Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ugly Americans

I'm coming up on my one-year anniversary of door-manning. With all of the foreigners that stay in my establishment, treating me like a slave without tipping, I looked forward to December all year. Why? Christmas in New York City brings one blessed thing - Americans!!!!

I couldn't wait for the higher rates, to be showered with tips, to recommend great restaurants and shows to people who will appreciate me! I couldn't wait to have common ground conversations again, like football and American television and Oscar contenders!!! Finally, Thanksgiving came, and I was finally going to have a hotel full of my own people...

Yeah. 

Two weeks into the holiday season, I can see and justify why whenever you ask a foreigner who the worst tourists on the planet are, it's not the Brazilians or the French or the Italians or the British - It's the grand ol' U.S. of A at the top of the list. Like every other group, there's a portion that fly under the radar, a few genuinely nice people that go out of their way to talk to you, and a whole-lot of fucking assholes. The American assholes are a special breed.

Guys, seriously, get your fucking acts together. These past couple of weeks have been a humbling experience. I used to think I could get away with whatever kind of drunken behavior I wanted in a hotel because I was generous with my money and just hushed people with fives and tens.. Holy shit, will I ever change my philosophy. There's a German girl that stayed in the hotel earlier this year that I still keep in touch with, and I asked her why the rest of world hates American tourists. She put it very simply: 

"Because they drink too much, are loud, and are always flashing their money." 

I try my best to break that mold, and as much as I'd love to say that isn't me, I look back on my road trip to Chicago with my two best friends that I took in the Summer of 2010. We went to a Cubs game, walked around the city a bit, and saw some sights. Oh yeah, and we were disgustingly ossified the entire time. We yelled at people we knew we were never going to see again and acted like boorish savages. 

The vacation philosophy with an alarming amount of Americans (myself included) is "I'm going to go to this city and get as fucked up as I can and maybe see a few things." I was in Chicago for three days, and all I can remember was Wrigley Field and the nine beers I drank in the stands. I also remember being thrown out of a club by the collar of my shirt because I thought it'd be funny to spike a beer onto the dance floor while dancing to That Girl is Poison. While I was embarrassed the next morning, all I could think was "man, I can't wait to tell my friends that story when I get home." 

When I worked as a concierge, I didn't really see much of this because I was usually out the door by 7pm, well before where shit hits the fan. The only thing that stands out is a man with a large family of teenage boys from Missouri. I was giving him directions on the subway while his family was sitting on the other side of the lobby. He was in his mid-40's, but still wore a backwards baseball cap and a St. Louis Rams jersey. 

Out of nowhere, while I was mid-sentence, he screams "HOLY SHIT!!!", pulls his camera out of his pocket, and sprints out the door, screaming "BOYS! BOYS! COME OUT HERE NOW! YOU GOTTA FUCKING SEE THIS!!!" 

I'm thinking that there has to be a centaur taking a dump in the street or something, so I follow him out the door. What I saw was a little person, walking along, trying not to get angry, with this man in his face, filming him screaming "A FUCKING MIDGET! GOD DAMN!" 

The funny thing was, his SON had to come out and say "Ok, Dad, enough." 

That's bad, but what I've seen in my hotel since Sunday has been enough to change my vacation behavior for good. 

-A drunk middle-aged couple come stumbling out, and the woman takes charge: 

Woman- "How bout you get us a taxi?" 

I decided to play "I'm going to make you repeat the cunty thing you said till you realize just how cunty it was." 

Me- "Excuse me?" 

Woman- "How bout you get us a taxi?"

Me- "Come again?" 

Woman- "How bout you get us a taxi?"

Me- "Sorry, I'm deaf in one year, can you repeat that?"

Woman- "How bout you get us a taxi?"

Me- "Again, in this ear." 

Woman- "How bout you get us a taxi?"

Well, she's not budging. 

Me- "Would you like to try again?" 

She's oblivious to the fact that I'm fucking with her, and believes that I am, indeed, too stupid to process her request. 

Woman- "I. NEED. A. TAXI. WOULD. YOU. LIKE. TO. GET. ONE. FOR US?" 

She looks at her husband, as if she wanted to confirm that the hotel would allow someone this deaf and stupid to be the first face you see when you arrive, and the last when you exit. 

Instead of losing my mind and cursing them out, which was something I had been itching to do to someone all night, I went the "smile and say something shitty" route that you learned in my Guide to Fucking with Guests

Me- "Not really, but I guess I have to." 

She laughs a vicious, airy cackle, then honks like a donkey. 

Woman- "I like you! YOUR FUNNY!!!" 

(Notice I misused "your". That's intentional, because I imagine she has a Facebook page, and I'd bet my life that she has a plethora of status updates where she can't differentiate "your" and "you're", because she a stupid, mid-life crisis, brainless twat.)

Her husband, cock-eyed and eager to get in on the fun, decides to join in:

Man- "Heh heh. She can probably get a cab faster than you." 

Great one, turbo. Way to gain command of the situation. I should have invited them to try, so I could kick them up the ass and into an on-coming ambulance. 

I hailed the first taxi that pulled up, and, of course, no tip. 

They arrived a few hours later, in worse shape than before. She got out, and in a struggle, her skirt hiked up and I caught a glimpse of beige, see-thru lingerie covering what appeared to be a black owl's nest. Classy. 

- A group of old, mink-coat wearing southern belle's file out to go see Matthew Broderick in Nice Work if you Can Get it. They brought out their drinking glasses, and were chugging red wine like a college student playing flip-cup. 

The leader of the pack, wearing a leopard coat, takes charge. She looks like the mascot for the Jacksonville Jaguars. 

Jaguar- "We need a taxi to the THEE-AY-TER." 

Fantastic, one of these. 

I hail them one, while they're all chugging away. I open the door, and they all put their glasses out, like I'm a busboy. 

Me- "What's this?"

Jaguar- "That's for you!" 

Me- "Excuse me?" 

Jaguar- "That's your tip!" 

They all start giggling and pile in without giving me a dollar. 

Now, I expect this bullshit from a bachlorette party. But really? These are probably grandmothers!!! 

My blind rage prevents me from saying something witty, so all I could muster was an lousy "Oh thanks, thanks a lot! Thanks! Gee, real great! Thanks a lot!" Before I slammed the door as hard as I could. 

The taxi sped off, with this covent of hags about to go on with their evening at a mediocre Broadway show, with me as a distant memory. I had never been so defeated. 

When they came back, I was hanging out by the bell desk. I refused to make eye contact with them. One of them had the nerve to say "Smile!" to me. No way. Wasn't happening. 

Jaguar- "You must see all sorts of stuff here! Enough to write a book!"

Precisely, bitch. 




Warning: This last story is grotesque. If you have a weak stomach, I suggest you stop reading now. You've been warned. 

This past weekend, by beloved New York Football Giants hosted the New Orleans Saints, which brought in hoards of shitty, aggressive southerners. I guess it's their payback for all the Yankees who ruined Mardi Gras for them. 

Whatever, the Sweet Prince Eli and G-Men knocked the Saints' collective blocks off, which in return, regurgitated a group of drunk, bitter Louisiana folk from Metlife Stadium. A limo got dropped off in front of the hotel, and they immediately went for the first bar they saw, which happened to be the restaurant attached to to the hotel. The joint is high-end, and we generally have no affiliation with them because our guests can't afford to eat there. 

It was peak dinner-time, and Gotham's elite were about to get a rude visit from a gaggle of pissed-off, Drew Brees jersey-wearing animals. They continued drinking... A LOT. 

After about an hour of carnage, one of the women, in her late 30's approaches Marty, from the Hurricane Sandy story, at the bell desk. 

Saint Lady- "Your restaurant has no toilet paper."

Marty- "Okay." 

There's a long pause. She's swaying and rocking back and forth, with her eyes in all sorts of bloodshot contortions. 

Saint Lady- "Well... are you going to... going to do something about it?!?" 

Marty- "Well, no. We're separate entities. Just tell the bartender or the manager in there?"

"Entities", Marty? Really? 

Saint Lady- "SO YOU'RE NOT GONNA HELP ME?!?!

Marty- "Lady, I don't know what you want me to do. Use the restroom in the lobby." 

Saint Lady- "UGH, THAT BATHROOM SUCKS!"

Marty- "That seems to be your only option, ma'am." 

Saint Lady- "FINE... FUCKING ASSHOLE!" 

She zombie-walks to the restroom. 

About ten minutes later, a different woman goes to use the women's facilities. She opens the door and screams. It echoes through the lobby, loud enough for me to hear it through the doors. I ran up there, and the woman, pale-faced, covering her mouth, can barely get any words out. 

Me- "What happened? Are you okay?" 

I go to open the door, and she grabs my arm. 

Woman- "Don't go in there!" 

Me- "What is it?" 

Woman- "There's blood... blood everywhere!" 

I grab the phone to call security. One of the girls from the front desk walks by, and I stop her and have her open the door. She does, and screams. 

Front Desk Girl- "Oh my God!!!"

Me- "Will someone tell me what's in there?!?!" 

She looks like she had just witnessed a beheading. 

Front Desk Girl- "Someone shit and bled all over the ladies room." 

Me- "What? Is there anyone in there?" 

Front Desk Girl- "No."

Well, I need to confirm this. I open the door, and sure enough, there's a shitty chainsaw massacre in the bathroom. At first glance, it looks like someone splashed a pot of meat sauce against the wall. I have an extremely weak stomach, so I immediately dry heave and slam the door. Like any disgusting, train-wreck incident, everyone began to convene in front of the door to see the wreckage. 

After a few minutes, the doorway to the bathroom is surrounded by bellmen and guests like paparazzi waiting to snap a shot of Lindsay Lohan outside a nightclub. Then the last guy to show up to the party came. 

Aju, the 5'3, gentle houseman from Bangladesh came into the lobby with his vacuum, ready to start his shift. We all saw him, and everyone went quiet. 

Aju- "Hi, guys!" 

The red sea parted, which led to the ladies room door.

Aju- "What's going on?"

It was when no one answered that Aju realized his fate. He slowly walked toward the door, as if about to get the lethal injection. He slid his key in, opened the door a pinch, and peaked inside. Without saying a word, he turned and made his way back downstairs with his head down to retrieve his heavy-duty cleaning supplies. 

This woman, to get back at the man who didn't help her find toilet paper, who offered her another solution, shit and wiped her bloody tampon all over the bathroom. You know when you do something to piss off your dog, so it spitefully shits on the carpet? That's what she did... with some menstrual blood. 

We went to the restaurant to find her, but the group was gone from the bar. Security tried to find out what room she was in with no success. She was probably staying somewhere else. 

About a half an hour goes by, and Aju emerges from the bathroom with a full hazmat bag, wearing yellow rubber gloves and a surgeon mask. He yanks off the gloves, throws them in the bag, then carefully and meticulously removes the mask as if he were a doctor about to break horrible news to a patient's family. 

His eyes were completely red, with dried up tear-streaks running down the side of his face. He looked like a Vietnam veteran, about to share a story about how he witnessed an entire village of women and children get wiped out by napalm. 

Then, in his thick accent, all he could get out was:

Aju- "All over the walls... all over the sink... all over the toilet... all over the floor... all over the door..." 

He disappeared into the basement, just repeating objects around the bathroom that had blood and feces on them to himself. 

Not only did this woman do the most repugnant thing I've ever heard, but she did it to spite the wrong guy. In our hotel, the houseman gets an extra five dollars for every "excessive mess" they have to clean... and he has to fill out a form describing the filth to get it. 

Whenever I complain about getting a bad tip, I'll remember this incident. 

3 comments:

  1. Poor Aju. TBone, you and Aju and everyone else there have nerves of steel to make it through a day with people like that.

    I'd like to say the final story sounds made up, but I worked for an insurance company here in town and our bathroom regularly had feces and occasionally blood on the walls and floor. That's why I looked askance at every single one of my female coworkers the entire five years I worked there.

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  2. Great stories from a viewpoint we rarely get. But TBone, please don't fault the idiots for spelling/grammar/usage/syntax mistakes. Your post is full of them.

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  3. First off, I followed Rude Pundit's link he posted on Facebook to your site and I am glad I did. I spent the last four hours reading all your posts. Amazing work, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your work and look forward to more posts.

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