Payback: 6 Ways Angry Hotel Workers Secretly Punish Rude Guests

They say the customer is always right, but behind the smiles, it turns out that disgruntled hotel workers have been getting back at rude guests in a variety of ways, as revealed by an ex-worker himself.

Jacob Tomsky’s new book, “Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustlers and So-Called Hospitality”, lists six ways that hotel workers get revenge on their victims without ever getting caught…


 It’s happened to all of us. You get to your room, excited to see what’s inside, but the light keeps flashing red. Your key card isn’t working. While it’s possible that this is just a mistake, it’s also possible that you annoyed the wrong person, who deactivated your key card on purpose just to make you trek back to the front desk.

Prank calls

 Want to ruffle some feathers? Tomsky admits he went as far as to make a drunken midnight call to one guest he’d had enough of, “I informed him he was an a–hole and he should sleep like s–t. But I got to the point where I built a wall up. I got an incredibly thick skin, and I really didn’t care.”

Watch that toothbrush…

This one is a little more sinister than the others and you might never look at your toothbrush the same again – or even stay at a hotel – after Tomsky warns impolite guests that it might have been “fouled”. It doesn’t take much effort to come to all sorts of uncomfortable conclusions as to what this might mean.

Minibar raids

 The golden rule of any stay at a hotel – don’t touch the minibar. Our parents told us, we tell our partners and then we both tell our kids. The fear of excessively overpriced goodies passes from generation to generation.

If you got on the wrong side of someone at the hotel, however, then you’d better make sure to double check your bill, as workers can steal from your minibar or purposefully miscalculate your bill.

 Dirty drinking glasses

 Water tasting funny? Glass looking particularly shiny? Well, that could be because your glasses have been cleaned not with soapy water, but with furniture polish. Not the most creative punishment, but it gets the point across.

Room karma

 Getting upgraded when you check in at the hotel is one of the best feelings there is. You want a nice view, a big bed and a fancy bathroom. But what happens if you rub the hotel workers the wrong way?

Well, wave goodbye to that upgraded room. In fact, prepare yourself for some “room karma”, getting downgraded. According to Tomsky, “You probably could have had a really nice suite. And you’ll never know it. I became the master of instant karma. And if I saw a Black AmEx – watch out.”