Hampton Inn Kanab
Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

The Front Desk Agent Did Not Know What Colored Tissues Meant

When I pulled a tissue from out of its box, I noticed that it was colored blue — and if you read this article pertaining to if the tissues are colored — which I wrote on Saturday, March 23, 2019 — you already immediately know what that means…

The Front Desk Agent Did Not Know What Colored Tissues Meant

…and because midnight was fast approaching, I really did not feel like trudging downstairs to ask for a new box of tissues, since I was almost out of the ones in my hotel room — but if I wanted tissues, I went ahead and did it.

Sure, I could have called housekeeping instead and had the box of tissues delivered to my room — but at that late hour, I really did not feel like waiting before someone knocked on the door. Simply going downstairs and retrieving it was the best option for me.

“How is your stay so far?” the gregarious woman behind the front desk asked me after recognizing me.

“Fine,” I said, “but I ran out of tissues. May I please have a new box?”

She replied with a smile. “Absolutely!”

She handed me my box of tissues literally within seconds.

“I’m sorry about that,” she said apologetically. “I guess the person who serviced your room did not realize that the tissue box was light when it was picked up. And, you know, you pull one tissue out and suddenly the box is empty.”

“Wait a minute,” I said, surprised. “You don’t know about the blue tissues?”

“The…blue tissues?” she asked with a quizzical look on her face. “No, I don’t know about them.”

I then explained to her that towards the end of the supply of tissues in the box, the last several tissues are colored a different color — in this case, blue — to indicate that the box is just about depleted of its supply of tissues.

“I did not know that!” she exclaimed, laughing. “I just learned something new! Thanks!!!”

“Now watch. Just to test this out, you’re going to get a new box of tissues, and one by one rip them out of the box until the blue ones come out…”

“Yes!” she exclaimed gleefully. “This whole lobby will be covered with tissues!”

“…or you can simply cheat by ripping open the bottom of the box and getting to the blue tissues immediately.”

I suppose she thought that that would be no fun; but I can tell that she enjoyed learning that little helpful fact…

…and after this recent interaction occurred, I felt that this is probably a good time to post a reminder pertaining to what colored tissues in a hotel room typically means.

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

If you take the contents out of a box of tissues, you will likely see what is shown in the above photograph: a stack of white tissues, with the last few layers of tissues being a different color — in this case, blue.

The appearance of colored tissues is an indicator — or a secret message of sorts — to members of the housekeeping staff to change out the box of tissues with a fresh new box, as the current box is almost depleted of its supply. This is to ensure that you never run out of tissues — unless you go through them like water due to a bad cold or allergies.

Think about it: when was the last time you were in a hotel room and the primary color of tissues in a tissue box was any color other than white?


Alas, the method of colored tissues indicating an almost empty box is not foolproof. I have been in hotel rooms whose tissue boxes contained only one color of tissue, with which I have unexpectedly found myself with an empty box — usually at an inopportune time…

…but I suppose that is significantly better than running out of toilet paper at the most inopportune time.

The quality of the tissues can be another story: some are similar to what you would want to purchase in a store; while others seemingly have the texture of cheap sandpaper which fall apart at the slightest hint of moisture…

…and then there are those “flowers” or other designs that members of the housekeeping staff create using the first few tissues in a box for a more decorative touch…

All photographs ©2017 and ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

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