Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Doorman Refuses to Settle for Your American Dream

August 27th, 2012 is eight months since I took this job. 

Wind the clocks back a year, and I was a 27-year-old, depressed loser living in my parent's basement on Staten Island with a lousy income and big dreams of becoming a full-time actor.

Today, I'm financially independent, living in a gorgeous apartment in the Financial District of Manhattan, with a gym, laundry room, my own doormen, and a rooftop with a panty-dropping view. I have a summer share on a beach house, go out when I want, spend what I want, and am still able to save money. And while I've accumulated some credit card debt over the years, I'm fortunate enough to not have the burden of student loans. 

When that's all spelled out, it sounds like I'm a pretty successful guy. I should be happy! Look at all the STUFF I have!

It's all bullshit. I'm living the life of a settler, and it's all fucking stuff. Stuff. Most guys my age would take all of that and say "well, I have everything, time to find a wife and build some seniority at work and buy a house".

I'm a doorman because I can walk away from it. If I found a job with the promise of finally achieving my dream of supporting myself soley on acting, I would walk away and never look back in a heartbeat. Do I want to take abuse from people forever, just so I could pop off a few funny tweets and write about it in a snappy bi-weekly blog? Fuck, no. I'm making the best of a lousy situation. I'm turning my misfortunes into material, then cashing in my material for a ticket the fuck out of here. 

That's the problem with a lot of people. Not just my age, but people in general. You know how many times I've heard someone say "well, at least you have a job, right?" 

FUCK YOU!!! You think every time I open the door for someone who doesn't thank me, I think "gee, I'm really grateful for this"?!?  

NO. No no no no no NO. Are you fucking serious?!? 

Who in their right mind would be grateful for being treated like an indentured servant?!? It's true that there are some people, even a few doormen that I work with, that genuinely enjoy my work. I can't deny them that. They enjoy being the smiling, comforting face that you see when entering the building. They enjoy being the gregarious personality that is there to answer your every question and breastfeed you through your NYC getaway. I get that, and I respect it. But, god dammit, I'm not that guy. 

I'll never go through life saying "at least I have a job", when I don't feel successful. I'm grateful for the roof that I'm able to put over my head and the food that I put in my mouth, but I won't dare try and tell myself that I'm grateful to be someone's doormat. That's a fucking loser mentality. 

I'm not naive. I know I have a lofty dream, but I'll be damned if I settle for anything else. I know it isn't easy to find a job in this economy, let alone a job as mindless as mine that pays so well, but I won't use it as an excuse to settle for mediocrity. If you grew up dreaming to be a police officer, and you achieve that dream, then I couldn't be more happy for you. Congrats, you're successful. But if I got the call for the same job and I took it because I'm getting older, or I had a patch of rough auditions, or I wasn't making any money, or my co-worker told me I wasn't funny, or I just found that it was time to jump at the opportunity to have a pension, then I'd consider myself a settler and a failure. 

Last week, I got the call for a civil-service job that many people would take at the drop of a hat. It's a great job and I could make a very cushiony living doing so. I could retire at 53, with a pension, 401k, rotating 3-day weekends, starting with more than I make now, and a six-figure top-pay with plenty of room for growth. In addition, I would be part of a life-long fraternity and brotherhood. If I were to perish on the job, my family would never have to worry about a thing financially. I wouldn't have to open doors and carry luggages and be a servant for the rest of my life. Doesn't that sound like the American Dream? 

It may be for most people, but it isn't for me. I know in my heart that it isn't what I want to do with my life, and I have too much integrity to commit to 25 years of a career that I know I won't love. 

I want that panty-dropping view, and the doorman, and the gym in my building, and the great income. Or maybe I want the white picket-fence, the family with the dog, the car in the garage and the barbecues in my backyard on weekends. I honestly don't know which one I want yet, but what I know for sure is that I don't want any American Dream based on how many luggages I carry, or how many black town cars I book, or how many foreigner asses I kiss. I want it to be by doing something that, at the end of the day, makes me proud. I want it to be on my terms, and I refuse to settle for anything less. You should consider doing the same. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Doorman and the Old Man Draft a Fantasy Juggernaut

Taking this job has flat-out robbed me of my Sundays. And I fucking love Sundays. Who doesn't love a smelly, hungover Sunday? A day that starts with brunch and football and ends with premium cable television is better than any vacation I've ever taken. Working 3-midnight has taken that privilege away. I'd burn a sick day every so often to fulfill that need, but I don't have any fucking sick days.

When I'm not displaying my door-opening talents, I make a small fortune playing fantasy football. Fantasy football is Dungeons and Dragons for frat boys and idiots with "man caves". If you don't care for this pastime, then I suggest you stop reading now. Or don't. Or fuck yourself.

Our league has an annual tradition to hold the draft at the commissioner's house on a Sunday afternoon, where we get shit-hammered drunk and abuse each other. It's easily one of my favorite days of the year. Since all of my friends have normal jobs, I had no say in the matter. The draft was happening on a Sunday, whether I could make it or not.

After spending weeks unsuccessfully bribing the guys I work with to cover for me, I needed a back-up plan. The only person I could call upon is the wisest fantasy football man I know. The man responsible for molding the roto-prodigy that I became. It was time to bring in the old man...

Friday night via text-

Me-" Dad, I need you to draft a fantasy team for me. It's big money."

Dad- "I'll do it for you, but I'll warn you, I haven't studied. I've been reading Game of Thrones."

Oh, for Christ's sake.

Me- "Seriously? Who are you?" 

While he holds a Master's Degree, I've never seen my father read a fictional book. Ever. Let alone fantasy. 

Dad- "Doorman, these books are terrific. You would appreciate them. The characters, the story lines, everything is just terrific." 

I know it took him at least 40 minutes to send that text, and I needed him to be sharp, so I called. 

Calling DAD. 

Dad- "What's up, Doorman? I'm reading. Have you seen the show? What's the guy's name? The little person. He's terrific." 

Me- "It's not my thing, Dad." 

Dad- "I'm telling you, Doorman. The first few episodes are slow and there's so much going on, but you gotta stick with it, trust me!" 

Me- "Fine, I'll check it out."

Two years ago, if I had called asking him to do a draft for me, he would have been all over it. No questions asked, no distractions. This Game of Thrones was polluting his brain. Unacceptable. 

Me- "It's a twelve team, two QB format. First place is well over a grand. I need the money." 

Dad- "I told you I'd do it, but I haven't been paying attention." 

Me- "Well, I need you to pay attention."

Dad- "Who are you talking to?"

Me- "Uh... My roommate." 

Dad- "E-mail me who you want and I'll see what I can do." 

Works for me. 

Me- "I have a phone next to the door. I'll be in touch with you as much as possible." 


Saturday night I get this text- 

Dad- "Doorman, I'm in the truck at work and I forgot my book. I found this fantasy football magazine here. What do you think of Ryan Matthews? He gets hurt a lot but Tolbert isn't there anymore and he'll be the featured back. I think he'll be a solid late first round/early second round pick." 

The old man is back. 

We spend the next day and a half exchanging phone calls and brainstorming ideas like Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill in Moneyball. 

Draft day arrives. The first team is on the clock at 5:45pm. After 5 years of dominance under the team name "The Toxic Avenger", I failed to make the playoffs last year. I really fucking hate losing these things, so given the chip on my shoulder and obsession with Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, I decided to name my squad "The Toxic Avenger Rises." 

Don't hate. 

The commissioner set up a Yahoo draft so everyone could draft from their laptops at the table. This saves him the work of having to manually create every roster after the draft is over. It also allows for the man known at "Tex" to draft from his home in Texas. Tex is the guy in the league that everyone savagely massacres whenever he opens his mouth. People are only nice to him when they are seeking a trade. Every league has that guy. Since I didn't want to subject my Dad to the animals in my league, I told him to draft from home. 

At 5pm, I get a text from Dad informing me that I have the last pick. Of course. Why wouldn't I have the last pick when I can't even see the team that I'm drafting. That's just fucking perfect. 

Here are some highlights from the draft- 

- Draft begins, 7 of the top QB's go before I pick. There's no more QB's worth taking this early. Dad gives Ryan Matthews another ringing endorsement. I take him, then Darren McFadden with my second pick. I now have two stud RB's. Could be a lot worse. 

- My Dad calls in hysterics, asking who this guy Tex is and informs me that he's "taking a beating" in the draft chat. This makes me laugh. 

- Dad texts, informing me that I'm 6 picks away. A van full of Brazilians pull up. The driver motions to bring out the luggage cart. I sprint into the bathroom. I sit on the toilet and call Dad. We end up with Matt Ryan and A.J. Green with my next two picks. A solid, top-ten QB with huge upside and one of the most promising second-year WR's since Calvin Johnson? I'll take it. 

I exit the bathroom and see 10 steaming Brazilians whom had to carry their own 400 lb. bags up the steps. I apologize and rub my tummy, indicating that I just had violent diarrhea. They are disgusted. Good, fuck em. 

- Dad calls:

Dad- "I asked a question about scoring on the draft chat. This guy 'The Untouchables' told me to shut up and said that I'm a 'no-talent, ass-clown.' I think he was talking to you."


Dad- "Yeah, I'm not gonna do that. Is it points per reception?"

Me- "Yes it is." 

- I'm holding the door open with my foot, on the phone with Dad, arguing about taking a Tight End early. I never take TE's early. 



A guest trips over my foot and gives me a dirty look. I ignore him. 

- I get a text message from Dad. 

Dad- "Why don't you call me anymore? - Mom." 

I call my mom and let her know that I still care. 

- I take a 15 minute break. Sprint into the locker room, where my laptop is waiting. I type in the wifi code that I stole from behind the front desk. The locker room is in the basement, and there's no fucking signal. Sprint up the stairs and into one of the storage closets, and sit on a wheelchair. That's 4 minutes of my break wasted. 

The second I log into the draft, I get kicked off. I log in again, and am booted immediately. I try one more time. My cell phone rings. 

Dad Calling. 


Me- "I'M SORRY, DAD! GOD!!!" 


I spend the rest of my break sitting in the wheelchair with nothing to do. Dad drafts TE Jermichael Finley. I'm okay with that. 

- The draft is nearing a close. Holding the door open with my foot and on the phone with Dad. 

Dad- "Brandon LaFell is still there."

Me- "Perfect! Let's do it."

I turn around and the GM is standing behind me. Fire in his eyes. 

Me- "Yes, that's "L" as in Larry, "A" as in Adam, "F" as in Frank, "E" as in Eddie, double "L" as in Larry. 8pm, party of 4. Thank you so much. 

Dad- "What the hell are you talking about?" 


I turn to the GM and smile. 

GM- "Don't hold the door with your foot." 

Me- "Sorry, sir." 

He leaves. 

- The draft has come to a close. Here's the final product (I know my hand-writing is atrocious, but this is the list that I recorded as the draft was happening) :

For having the 12th pick in the draft and the chaotic fashion in which it was drafted, we ended up with one of the best teams in the league. Yahoo predicts that we will finish in first place with a 10-3 record and the most points over the course of the season. Suck it. 

I call Dad on my next break to thank him: 

Dad- "You're welcome, Doorman. I had fun. But I gotta go, Game of Thrones is coming on."

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Doorman Attempts to Own Pretentious Bitch, Fails.

I haven't blogged in awhile because I've been working on getting my website going and partying my heiney off at weddings and my beach house at the Jersey shore. With the summer winding down, I've begun to pick up the pieces of what has been a booze-fueled marathon to wash away the inferiority complex that has been festering in my brain since I took this job in December. There's plenty more on the horizon, but here's a cute little story to hide you over...

I've mentioned that I'm an actor with a deep affection for the theatre. I see as much as my wallet permits, and whatever comped tickets I can come across. It's nice working in a hotel in midtown Manhattan. People like to give you free shit with hopes that you'll send them a million people.  I don't get many opportunities to talk theatre with guests because the idiots that inhabit my hotel are too busy shopping and stuffing their faces with McDonald's.

Once in awhile, I'll have to hail a taxi for some family seeing The Lion King or Mary Poppins. They all assume that I know where these theaters are located. (Not because they know that I'm well-rounded in the arts, but because it's my job.) One night, I had another one of these Mid-Western, menopausal nightmares ask me to hail a cab to the Theatre District.

Hag- "I need a taxi to Times Square."

Me- "Where in Times Square?"

Hag- "I'm going to a play."

Me- "Awesome! What show are you seeing?"

She give me a look like she was Aaron Sorkin and I had just asked her if she wanted to read a screenplay that I've been writing.

I get that not everyone is in the mood to be bothered by some idiot in a hat, prying and asking questions, but humor me for a fucking second. It's my job to ask you what you'll be doing this evening.  Do you honestly think I care about what you do with your time here? No, really, is your life that interesting, where you feel it's beneath you to share it with the fucking doorman? No and no. I'm just being polite.

So, with a scowl, she answers my question-

Hag- "Memphis, ever heard of it?"

Well, yes, I have. It's a mediocre musical whose book was written by some jheri curl asshole from Bon Jovi. It won the 2010 Tony for Best New Musical in a weak season. And this isn't the first time someone challenged my knowledge of the theatre and paid the price. Now, I'm going to make her feel really fucking stupid, like the hag that came before her. I put my cocky-going-to-put-you-in-you-place face on, and stepped into the batter's box:

Me- "You mean the 2010 Best New Musical winner now starring Anthony Rapp from Rent?"


No! Wait!

I fucked up my Rent references. Anthony Rapp played "Mark" in the original cast, but he's not the one in Memphis. Fuck. An actor from the original Rent cast is now in the show, and I know his angelic voice anywhere, but I can't remember his fucking name. Alex? Andrew? Anthony? Adam? ADAM!!! Adam... Adam... ADAM WHAT?!?!?

She knows that I fucked up, and now she's going to take my cocky, erroneous rebuttal and shove it back down my throat.

Hag- "You mean, Adam Pascal?"


I must have sung One Song Glory a hundred times while bored on the door at night. There's countless tour buses advertising Memphis with the tagline "Now Starring Adam Pascal" that passes by the hotel every day. I got over-eager to put this twat in her place, and I choked.

I put her in her fucking taxi. No tip, no thank you. I did my walk of shame back to the door, with my face freshly flushed, defeated. Score one for the hags.