In September of 2009 I resigned from my job at a 5 star hotel in Melbourne, without another job to go to on principle. I am proud of it, have no regrets, and am doing much better now.
Housekeeping, or cleaning, is often done by a subtracted company. It was in this case. Thus I was employed by the cleaning company, but happened to work in the hotel. My job was afternoon houseman/cleaner. It was a difficult job and very demanding.
I had to respond to guests requests for things like cots, pillows etc. When guests wanted their rooms cleaned of an evening I would do it.
I did a very good job and had actually worked for the company twice before. I resigned both times because I was pretty sick of that sort of job. Now the afternoon shift is 5 hours a day, so I worked 25 hours a week at the Australian minimum full time wage of $13.80 an hour, approx $12 US an hour. On top of this I get sick leave and holiday pay.
My new job I now earn $23 an hour but am a contractor. At 40 hours a week, I take home almost double what I did in my previous job.
Why I quit
The other staff that cleaned rooms were allotted a set number of rooms per day to clean. The usual thing is that for 5 hours they had to clean 9 rooms in the 5 star hotel. If they did not finish their 9 rooms in 5 hours they had to stay back until they were done and not get paid for it. People would usually work 1 or 2 or sometimes 3 or even 4 hours extra to get their rooms done.
It is not easy to clean a room in a 5 star hotel. Everything has to be perfect. Rooms have to be cleaned to a very high standard. When I did it (after years of practice) I could never get it done in the time set. Which i why I cleaned public areas and not rooms
I had an argument with the hotel manager about this practice. with no resutl.
I had a talk with some higher ups in the housekeeping company where I was told that the practice did not exist (and yet I had heard it directly from supervisors and the executive housekeeper)
To get staff being treated in this way to stand up for their rights was difficult
The union was not interested (staff were not union members)
The authorities said the pracitce was illegal but I cannot complain on behalf of anyone else.
I resigned with no regrets, and am now doing much better.
Moral of the story, trust your morals, but find an alternative job first