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Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality | [Jacob Tomsky]

Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality

Jacob Tomsky has worked in hotels for more than a decade, doing everything from valet parking to manning the front desk. He's checked you in, checked you out, separated your white panties from the white bed sheets, parked your car, tasted your room service, cleaned your toilet, denied you a late check out, given you a wake-up call, eaten M&Ms out of your mini-bar, laughed at your jokes, and taken your money. And in Heads in Beds, he pulls back the curtain on the hospitality business.
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Publisher's Summary

In the tradition of Kitchen Confidential and Waiter Rant, a rollicking, eye-opening, fantastically indiscreet memoir of a life spent (and misspent) in the hotel industry.

Jacob Tomsky has worked in hotels for more than a decade, doing everything from valet parking to manning the front desk. He's checked you in, checked you out, separated your white panties from the white bed sheets, parked your car, tasted your room service, cleaned your toilet, denied you a late check out, given you a wake-up call, eaten M&Ms out of your mini-bar, laughed at your jokes, and taken your money. And in Heads in Beds, he pulls back the curtain on the hospitality business, revealing the crazy yet compelling reality of an industry we think we know. It is an incredibly funny, authentic, and irreverent chronicle of the highs and lows of hotel life and boy, is there a market for it: in 2010, the American lodging industry generated $127.7 billion in revenue. Prepare to be amused, shocked, and amazed as he spills the unwritten code of the bellhops, the antics that go on the valet parking garage, and the housekeeping department's dirty little secrets.

Prepare to be moved, too, by his insightful honesty about the profession; employees are often poorly paid and frequently abused. However, Heads in Beds is more than just a memoir. Jake explains the secrets of the industry, offering easy and legal ways to get what you need from your hotel without any hassle - from scoring late check-ins and upgrades to getting that pay-per-view charge knocked off your bill. This book will give you the knowledge you need to get the very best service from any hotel or property, from any business that makes its money from putting heads in beds. Or, at the very least, it will keep the bellhops from taking your luggage into the camera-free back office and stomping the crap out of it.

©2012 Jacob Tomsky (P)2012 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"Jacob Tomsky is a star. The kid writes like a dream. Heads in Beds is hilarious, literate, canny, indignant and kind - revealing an author who manages somehow to be both a total hustler and a complete humanitarian. I love this book. Keep an eye on this writer. I'm telling you, he's a star." (Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (433 )
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  •  
    colleen ANCHORAGE, AK, United States 01-20-13
    colleen ANCHORAGE, AK, United States 01-20-13 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "credit worthy"

    Novel view of the hotel and service industries. It kept my attention and made me laugh.

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Grant NANTUCKET, MA, United States 03-10-13
    Grant NANTUCKET, MA, United States 03-10-13 Member Since 2008

    caffeinated

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The presidential suite of audiobooks"

    I travel on business a lot. I stay in hotels over 150 nights a year. This book was not only entertaining and a pleasure to listen to (Thomsky is a natural reader/actor/performer), it gave me some real insight and tips for how I should approach my stays in hotels. Funny as hell. Full of interesting stories. And the author experienced something of a dramatic arc from beginning to end. Very well done.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Abigail URBANA, IL, United States 12-03-12
    Abigail URBANA, IL, United States 12-03-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Funny, honest writing."

    I love that the author read it because you are experiencing the moments as he intended. I think anyone who has ever had any job in a service industry would completely appreciate this book. The writing is crass at times but that is how people talk. People who are not ok with crass or crude humor should probably not read this.... or work at a hotel. I love crude, honest, and brutal humor and real-life observations and telling it like it is so I absolutely loved this book.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Spokane, WA, United States 02-05-13
    Kim Spokane, WA, United States 02-05-13 Member Since 2009

    Addicted to audiobooks & podcasts. 5 Stars=I Loved It, 4 Stars=Enjoyed it Thoroughly, 3=Kinda Good, 2=Bad/Boring, 1=Complete Waste of Credit

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    "Entertaining & Informative"

    This is how an "industry insider" book should be done - exactly the right mix of industry secrets, hilarious anecdotes, and personal details all wrapped up in a neat package. Bravo to the author for his wit, his willingness to dish the dirt, and the wisdom to narrate it himself. I can't wait to try out the mini-bar trick to see if it works (maybe I'll try it in a friend's room first). This would be a perfect book to listen to on a plane or during a long car ride - by the time you get to your destination, you could score a room upgrade!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachel Bremerton, WA, United States 01-04-13
    Rachel Bremerton, WA, United States 01-04-13 Member Since 2012
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    "If only it was longer....."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Heads in Beds to be better than the print version?

    Not sure but I would assume yes due to the amazing performance by the author. Knowing his own characters he brought them to life in a way that I would not have been so bold to create myself.


    Which character – as performed by Jacob Tomsky – was your favorite?

    All of them. Seriously.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    -tip the usher on the way in :)


    Any additional comments?

    This storys characters came alive. It was almost a mistake to listen to this at work as I had a couple close calls of "coffee sprayed monitor" due to the amazing writing and narration. Ne'er again will I say the oh so ignorant phrase "I don't want to trouble him" and just say "No thank you, I appreciate the offer".

    Thankfully I have always learned to book through the actual hotel. I rebelled against hotels a while back due to expensive rooms and usually sub-par service, opting to spend a couple extra dollars on a B&B (they are always happy to see you but not so great for epically loud sex).


    Also a cool shout out to The Las Vegas Hard Rock for having exceptional concierge. I really hope my husband tipped them for bringing my drunk ass up to the hotel room that night I got lost. Stay in their suite tower, drop the extra coin as I assure you, they are amazeballs.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dustin 11-29-12
    dustin 11-29-12
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    "Outstanding book and even better narration!"
    Where does Heads in Beds rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This book in its category ranks in the top two.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Torn between the author and the bellman/doorman.


    What does Jacob Tomsky bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His very real voice I.e. the street talk.


    Any additional comments?

    Truly a great listen one of about three books I was able to listen to straight thru, the author was an amazing narrator as well. Opened my eyes into a service I love to use but always wondered how to improve my stays, and more importantly how not to behave.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Curtis Parma, ID, United States 10-16-13
    Curtis Parma, ID, United States 10-16-13 Member Since 2007
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    "Entertaining"

    Great listen and well worth the credit. Not a family road trip book but it will make you laugh, as long as you don't get offended by tough language. I am glad the author did the narration because it would not have been the same coming from someone else.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brett Charlotte, NC, United States 04-13-13
    Brett Charlotte, NC, United States 04-13-13 Member Since 2007
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    "Back Office Gossip That You Know You Love"
    Any additional comments?

    This book will make you laugh as well as shake your head in judgement. It is a completely engaging memoir of a man's career in (and corruption by) the hotel industry. Its style is profane and the language is foul but this is actually well used here. I honestly felt like I was in a break room listening to author tell his stories to me. Straight junk talk but there is an honesty and a likeability here to keep you reading.

    It might be easy to judge the author poorly for, on the one hand, preaching about service and on the other running scams on the customers, and in many cases his preaching points doubled back on themselves leaving me to wonder which direction his moral compass really pointed. However, in the end I think that this story delivers what it intends to and more. Besides, in the course of this work I saw some glimpses of a really great writer (the description of New Orleans was poetic) and I hope to see more from him in the future.

    Will this book shock you? yes
    Will this book make you mad? yes
    Will this book change the way you see hotels and the employees? yes
    Will this story engage you from start to finish? yes

    You will enjoy this book if you have ever lingered at the water cooler to talk junk about your employer and listen to gossip about the office.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B. Westman Maine 12-13-13
    B. Westman Maine 12-13-13 Member Since 2006

    Bluejeans

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    "Eye Opening"

    This book was entertaining and enlightening from the very beginning. The author uses a bit too much crude language for my liking, but he does a great job with the story and throws in lots and lots of little tips along the way. I will never ever check into a hotel the same again. I will never look at the front desk clerk the same again.

    For seasoned travelers, watch out, you might see yourself in this story! But if you pay attention at all, you should be able to improve your future hotel stays. This inside look at the hospitality industry is probably more gritty and detailed than the industry is comfortable having exposed, but that's what makes it great. Peppered liberally with doses of humor and a very light, quick paced storyline, this book was over far too soon. Very well done and if Jacob "Thomas" Tomsky wants to write "Heads in Beds 2", I'll be at the head of the line to grab it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 12-29-12
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 12-29-12 Member Since 2002
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    "simply hilarious"

    A decade or so of stories from a former front line hotel employee. If you've listened to My Korean Deli, this is the equivalent for the hotel business.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
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