updated 13 Nov 2012, 14:07
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Tue, Jan 31, 2012
The New Paper
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This woman's job is to chase prostitutes out
by Joyce Lim

She is one of the first people to be informed when the police will be raiding the hotel that she works in.

Janice (not her real name), 32, is a front office manager. As part of the job, she has to assist the police in their anti-vice operations.

"I will inform the hotel's security officers to closely monitor the CCTV cameras and give specific instructions to the housekeepers to be on the alert when they enter the specific rooms suspected of vice-activities," says Janice, who agreed to speak to The New Paper on Sunday, on the condition that we do not disclose her identity or name the hotel that she works in.

What we can say is that it is a relatively inexpensive hotel in Chinatown and Janice reveals that police raids and vice activities are common there.

The hotel's guest services staff are trained to identify vice suspects, says Janice.

"Single women who travel alone are high on our suspect list. We nickname them 'night angels'. Other telltale signs include paying for their room charges with $10 notes.

"When there is a suspect, the staff will make a photocopy of the guest's passport and alert me. And I will check the guest into a room that can be closely monitored by our CCTV cameras.

"It's usually a room on the lower floors and away from our highly valued corporate customers."

Janice adds: "Over the next few days, we will see from our CCTV cameras who are the people entering and leaving that particular room.

"In most instances, we will find many different men entering the rooms and staying there for 20 to 30 minutes each.

"On average, such women service about eight men a day. They come from all nationalities.

Recently, there have been more Koreans and Thais, as compared to Chinese.

"The housekeeping staff will note the things in the rooms, like extra towels that do not belong to the hotel. Yes, they usually bring their own towels.

"They will also check the litter bins for used condoms and stained tissues. Once we have gathered enough evidence, we will tell the guest to leave. Even if she has made the full payment for her stay, we will not refund her the money."

It is Janice's job to chase such "unwanted" guests out of the hotel.

And she needs to be firm in telling the guests to leave, even though deep down inside, she pities them.

"It's very embarrassing for them when we produce the evidence," Janice says.

"When some of them refuse to open their doors, our hotel staff would have to force our way in.

"These women would appear so scared and sometimes, they would fall backwards onto the beds. It's a very pitiful sight."

Janice has been working in the hotel industry for close to a decade.

She describes her job as "never boring" as it allows her to meet people from all walks of life.

Besides the prostitutes, she gets a fair share of "country bumpkins and cheapskates" checking into her hotel.

Once she had to attend to an angry guest who complained that the "microwave oven" in her room failed to work.

"I was puzzled when I was told of the complaint by my receptionist. I went to the guest's room and I tried so hard to contain my laughter when she pointed to the safe box and complained that 'the microwave' didn't work," recalls Janice.

"I looked into the box and saw a bowl of curry, waiting to be heated up."

Then there are the cheapskates who wipe out the mini-bars and deny having taken anything from there.

Janice says: "Unless we find evidence of the emptied bottles in the bins inside the rooms, we can't prove that these guests consumed them."

And if you don't mind being a lying cheapskate yourself, this is what she has to add: "The next time you take the drinks from your hotel room's mini-bar, just dispose of the empty cans and bottles, and bang the table when asked to pay. Chances are, you will get away with it."

Secrets of the trade

1. When dealing with angry and unreasonable guests, always put yourself in their shoes. That way, you will be able to convince them that you understand their problems and things will be easier to resolve.

2. When you suspect that a guest is a "night angel", strike up a conversation with her like talking about her occupation and asking for her business card.

3. Never embarrass your guests, especially when their credit card transactions cannot be approved. Tell the guests that the credit card machine is faulty and ask if they have other cards that you can charge their stay to.


This article was first published in The New Paper.

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