Airbnb: Please don’t ask me about the money I make from hosting.

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I understand that people are curious creatures. Humans have a natural instinct to understand the world around them. It is fun to travel and see how other people live life. You could find yourself asking questions to help gain a better understanding of the settings around you. Friendly reminder- there is more than one way to gather information, especially when dealing with sensitive topics.

I find my financial details to be sensitive information and private. I am also willing to express my boundaries. I do not feel bad for standing by them either.

When two strangers meet, their respective boundaries are unknown. Maybe something will be said or done to reveal someone’s boundaries. When boundaries are expressed, it is important to respect them.

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Whenever a guest arrives and proceeds to make conversation about what it must be like to be in the Airbnb business, what it must be like to be a host, what it is like to have strangers around, it seems the money question also comes up. What makes people think it is okay to ask a stranger about their financial situation? and make no mistake, you are asking about money and since I can only speak from my experience and I only know the intimate details of my situation and you are asking me- then yes, you are asking about my private business.

Do you know what it seems like. It seems like this……

Hi nice to meet you, how much money do you make?

  • Is Airbnb lucrative?
  • Are you able to cover the mortgage?
  • Do you have to have a second job?
  • How much do you get after Airbnb fees?

The answers to these questions are none of your business. When asked, I am put in the position of verbalizing my boundary, which sounds like….. Sorry, however we just met and I do not discuss my financial situation with strangers.

The gentlemen who asked me the lucrative question followed up my response with- Oh, I am not asking you about your money. We argued a little. Listen guy, yes, yes you are. Here is the definition of lucrative.

Some people feel bad after my boundary response, which puts me in the position of trying to smooth things out because they are guests in my home and I want them to feel comfortable. I have had to work really hard for this- a few times. My honest response brought an awkwardness to the situation that I felt fine about but I could tell my guest didn’t. They overstepped the bounds with their questions and now they feel bad because I responded honestly and shut down the conversation. Now I have to do the hard work to make it comfortable again.

In the future, think about what you’re asking, really think about it. If it requires divulging personal information then think twice asking a stranger about it.

The saying goes “Treat people how you want to be treated”. As much as I understand the lesson being conveyed, I think we should tweek it a bit to say- “Treat people how they would like to be treated.”

Airbnb: Drinking with the Russian Guest – Part 3 The End.

Albert called a truce on Twitter and we got to bottom of our issue. Our issue was caused by a glitch in the app and bad communication. Airbnb Lesson for the Week: Bad Communication will get you nowhere. Turns out, there is a glitch in the Android version of the Airbnb app. The glitch won’t allow you to see the ALL the House Rules for a listing. There are preset options from Airbnb that you have to choose from and there is additional space to put custom rules (the part he could not see). For now, I am just glad we have made peace. I already think communication is challenging enough with people you know, it can be even more challenging when you don’t know them. It is easy to misinterpret their intent based on their style of communication. Ultimately, I still think it wasn’t okay for him to take my personal information and bash me on Twitter to the point where strangers could identify me. I do understand it was his way to vent his frustration.

Yesterday when peace was made, he asked if I would like to meet for dinner. My schedule did not permit meeting so I asked if he would meet me at Box Social for a cocktail at 8p.m. the next day. He said yes.

On his way to meet me, he was in the area of town where a person jumped/ or was pushed off a parking garage into the downtown streets of Portland. Police Investigation is Underway. He is a great photographer and captured the incident with great detail (the body in the middle of the street). The pictures were gruesome however that’s real life so I find it fascinating. He told me in Russia that pictures like that are often sold to the media. Had he headed my way a few minutes earlier, the timing would have put him there to actually witness the event with his own eyes. How terrible.

We hung out for a few hours, drinking and chatting about his world travels, government red tape, being Russian in the United States right now, jobs and logistics. He is well-traveled – I am in awe of it. I have been craving adventure/travel for close to a year now. Life has required my attention be focused other things. Now that I have done my due diligence, I am ready for some fun!

I am such a light weight these days and after two drinks I am feeling saucy therefore it was time to go after that. I am also a bike only girl who has been too drunk to ride her bike home before ( that was a crazy fun night) as well as terribly funny to me when I realized I couldn’t get home by riding my bike. Did you know you can get a BUI in Portland?

One of the reasons I chose the Box Social was because I am a sucker for a fancy vodka cocktail. Their cocktails are bougie.

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I enjoyed a Doc Holiday and a Bleu Apple Fig Panini. For the second and final drink, I ended our time together with a Moscow Mule.

He will be traveling back to Russia in the morning so it was nice to meet before he left. We hugged it out and then parted ways but not before joking that he had a new follower on Twitter.

Thanks for extending the Olive Branch first Albert. Thanks for showing up. Thanks for staying in the conversation long enough to figure it out and for listening to my side.

Peace and Chicken Grease.

Airbnb: Getting Harassed by a Russian Guest Part 2- Twitter

Twitter time. 13859958641165122791twitter_logo_blue-md

I only joined Twitter to talk smack to President Trump.  I can’t stand him.  He is harmful to our nation. He is harming our nations standing in the world. He is harmful to the lives of women, children, immigrants/brown people, and anyone who isn’t rich. I could shout at him daily. I was good about it at first and then I stopped paying attention since it’s guaranteed that he says crazy things every day and I want to spend my time doing other things.

I was informed a couple of days ago by a very kind stranger that the guest that required kicking out  (Albert) had turned to Twitter to bash me and I didn’t deserve it.

Albert claimed to be a famous Russian blogger that was going to destroy me. He actually ignored my request for non communication and continued to send me messages gaining momentum in aggressive language. I feel harassed. You can only call me a Cunt on Twitter so many times before I have something to say.  He has great reviews on Airbnb. That guy didn’t show up to my house to stay.  I think we see his true colors on Twitter.

The research has shown the following tweets.Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 9.52.56 PM

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and so it begins.

 

 

After getting kicked out, he went to the Inner SE which is close to a homeless shelter and dive bars.

 

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He sent a message saying he was landing at 11:00p.m. My mistake in thinking he would come straight here to check in around 11:30p.m. or midnight.  My check in window ends at 10:00p.m so I was already doing him a favor.

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so he can follow instructions.

 

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He didn’t read the details in the listing because it clearly states where the space is located. 5 Top Things Airbnb Guests Should Do

and there are lots of signs around for good communication, including an chalk board arrow in the hallway pointing in the direction of the guest room (which is what I wrote on the arrow sign)  Airbnb Observation: I’ve decided if you do not like these signs then you do not like communication.

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I give everyone a fresh start. Fresh sheets, dust, trash, clean mirror, and a 420 kit along with a personalized name on a chalkboard for your room. 3 Top Things Airbnb Hosts Should Do

 

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He doesn’t remember.  I came downstairs to see what was happening, I noticed he just arrived since he still had his shoes and was drunk I felt compelled to make sure he knew where the bathroom was and where to get water.  I don’t need another guest “accidentally” trying to come in my room while “looking” for the bathroom when the listing states in 2 places the bathroom is downstairs and the bedrooms make up the entire upstairs of the place.

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Airbnb Lesson for the week: If you lie about reading the house rules, show up and violate them, then your stay with me will come to an end.

 

 

 

 

 

After giving a mini tour, I tried to go back upstairs to go to bed.  I had to be to work early and it is hard to go back to sleep when you wake up too much. He had questions though. Where could he smoke a cigarette? Smoking is not allowed on my property. He made faces and said – I can’t go out front? No. I can’t go out back? No. I reminded him that is states in the house rules (that he agreed to) He said he didn’t see that and gets out his phone to argue about it. I am grumpy from being rudely awoken and know he wants to argue.  I shut down the conversation and say we can pick it up in the morning if there are still questions.

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This guy is killing me.  Like it says in the house rules, the house is 420 friendly for guests since public consumption is illegal. I guess you lied about reading the house rules since you can’t seem to find them.

 

 

 

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I don’t argue with drunk people. Once I could smell the alcohol on his breath. I stopped the conversation and said we could pick it up in the morning.

 

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so the drunk guy thinks he is going to take action before I do. He sure talks a big game for someone who didn’t do a thing but complain on Twitter.

 

 

Before I went back to bed at 3:00a.m. I sent some messaging through Airbnb to document the situation. see messages here

at one point, I asked him to stop messaging and when he wouldn’t respect my request and wasn’t making sense or responding in an appropriate manner to the things being said, I knew I was going to have to have him leave.

Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 10.50.46 PMI called Airbnb first thing the next morning. They tried to call Albert but he didn’t answer.  I had to go in the room with my phone. A case manager was going to tell him it was time to vacate the premise. Instead of keeping all his money, I would let them change his reservation to just one night.

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How does he think Airbnb will be on his side when they already told him he was wrong and had to leave?!?!

They already sided with me.

 

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He sure tweets a lot. I told the case manager I did not wish to pursue the penalty fee. I wanted to be done with him as fast as possible so I made it easy and let it all go. Look at him trying to be all big and egotastic……

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Did he get that refund he was demanding? Nope!

 

 

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He is trying to change his story and they are holding him to the agreed upon modification.

 

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He didn’t get his way and now he is whining away.

 

 

 

 

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I have worked hard for my Superhost status and he doesn’t have the power to take that away.

I have reported these messages to Airbnb.

 

 

 

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Actions speak louder than words. For the record: I have an Android phone not an iPhone. Get the facts straight.

 

 

I got it, he thinks that he can take advantage of my Super host status and their wouldn’t be consequences to his rude behavior. Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 11.21.54 PM

 

 

I can’t take it anymore and finally I say something. Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 11.26.43 PM

 

 

 

My favorite part is where he says Airbnb is not on my side this morning when he is at a crappy motel. He was asked to leave my residence. He did not get a full refund. He got his Airbnb privileges suspended. He has already complained about the situation. Which part do you think is confusing to him?Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 11.30.15 PM

 

 

 

I have a lot of gratitude out there for a particular person who gave me a heads up this Twitter bashing was happening.  It should give everyone concern that someone can get your information legitimately and then take it to another platform where they intend to do you harm.  Put enough information out there that strangers can identify you. I have an angel watching my back! I also am tired of being called a Cunt and the lies he is telling. He wants to sit back and act all big and bad and tell his followers a bunch of stuff that isn’t true. So I am here to give my side to the story and provide evidence along the way.

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Airbnb: Getting Harassed by a Russian Guest: Part 1

I have been a host for Airbnb for 2 years and I have hosted over 350 people. People are people and patterns have revealed themselves. I have encountered all kinds of situations and behaviors – I thought I had seen it all. There is a first time for everything.  Lessons Consequences Choices Wisdom

Albert booked last-minute and sent a message saying he was landing at 11 pm. I took this to mean that he would be headed over straight from the airport and would be arriving around 11:30pm maybe midnight. My check-in window is from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. however I always let guests check-in later since I have a lock box and they can self check-in. Most people have Respect and come in as quiet as possible or at least apologize for waking people up. Not this guy.

20180612_0808551415496442.jpgAlbert, showed up at 3 a.m.- drunk and woke up the house wearing shoes while clopping up and down the stairs. I went downstairs to use the restroom and check out what was happening. I found Albert on the stairs with a deer-in-headlights look on his face. I asked if he was wearing shoes.  He said yes.

I asked why, it’s a house rule (with a penalty fee for agreeing with them and then showing up and not following them).

 

Airbnb: These are my House Rules. Do you think they are reasonable? There is also a friendly reminder sign on the front door. 20180501_195549.jpg

It appeared he had just arrived.  Clearly he hadn’t read anything nor was he aware of the details so I felt compelled to point out the bathroom and guest area in the kitchen so he could get a glass of water.  As I headed back upstairs to go to bed he had more questions. I am a bit grumpy when rudely woken up in the middle of the night. He wanted to know where he could smoke a cigarette. Well….like the listing states there is no smoking cigarettes (tobacco) on the property. He got a quizzical look on his face and said he didn’t read that. Could he not step outside?….no. Could he not go out back?…..no. He argued and debated and I was growing more grumpy. It wasn’t the time for it.

He got out his phone to pull things up. At a glance, I could not tell where this information was located on his phone nor was I going to wake up enough to sort it out. When my eyes opened enough to read it was 3:09a.m. I instructed him to turn off the lights when he was done and we could talk about it in the morning.  Airbnb: I am a host not a 24 hour concierge desk

Before I went to bed, I sent some messages through Airbnb to document the situation.  I knew that I would be calling first thing in the morning to see what my options were.  I have attached all of them for your viewing pleasure. Start from Left to Right in each row.

Someone needs to learn the difference between a House Manual and House Rules.  I even write in the manual to look at the rules for people who are slow or lack attention to detail.

I am an early riser.  I called Airbnb at 7:30a.m. to explain what was happening.  I was assigned a case manager who assisted with me in the process of changing a reservation. He called Albert several times to inform him it was time to vacate- Albert didn’t answer (shocker).  So when the case manager called me back, I said yes I was willing to knock on the door so they could speak on my phone.  Time for Albert to go.  He required me asking him when he was going to leave, he was just chillin’ in bed so I was forced to call Airbnb back to confirm it could be immediately since Albert was trying to say he had until check out time.  Why would he possibly want to stay any longer?

In the past, the guest leaves, I get to keep all the money since they violated the terms and conditions of the agreement.  This time I compromised and let him out of it by agreeing to let the reservation be altered to just one nights stay.  I also cancelled the request for the penalty fee for wearing shoes in the house.  I was willing to let him off easy just to get rid of him so I could move on to the next guest, who would be nothing short of awesome in comparison.

With Albert gone, I hung out with my other French guest, who had cooked us a delicious dinner the night before.

I had the best guest and the worst guest at the same time.  Good thing I like to focus on the positive. Back to the happy place.

Until I received a message from a kind stranger informing me that Albert was trashing me on Twitter, I mean really having a go at me. To the point where a kind stranger could identify me, reach out to me and let me know what was happening. I thought I was free and clear of his harassment.

Time to remember the Twitter password.

Part 2 coming next……

 

 

 

 

 

Airbnb: I am a host not a 24 hour concierge desk

UnknownI am a host that offers two private rooms in my three bedroom home.  I live on property, upstairs in close proximity to the shared rooms.  I have several jobs and enjoy the flexibility hosting has to offer so I can fit it all in. The beauty about being a host is that you get to set up your business however works for you.  My check in window is 3:00p.m. to 10:00p.m. People frequently ask if it is okay to arrive later than 10:00p.m. It is always okay to arrive later since I have Self Check In.  I make sure to leave a key in the lockbox and the porch light on. I let them know that I will be asleep and that they have everything they need to have a smooth check in.

I understand that late night flights are common. By the time they get luggage and make their way to the house, it will be after the check in window.

Recently, I had this scenario come up.  Guest asks if they can check in between 11:30p.m.- Midnight. I say “Checking in late is not a problem. You will need to Self Check In though as I will be sleeping at that time 🙂 It’s easy, I will leave a key in the lockbox and the porch light on.”

To which they reply – “Hi Julie. We just read all the house rules and are totally cool with how you operate in the house. Thanks for the clarity. We will be sure to abide by them. Look forward to meeting you too!”

Fast forward to the night they are scheduled to arrive.

pretty-girl-in-shirt-sleeping-on-white-pillow-in-bed-at-home_1398-3933At 10:35p.m. I sent a message that said – “I hope you made it okay. I’m headed to bed. I left the light on in the room since it will be late and dark when you arrive. The weather was a little warm today. So I left some blanket options for you in case you get cold. There’s a fan and a space heater, please make yourself comfortable. See you in the morning. Sleep well!” and then upon rereading, I sent another short message – “I’m tired and that message could have sounded better. Good night”

UnknownI woke up to a message they sent at midnight! At Midnight!

“Hi Julie we have arrived at the house. What is the code to key box?

This message ruffles my feathers on so many levels. They were very nice people. Young. Educated. Still.  Who waits till the last-minute to ask for information they have had since they booked?  Standing on the doorstep is not the time to get what you need.  Airbnb Lessons are Really Life Lessons What makes them even remotely think I would be available to answer this question or that I would be up to help??  I mentioned more than once that I would be sleeping. I literally sent a message saying Good Night.

Needless to say, I did not respond.  I also found them in the morning using my personal kitchen items.  It was clear they didn’t read the details of the listing.  5 Top Things Airbnb Guests Should Do

Airbnb 101– READ the details, ALL the details of the listing.  This will ensure that all parties involved have a nice experience. Airbnb: The Hosts feeling matter too.  It will also ensure that you don’t cross boundaries you are unaware of.

I have a life. I have a day job. Guests don’t get to come and go 24 hours a day and I am certainly not doing the same job twice.  Airbnb Lesson for the week: When asking for already provided information – expect to be pointed in that direction.

Have some responsibility for yourself. Prepare yourself. Your quality of life will improve because of the time and attention you put towards it.

 

 

 

 

 

Portland, OR is the biggest DIY town I ever met.

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and I am smarter for it.

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I was born in San Francisco and grew up between Colorado Springs, Colorado and the Bay Area. At 21, I decided to leave Colorado Springs and move to Austin, Texas, where I will spend the next 15 years of my life (minus a 3 month stint dealing Blackjack in Vegas). I moved to Portland, Oregon from the ATX.  I have been living in Portland for eight years now and counting. I will move again.

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I don’t remember much about the way things worked in the Bay Area or Colorado Springs. Colorado Springs, at that time, was small, conservative, and surround by the military.  People were probably friendly enough in both places.

 

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Living in Austin taught me about “Southern Hospitality”.  There is something to be said for living with constant sunshine and hanging out outside all the time – it makes for friendly outgoing people.  People who are ready to take the time to answer your questions, call someone if they don’t know or let you follow them because they happen to be going in the same direction. I loved it.  Help with a smile.

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Living in Portland has taught me to be even more resourceful. It is not as sunny around here and it makes me wonder if it contributes to the mentality.  Not many people outside and not many people willing to help you do what you could do for yourself. I hope you have access to the Internet.  You need directions some place? … look up the address, and put it in your navigation.  Don’t have that… Use a compass and a map. There is a gear store nearby where you can purchase those items if you don’t have them either. Figure it out. Solve your problems. No one will be phoning a friend or escorting you around here. It forced me to be even more resourceful.  I have an abundance of gratitude for that.  It is a nice skill to have.  Waiting on other people sucks.

Is it easier for people to just tell you every detail of how things work ( insert anything you have questions about)? yes.  What about the long game though? Teach a man to fish…..

I like to say that the lessons hardest learned are the ones not easily forgotten. People don’t learn from other peoples mistakes.  You have to get your hands dirty, get involved with life and learn from your own mistakes. Mistakes are great teachers. Knowledge = Power.

After all, Life is either the greatest adventure or it’s not.  You choose!

 

 

 

 

 

Airbnb: Sex with guests

Would you do it? Have you thought about it? Been tempted but refrained?

I have thought about it (a couple of times).

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I am a very single girl. I don’t have children. I don’t have any pets and I haven’t had sex in years. Did you read that last word? Years!

I am not interested in going out to bars to pick someone up. I am not meeting anyone on Tinder or Bumble or Match or *insert app. I have never used the adult section in Craig’s List nor do I plan to. A few of my friends have and they recommend it. It scares me.

I can hear you now. What’s the difference between going out and going home with someone vs finding them on CL and hooking up? What about meeting online, then meeting in person and having sex quickly?

The answer is : I don’t know. It feels different. I know they will be leaving. They don’t live in town so I don’t have to have some awkward run in at the grocery story if it doesn’t go well.

One time I hosted a gentlemen from Canada who came down to attend a workshop at the Convention Center. He was staying with me for four nights. I was enjoying his company during the times we saw each other at the house. On the third day, very early in the morning, I woke up to a message that was meant for his old co-worker. He accidentally sent it to me before he went to bed.

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He was telling a story about a road trip and a funny suggestion. He wanted her to know that he actually followed through with her suggestion they talked about. He wore lace panties all day to the conference and they kept him WIDE awake, almost better than coffee. When he came downstairs that morning, I had to inquire about what these panties looked like. He turned beet red and then became a good sport about it. Telling me about his shopping adventure at Victoria Secret’s-there was a sale so he bought three pair. He planned to try them all out. I suggested a photo shoot so we could send pictures as proof to the coworker. It was spontaneous, adventurous and funny as hell. I laughed so hard at times. I was rolling on the floor with tears coming out of my eyes. He was such a good sport about it. After thirty minutes of playing around some sexual tension started to develop between us.

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After the photo shoot, we got ready for the day. He went to the conference and I went to work. When we both happened to be home for the evening, he invited me out to dinner and I decided to go. I took him to Bollywood Theatre . Even though I felt like I was on a date, I was aware of the Host/Guest relationship we had. I wanted to remain professional. I also didn’t know that much about him. I did enjoy his company and I was attracted to his body but I like to know more about someone before I get naked with them.

Nothing ended up happening.

I crawled into his room the next morning, the day he was checking out, to acknowledge the tension and admit that I wouldn’t be acting on it. I don’t want to bang and then he leaves. I don’t want to give someone that part of myself if there is only one opportunity to enjoy it. If I do ever have sex with a guest, it will be towards the beginning of their stay so I can enjoy them the entire time they are in town.

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We decided to go to Multnomah Falls with his last few hours in town before he drives home.

I was thinking about him the next morning and decided to send a text saying hello along with a picture of Multnomah Falls from the day before

I couldn’t have guessed his response in a million years. He was married ?!?!?! He thought that now was a good time to tell me so that I could decide wether to continue to be connected. He wasn’t happy in his marriage. He said meeting me showed him he needed to deal with his current situation. This does not make me feel better.

I was instantly glad I didn’t have sex with him. He lied about quite a few things.

I know this happens all the time in life.

I’m glad I didn’t get involved and I will be on guard the next time a guests comes through that I am attracted to!!