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What It’s Really Like Working In A Hostel

What It’s Really Like Working In A Hostel


Ah, hostels. Wonderful places filled with people from all over the world, endless parties, cramped spaces, and communal spaces that aren’t cleaned nearly as much as they should be. I’ve lived a total of over a year of my life in hostels and have see my fair share of things but today I thought I would tell you about some of my experience working in a hostel in Sydney. The good, the bad, and the disgusting.

I worked as a housekeeper in a small hostel in Sydney with the capacity of sleeping about 50 people. I timed it perfectly as well and cleaned during the off-season so it was hardly ever full, which meant less work for me.

The job was easy, as you would expect of a cleaning job, but absolutely draining. There were only two housekeepers, one for the upstairs rooms and bathrooms, and one for the common room, kitchen, and laundry. Though we were told we would work only 2 hours a day, we more often worked 3-4 hours with no. days. off. Not one. So any hope of going on day trips or camping for a night were out of the question. It sucked.

The work in itself was tedious and boring but easy enough to do while you were either still drunk or hungover from the night before, something that happened more often than it should have.

I cleaned the upstairs and this included cleaning the outdoor patio by sweeping and clearing off the tables. Then I would go upstairs, scrub the toilets, sinks, and showers. A task that has given me an iron stomach. Don’t think about it Sarah it’s all natural. Bleh.

After the bathrooms I would tidy the rooms by clearing the bins in the room and, specific to this hostel, they would have me tuck everyone’s belongings either under the bed or in a locker which was very uncomfortable to do. I hated touching other peoples’ things and found it a very strange rule. I get it, you want the room to be clean, but I guarantee two minutes after I leave all of those suitcases will be back out.

Anyway, the tidy would commence, then the hoovering (vacuuming) of the rooms which every person in the hostel hated me for. What a nice alarm at 10am to be woken after a night out. For me, it was my only form of revenge on the people I had gone out with the night before while I had to wake up at 7am to clean and they got to sleep in.

After the cleaning was done, we did room checks with the manager on duty. Just to check you had done your job correctly, where I would pull my hair out at people who made a mess in their room after I had just cleaned it. I JUST CLEANED IT!

Anyway, overall the job was exhausting. It wasn’t hard work it just really took a toll on you when you don’t get a single day off to just sleep. The other housekeeper and I joked that we were raccoons because of the dark circles under our eyes at all times. Oh, good times.

I’m so glad I did the work though. The family I created with my fellow hostel-workers I hold dear to me still today. The guests and people I met from all over the world were truly wonderful to get to know. And the ability to save a little money in such an expensive city like Sydney I am so grateful for.

Would I do it again? Honestly, probably not. Depending on the job work. I’ve heard of some people who clean 2 hours a day 3 days a week and that would be perfect! But every day, for the amount I worked, oh hell no. Never again.


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