times until it came to me to unscrew it. Chirp. Ecstatic, off it came after the third attempt to the basement,  Chirp,  and I saw the wires- I was so sure it wasn't wired, chirp, which I've read will make the detector scream when you take the battery pacifier out of it's unit.  Chirp! Back upstairs to work on breakfast.  Chirp!  The liquid sunshine was just pouring off my very very very stressed body.  What on earth would you do? It's like working with a time bomb.   If you remove the battery, it will either scream a long time and wake up everyone or if you remove the battery, it will scream up to 10 seconds and probably just wake up the basement crew.    Then a miracle happened.  The engineer sleeping in the basement came up and we discussed the chirping and I found a million new ways to apologize.  Funny thing is, he said no one could even hear it.  Hear I am thinking everyone are sitting on their own beds, wild haired and cleaning their illegal in Canada rifles.  When they finally all woke up to my many more apologies, they told me they heard the noise and thought it was something like cicadas from outside.  All that worrying for nothing.   So my suggestion to you.  If you don't want to sweat buckets for three hours, over smoke detectors going off randomly in the middle of the night, for the love of god, change the batteries.  
I'm looking forward to another wedding booking.  The guests are coming in random days and I will delight them with pampering.  Just had a group last weekend and after feeding them a feast, they needed ironing and a sewing machine so one could create her dress a mere hours before.  It was chaotic and fun, and once dressed, I gave the guest some bling to wear for the occasion and wine when they returned.  

As an aside, the night previous, an elderly Frenchman came in with a handful of cash and his translator, asking if I had a beer he could buy.  I ransacked my sorry little embarrassment of a liquor cabinet and found 26ers with sips left and a sad old man reassuring me it was ok.  Then ureka, an airline bottle of scotch.  Woohoo.  Another happy customer, as I tucked his money inside his pocket.  They told me at the end of the weekend that they had a simply dreadful time and the highlight of their trip was being at Spoiled Rotten and that's why I run a Bed and Breakfast.  Now go change your smoke detector batteries.  

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