Barbara Woolsey, USA TODAY
(USA Today) — Hotel maids don’t have it easy; My mom’s worked as one for more than 20 years. It’s tough physical work. Washing ketchup-stained bedsheets and scrubbing windows covered in baby handprints is about as glamorous as you would imagine. But it’s a behind-the-scenes job that someone’s gotta do.
According to Payscale.com, hotel maids in the United States are paid an average hourly wage of $11.30 an hour. It’s a service industry job, like serving or hairdressing, yet leaving a tip isn’t customary. Perhaps it’s because while we have face-to-face interactions with our waiters, we usually never see the person who puts our toiletries back exactly where we left them — instead we hang a do-not-disturb sign to keep the housekeeper out until after we’ve left.
Last year, Marriott got into hot water for partnering with Maria Shriver’s A Woman Nation on a tipping initiative. It put designated tipping envelopes in 160,000 rooms across the U.S. and Canada, for guests to leave money and notes of appreciation to housekeepers.
But many have criticized Marriott for passing the onus onto to customers, instead of paying hotel maids more themselves.