What’s good home training again?

We all grow up with Rules

This is not a bathroom where people leave towels on the floor, but it was a bathroom to which I was denied access in my moment of need so I just used the men’s room across the hall. Sue. Me.

This is a story about manners. Good manners vs bad manners.

Or it’s a story about how this drama could have been prevented.

Or it’s a story about how I was horribly wrong.

You decide.

I have always thought that the hotel instructions to leave towels on the floor if we want new towels is a trick.

What kind of monster leaves towels on the floor?

I always hang my towels up. Always.

I am not a monster!

I think hotels count on guests thinking as I do and hanging towels up so that the hotel does not have to replace towels as quickly.

I actually don’t mind that policy because unless you don’t know how to use soap and water to clean your body, you probably don’t need a new towel every day.

My friend L and I stayed in an Airbnb recently. The check-out instructions were detailed and included the directive to leave the dirty towels on the floor of the shower.

Instead, I hung the used towels on the shower rod and left the unused ones folded on the shelf.

When we checked out, I casually mentioned what I had done, saying with a smile that I couldn’t bear to leave towels on the floor.

“Or,” the owner replied with a tight smile, “you could have done as I asked.”

“Oh!” I said. “Yes. I guess.”

“I don’t want to sound scolding, but that is what I asked you to do – to leave them on the floor. That way, I know which towels have been used and which ones haven’t.”

“Um, OK,” I answered as my face turned deep red. “Yes, I will remember that for next time.”

She continued. “That is what I asked you to do.”

“OK!” I smiled as I backed away. “OK!”

If I were bothering to write three pages of instructions for my Airbnb guests, if I wanted people to leave towels on the floor, I would write something like this:

I know not hanging up your towels goes against everything your mama ever taught you, but this is the easiest way for me to know which towels are clean and which are dirty! Please go against your instincts and leave your used towels on the floor of the shower. I know. I know! It seems so wrong! But I promise you I will not think you have bad manners. 🙂

That’s how I would do it, anyhow.

2 thoughts on “What’s good home training again?

  1. Ah, but you are writer, and confident in your communication. I would write a note like yours, as well, but many people are insecure about their communication abilities and as a result try to keep everything short and abrupt (if detailed), in the hopes that they will avoid confusion that way. I agree that leaving out an acknowledgment that decent people will need to overcome their good manners in order to comply with instructions is a significant omission. But you were not horribly wrong – you ‘fessed up and avoided the problem you were supposed to avoid, didn’t you?


  2. HARD FEELS. It is never going to be right to leave towels on the floor. The most I can bear to bring myself to do is leave them in the bath – if there is a bath (which there usually isn’t). Ugh. Your alternative instructions would be great.

    Rebecca Halifax
    07939 088082


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