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Housekeeping Glossary

absenteeism Employee absence from work. A high rate
of absenteeism is considered to be a reliable indicator
of low employee morale.
acid rain Rain or fog that contains sulfur dioxide and
nitrous oxides that are damaging to plants, lakes,
streams, and even buildings. Most of it is the result of
burning fossil fuels (e.g., coal and oil) in electricity
generation facilities.
acrylics A group of clear, tough plastic resins produced
from acrylic acids.
actual expenditures Actual spending for labor and
supplies to support the generation of revenue, as
opposed to budgeted (planned) costs or forecast
(expected) costs.
administration A management task. Attending to the
details of executive affairs.
administrative theory First introduced by Henri Fayol,
it was an attempt to apply scientific principles to a
business organization. A subcomponent of the classical
aerobic Indicates a bacterium that must be exposed to,
and requires, air (oxygen) to survive and grow.
all-purpose cleaner A multipurpose agent designed for
several different cleaning tasks, depending on the
dilution ratio applied.
amenity Anything that makes a guest’s stay easier and
more pleasant.Often pertains to items that are viewed
as luxurious. An amenity is not normally categorized
as a guest essential.
amortize To periodically and gradually decrease a cost
or expenditure to zero over a stated period of time; for
example, the preopening cost of a hotel or hospital.
a.m. room check A visual look at guestrooms that
are supposed to be ready to receive guests for the
purpose of verifying status. Check is made at about
8:00 a.m. Those rooms not in a ready status are
called a.m. discrepancies and must be investigated.
Some hotels conduct a.m. room checks on every
room to determine each room’s status. Sometimes
the housekeeping department schedules workers
according to the results of the a.m. room check.
anaerobic Indicates a bacterium that can live without
exposure to air (oxygen).
analyze problems Gather facts, ascertain causes, and
develop alternative solutions.
annual linen reorder plan System of ordering linen that
provides long lead times for various items of linens;
allows a hotel or hospital to deal directly with a linen
mill; allows for the mill to weave linen at a time most
beneficial to the mill.
antichlor A substance used to remove excess chlorine
from fabric after bleaching.
antineoplastic agents Chemotherapy drugs used to treat
cancers. They are either man-made or made from
antisepsis A process by which chemicals are used on the
skin for bacteriostatic and germicidal purposes.
area responsibility plan A document that geographically
defines physical areas of a facility and assigns responsibility
for cleaning among the various departments
of a hotel or hospital organization; usually developed
from the division of work document.
asepsis To be free from germs and infection.
asepsis (medical) A method used to prevent the spread
of a communicable disease. Hand washing and
isolation are examples.
asepsis (surgical) A method using sterile equipment,
supplies, and procedures when entering the ‘‘sterile’’
interior of the body.
assets Items of value. Notations on a company balance
sheet in the books of account, which represents the book
value of assets. See also capital assets; current assets; fixed
atom The smallest combination of nucleus (core or
protons and neutrons) and surrounding electrons
that is associated with a given ‘‘named element.’’
autoclave An ovenlike machine, using steam under
pressure, in which supplies are subjected to intense
heat for a specific period of time. Also called a
autocratic change A dictatorially mandated change.
Change that is ordered by one person or group and
that person or group has absolute power.
bacillus A bacterium that is rod-shaped.
bacteria Used to refer to microorganisms in general; also,
the same as germs and/or microbes.
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bacterial Soils or compounds containing active (live)
bacteriostat An agent that arrests the growth of bacteria.
badge system Method of identifying employees by their
identification badges. A badge usually indicates where
an employee works and identification number and
may contain the employee’s photograph.
balance sheet a statement of financial position at a point
in time; includes assets, liabilities, and owners’ equity.
bed and bath linens Items such as sheets, pillowcases,
hand towels, bath towels, washcloths, and cloth bath
bedding All bed linens, such as sheets and pillowcases,
and all blankets, shams, dust ruffles, pillows, quilts,
comforters, coverlets, mattress pads, and bedspreads.
behavioral school An approach to management that
seeks to apply knowledge gained from the disciplines
of human psychology and sociology to the
management of employees. Proponents assert that
organizational productivity can be enhanced by meeting
the psychological needs of the employee.
bio-recovery service A contract cleaning company that
specializes in cleaning up human remains and bodily
bomb threats Malicious announcements of forthcoming
explosions or bombings.
books of account Collection of all accounting ledgers,
journals, and files associated with the financial
accounting system established for the particular
housekeeping operation.
‘‘Botulism’’ Found in feces, sewers, milk improperly
sterilized, or sealed foods. Also found in untreated
wounds (gaseous gangrene).
budgeting Act of creating a management system used
for the allocation of resources over a given period of
buffing The act of polishing the surface of a floor with
a low-speed (175–350 rpm) floor machine.
burnishing The act of polishing the surface of a floor
with a high-speed (350+rpm) floor machine to
achieve an extremely high-gloss (wet-look) surface.
cakes A tunnel washer does not have a centrifuge to
spin linen dry, so the linen is pressed to extract excess
water. The result is a round cakelike object.
capital assets Long-term tangible or intangible assets
such as land and buildings. See also current assets; fixed
capital expenditure budget Financial statement of estimated
capital expenditures over a given period of
capitalize Convert an expenditure into a capital item or
charge the cost of an item to a capital expenditure
account. See also expense to; capital expenditure budget;
fixed assets.
carcinogen A substance that causes cancer.
card entry system Technically superior system for gaining
regular entry into a hotel guestroom.Most systems
use plastic devices (cards) with changeable electronic
signatures that activate door locks, eliminating the
need for a metal key.
carnauba wax A high-quality wax obtained from the
leaves of the carnauba plant.
case goods Furniture in a guestroom that is made of
wood and used for storage, such as an armoire or
cationic Describes an ion that is positively charged.
central processing unit (CPU) This processing chip is
the brains of the computer. The CPU is where most
calculations take place.
chambermaid See section housekeeper .
checkout (C/O) Designation assigned to a guestroom
in which the guest has permanently left the hotel
and the room is waiting to be serviced, or in the
process of being readied for the arrival of a new guest.
Synonymous with on-change.
chemical agent A chemical added to a solution in the
correct dosage that will kill bacteria, or at least stop
their growth.
chief steward Supervisor of a department that specializes
in cleaning and maintaining kitchens.
chlorofluorocarbons Man-made chemicals used chiefly
in refrigeration, but now banned because they
contribute to global warming by destroying the ozone
civil disturbance In hotels or hospitals, a disturbance
caused by one or more people refusing to obey
the requests, commands, or demands of those in
classical school The first great theoretical school of
management. Characterized by a systematic approach
to themanagement of the assets and the employees in
a corporation. Henri Fayol and Frederick W. Taylor
are considered by many to be the founders of this
management school.
classification of accounts Arrangement of various types
of revenues, expenses, and costs into meaningful
groupings for accounting purposes.
cleaning and guest supply inventory A major segment
of operational inventory under the direct control and
responsibility of the executive housekeeper .
cleaning and maintenance circuits (rounds) Planned
sequences for attending to the cleaning of various
public areas.
Clostridium perfringens (clos-TRID-ee-um per-FRINgins)
No gram stain. An anaerobic spore.
coach-pupil method A one-on-one training system of
assigning one trainee to one instructor.
coccus A bacterium that is round-shaped.
communicate To pass or receive knowledge, instructions,
or data and to ensure understanding.
communication symbols A series of written symbols
used to communicate the status of guestrooms; for
example, R, C/O, OCC, DND, RFV, OOO, MR,
and T.
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competitive shopping Looking critically at the alternative
sources and suppliers of items and services
purchased to support a hotel or hospital operation.
computer An electronic system of hardware components
used to store and process data electronically.
conceptual thinking A management task. Formulating
notions for the resolution of problems.
conference method A training technique whereby students
participate in a workshop arrangement for
problem solving. An excellent technique for supervisory
consolidated room sales summary Document prepared
by the sales and marketing department of a hotel
indicating rooms expected to be sold during the
upcoming fiscal year. Used by other departments to
budget salaries, wages, and controllable costs in support
of expected room sales; a part of the overall budget
consumer (market segment) A market segment of hotel
guests who are not usually on an expense account; for
example, vacationers with or without young children.
See also group market; corporate transient hotel.
contingency approach Management theory that holds
that the appropriate management style is contingent
upon the makeup and attitude of the subordinate.
Closely related to the situational leadership
continuous functions of management Related actions
(analyze problems, making decisions, communicate) that
managers do continuously.
control (or incontrol) Revenues and expenses that are
within the budget.
control information Data collected and used tomaintain
control of an operation.
controllable costs Classification of supply and expense
accounts under the control of a department manager.
See also wage costs; employee costs.
controller (also comptroller) Manager in charge of all
accounting functions of a hotel or hospital. Duties
include overall budget preparation, costing, and internal
audit procedures and measuring performance
against previously approved plans, procedures, and
standards; interpreting and reporting financial data
to other members of hotel management; participating
in making policy decisions and executive
controlling Performing certain activities that ensure
progress toward desired objectives according to plan
See also management sequential functions.
control profit (loss) What remains after subtracting
controllable costs, wage costs, and employee costs from
revenue within a given department. Usually under
control of a department manager.
coordinating (efforts of employees) Relating the efforts
of employees in the most effective combinations. An
activity of directing .
corporate transient hotel A hotel that is usually used
by businesspeople on expense accounts. May have a
transient group market in addition to some consumer
count sheet Form used to record results when taking
coverlet A bedspread that covers just the top of a dust
ruffle. It does not reach to the floor.
creating a position (job) description Identifying and
defining the scope, relationships, responsibilities,
duties, and authority of people in an organization.
An activity of organizing .
critique Statement of performance analysis, usually
reserved for elements or areas on a performance
statement that are not in control. The statement
should contain comments as to intended action and
how control of the elements will be regained. A
standard operating procedure performed by department
managers of well-controlled companies.
cross-contamination Spreading germs from one location
to another. This can happen when mops or cleaning
cloths pick up bacteria in one location, and the
housekeeper then uses the same equipment to clean
another area, thereby transporting the pathogenic
organisms to a new surface.
current assets Assets of a short-term nature such as cash,
accounts receivable, and inventory. See also fixed assets.
cut loop The yarns in a carpet arranged into areas of
high-cut tufts and lower-loop tufts to form a sculptured
pattern of various heights.
daily routine Series of administrative and work-related
events that occur between 6:30 a.m. andmidnight and
form the routine for a housekeeping department in
the guestroom portion and public areas of a hotel. See
also housekeeping day.
daily work assignment sheet Form that indicates special
work tasks required for a given day and assigned to a
specific worker.
damp mopping The use of a damp (not wet) mop
for spot cleaning of spills and overall cleaning
of light dirt from floors. This technique is not
intended to remove heavily embedded dirt or old floor
deep clean Periodic act of cleaning a guestroom in
depth. Involves moving heavy furniture, high dusting,
turning mattresses, vacuuming draperies and
curtains, and other cleaning functions not normally
performed in the day-to-day servicing of a guestroom.
Synonymous with general clean.
deferring maintenance Postponing maintenance and
custodial activities to create a short-term cost savings.
However, the strategy ultimately results in higher
overall costs.
deficiency of knowledge (DK) A reason given for
nonperformance of a task. Workers could not perform
the task even if their lives depended on it. Usually
caused by no training or lack of understanding of
what has been taught.
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deficiency of task execution (DE) The failure of workers
to perform a task properly after training.
defoamer Chemical added to a fabric cleaner that
reduces the amount of suds produced by the detergent
in the cleaner. Defoamers are often used in
water-extraction carpet cleaning chemicals so that the
pickup tanks are not inundated with suds.
delegating Creating responsibilities for or assigning
tasks to subordinates, passing to them the required
authority to act, then exacting accountability for
results. An activity of directing .
delineating relationships Defining liaison lines within
formal organizations that will facilitate relationships.
An activity of organizing .
demonstrationmethod Training technique in which you
show someone how to do something.
denier A unit of weight of silk, nylon, or rayon that
is an indicator of fineness. One denier is equal to
5/100 of a gram in a 450-meter length of thread. The
smaller the number, the smaller the circumference
of the thread. (Fifteen-denier nylon lingerie is more
transparent than 25-denier nylon lingerie.)
departmental meetings A technique of communicating
with all members of a department at the same
time. Housekeeping departmental meetings should
be scheduled at least once each month and when
unique situations warrant them. Meetings should be
interesting, informative, and always under the control
of management. Employees should always be allowed
time to ask questions, which should receive timely
department staffing guide Document that specifies
positions within the organization and the number
of people required to fill these positions. Used as a
hiring guide.
depreciate Systematically reduce the book value of a
fixed asset over its estimated useful life.
detergent A chemical that acts like a soap and is used for
cleaning numerous surfaces. Detergents can be used
effectively in hard water where ordinary soap will not
produce suds and will leave a residue.
developing employees Improving the attitudes, knowledge,
and skills of employees with a view toward
assigning greater responsibilities or effecting promotions.
An activity of staffing.
developing policies Making decisions that will govern
when, where, and how procedures will be implemented;
usually of long-standing nature. An activity
of planning.
developing strategies Deciding how and when to achieve
certain goals. An activity of planning.
development of subordinates Responsibility of management
to ensure the professional growth of those
placed under the manager.
dilution control Controlling the mixing of certain
all-purpose cleaners with water in prescribed amounts
that will enable the performance of various types of
cleaning operations. See also dilution ratio.
dilution ratio Comparison of the amount of water that
is, or must be, added to a specific cleaning agent
that is recommended for a specific cleaning task. For
example, a 20:1 dilution ratio means 20 parts water to
1 part cleaning agent to perform a specific task. See
also dilution control; all-purpose cleaner .
Diplococcus pneumonia (dip-lo-COCK-us new-MOANee-
a) Gram positive. Lobar (lung) pneumonia. Also
walking pneumonia. Treatable with antibiotics.
directing Performing certain activities that bring about
purposeful action toward desired objectives. See also
management sequential functions.
discrepancy A situation occurring when the reported
status of a guestroom by the front desk is different
from the status actually observed by the housekeeping
department during a.m. or p.m. room checks. For
example, front desk believes a room to be occupied
and housekeeping reports the room as a ready room
or a checkout room. Discrepancies must be resolved
by the front desk, or the room must be rechecked by
disinfectants A substance or means used to destroy
pathogenic microorganisms.
disinfection A condition existing when infectious material
or infection(s) are removed.
disinfection (concurrent) Process used while disease is
still in progress.
disinfection (terminal) Process used when disease is
dissatisfiers Items peripheral to a job, such as pay,
working conditions, company policies, and quality
of supervision, that if not properly attended to
will demotivate employees. The positive effects on
motivation caused by properly attending to dissatifiers
are usually short-lived. See also satisfiers.
division of work document A report prepared by the
executive housekeeper as a result of inspection and
investigation of a new facility before opening. The
report indicates areas that will require cleaning
and contains recommendations as to who should
be responsible for cleaning each area. Forms the
basis for development and promulgation of the area
responsibility plan.
documented Recorded event, happening, or inspection
do not disturb (DND) A verbal or written notation by
a guest that he or she is not to be bothered. Refers
to the guest, not the guestroom. Guest usually makes
the request by hanging a small sign, which says, ‘‘Do
not disturb,’’ on the hall side of a guestroom door.

double double (DD) Guestroom having two double
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double occupancy Guestroom occupied by two guests.
See also single occupancy; multiple occupancy.
double rooming Front desk accidentally rooms two
separate guests or guest parties in the same room;
usually occurs as a result of an unresolved discrepancy.
drying capacity Optimum weight of linen that should
be placed in an automatic commercial dryer;
for example, 50-pound, 100-pound, 200-pound,
300-pound dryers. Used in sizing laundries. See also
washing capacity; handling capacity.
duvet Also known as coverlet. Covers the bed down to
the dust ruffle. Some duvets have a pocket in which a
comforter can be inserted to keep it clean.
dwell time Period of time a disinfectant has to remain
on a surface to be effective.
18-room workload Size of the room-cleaning workload
assigned daily to section housekeepers in the model hotel
in this text. A typical workload that would be assigned
to well-equipped section housekeepers in a corporate
transient hotel.
electronic data processing (EDP) Processing of data
by computer when input and output hardware are
connected on-line to a computer’s central processing
unit (CPU).
electrowriter Electromechanical device used for transmitting
facsimile handwritten messages, usually
between housekeeping, front desk, and engineering.
elements of management See management elements.
emergencies Unpredictable combination of circumstances
or resulting states that call for immediate
enlightened action; can often be anticipated but seldom
employee absenteeism See absenteeism.
employee appearance Aspect of employee behavior or
training having to do with personal and uniformed
appearance. A concern of management and supervision.
employee claims of unfairness Statements by workers
that indicate less than harmonious relations withmanagement;
related to the manner in which employees
are being treated. A major cause of worker attempts
and desire to unionize.
employee contamination Corruption of relatively inexperienced
or impressionable employees through the
observance of the dishonest acts of others.
employee costs Costs occurring as a result of having
employees; exclusive of per-hour wage costs; include
costs of health and welfare, sick leave, meals, and
other benefits. See also controllable costs; wage costs.
employee handbook Collection of facts, rules, regulations,
and guidelines about a hotel, a hospital, or a
specific department; usually given to an employee at
the time of hiring to assist in employee orientation.
employee hygiene Personal cleanliness habits of employees
that may be of concern to other employees or
employee problems Problems that cause employees to
have difficulties on the job; employees who cause
interruptions or inefficiencies in work.
employee profile Concise biographical sketch of an
employee, indicating certain traits, characteristics,
and personality.
employee requisition Document initiated by a department
and forwarded to the personnel office requesting
that hiring procedures be started to fill a vacancy
or a newly created position.
employee theft prevention Positive program or plan that
anticipates the possibility of employees stealing.
employee turnover See turnover .
employment checklist Document used during the acquisition
phase of hiring new employees; used to guarantee
that no steps are omitted or overlooked in the
hiring process.
employment history Written record of prior employment
status; usually a part of an employment application
indicating chronologically where the applicant
has worked in the past, inclusive dates of employment,
name of employee’s supervisor, and reason for leaving
the employment.
entomological Relating to insects, especially those that
can cause or carry diseases.
environmental services A hospital’s housekeeping department.
epoxy A synthetic, seamless flooring material. Very long
lasting and extremely durable.
Escherichia coli (ee-shear-EEK-ee-ah COAL-i) Gram- negative.
Can grow in soap. Never use bar soap in a
public washroom. Bacteria can be contracted from
the droppings of animals.
establishing organizational structure Developing the
formal organization plan for the accomplishment of
tasks within a company. An activity of organizing .
establishing position qualifications Defining qualifications
and preparing specifications for people who
will fill positions in an organization. An activity of
organizing .
establishing procedures Deciding and specifying how a
task is to be done. An activity of planning.
executive committee Usually the highest level of operations
management for a hotel property. Includes,
but is not necessarily limited to, the general manager,
resident manager, director of food and beverage, controller,
and director of sales and marketing. Ex officio
membersmay include the director of personnel, chief
engineer, and security director. The top policymaking
body of the property.
executive housekeeper Person in charge of management
and administration of a housekeeping department
or operation within a hotel. Synonymous titles
include director of services, director of internal services,
and director of environmental services (in
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exit interviews Management’s attempt to gain information
regarding working conditions and reasons for
voluntary separations from former employees of the
expense to To write off as an expense or expenditure
or to charge to an expense account as cost of doing
business on an operating statement over a given period
of time. See also capitalize.
face weight The number of ounces of yarn per square
yard in a carpet.
filling The threads of yarn that run the width of the
fabric (also known as the weft).
financial statement Summary of accounts, showing a
balance as of the beginning of business on a given
date, the credits and the debitsmade, and the balance
remaining at the end of the accounting period. See
also operating statement; balance sheet.
finish Final coat(s) of either wax or a synthetic product
that is intended to protect a floor from abrasion,
provide a seamless and smooth top layer for the floor,
and when polished, will provide a glossy and reflective
finished sheet A sheet size that includes the top and
bottom hems.
fire Chemical decomposition of a fuel element through
combustion or burning. For fire to occur and sustain
itself, there must be four elements—fuel, oxygen,
heat, and a chemical reaction.
fire by-products The side effects or results of fire. They
include heat, smoke, toxic gas, and fumes.
first-line supervisor One who supervises one or more
first-line workers.
first-line worker A trained worker who performs handson
work at the lowest level of the organization; works
for a first-line supervisor .
fixed assets Tangible assets of a long-term nature such
as land, buildings, machinery, and equipment. See
also assets; capital assets; current assets.
fixed positions Positions that are fixed in terms of work
and man-hour requirements; positions not subject to
being reduced in hours because of fluctuations in
flash point The temperature at which the vapor from a
flammable substance will ignite momentarily in the
air, in the presence of a small flame.
flatwork A laundry term that is used for sheets, pillowcases,
and table linens.
floor plan layout Engineering or architectural drawing
of the layout of machinery, furniture, fixtures, and
forecasting Establishing where present courses of action
will lead. An activity of planning.
forecasting man-hour requirements A short-run statement
of need for the utilization of man-hours to
accomplish a specific task.
foundation The primary coat(s) of sealer applied to a
floor. A foundation’s intended purpose is to prevent
spilled liquids that may cause staining and other
damage from penetrating into the floor.
14-point theft prevention program Fourteen guidelines
for managerial and supervisory action thatmay reduce
employee theft and dishonesty.
fresh look Inspection conducted by people not regularly
associated with an area; allows for observing
and reporting deficiencies not noticed by someone
regularly in contact with the area.
front office manager Person in charge of front office
operations in a hotel. One of several principal
assistants to a resident manager, who is on the same
level as the executive housekeeper. Person in charge of
the front desk, bell services, transportation, and other
related activities in a hotel.
full-time employment Incumbent has attained full-time
status, usually after successfully completing training
and a probationary period of employment. In
union-free environments, implies that the employee
is committing to work and the company is committing
to schedule the employee 30 or more regular hours
of work each week.
function room sheet Form on which special instructions
are given for setting up, arranging, or rearranging
a guestroom for a special function. See also parlor;
hospitality suite.
functions Management duties and activities. Can be
divided into sequential and continuous functions.
fungus Simple plant lacking chlorophyll. Bread mold is
an example.
furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FFE) Classification
of fixed assets of a hotel or hospital that have specified
depreciable lives, usually ranging from three to seven
general clean See deep clean.
global warming An alarming planetary trend precipitated
by the release of chlorofluorocarbons into the
atmosphere and the burning of fossil fuels.
GRA Guestroom attendant See section housekeeper .
gray goods Unfinished fabric directly from the loom.
gram positive/negative Refers to the color staining of
test samples of certain bacteria. Gram ‘‘positive’’ is a
‘‘blue’’ test result when certain bacteria are treated
with testing reagents. Gram ‘‘negative’’ is a ‘‘red’’ test
greenhouse gases Primarily carbon dioxide and
methane, but also nitrous oxides, hydrofluorocarbons
(HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur
hexafluoride (SF6[sbs]). These gases absorb heat in
the atmosphere. This phenomenon leads to global
ground warp Yarn threads that run lengthwise in a
towel. They are used as the backing for the pile warp
threads. The ground warp is usually a poly-cotton
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group market Market segment of hotel business, usually
defined by the sale of 10 or more room nights in one
guest essentials Guest supplies that are essential in
guestrooms but that the guest would not normally
be expected to use up or remove upon departure.
Examples include water glasses, ice buckets, and
clothes hangers. See also guest expendables; guest loan
guest expendables Guest supplies that guests would
normally be expected to use up or take away upon
departure. Examples include stationery, toilet issue,
and soap. See also guest essentials; guest loan items.
guest loan items Guest supplies not normally found in
a guestroom but available upon request. Examples
include hair dryers, razors, ironing boards, and irons.
Guests sign a receipt and specify a time that the item
may be picked up by the housekeeping department.
See also guest expendables; guest essentials.
guest receipt log book Log book in which guests sign
for the use of guest loan items.
guest request Any special request not normally included
in the regular servicing of a guestroom, such as for
extra towels, hair dryer, razor, roll-away bed, or baby
guestroom Numbered room in a hotel provided specifically
for occupancy by one or more regular or
transient guests; is most often rented but can be
complimented to special guests; is located in a major
subsection of a hotel known as the guestroom portion of
the hotel.
guestroom attendant (GRA) See section housekeeper.
guestroom portion of the hotel Specific area of a hotel
in which guestrooms are located; also includes guest
corridors, elevators, stairwells, vending areas, and
some service areas. Not included are public areas,
restaurants, lounge areas, recreation areas, or major
service areas.
guestroom types A differentiation among the varieties of
guestroom based on types of sleeping accommodations
or equipment; usually identified by specific symbols
as follows: T, room with one twin bed; TT, room with
two twin beds; D, room with one double bed; DD,
room with two double beds; ST, studio, room with a
day bed or convertible sofa; Q, room with one queen
bed; K, room with one king bed; P, parlor sitting room
usually having hidden sleep equipment, may be set
for a small meeting or hospitality function; S, suite,
two or more rooms that connect internally and are
sold as one unit; CON, rooms that are adjacent and
connect internally; BS, bilevel suite, a suite on two
levels having an internal stairway between levels; ES,
executive suite, a high-quality suite, usually having two
or more rooms but only one with access to the hotel
guest supplies Supplies specifically needed because
guests are staying in a hotel. See also guest expendables;
guest essentials; guest loan items.
handling capacity Measure of the design of a laundry
facility that relates to the amount and ease of handling
of linen within the facility. See also washing capacity;
drying capacity.
hardware (computer) Physical components of a computer
system; includes input and output devices, processor
, printing devices, and video monitors (CRTs).
HazComm Hazardous Communication Standard for
chemicals and toxic wastes established by the Occupational
Safety and Health Administration.
holes in the ozone layer This phenomenon is caused
by the release of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Since
the banning of the production of this chemical, the
situation has started to stabilize.
homogeneous Uniform throughout. Everything is made
up of the same elements.
hospitality suite Guestroom that has been temporarily set
up to accommodate a small party; may require the
movement of some furniture; more appropriately set
in a suite or parlor.
house breakout plan Document specifying the division
of the guestroom portion of a hotel into meaningful
work units for cleaning and servicing. The plan is
usually a line drawing of the floor plans of the rooms
section, appropriately divided into room sections and
house divisions to delineate supervisory responsibilities.
house division Group of four to six room sections
with associated and/or specified corridors, elevators,
stairwells, and service and storage areas; may be
assigned a color or letter designation and be placed
under the control of a senior housekeeper (supervisor).
housekeeper’s report A report made daily to the front
desk by the housekeeping department and signed
by a manager, indicating the correct status of all
guestrooms in a hotel as visually noted at about 3:00
p.m. each day. Compilation of results obtained from
p.m. room checks conducted of the entire guestroom
portion of the hotel. Specifies which rooms are ready for
occupancy, occupied by a guest or contain luggage,
and/or on-change (being serviced for newly arriving
housekeeping central Synonymous with main linen room.
Central physical point of administrative and operational
activity for a housekeeping department. Usually
contains or is adjacent to the offices of the executive
housekeeper and principal assistants. Under the supervisory
control of the linen room supervisor and/or night
housekeeping supervisor . Central point of control for
all communications emanating from and received by
the housekeeping department. A point of issue for
selected and special items of supply. See also satellite
linen room.
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housekeeping day That period of a 24-hour day when
the housekeeping department is open and operating;
usually from about 6:30 a.m. until midnight.
housekeeping manager Manager who is the principal
assistant to the executive housekeeper; person who is
directly responsible for guestroom cleaning.May also be
the person in charge of the housekeeping department
in a small property.
housekeeping standing rotational scheduling form Form
used to create and display a system of standing rotational
scheduling, specifying regular days off for
housekeeping teams and other individuals within the
department. See standing rotational scheduling system.
housekeeping team (regular or swing) Group of housekeeping
employees consisting of one senior housekeeper
(supervisor), several section housekeepers or GRAs, and a
section housekeeping aide, who work together as a regular
team or designated swing team within an assigned
house division. The team is usually identified by a color
or number similar to that of the house division where
it is assigned to work.
hypochlorite A salt or ester of hypochlorous acid.
Hypochlorous acid is an unstable, weak acid that
is used as a bleach and disinfectant.
idophors A variety of disinfectants.
individual development (ID) program Development
program for managers being groomed for greater
responsibilities and/or promotion by the Marriott
Hotel Corporation.
indoor air quality (IAQ) Good indoor air quality is
present when 80 percent of the occupants are satisfied
and there are no harmful pollutants present as
determined by cognizant authorities—according to
the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and
Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). There is a
growing concern about the pollution found in the air
inside buildings. Air inside is generally considered to
be much worse on average than the outside air.
input (computer) Data entered into a computer for
inspection day One particular day of the workweek when
regular inspections of guestrooms and other sections
of the hotel are performed. See also zone inspection
inspection program Regular inspection of specified
areas of a hotel or hospital. Usually formalized and
specified through a standard operating procedure. See
also property inspection program; zone inspection program.
inspector Person who does nothing but inspect guestrooms
in a hotel or hospital to ensure that standards of
cleanliness are being maintained.
integrated waste management A strategy that incorporates
many different methods to solve the problem of
solid waste. Solutions include source reduction, reuse,
recycling, waste transformation, and landfilling.
intermediate host A transmitter of disease that is not
affected by it. Also known as an ‘‘immune carrier.’’
An example is the Anopheles mosquito; it can bite
a person infected with malaria, then bite another
victim, thus transmitting the disease.
inventory Quantity on hand of an item of value;
recorded in the books of account as current assets.
inventory (verb) To count and record the quantity of
items of value.
inventory control Management function of classifying,
ordering, receiving, storing, issuing, and accounting
for items of value.
inventory record book Record of amounts of specific
items on hand; also contains pricing information and
valuation of total inventory.
ironers Commercial pieces of machinery used for ironing
linens in a commercial or on-premises laundry.
JCAHO Joint Commission of Accreditation of Health
Care Organizations.
job descriptions Documents describing the work to be
done in each of several unique jobs within a department.
Specify working hours, special qualifications
of the worker, if any, responsibilities and duties of
incumbents to the positions to which they refer. Usually
prepared for workers who do hands-on work and
first-line supervising. See also position descriptions.
jute A strong, smooth fiber that comes from plants in
Asia; used to make rope, canvas, and carpet backing.
key control program Plan or control for the prevention
of loss of keys used by employees in the daily
performance of their work functions.
key pouch Leather container for storing keys. Pouch
usually contains an identifying mark or number to
facilitate easy reference to a specific area of the facility
and ease in subcustody reference and key control
labor costs See wage costs.
laundry consultant Expert in the development of laundry
facilities and operations.
laundry supervisor Working supervisory position in a
hotel or hospital on-premises laundry; reports to a
laundry manager.
leadership Management task of influencing people to
accomplish desired goals.
leadership style The observed behavior of the leader
in an organization. Commonly observed styles have
been categorized and given labels by management
theorists. Examples include MacGregor’s ‘‘Theory X’’
manager who has a high concern for production
but little concern for the welfare of subordinates in
the organization, and the ‘‘Theory Y’’ manager who
has both a high concern for production and a high
concern for people in the organization.
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leave of absence (LOA) Authorized period of time away
from work without pay; granted by management to an
employee, during which time seniority is protected.
leveling technique Enlightened style of conducting a
performance appraisal when poor, questionable, or
unsatisfactory performance is the subject of the
level loop A type of carpet in which the pile loops are of
uniform height.
linen broker Person who deals in linens; may represent
several linen mills; has knowledge and access to sources
of immediate linen supplies.
linen count sheet Form used to record the results of
counting items of linen. See also count sheet.
linen in use Specific amount of linen in circulation or
being used by a housekeeping department to service
guestrooms at the time a linen inventory is taken. See
also linen, new, on hand; linen on hand.
linen mills Places where linens are woven. Linen mills
usually sell to hotels and hospitals through linen
brokers, but large or well-managed hotel organizations
deal directly with mills.
linen, new, on hand Specific amount of new and unused
linen that is stored in cases on the property and is
available when needed; as a part of total linen on hand.
linen on hand Total amount of linen as reflected by
inventory of all linen. Includes new linen on hand and
linen in use.
linen poundage requirements Specified amount of linen
by weight, generated from linen demands of a specific
hotel or hospital based on the size of the facility
(number and type of beds). Used to determine
washing capacity and drying capacity and in sizing
linen room supervisor Working supervisor in charge of
main linen room activities; assistant to the executive housekeeper
. Person is in charge of the central ormain linen
room, linen room operations, and communications
with the housekeeping department, the front desk,
engineering, and the guests.
linens Traditionally, the cloth made from flax fiber;
the term is now used to indicate sheets, pillowcases,
washcloths, cloth bath mats, towels, tablecloths, and
linen valuation Monetary value of the linen inventory,
including both new and in-use linens. Calculation is
determined by multiplying specific linen counts of
each item of linen by the last known purchase price
of the item. A value of the asset linen inventories as a
part of total inventory.
line organization The organizational structure parallels
the duties and activities involved in the production
of a good or service. Follows the principle of span
of control and unity of command (every employee
answers to just one supervisor).
lobby housekeeper See public area (PA) housekeeper .
lobby housekeeping aide See public area (PA) housekeeper
lock cylinder That portion of a door-locking mechanism
that contains the keyway; houses the pins that match
the indentation of a particular key being used to
open a door. Cylinders are removable and thus
loss-prevention program A plan or procedure whereby
action may be taken to eliminate or minimize the loss
of life or property.
MacGregor, Douglas Educator, author, management
psychologist; noted for the development of the Theory
X and Theory Y models for managers.
maid See section housekeeper .
main linen room See housekeeping central.
maintenance checklist Document used as a guide in the
performance of a maintenance inspection.
maintenance inspection Inspection conducted for the
sole purpose of uncovering repair needs, as opposed
to cleaning needs; also conducted to ensure that
preventive maintenance is being regularly performed
on machinery and equipment.
maintenance work request form A three-part document
used for recording the need for repairs; is transmitted
to the engineering department. Form allows for the
control and progressing of work and the recording
of man-hours and materials involved in the repairs
make ready (MR) The act of servicing a guestroom for
occupancy. Making a room ready prepares the room
for a change of status from checkout (C/O) or tidy (T)
to a ready (R) room.
making decisions Arriving at conclusions and judgments.
management continuous functions Analyzing problems,
making decisions, and communicating.
management elements Those things that a manager has
to work with: ideas, material resources, money, and
management science The modern-day derivation of
scientific management. Management science attempts
to apply mathematical models to aid in making
management decisions.
management sequential functions Group of related
actions (planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and
controlling) that a manager may be seen to do in a
given sequence. This sequence is most appropriate
when managing a project.
management tasks Continuous objectives imposed on
a person who manages, such as conceptual thinking,
administration, and leadership.
management triangle Relationship of three aspects of
managerial activity: concern for the accomplishment
of work, concern for the people who perform the
work, and application of scientific techniques to the
field of management.
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manager (as a leader) Person assigned to manage or
supervise a group of employees; must have leadership
managerial grid Graphical presentation of five classical
styles of behavior exhibited by managers when
thinking through decisions in a group setting.
managerial style See leadership style.
managing change Stimulating creativity and innovation
among subordinates that will foster cooperation when
changes in policies and procedures are necessary. An
activity of directing .
managing differences Encouraging independent thought
among workers, and resolving conflict; commonly
thought of as problem solving . An activity of directing .
man-hour justification Statement explaining the need
for and how man-hours will be used in support of
revenue-generating operations.
material Broad classification of items, including furniture,
fixtures, equipment, and supplies used in
or under the control of a housekeeping or other
department within a hotel, hospital, or health-care
material safety data sheets (MSDSs) Informational
sheets available from manufacturers of chemicals that
describe the toxic effects of these chemicals and the
proper procedures to use when handling them. The
HazComm Standard demands that these sheets be
made available to all employees who may exposed to
a potentially hazardous chemical.
measuring results Ascertaining whether there have
been, and the extent of, deviations from goals and
standards. An activity of controlling .
mercerizing A fabric-finishing process that treats cotton
with sodium hydroxide (a caustic soda) to strengthen
the cotton and enable dyes to better penetrate the
fabric. Patented by John Mercer (1791–1866), an
English fabric printer.
metal cross-linked polymer finishes Floor finishes that
contain heavy metals, such as zinc. These finishes have
fallen into disfavor because of their potential harm to
the environment.
microbiology A natural science that began with the discovery
of the microscope. It had been suggested since
the thirteenth century that ‘‘invisible’’ organisms were
responsible for decay and disease. In the latter quarter
of the nineteenth century, the term ‘‘microbe’’ was
coined to describe these organisms, all of which were
thought to be related. Bacteriology, protozoology,
and virology are three subdisciplines.
micron A unit of measure—10−6[ss] meter, or 1/25,000
of 1 inch. (Bacteria are usually in the range of 1 to
300 microns.)
microorganisms Bacteria, rickettsiae, small fungi (such
as yeasts and molds), algae, and protozoans, as well as
problematical forms of life such as viruses.
mineral A solid homogeneous crystalline chemical element
or compound that results from the inorganic
processes of nature having a specific chemical composition.
miscellaneous charge Nonstandard charge (as opposed
to a charge for room rent, food, or beverage) of a hotel
guest for services rendered or product purchased.
molecule A compound created by the combination of a
certain group of atoms.
morning activities Group of activities occurring from
about 6:30 a.m. until about 1:00 p.m. during the
housekeeping day. They include opening the house, commencing
the assigned work, conducting an a.m. room
check, receiving information about checkout rooms,
making up guestrooms, and providing ready rooms to
the front desk throughout the day for reassignment
to new guests.
motivating employees Creating an atmosphere whereby
employees are persuaded or inspired to take a desired
action. An activity of directing .
multiple occupancy Guestroom is occupied by more
than two guests. See also single occupancy; double
Mycobacterium diphtheria (my-co-back-TEER-ee-um
dif-THEE-ree-ah) Gram positive.Transmitted inmilk.
Not too prevalent due to vaccination now available
against disease.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (my-co-back-TEER-ee-um
too-BER-cue-LOW-sis) Gram negative, acid-fast (cannot
be killed with acid).
napery Tablecloths, napkins, and doilies.
natural disaster Event capable of causing loss of life,
great material damage, destruction, and distress. May
be caused by fire, flood, earthquake, hurricane, or
needles Refers to hypodermic needles.
new linen on hand See linen, new, on hand.
night clerk’s report to housekeeping Report prepared
at the front desk by the night clerk for the housekeeping
department at the end of the night’s activity;
indicates guestrooms that will require service during
the upcoming workday.
night housekeeping supervisor Supervisor in charge of
evening housekeeping operations; an assistant to the
executive housekeeper .
night supervisor’s report of evening activities Report
maintained by the night supervisor in charge of the
second work shift, indicating the volume and type
of activity performed by the evening shift. Includes
a record of checkouts and tidies made ready, rechecks
made and the results thereof, and a summary of
special requests made by guests.
no-iron linens Specific type of linens manufactured with
a certain percentage of polyester fiber. Also identified
as blend linens; for example, 50-50 blend has 50
percent cotton content and 50 percent polyester
fiber. If properly handled in laundering, it will appear
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