Front desk bell

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Charm the Front Desk Guy
"People tend to undervalue the front desk agent—we're one of the few positions in a hotel that gets passed over for tips—but a little gratuity at check-in goes a long way. Hand me $10 or $20—at the very least, don't tip less than the price of a beer—and I will stop assigning you to the room I was going to put you in and start looking for something better.

I know which rooms have the bigger closets, the double bathrooms, the best views. And it doesn't hurt to call ahead. On the morning of your check-in, room controllers start designating rooms for those on our VIP list. If you call ahead, you'll be one of them. If you can't tip or call, be kind. You'll get a room that's better than the ones we give guests who stay on their phones during the check-in process."

—Jacob Tomsky, former hotel employee, more than ten years in the business, and author of Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality