Death by hospitality: beyond the call of duty
Hospitality staff are often very dedicated to their work, protecting guests’ privacy even when circumstances are suspicious, and treating their wants and needs as paramount. In November 2008, several hotel staff were killed in India while protecting hotel guests from terrorists. This paper briefly overviews the circumstances of a death in which a hospitality employee went beyond the call of duty to protect guests. The implications of extreme dedication to service work are explored in terms of the duty of hospitality, along with the concept of sacrifice, particularly with respect to the exploitation of hospitality workers. Topics for further study are suggested, particularly that of identifying the essential characteristics of hospitality service workers. The concept of lifestyle labour is proposed, as this, in conjunction with the characteristics of ‘hospitality people’, is thought to explain the dedication to service exhibited by many hospitality workers.