Person of the Week

Laura Blackard

Housekeeping

You’ve got to want to do this kind of work. Otherwise you’re going to burn out real quick. If you don’t take pleasure in going through and doing a good job, don’t do it. Otherwise you’re not going to do a good job. If it something that you really want to do, put your heart in it and then you’ll appreciate it when you are done with it.

1. What led you to the mission of being in housekeeping?

I worked at a nursing home for thirteen months part time. That’s where I started doing housekeeping. Then I stopped doing that to take care of my children.

IMG_8865Then my husband passed away. My friend Chris and I got together. His family owns a building in Hermann, Missouri. They run the Hermann House Inn. They needed help up there, so I started doing housekeeping at the Inn. Altogether I have been doing housekeeping for seven years. (To learn more about the Inn, click here.)

I learned how to do housekeeping by working at the nursing home. The head housekeeper taught me. I took the basic knowledge on learning how to clean the bathrooms there and used the same principle here at the Inn. You have to learn how to sanitize everything and wash everything. I think that that is really important that everything is clean.

2. What does this mission mean to you?

Laura-Blackard-Housekeeping-2It is a lot of hard work but at the same time when you get finished and step back and you look at what you have done, you say, “Ah! That’s the way it is supposed to look! Clean!” (Chris is in the room and says, “She cleans upstairs so good. I appreciate her so much. I want to say, “Wow! This is really nice.”)

3. What was your best day in the housekeeping business?

Laura-Blackard-Housekeeping-4The very best day is when you walk in and there is not that much to do! I think, “Oh they were so nice. They put all their trash together. They may have pulled the sheets off or they may have spread them back across.” But when you walk in you think, “This is nice. It’s going to be real quick and easy to go through and do a nice job cleaning.”

4. What was your worst day being in the housekeeping business?

Laura-Blackard-Housekeeping-3The worst day is when you walk in and it’s just trash all over and somebody’s been sick and it’s on the wall and all over the bathroom. That’s one of your worst days.

5. How did you survive your worst day?

You know you are going to get through it eventually. You look forward to the end of it. Sometimes you might get discouraged when you walk in and see a big mess. chair-Laura-Blackard-HousekeepingIt’s like, “What were they thinking?” But then you just get into the work and go at it. After a while you are finished, step back and say, “Whew. I’m done with it and ready to go on to the next one.” I got that attitude from watching other people like my mom. My mom grew up poor and she did without a lot of things. She kind of appreciated when she got something. She worked hard like putting out gardens and canning and sewing. She learned to appreciate little things. So when I’m doing a job like this, I appreciate what I have done with the job. It looks nice and somebody else is going to walk in and they’re going to appreciate having a clean room.

6. What advice do you have for someone who would like to be in the housekeeping business?

You’ve got to want to do this kind of work. Otherwise you’re going to burn out real quick with it. If you don’t take pleasure in going through and doing a good job, don’t do it. Otherwise you’re not going to do a good job. If it something that you really want to do, put your heart in it and then you’ll appreciate it when you are done with it.

One Comment

  1. Barbara Sheets 09/30/14
    12:22 pm

    Your story makes me appreciate the work behind the scenes that makes a big difference in our lives every day. The places we stay in and visit are made pleasant by the work that has been done before we are there. Too often we only notice things that are not done while people work hard every day to maintain the order and sanitation we expect. Thank you for your story and hard work. The Inn looks like a great place to visit.

    Reply

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