The Case for Inn Sitters

          As an innkeeper, burnout is not only a personal challenge, but a business challenge.  A burned out accountant can still crunch the numbers.  No one can stand to be around him, but the job still gets done!  We have seen innkeepers who are, as Catherine says it, “So over it.”  They are just enduring the daily grind, just going through the motions, and guests notice it.  The joy and the enthusiasm are not there.  As an innkeeper, you are in the hospitality business.  With unlimited options and guest decisions made on the most insignificant factors, burnout is a business as well as a personal liability.

            Sometimes you need to just get away from the business.  You need to be able to completely forget about the breakfast, the housekeeping, the reservations and the bookkeeping — everything.  Forget about everything with the assurance that when you come home, everything was done just the way you would do it!  That is what inn sitters do.  You can say you can rely on a friend, a relative or a trusted employee.  That may be true, but it might also ruin a friendship, a family relationship or employee harmony.

            I would argue that getting completely away from the business should be a regular cost of doing business.  I know, I’m an inn sitter and I am being self-serving.  However, an innkeeper needs to be able to leave the business for a few weeks or a few months with complete assurance that everything is done and done right.   We like it when innkeepers see on-line guest reviews where the guests say they were sorry they missed the innkeepers, but they enjoyed the inn sitters.  At one bed and breakfast where we have worked, the innkeepers come home in the afternoon and join their guests for breakfast we serve them the next morning.  That is getting away and coming home in style.

John Lang

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