Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Concierge Stories: Hangover

8:12am- My right eye cracks open. It feels like someone is having sex with my brain. I muster up the strength to pan my cornea to the cable box.

FUCK.

I'm late for work.

This was back in my concierge days, when I lived on Staten Island. I was already 12 minutes late to work, so it's not like I could have just jumped in a taxi and called to let them know that I was on my way. I was in deep shit.

8:13am- I spring out of bed. The entire room shifts to the left and I nearly fall flat on my face. I'm naked. I grab my cell phone. 3 missed calls, all from work.

DOUBLE FUCK.

8:14am- I call my manager on duty. I need to think quickly.

Manager- "Hello, this is Nicole."

Me- "Err… Nicole, it's T-bone. I just got a speeding ticket and I couldn't use my phone. So sorry. I'm on my way."

Nicole- "Ok."

Click.

8:15am- I observe the floor: My clothes are all over, there's a McDonalds bag with a receipt totaling $17 stapled to the outside. The Sunday New York Times is piled on the floor as if it were laid out for a dog to piss on.

8:16am- I grab the first things I can find in my drawer. It was the dead of summer, so I ended up with a Batman shirt, basketball shorts, and my socks from the night before. I throw them on, and search the room for my shoes. Nowhere to be found. What the fuck? I step on the newspaper. It's wet. I have apparently urinated on the wee wee pad that I laid out for myself. Awesome. I yank my socks off and grab my flip flops.

8:20am- I'm furiously brushing my teeth and peeing at the same time. I gag and nearly vomit into the sink. I regain my composure, then take a shot of mouthwash.

8:22am- I burst out my front door and sprint to my car. The rubber flip flops slap the pavement and the tips of my toes scrape the concrete.

8:26am- I'm on the highway going 100mph in my 1999 Ford Escort. My blood alcohol level is still probably twice the legal limit.

8:46am- I'm on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway making phenomenal time. I get a text from my buddy, who was with me the night before- 

"Are u alive?"

Terrific.

9:01am- I park my piece of shit car and think about the 20 people I nearly killed getting here. My phone vibrates again. Different friend this time-

"Did you make it home ok?"

Fantastic.

9:03am- I sneak through the employee entrance and into the bellman's closet. A buddy from the front desk, Mike, is in there, texting.

Mike- "Dude, where were you? You look like hell."

Me- "I got a ticket."

I had my suit stashed in the closet because it was summer and didn't feel like wearing it on my commute. I pull my basketball shorts down without even thinking. Mike's body jolts and he quickly turns his head.

Mike- "Dude, come on!"

I look down. I have forgotten to put on underwear, and my cock and balls are out.

9:07am- I go into the lone unisex bathroom in the lobby. The image of early-90's Robert Downey Jr. stares back at me in the mirror. I came to work in flip-flops, so now I'm wearing dress shoes with no socks. I question my life decisions.

9:09am- I finally make my way to the Concierge desk. Word must have gotten out about my arrival, and a line of eeehhhh's have formed.

Super.

9:10am- I have started my computer, and it is loading. A man from France wants tickets to a bus tour immediately. I tell him that my computer is starting up. He folds his arms and stomps his feet like a child.

9:12am- My computer has loaded. I opt to open G-chat instead. I tell the man from France that it is still starting up and he needs to wait a few minutes. He scoffs and looks outside, as if there is another concierge desk in the middle of 6th Ave.

9:13am- I send an instant message another concierge friend-

TboneHotel- I want to die.

9:15am- I sell the man from France his fucking bus tour. He doesn't thank me. My concierge friend responds to my IM-

ConciergeFriend- LMAO you have a problem.

Thanks.

9:26am- I finish plowing through a series of bus tour information and airport shuttle services. Each person looked at me like I was a dirty tampon on the bathroom floor of a biker bar. I need to sit down. My desk has a sign for when I went to lunch or to the restroom.

THE CONCIERGE WILL RETURN IN 5 MINUTES.

9:31am: I'm sitting on top of the toilet in the unisex bathroom with my face buried in my hands. The room is spinning. My head is throbbing. Only eight and a half more hours to go!!! I hear a knock at the door:

"Eeeehhhhh toy-let"

Ugh.

9:33am- I exit the bathroom give the guest a dirty look on the way out. She is oblivious.

10:06am- I'm staring at a blank desktop, as I've been doing for the past 30 minutes. My condition has not improved. Management has not seen me yet. Good.

10:16am- A big, fat, hairy fuck waddles his way over. He smells like cheese. This is a gift from Satan. I feel a strong urge to vomit everywhere. I begin breathing through my mouth to avoid spewing on his pit-stained shirt. He takes his giant, Robin Williams arms and slides them over my desk and folds his hands, like he's going to say something interesting or original.

Big Stinky- "Today... We go to Soho!"

I wait for him to finish the thought...

10:17am- Nope, that's it. That's all he has to say.

He's telling me that he's going to SoHo, like it's the land of opportunity.

Me-"AND?!?"

His expression turns from triumph to the look you get from a 3-year-old when you slap an ice cream cone out of their hand.

He leaves. I look at my desk, and there are two, thick wet streaks where his arms once were. He left his sweat all over my desk. Fucking asshole.

Not today. I grab my sign.

THE CONCIERGE WILL RETURN IN 5 MINUTES.

10:20am- It's too hot to go outside. I go back to the unisex bathroom and begin splashing cold water on my face. I keep getting heat flashes.

10:33am- I return to the Concierge desk. There is a woman waiting there, upset.

Upset Lady- "The sign said you'd be back in 5 minutes. I've been here 8."

Me- "Sorry. I have a bad stomach."

The stench of booze and poor decisions makes her way to her. She grimaces.

Me- "Is there anything I can help you with?"

She has formed her opinion. I am a degenerate and am in no condition to help her.

Upset Lady- "No. I think I can handle it."

Score.

I look down at the desk, and Big Stinky's fucking sweat marks haven't dried yet. I wouldn't be surprised if these pools of fluids crystallized and formed into an awful, touristy creature.

I can't work like this.

THE CONCIERGE WILL RETURN IN 10 MINUTES.

10:40am- I'm at the cafe across the street enjoying a delicious iced coffee. I overhear someone order a bologna and ketchup sandwich. My body tells me to vomit once again. I fight it and, just barely, win. 

10:46am- I have this text exchange with another friend who was with me the night before:

Me- "What happened last night?" 

Friend- "Well, we ended up at the Patriot at 3am. And you ordered a pitcher of Patriot Ale for yourself."

That explains a lot. The Patriot is a raunchy dive bar in the Financial District of Manhattan. Patriot Ale is a $6 pitcher of carbonated urine that they brew in the back.

Friend- "You started calling short-haired the female bartender 'Gozer' and growled 'ARE YOU A GOD?' every time she asked if you were okay."

That's a Ghostbusters reference. If you don't get it, you suck. 

10:55am- I get a text from Mike at the front desk:

Mike- "Get the fuck back here. There's a huge line."

CRIPES.  Don't these idiots know that I'm hungover?

11:00am: There's a gaggle of huffy morons awaiting assistance. I assist accordingly.

11:12am- I completely zone out, and charge a guest $240 instead of $24 to their credit card.

11:14am- Still staring stupidly at the screen, figuring out what to say.

11:16am- Me- "There seems to be a glitch with the computer. It'll just be another minute."

11:20am- Me- "You said you only wanted a shuttle to JFK, right?"

11:23am- Me- "So one shuttle to JFK. Will that be all? Would you like to book a helicopter tour as well?"

11:27am- Me- "Oh dear, there seems to be an issue with the system and it has overcharged your credit card."

It takes 5-7 business days to issue a refund.

Guest-" I'd like to speak to your manager. "

Nicole comes out from her office looking EXTREMELY agitated. She doesn't even look at me. The guest erupts about every single thing that has gone wrong with his stay. Everything from the hot water in the shower to the room service, seemingly saving my antics for last. But Nicole suddenly catches an attitude with him, which pisses him off even more, and he begins letting the her have it. It escalates to the point where security has to escort the man back to his room. With all the screaming and complaining about what a bitch Nicole is, he forgets to mention that the smelly, hungover guy overcharged his credit card. 


Well, that was exhausting. I need a break.

THE CONCIERGE WILL RETURN IN 5 MINUTES.

The next 2 hours were pretty redundant. Guest approaches me, sees what a disaster I am, and tries to get away from me as quickly as possible. Fast forward to lunch.

THE CONCIERGE WILL RETURN IN 60 MINUTES.

1:00pm- I take off my jacket, dress shirt and tie and chuck them in the bellman's closet without looking.

1:10pm- Against my better judgement, I opt to have a burrito for lunch.

1:14pm- The burrito falls apart in my hands after the first bite. I don't care. I begin grabbing handfuls of Mexican goodness and shoveling it in my mouth like an orphan.

1:15pm- I finish my burrito. There is guacamole and sour cream all over my face.  I belch loudly. A woman with her young daughter gives me a dirty look. I don't care.

1:25pm- The hotel had a restaurant that was only open for breakfast. I occasionally would eat back there when they were done cleaning from the morning. I decide to get a half hour of shut-eye in one of the booths.

2:33pm- I'm in a helicopter fighting John Travolta. He has a soul patch and he's evil. The helicopter jerks to the left and I lose my balance and fall. Travolta jumps on top of me and begins punching me in the face. I reach for a blunt object conveniently located just within arms-length of me and blast him in the temple with it. He hits the ground. I stand up, disoriented, and run for the gun on the other side of the helicopter. I pick it up and turn, ready to put a bullet in this motherfucker. All of a sudden, I feel vibrating on my right thigh. 

My cell phone is ringing. I wake up. Mike from the front desk is calling me. There is drool all over my face. I wipe it off with the back of my hand. 

I wonder if my sub-concious would have finally taken out John Travolta this time, or if he would have gotten away again. 

2:50pm- I've plowed through another group of idiot tourists. My stomach begins to make all sorts of horrific noises. 

3:11pm- I gear up for the first burrito fart of the day. Farting was a pastime at the Concierge desk because people never think that it's the guy in the suit. I squint my eyes and grind my teeth, waiting for the first bomb to drop. Only it doesn't happen right away. No worry, all I need is just a little more umph. 

3:12pm- I feel the fart come to the surface. This is going to be a monster. Wait for it... Wait for it... 

3:13pm- A silent bit of gas comes out, followed by a spray of fecal matter onto the back of my pants. It was like someone shooting pudding out of a trumpet. 

Aw, man...

THE CONCIERGE WILL RETURN IN 20 MINUTES. 

Check-in time in this hotel is 3pm. The lobby was fucking PACKED. 

3:14pm- I waddle across the lobby, looking at the floor, fighting my way through a herd of eager travelers, leaving a stink trail behind me. I can't look anyone in the eye. 

3:16pm- I make it to the unisex bathroom. As soon as I pull my pants down, I remember that I forgot to put on underwear this morning. 

Fuck my life. 

3:17pm- The disaster that I made in my pants hits my eyes and nose simultaneously and, before I could even think about it, my face is in the toilet. 

3:18pm- I'm doing a "scream vomit". You know, the type of vomit where, if someone were outside the bathroom listening, it would sound like Chris Farley yelling into a coffee can. 

3:23pm- The only moment in my life where I feel like I've hit a bottom. I'm laying bare-ass on a filthy hotel bathroom floor with my chin on the seat of a toilet. I have poopy pants around my ankles that I have still yet to address. 

3:26pm- I'm bottomless, washing my pants with hand soap. This is pathetic.

3:31pm- I've cleaned all of the feces and my pants are drying under the hand-dryer.

3:33pm- I realize that it's time to go. I could probably pass for food poisoning at this point, being that instead of smelling like alcohol, I smell like vomit and shit.

3:36pm- I drag my sorry ass to Nicole's office, afraid that my appearance alone will get me fired.

But when I opened the door, I found her there, sleeping on her office chair, with an empty bag of McDonald's and a bottle of Advil.

She's hungover too!

This explains why I haven't seen her all day, and she couldn't give a rat's ass about what was going on in the lobby.


Me- "Excuse me, Nicole?"

She comes to, barely. 

Nicole- "What?"

Me- "I'm not feeling well, I think I have-"

Nicole- "Go."

Me- "Thank you."

Had she been alert enough to know what a disaster I was, I would have been sent home or fired before noon. But she was so out of it that she probably didn't even realize that I came in late. 

3:50pm- I throw my suit into my trunk like it's a dead hooker. I never wore it again. 

I drove home and passed out immediately. But not before hitting 2 hours worth of traffic because of an accident on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. 

And I bought Mike lunch the next day. 




Sunday, April 22, 2012

Triumph!!!

I get humiliated every day. Whatever. It's part of the job and I get to turn it into comedic gold. But every once in awhile, I get to have a little moment of triumph, and when it happens, it's magical. This is one of them:

A taxi pulls up and 2 meatheads from L.A. get out. They were about as stereotypically Los Angeles as you can get- chisled, tan, big, bright-white teeth, and a lousy attitude. Both perfectly capable of carrying their own fucking bags. But come on, why carry your own bags when you're really, really, really, ridiculously good looking?

They had a lot of photography equipment and a gargantuan duffle bag. I tried to pick up the stupid thing and, misjudging how heavy it was, lost my balance and stumbled a bit. I was perfectly strong enough to carry it, I just forgot that some men pack like they're Katherine fucking Hepburn. Instead of helping me out, this asshole says "Ay, you gotta hit the gym, bro."

Fuck you, all I do is lift things all day. It's not my fault that you packed for a weekend in New York like a fucking starlet.

He wasn't done. I loaded all of his shit from the taxi to a luggage cart in the lobby to him following me, not lifting a finger, telling all the exercise routines that I should be doing.

Meathead- "You gotta do curls, squats, dead lifts..."

You get the idea. He was a prick.

They left me to the bags and I wheeled the cart up to reception, where they were next in line. The doorman doesn't bring the cart up to the room, the bellmen take it from there. So, in essence, a lot of the time I end up doing most of the work and the bellman who takes them upstairs and scores the tip. Reason #7,234 why being a doorman sucks ass.

I see that these creeps don't have any money out, and have no plans on doing so.

Me- "Ok, gentleman. Enjoy your stay."

I linger, like I always try to do. Sometimes people need a reminder.

Now, you can talk down to me, I don't give a fuck. These assholes have no affect on me. I'm perfectly happy with who I am and wouldn't give these cunts the satisfaction of seeing me get down from their shitty attitude. You can stiff me, whatever, there's plenty of tips out there to be had. But you're not gonna talk down to me and then not give me a tip. Fuck you, motherfucker, you don't get to do both.

I needed to wake these idiots up, but I can't flat-out ask for a tip in the middle of the lobby. Doing it outside or in a room is one thing, but if a manager sees you pining for a tip right at the reception desk, you're in trouble. But I didn't want to let them get away with this, so I said what is to date, the best thing I've ever said to an asshole guest-

Me- "Heh, shame I can't afford to go to the gym."

I walked away, without even having to look back. Sure enough, before I could even get back to the door, this asshole was right behind me-

Meathead- "Excuse me, sir. Here ya go-"

Three dollars.

Meathead- "Sorry about that."

Boom.
For all the shit that I had to carry, that's a pretty mediocre tip. But come on, I got the guy to call me "sir". There's a small victory in there somewhere... I think.