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The everyday life of a chambermaid

Cleanliness is the hallmark of every hotel. For guests, wellness begins as soon as they enter the freshly made, gently scented rooms. They don’t have to worry about tidiness here and can fully indulge in relaxation. 29 maids and chambermaids are on duty for the 135 rooms and suites at the Schlosshotel Fiss and ensure that the high standards of hygiene are met every day.

One of the tidying heroes is Irina. Her journey took her from Romania to us at the Schlosshotel Fiss, where she found a new home. In an interview, she tells us that being a chambermaid was the only option for her at first. In the meantime, however, the “must” has developed into a love for her job. There are still some things that require a lot of effort, but she talks about her work with a smile on her face.

Interview with chambermaid Irina Ursu

What made you want to become a chambermaid?

“In the beginning, I didn’t really have any other choice. I came here from Romania in 2014. My sister had already worked here before me. I didn’t really know the language at first. The fact that my sister was here was great for me. And then I started to love what I do. And after 9 years almost in Austria, I can say: being a chambermaid is cool.”

What was it like for you to come to Austria?

“It was very difficult at the beginning. I didn’t know how or what to do. I didn’t speak the language and a lot of things were unfamiliar to me. But you learn over time. Now I can already say: nice!”

What are your duties as a chambermaid?

“I start in the laundry at 8 o’clock in the morning: a bit of folding, a bit of ironing. And from 9 a.m. we can already clean the rooms. That means from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. we do the accommodation rooms and from 2 p.m. the arrival and departure rooms. And then I’m back in the laundry in the afternoon, preparing everything for the next day – folding towels, ironing and anything else that needs cleaning.”

What is your favourite part of the job and what do you dislike?

“Cleaning the room is my favourite task. I like how the room looks when I’ve finished. Cleanliness! I like cleanliness. What I don’t like doesn’t exist. I like everything. Chambermaids to try out is nice. I know it’s exhausting. It’s hard, it’s not an easy job, but it’s nice and fun. And also for young girls – because we have 22-, 23-, 24-year-olds here too, and I can see that they’re trying hard because, well, it’s a bit difficult. But they manage it! I can recommend my work to others.”

How do you go about tidying a room?

“Light – air – rubbish: This means that when you go into the room, the first thing you do is put the card in, turn on the light, air the room and then take out the rubbish. After these 3 things, we can start cleaning the room. Making a room can take 10 – 30 minutes. It depends on how big the room is and how tidy it is. If there’s more to tidy, if you have to change the bed, then it can take longer.”

What is important to you in your working environment?

“Organisation is very important and that even if we don’t speak the same language, it doesn’t matter and we understand each other – sometimes with body language. Having good colleagues is important for the environment.”

What does cleanliness mean for the quality of a hotel?

“I think it’s one of the most important things in a hotel. Thoroughness and cleanliness. Very important.”

What do you like about working at the Schlosshotel Fiss?

“I like to say it’s my second home. I’m generally more here than at home. 6 days a week, from 8 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. and until 5 p.m. at the weekend. Yes, like a second home.”

How can you make a chambermaid happy?

“Sometimes guests simply write ‘thank you very much’ on a note – and that’s worth much more to us than a tip or anything else. It’s just the joy and the fact that the guests say: “I’m delighted and see you next time and thank you for everything.” That means a lot to me.”

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