Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Official Notice from Lake Lighthouse Inn Regarding COVID-19

We at the Lake Lighthouse Inn have been monitoring the various actions by both government and non-government entities regarding the worldwide outbreak of CoronaVirus (COVID-19).

While a number of local events and fishing tournaments have been cancelled that have significantly impacted our business and community, we have made the following decision:

The Lake Lighthouse Inn will remain open.  Period.

We have always taken seriously the safety and health of our guests, whether it be from the risks of “normal” flu, H1N1, the common cold, or the myriad of other airborne and fomite-based infections.  This is why we are so obsessive about ensuring that we always offer the Cleanest Rooms at the Lake.  This isn’t just a slogan.  It is the truth.

As part of our normal day-to-day protocols, each room is disinfected twice.  Disinfectant spray is used during the cleaning process after a guest checks out, and is used again on the day a guest is scheduled to check in.  The only adjustment we have made is an increase in the amount of spray we use.

All of our linens are removed when a guest checks out, and fresh linens are brought in every time we prepare a room.  Also, we discontinued the use of bedspreads four years ago, since we know that most hotels only launder those periodically.  Since 2016, we have instituted the practice of “triple sheeting” to make beds, a newer industry standard, which means all of the sheets are replaced after every guest checks out.

While other hotels and businesses are scrambling to reassess their cleaning protocols and implementing these kinds of procedures, we have been doing it all along. 

We don’t pretend that we are smarter than medical experts, or that we are “too good” to become a victim of the virus.  It can happen anywhere, to anyone (including in hospitals that are filled with professionals and experts trained against infectious diseases).  But we are confident in our cleaning processes and staff, and have the overriding belief that life goes on, and hiding from microscopic enemies is no way to live.

For those who agree, we are here for you.  For those who prefer to hunker down and stay out of the public for a few weeks, we absolutely understand, respect you and your decision as well, and look forward to seeing you on the other side of this unprecedented event.

-Morris & Coni Workman
Lake Lighthouse Inn
Osage Beach, MO

Sunday, March 8, 2020

No Glamour In Housekeeping

Image result for photo alice the maid on brady bunch
For at least the last 50 years, this has been a standard refrain from parents of school-age children everywhere in the U.S.:

“You have to do well in school so you can go to college.  You don’t want to be a maid, do you?”

While a parent’s heart might be in the right place to encourage their offspring to do and be better, it’s been a real morale-deflator in the hotel business for decades.  It’s also a battle cry that has left the country with way too many button pushers, art majors, and financial advisors, and not nearly enough youngsters who value hard work and the inner satisfaction of truly taking care of their fellow human beings.

Doctors and nurses are frequently the targets of warm and fuzzy platitudes when it comes to “taking care” of people.  But how much healing would actually take place without that unsung cadre of mop wielders and disinfectant commandos who ensure patients have a clean and sanitary environment?  Nobody is making a weekly TV show featuring life-saving janitors and death-defying housekeepers.  Even in Hollywood, where studios pretend to care about “working folks,” there are very few examples citing the nobility of keeping a place clean and presentable outside of Octavia Spencer’s Academy Award-winning turn in “The Help,” or “Maid In Manhattan” starring J-Lo.  There is simply no glamour in being a housekeeper.

The glaring exception might be the British TV show “Downton Abbey.”  The show, which ended production in 2015, featured a noble house in the 1920’s and the lords and ladies who lived within.  But even better, it showed the butlers and housekeepers and footmen and cooks who kept the titled residents running.  Instead of an hour-long reflection of dread at dusting and cleaning, the “downstairs” staff took pride in making theirs the most well maintained abode in all of England.  The competition among young villagers to become a part of this “service” was often a plot point. The staff themselves recognized that they were a part of what made a “Great House” great, and the “upstairs” residents frequently treated them with respect and even affection.  Because they took care of the Granthams, kept their home clean, and looked after their needs, the housekeepers and others were often looked upon as part of the family instead of just employees.

Once upon a time, the greatest calling of all was to look after the needs of others.  Even without “pay,” the practice of cleaning the bodies, clothes, cookery, and environs of people within their purview was often referred to as “love.”  And in most cases, nobody did it better than Mom. 

Unfortunately, it’s tough to send Mom ahead of the family to make sure the Holiday Inn is ready for their arrival, not to mention the grotesque unfairness of hanging such a task on her when she is supposed to be “on vacation” as well.

This is where professional housekeepers come in.  We aren’t so presumptuous as to bestow that grand title on the folks who ensure our beds are made and the showers scrubbed at the Lake Lighthouse Inn.  However, we DO recognize the immense value of our housekeepers and laundry people and maintenance workers.  More importantly, we hope our guests recognize it as well.  Our staff makes sure every room is spotless, that the beds are immaculate, the toilets sparkle, and the showers are squeaky clean.  In other words, they are caring for you, in a very personal way. 
Image result for rosie the robot

In this era it’s increasingly difficult to find people willing to take on the hard work of caring for others, particularly since this society has spent decades looking down its collective noses at people who actually get their hands dirty making sure others do not.  There are plenty of reality TV shows dedicated to a peculiar interpretation of what constitutes “love,” but none that show a more divine form of love, one which is only found in one person caring and taking care of another. 

We hope the pendulum will swing back one day, and housekeeping will be returned to its position of respect (until George Jetson’s Rosie the Robot becomes the norm at hotels everywhere).