Anthony travels to Albany, NY to help the Cocca's Inn & Suites, located off of Highway 87. The owner, Rocky Cocca, is struggling to make a profit and his housekeeping staff recently quit after a staff meeting. According to the hidden cameras, Rocky said that he loved it. When Anthony arrives, He crashes the weekly staff meeting and takes a seat. Rocky says that they just read one of the last reviews, and Anthony points out that they're meeting in the lobby of the hotel. He asks why they're meeting in the lobby, and Rocky says that they don't have space anywhere else at the facility big enough for all of them.
Rocky reads a negative review where the reviewer gives them a rating of 5 in average. He says that he's never seen the staff being rude, and tells Anthony that he's managing by reviews. Anthony figures that they need to fix the problems before the reviews go up, and points out that there's a guest sitting in the lobby. He points out that they're having a meeting at 11 am, which is the busiest time for housekeepers, and one of the housekeepers agree. When Anthony points out at her, she complains. The housekeeper says that she has worked there for a year but walked out a week ago. Pat, the head of housekeeping, worked there for 14 years and did things her own ways. Anthony takes a secret vote to confirm that everyone thought it was a good idea that Pat.
Rocky points out the GM, Jeanette, and Anthony asks why Pat was there 14 years if she was so bad. Jeanette says that Pat only got bad recently and they let it slide, Anthony figures that the problem was actually a result of poor management, and talks to the maintenance man, Irv. He says that he's been there 15 years ago and ask him what the biggest problem is. Irv says that it's management, and when he has a problem Jeanette isn't. Jeanette says that Jolene, the front desk supervisor, is usually there. The maintenance man works part-time, but Anthony doesn't buy it. He says that it's Jeanette's responsibility to meet with him 10-15 minutes a week, and she agrees. Anthony says that he's going to have to talk later with Rocky and Jeanette.
Next, Anthony checks into Room 29 and notices that the bottom of the door is dirty. The furniture is old and there's dirt in the desk drawer. Anthony feels across the headboard and finds a layer of dust, and the room is small. He figures that they need less furniture and better-used space. The room smells bad and there's an air freshener on the desk. Anthony gets a forensic laser from his car and puts on a special pair of glasses. Once he draws the drapes, Anthony turns on the laser ad sees dozens of stains. The sink has more stains on it, and there's grime on the toilet.
Anthony sits down with Rocky and asks what he wants to do. Rocky wants to knock down the hotel and build 34 more rooms, and it would cost him $1.5 million. He made $14,000 in the last year with an average rate of $62. Rocky has no idea how much he can get, and Anthony points out that other local hotels have nicer rooms at $60. He figures that Rocky has to run the hotel he has better rather than building a new hotel. Anthony then tells him that the employees were frustrated at the staff meeting, and asks why Pat quit. Rocky doesn't know why she left, and plays the message Pat left on Jeanette's voice mail the day that she left. Pat says that they've been taking half hours out of her checks and are fighting her on unemployment. She was making $10 an hour as head of housekeeping, and the minimum wage in the area is $9.00.
Rocky points out that Pat took two housekeepers with her, and Anthony suggests that he call Pat. When he does, he explains that Anthony is there. Anthony asks why she left, and Pat says that she found out that Rocky was taking a half hour out of her paycheck even when she didn't take lunch. When he wonders why she walked out without notice, Pat says that she was only making $9.50 and points out that it took other people to get Rocky to call her. Once Pat hangs up, Anthony asks Jeanette to leave. As she goes, she calls Anthony an asshole.
Anthony brings in designer Britany Simon to renovate the honeymoon suite. He makes her step into the Jacuzzi tub and points out the peeling wallpaper with the mold underneath. Anthony uses a meter to measure pollutants and confirms that it registers 7,377 when anything over 30 is a fail. Britany brings in a team to start by getting rid of the hot tub.
Next, Anthony meets with Irv and asks him about the weekly meetings. Irv says that they're useless, and the only time when Rocky comes down is to read negative reviews, cause problems, and leaves. The maintenance man says that he gets $0.75 an hour over minimum wage after being there for 15 years. It makes him feel like he doesn't know what he's doing, and Anthony confirms that he's never had an employee meeting. Irv says that all an employee is at the hotel is a number. He says that he retired 32 years ago from a general laundry, and Anthony figures that the hotel can't get by without him.
When he goes to Jeanette's office, Anthony points out a sign that implies that people who work there are idiots. Jeanette says that she didn't like how Anthony was talking to Rocky, and confirms that she's the GM and the accountant. Anthony explains that the head housekeeper hires and has to get the GM's permission to terminate staff. He figures that Jeanette isn't a person people and is spread too thin to pay attention to staff issues. Jeanette starts crying and says that she doesn't like to let Rocky down. Anthony assures her that it's Rocky's fault because he's making her do two jobs to save money. Jeanette says that Jolene could run the hotel, and she tells Anthony that he's a nice man and apologizes.
Anthony interviews Jolene outside, and Jolene agrees that Jeanette is spread too thin. They've been expecting Pat to leave for the last six months, after Rocky checked the rooms and saw things that he didn't like. Anthony says that they need a leader for the hotel and asks if Jolene is the person, and she says that she would if she had the training. She says that Rocky is good at the up-top stuff but is lousy at micro-managing. Jolene figures that she can control Rocky's urges, and Anthony thanks her for her input.
Later, Anthony has an undercover hotel inspector, Dana, check in. She then confronts Jolene about her experience, and Jolene offers to give her a 30% off her next stay. Dana says that she wouldn't stay since she had a bad experience and asks for money back, and Jolene immediately agrees. Anthony has been listening in to the whole conversation, and goes in and thanks Dana. He then tells Jolene that she handled the guest well.
Anthony brings in Dave from Islander Pools and Spas to tell Rocky how to clean the hot tubs. He explains the NY health laws and how they should clean the hot tubs. Anthony gets black lights for the housekeeping carts and then shows Rocky the stains. Rocky uses the same rag to clean the top and the bottom of the toilet bowl, and then points out some of the permanent stains.
Britany and her team are working when Anthony comes by. He figures that the renovation will be a huge improvement, and then sits down with Rocky to discuss the financial situation. The hotel isn't in the higher average rate of area hotels, and Anthony warns that he won't be able to get permits for at least a year. He suggests that Rocky keep the property and renovate it slowly, and keep the hotel operating. Anthony then advises Rocky to make Jolene the GM. He doesn't think that Rocky cares about his employees, and says that he is going to do quarterly evaluations of his employees. He's going to let some people go and give raises to the others, which will improve how the hotel is run.
Later, Anthony takes Rocky and his key employees to a hotel room for a staff meeting. They start by offering Jolene the position of GM, and Jolene accepts. Anthony gives her an officer manager's manual and a gift certificate from eCornell with a value of over $3,500 she can take a course in becoming a hotel manager.
Next, Anthony introduces Rocky to Britany and Chris with Precision Home Improvements. Chris says that the room was pretty bad but the structure is basically sound. Once Chris leaves, Anthony and Britany show Rocky the renovated room. It now has two beds and new furniture, and they raised the ceiling in the bathroom. Rocky admits that he never thought they could renovate the room, and figures that he doesn't have to knock down the building if he can remodel all the rooms. He thanks Britany and Anthony, and Anthony figures that they have the right people in the right positions, and the right systems.
Written by Gadfly on Nov 22, 2016