Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Welcome to January, Bitches!!!

My blogging may become a bit more infrequent in the coming month, mostly because I'm working on a much bigger project that I'm hoping will be my ticket out of here. I'll elaborate once things are a little more concrete. All I can say now, is that it'll be a pretty huge risk for me, but the payoff would be amazing.  

In the meantime, we're in fucking January. Fucking January is the fucking month that makes rooms available at less than $60 per fucking night. As you can imagine, it's a frustrating fucking time for everyone in the service industry. 

As much as I'd love to post a daily diary about this nonsense, it would be totally redundant - Doorman takes 15 Brazilian luggages inside, doesn't get acknowledged, gets angry, pisses and moans. No one is tipping. I'm going home with less than $60 at least twice a week. I don't mean to hate on the bargain crowd, or the working-folk, or the fucking dirtbags who are staying here, but it's tough to keep a positive attitude when you're not making any money. Especially when these people, who are paying $58 a night to stay in mid-town manhattan, have the balls to be demanding. 

Here's a quick story than captures what I'm talking about: 

I'm working the 11am-7pm shift. Being that my normal 3pm-midnight schedule has me walking up at noon every day, I'm not used to leaving my apartment to a city that smells of breakfast and coffee. I order a bagel for the first time in forever at a local deli/barkey where we send guests who are looking for a quick bite. 

As I'm ordering my everything bagel, lightly toasted, with vegetable cream cheese, I see these two old British men agonizing over the menu, which is displayed over the deli counter. It's not a complicated menu. It displays breakfast items and prices. There's nothing adventurous to be seen.

British man # 1 - "What do you think?" 

British man # 2 -"I don't know. What are you thinking?" 

BM 1- "I don't know. I don't know if I want pancakes or eggs."  

BM 2- "I was thinking eggs, but pancakes sound brilliant too." 

BM 1- "Oh, there's a pancakes-eggs combo!" 

BM 2- "Well I just don't think I could eat that much!" 

Jesus Christ. It's breakfast, you fucks.

I already ordered, so it had no affect on me. I just thumbed through Instagram till my food was ready while these idiots deliberated over this oh-so-agonizing decision. When I'm around indecisive bozos like this, I can't help but wonder what kind of incredible salesmanship it must have took to sell them a car or house. 

I pay and move on with my day. Get to the locker room, scarf my bagel like a savage, down a XXX Vitamin Water, and throw on the ol' uniform. 

I walk outside, and the old veteran morning doorman, "Raul" greets me with a "good morning, shit-dick." When he talks like this, he's in a good mood. I respond with a "nice to see you, cuntface." After no more than five minutes of verbal abuse between two men who are bitter about how their lives turned out, the Old British Chaps come morphing over.

Raul- "How was it, gentlemen?" 

Apparently, the Ol' British Chaps were there on a recommendation from my "colleague". I love when people refer to our co-workers as "colleagues". When I was a teacher, I found that to be a pretentious word, and I was making a difference. We carry bags and open doors for people and abuse each other whenever we see a window of opportunity. If anything, we're drinking buddies, not colleagues. 

BM 1- "Well, the food was brilliant, but we won't be back." 

BM 2- "Yes, brilliant food. Just brilliant. But it wasn't what we were looking for." 

Raul- "Oh, no! What was wrong with it?" 

Every service-indusrty worker has a perfected "Oh, no!", when a customer has a complaint, which can easily be translated to "I don't really give a flying fuck, but go ahead, let's hear it." After twenty years on the job, Raul's was impeccable. 

The British Chaps make a collective dramatic-pause, as if they were going to share that they were mugged and raped by the employees when they finished eating. 

BM 1- "Well, the gave us plastic plates and silverware, and plastic cups for our coffee." 

BM 2- "Yes, yes. Everything was plastic." 

Really, dude? Really? 

I opt to stay out of it. They're his problem. 

Raul- "But the food was good, right?" 

BM 1- "Oh yes! The food was brilliant!"

BM 2- "Yes, yes! No complaints about the food! Just brilliant!" 

Raul- "Because you said you wanted something cheap and fast and good..." 

BM 1- "Oh, yes! But we didn't care for the plastic plates and forks. Everything was plastic." 

BM 2- "Yes, yes. We like to have real plates and forks!" 

I can't believe what I'm hearing. 

BM 1- "You know, we're British!" 

BM 2- "Yes, we're British!" 

Raul - "Oh, no! I'm sorry to hear that, gentleman!" 

Like the "oh, no!", every service industry worker has mastered the disingenuous "I'm sorry to hear that!". 

The two idiots go on their way, smiling like they thought we found their little grievance to be charming. Raul looks at me and shrugs his shoulders. After all these years on the job, he's become desensitized to this fuckery. No, no, no - I need to talk about this. 

Enter Doorman:

Doorman- "Are you fucking serious?!?! You're eating a $7 breakfast, and you're going to complain about the motherfucking plates and utensils?!?! Who the fuck do you think you are?!? Lord Grantham?!?! 'Oh, it was one of the best sandwiches I've ever eaten in my life, but they wrapped it up in wax paper instead of aluminum foil, so it's just a bad experience!' So, what happens when you pay $20 for a meal? Are you disgruntled if it doesn't come with a golden spoon and hand job at the end?!?! Where do these cunts come from?!?! And what the fuck did he mean when he said 'we're British'?!?! What, does he think that all of us blue-collar American idiots assume that every walking person from England is royalty?!? I guarantee you - I fucking GUARANTEE you - that those douche bags write a Trip Advisor review complaining about every little quirk about the hotel, completely disregarding the fact that he got it for a price that's significantly lower than my fucking rent. You know what I mean?" 

I'm paraphrasing that tirade, because in my rage, I may have blacked out for a moment. Raul just looked at me for a few seconds. 

Raul- "Who the fuck is Lord Grantham?" 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Doorman & the Ladies: Wingman ドアマン!!!

"Wingman" is a word you don't hear much anymore. It was popular while I was in college, thanks to a few cutesy Coors Light commercials. I'm an excellent wingman. I'm funny, gregarious, and can make anyone feel comfortable around me in a short amount of time. Hand me a girl with a boyfriend and salty attitude while you're trying to take her friend home, and in five minutes she's doing shots and laughing at one of my doorman stories. I do, of course, have my limits. And so the story ensues:

A bellman buddy of mine from work, Brian, and I were both stuck working till midnight. He's an Irish guy from Jersey that speaks fluent Japanese. We have a large clientele from Japan, and the women all flock to him like he's Vincent fucking Chase. I've never understood the appeal in Japanese women. Nothing against them - they're really sweet and stuff - but they just never interested me, or paid me any mind. 

Brian and I are working till midnight, and he comes to me in a tizzy:

Brian- "Dude, I have this Japanese girl that wants to hang out."

Doorman- "Congratulations."

Brian- "I know! But there's a problem - she has two friends that won't leave her side."

Doorman- "And?"

Brian- "I need you to come to Japas with us and keep them busy."

Japas is a chain of Karaoke bars in Manhattan that we frequent after work. He's an excellent singer, and sings in Japanese. White guy with a perfect pitch in Japanese always tears the roof off the building.

Doorman- "Do they speak English?"

Brian- "Yeah, sure. Kind of. Not really. Maybe a little. I dunno. No."

Doorman- "Awesome."

Cut to an hour later, and I'm thumbing through the karaoke book, sitting in between these 2 girls who don't speak a word of English while Brian is crushing a song and wooing his girl.

Doorman- "Do you like Notorious B.I.G?"

They just stare at me. I guess not.

My go-to Karaoke song is "Juicy" by Biggie Smalls. It always crushes in bars, because I play the nerdy white guy card before the song starts, then seamlessly transition into a full-on, mothafuckin' gangsta. Then I make people uncomfortable when I drop the "if you don't know, now you know, nigga..." lyric.

It's my turn, and I kill, as usual. The girls don't know what exactly what's going on, other than everyone else in the bar thinks I'm awesome. Everyone is clapping and cheering like I'm their son being introduced as the host of Saturday Night Live. Maybe I'm onto something here. I mean, what a feat that would be, to hook up with a Japanese girl who doesn't speak a word of English. Or, better yet, a threesome? That's a first-ballot, bachelor Hall-of-Fame move.

I'm starting to warm up to this evening. The girls just watched me triumphantly win over a bar full of aggressive karaoke drunks with my lyrical flow. Maybe we should take this party to my place. These girls haven't seen New York City till they've seen my 52nd-story rooftop.

Doorman- "Brian, let's go to the roof."

His eyes light up. He addresses the girls:

Brian- "あなたが興味を持っています  Doorman  のアパートでマンハッタンの美しい景色を rooftop に来て希望の女性は、我々は疑問に思っていた?"

They agree. It's on.

The taxi ride is interesting, to say the least. I just keep feeding Brian things to tell them about me- how I'm an actor and only working as a doorman so I could live in Manhattan and audition. That I did a bunch of commercials and TV pilots (which is mostly true). I can't tell if they're impressed or not, because they've been doing nothing but politely nodding and smiling since the evening started. 

Oh, maybe this would be a good time to mention that fraternizing with guests in the hotel is a fireable offense. I'm positive we broke that by simply meeting them at the bar. Now we're going to my apartment. There's this thing called "thinking" that I tend to disregard.

We get to my building, and the doorman sees me walking in with two Japanese girls, arm in arm. He gives me the head nod. I shrug my shoulders and wink. A Japanese girl threesome... no big deal. I can see  "Shit, I'm doormaning in the wrong place" running through his head.

The roof closes at 11pm and it was well into the middle of the night. I have a trick way of getting in, and since I tip my building staff handsomely throughout the year, they turn a blind eye to me bringing people up there after-hours. See how far tipping gets you?

The bathroom, however, gets locked when the roof closes. We make a pit-stop at my apartment so everyone could tinkle before we head upstairs. I thought I'd liven up the party a little bit, so I empty out the beer fridge. Eleven Pabts Blue Ribbons. 

That's a little light for a party of five. Maybe I should get my little stash of weed.  

I go into my room, and dig through my junk drawer for my little baggie of ganja. Success. I take it out to the girls, who are all sitting in the living room waiting for me, and show it to them, with a smile.

Doorman- "Huh? Huh? Anyone?" 

They look at me like I brought out a hypodermic needle and an uzi. 

Brian- "Wrong crowd, dude. Japanese people don't do that." 

Great, now they're scared. Terrific. And what the fuck? "Japanese people don't do that?" That can't be true! Though I didn't have time for follow up questions - I had a Japanese girl threesome to conquer. 

As if showing them my big, bad DRUUUUGS were troublesome, the process to get to the roof was even worse. Since the elevators don't go up there after they close, we have to take it up to the penthouse, then through a bunch of hallways, into a shady, dimly-lit stairwell, and out the fire escape door. They're holding each other's hands for dear life. Brian had to console them: 

Brian- "それは大丈夫、女性です。私たちはほとんどそこにいる!誰もあなたを侵害するつもりはありません!"

I don't know what the fuck he's saying. I pop a beer. 

Time to unveil the roof. And unveil, I did, like Willy Wonka opening the doors to the chocolate factory. 

Judging by their fear on the way up, they were probably expecting a group of men waiting to rob and violate them, so their reaction to the roof being everything we advertised was fun to watch. Just a symphony of cute little "ooohhhhh's" and "aaahhhhhhh's" and "do doooo's". It was, for a brief moment, oddly fulfilling. Here these girls probably spent three hours and $30 a piece waiting to go to the top of the Empire State Building, only to be crammed up in the observation desk with 1,000 other tourists. Here I was, charitably providing them with a unique view of the greatest city in the world... 

But I still want to have my Japanese girl threesome. 

Brian eventually gets his girl off to one side of the roof, leaving me to do my work. Just me and the girls. With no Brian. No translator. The three of us just stand there, staring at each other. 

What's the matter, Doorman? Did you think that they would just drop their panties at the first sight of this magnificent view? HAHAHA!!! You fucking asshole!!! You know what helps when you're trying to get a girl, never mind two, into bed? COMMUNICATION!!! Nice head, dick!!! 

And it was just that. I looked at them, at a loss for ANY type of action. My logic was right - what the hell was I thinking? Oh, that's right. There's that little thing called "thinking" that I tend to disregard. Now Brian has vanished, and I'm standing here, like a dick, with these two girls don't speak a word of English. I see their eyes glazing over. They're not sure what to do, either. I offer them a beer. They decline. Great, now I'm drinking alone. 

I decide to give them the nickel tour of the landmarks. I know a little history about the buildings, but WHAT FUCKING GOOD IS THAT GOING TO DO ME?!?! So I just point to things and say what they are and keep walking. Each of which, they echo back to me. 

Doorman- "Brooklyn Bridge."

Girls- "Brook-leen Bri-dge"

Doorman- "Empire State Building." 

Girls- "Em-pi-ru Stay Bir-ding" 

Doorman- "Freedom Tower." 

Girls- "Free-Dom Tow-oo." 

Doorman- "Almost finished." 

Girls- "Al-mo feen-ish." 

Doorman- "Ya." 

I pop another beer. Then another. And another. 

About an hour goes by. Brian is still on the other side of the roof deck, sucking face with his chick. My girls have sat down and began looking through their cameras at old photos. I'm drinking aggressively. I count seven empty cans. 

Doorman- "Who wants to have a dance party?" 

I might as well have some fun. They don't understand. I show them my iPhone and sway my hips around like a pregnant woman trying to hoola-hoop. They don't get it. This sucks. 

I go into my Spotify and find the first pop song that comes up on my playlist - Empire State of Mind by Alicia Keys and Jay-Z

Perfect! Fitting! Bravo, Doorman!!! Now, what? 

They take the phone from me and listen closely through Jay-Z's first verse. Nothing. When it gets to the chorus, they sing along in the most hysterically off-key voices I've ever heard. 

Girls- "Do do do NEW YAAAAAAARK.... do do do NEW YAAAAAAARK... do do do NEW YAAAAAAARK." 

They repeat that through the whole song. I awkwardly start to dance, trying to get some sort of bodily interaction going. Neither of them notice, because they're not paying attention to me. I give it a couple more seconds, then slowly fade out and pretend that I'm stretching. I'm shamefully embarrassed because the doorman that I arrogantly winked at on the way in is likely watching this on the security cameras, and has called in the whole building staff to come watch. 

Fuck this. I give up. I sit at a booth, and keep drinking.

Brian mercilessly comes back with his girl about twenty minutes later. They all sit down with me. Brian asks for a beer. I go into the bag, and there's none left. I just housed eleven beers in a matter of two hours. Oops. 

Brian- "Jesus, dude." 

I have a the two girls on either side of me, and everyone is yucking it up in Japanese. 

Well, I'm glad you're all happy!!! But what about ME?!? This is MY HOUSE! What do I get out of this, huh?!?!

I take one, final triumphant gulp from my skunked Pabst, and make my move. I interrupt Brian while he's mid-sentence.  

Doorman- "Brian. Brian. Brian. Brian." 

Brain- "Yes! Yes! What's up, buddy?" 

Doorman- "Which one of these chicks is gonna make out with me?" 

He laughs. I don't. I'm serious. The smile fades from his face. 

Brian- "Seriously?" 

Doorman- "Seriously." 

He laughs again. 

Brian- "Okay..." 

He addresses the girls, while I take a more seductive pose. (Opening my eyes a little wider and trying to make my face look less Walter Matthau-esque.)

Brian- "女性はこれが面倒かもしれないが Doorman は情熱的にあなたにキスしたいと思います。我々は それ米国で make-out 呼ぶ。誰も興味がありますか?"

They look at Brian, then look at me, then cover their mouths an start giggling. 

Girl- "Hehehehe.. no... no..." 

I laugh. I drop my last empty beer into the bag. 

Doorman- "Okay, everyone get the fuck out!" 

Brian knows that he's at the end of his rope, so he politely tells them that I'm tired and ready for bed. 

I take the elevator down with them and get off at my floor. They're all very grateful.

Girls- "Sank YOOOOOOOUUUUUU!!!!" (Bows profusely.) 

Whatever. You're welcome. They went home the next day, and I carried their luggage to the shuttle bus. They each gave me one dollar. 

We obviously didn't get in trouble for our shenanigans, and Brian still talks to his girl.

So while my attempt at a great feat went wide-left by about 50 yds., I WAS successful in being the best fucking wingman ever. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Doorman & the Ladies: Booty Call

An old roommate and very dear friend of mine recently had a little girl. I'm totally thrilled for him. He has a wonderful wife, house, and career as a teacher. He's locked in, and embracing every minute of being a husband and father. And while I value my freedom and bachelor life, I can't help but wonder if I'd be better off in a more stable lifestyle, like my buddy's. I think every single male in his twenties has had that moment where they have to say to themselves "fuck, I need to find myself a wife and cut the shit." This is one of those moments: 

I went out for drinks after work with some of my jersey shore friends. Work ended at midnight, so I was going to be meeting up with them late in the evening. My friends, being the banner drinkers that they are, were already light years ahead of me. I tried my best to catch up, but by the time I was on my 4th beer, they were ready for pizza and the commute home. On any other night, I would sit in a bar and sip a beer while texting every female I've met since moving to Manhattan, but I wasn't up for a chase. All I needed were a couple of empanadas, a couple of tokes from my bowl, and a decent night's sleep. 

While I was waiting for my food at Empanada Mama (incredible late-night eats, you're welcome) I get a call from Amy, a girl that I had met on a dating site a few weeks prior. She was a lot of fun and had a great sense of humor. We slept together on the first date, because I'm a shameful whore, and barely communicated since. 

Amy- "Hey... Hey- Hey! Hey?" 

She sounded drunk enough to pass for a deaf person . 

Doorman- "Hello?" 

Amy- "Hi..." 

Doorman- "Hey, what's up?"

Amy- "What…. what are ya doing?" 

I can't tell you how many times I've been on the other end of this phone call. For the first time ever in a booty call exchange, I have leverage.

Doorman- "Nothing much, just getting some food. Headed home. You?"

Amy- "Just got in a cab. Gonna head back to Bushwick." 

She didn't call just to tell me that she was going home. 

Doorman- "That's nice." 

A pause. The good kind. The kind of pause where you know you're in control. 

Amy- "I mean… Unless you wanted me to come over." 

Doorman- "Want me to pick you up an empanada?" 

Amy- "No thanks." 

After housing three empanadas on the way home, I decided to wait for her on my stoop. It was a nice enough evening. She pulls up in a taxi, and spends at least three minutes trying to figure out the credit card machine. I eventually had to intervene, because the cabbie was getting pissed, and I wasn't about to gather new material for a Doorman vs. Taxi Driver blog. I clicked the 30% tip option as a way of saying sorry. She wasn't pleased with that. 

I hadn't seen her since our date, but she was exactly as I remembered - very cute, very short redhead. She wore a tight black dress with stockings and high-heeled boots that sounded like the Belmont Stakes when she walked. 

Now, she was drunk. Though not as bad as she sounded on the phone… or at least I thought. It's really funny to write about this from the sober point of view. I've calmed down in my drinking as I've gotten older and learned my limits, but I have countless stories where I show up somewhere absolutely shit-housed, sloptard drunk and caused a scene amongst sober people. Please allow me to relish in being the offended for a change. 

I was living in a 6th floor walk-up, which is a pain in the ass for someone in good shape in the middle of the day. Having to escort a girl in heels who has been drinking at an open bar for five hours is a whole different bird. Like an idiot, I opt to lead the way. I'm used to jogging up the steps, so out of habit, I made the mistake of doing so on the first flight. 

She tried to keep up. 

One step. 

Two step.

Three step. 


I turned around, and watched disaster strike. She pulled herself up to the fifth step using the banister, but her heel didn't clear the edge. She falls forward, and manages to get her hands down. 

Instead of staying down and regaining her composure, she tries to hide the fact that she fell, and pushes her body up as fast as she could. Then, as if it were happening in slow motion, her little hand just missed the banister, and she fell backwards. 

I'll never forget her face when she realized that she was going down. Her mouth made an "O" as she flailed her arms in the air.  It was like Mr. Bill being punted across the town while screaming "OHHHH NOOOOOO!!!!". Her eyes darted all over the pace. I was too far away to try and catch her.

She landed on her back, then slid down with the back of her head blasting each step, and landed perfectly sprawled out on the floor. 

All I could do was cover my mouth with both hands, and stand there frozen. 

Her eyes were shut. Her skirt was hiked all the way up to her waist. Her black panties were exposed, as were several holes in her stockings near the crotch area. 

Oh, fuck. All I wanted to do was eat empanadas and watch Sons of Anarchy till I pass out. Now I'm going to have to convince the police that I didn't kill this poor girl. 

Then, thankfully, her eyes half-opened, and she started laughing. I was grateful for this. I mean, I was glad she was okay, but she basically gave me full-on permission to belly-laugh as I helped her up. And belly-laugh I did. She was a good sport about it, I must say. I walked her up by the hand the rest of the way up, all the while giggling like a little girl. 

At this point, I'm not too keen on sleeping with her. She was abominably drunk, and even though she called and came over soley for that purpose, I didn't like the idea of fucking someone that I barely know in this condition. 

We get into my apartment, and there's a girl I don't recognize sleeping on the couch. I sent her off into the bedroom, and listened to her boots cloppity-clop across the house as I ran into the bathroom to pee and brush my teeth. I realize that it may be a good time to smoke a bowl. If I'm going to babysit this girl all night, I might as well be stoned. I'm not a big pot-smoker, but I keep a little bit around in case of situations like this. You're also never too old to pull the ol' college dorm "I have a joint in my room" trick when you're trying to get a woman to come back to your place. 

I get to my room, and she's laying on my bed, completely naked, masturbating. 

Oh, okay, make yourself at home. 

Amy- "Get over here and fuck me." 

Doorman- "I'm gonna smoke a bowl. Wanna smoke?" 

Amy- "No." 

She keeps going. She thinks I'm teasing her. 

I get my bowl and weed, and I start packing as she rubs away next to me, making all sorts of sounds. She's into it. I'll admit that I was tempted, even though I told myself I wouldn't do it. I finish packing the bowl and fire it up, blowing the smoke out the window as I rested my knee on top of the bed. She used her free hand to undo my belt. 

Okay, she clearly has the coordination to masturbate and undo a belt, simultaneously, so maybe the fall sobered her up. I shouldn't feel like a piece of shit if she insists, right? 

Ah, male logic. 

I take a huge hit, and the bowl is kicked. I'm delightfully stoned. My weed-induced brain is having an inner-moral battle. 

"Fuck her!" 

"Fuck you!"

"No, fuck her!" 

"No, fuck you!" 

Then I think about her face when she fell down the steps, and I start having a giggle-fit. I turn my head so she doesn't see, and I do my best to stifle the laughter. 

Okay, I need to snap out of this and get some. Regain your composure, Doorman. You have a cute chick, naked, jacking off on your bed. Unless you become a movie star, this will not happen forever. Seize the moment. Go find a condom. 

Okay, a condom. Gotta find a condom. Where did I put the condoms? Do I have condoms? Fuck, I'm stoned. I should have a place where I keep condoms where they can't get all fucked up like they do when you keep them in your pocket for too long. That's when you know you haven't been laid in awhile - when all your condoms look like old, crumpled-up dollar bills. Maybe my jacket pocket. That's a good place for condoms. No, no, fuck that. What if I visit my parents and they take my coat and the condoms fall out in front of everyone? That would be awful!!! 

What was I doing? I should take my pants off. She's naked. I should be naked, too. 

Just as that thought raced through my clouded head, she lets out a joyous scream and clutches at my sheets. She's had an orgasm. I just stood there, pants around my ankles, wondering what I should do. 

But there was nothing I could do. Because the second she was done, she passed out. 

I've never seen a woman satisfied so quickly in my bed. 

Cut to about an hour later. She's still naked, sleeping next to me, and I'm watching Sons of Anarchy on my laptop, high as a kite. She wakes up abruptly. 

Amy- "AH!!! Where am I?" 

Doorman- "You're in my bed. Go back to sleep." 

Amy- "I have to pee." 

Doorman- "Go ahead, just grab that towel over there." 

She does. The second she leaves, I regret letting her go by herself. The apartment was pitch-black, and there was a random woman sleeping on the couch. She could barely stand on her own feet an hour ago, and now I was sending her into a dark abyss. That's all I needed - to hear a loud crash, then have to break up a fistfight between a couch crasher and some naked bimbo that I brought home. But shit was getting wild with my favorite biker gang, and I couldn't pry myself away. 

Miraculously, she came back a couple of minutes later, alive. She was wearing the towel, and once again, I'll never forget the image that came next:

She yanked the end of the towel quickly, and the momentum spun her around in a half-circle, which propelled her into my work station, like a ballerina. My work station was unimpressive, just a tray table and metal folding chair. She spun, buck-naked, into the folding chair, then crashed on top of the tray-table like Chris Farley in a Matt Foley sketch. All I could see was her naked-white rumpus slumped over the metal folding char, with the tray-table smashed on the floor. 

Jesus Christ. 

Doorman- "Really?… Really?!?"

Amy- "Oh my God. I fell again!" 

Doorman- "I noticed! Who are you, Mary Katharine Gallagher?!?" 

At this point, I heard rumbling coming from the other rooms. It was 5am, and the loud crashing from the metal chairs woke my roommates. Perfect. 

Amy- "I'M SORRY!!!" 

Doorman- "Don't yell, please." 

Anyone who has ever been around a remorseful drunk knows what I was about to deal with. She started crying and begging me to not be mad, apologizing profusely. All I wanted her to do was shut up and go to sleep. This went on for at least a half hour. Finally, she snuggled next to me, and dozed off. 

I woke up the next morning, and she was gone. In an effort to redeem myself with my relatively-new roommates, I cleaned the entire apartment spotless- the bathroom, the dishes, the common area… everything. No one ever mentioned a thing. 

A couple of weeks later, I texted a "Hey" while I was out, and she didn't respond. I haven't heard from her since.

So maybe it's time I find a wife and cut the shit. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Concierge Stories: The Nigger Game

Rewind the clocks back to November 22, 2009 - my first day working in the hotel industry. As I've said in many blogs before, it was for a company that ran over fifty concierge desks in Manhattan and Brooklyn, so I bounced around in many places. My training day would take place at a hotel that is directly across the street from the one I'm at right now. 

My trainer was Robyn, a sweet but feisty old black woman from Newark, NJ that was a dead-ringer of Lynne Thigpen. Any kid that grew up on Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?  can surely appreciate that. She was a treat to be around, because she never took shit from anyone - especially the clientele. One time, she was selling theatre tickets to a guest, when a woman waiting on line chimed in and told them that they could get them cheaper at TKTS, the discount ticket booth in Times Square. This blew her commission, so after bidding the guest adieu, she addressed the woman by saying "Thank you for that, is there any more money you'd like to remove from my pocket?" before throwing her off the line. 

Everyone tries to be a star on their first day. In this industry, it's a different beast. You have to prove that you're competent enough to do the work while having the patience to deal with the guests. Many are overwhelmed when they're presented with an endless pot-luck of drooling tourists who can barely put together a sentence and are offended when you can't decipher their guttural verbal outbursts. This didn't happen with me, because I worked in special education on and off for four years after I graduated college. If college taught me to act and write and express myself, then working as a teacher for the developmentally disabled was my masters program for working in hospitality. 

She was impressed by my saint-like patience, and we got to talking before the early-evening rush. She had a nephew that was recently diagnosed with autism, so we shared an instant connection. I offered up whatever advice I could. Having someone ask you for advice in this situation can be delicate, because you never want to contradict an expert that they've already put their trust into. She listened and was appreciative of everything I had to offer, which honestly wasn't much. 

After that, Robyn eased up on her gruffness a bit, which helped me relax a little on my first day. The early-evening rush came, and she trusted me to work on my own computer. I plowed through my first influx of redundant dinner and theatre questions: "EHHHHH where is to find King Lion?" "We're looking for a good place to eat, not too expensive with really great food. Not too fancy, but nice." "What time is TKTS open till?" 

I knew my shit when it came to restaurants and theatre in mid-town, so I was able to get through that rush without bothering her once. I was her new favorite trainee. 

Robyn- "I'm getting paid trainer's salary and I'm not doing any training! You sure you've never done this before?" 

We bantered a little more before the next wave of idiots came our way. The hours of 6pm-8pm are the busiest for a concierge desk, because everyone is trying to get last-minute dinner reservations and event tickets. Things tend to get loud and chaotic very quickly. 

Out of the woodwork came a Brazilian woman in a long fur coat:

Fur Coat Woman- "Ehhhh, excuse me. An information please." 

She was one of the polite ones. 

Doorman- "Yes, ma'am? What can I do for you?"

Fur Coat Woman- "Do you book the hell tours?" 

Doorman- "Excuse me?" 

Fur Coat Woman- "The hell tours. For you see New York?" 

I dunno. Apparently she wants to see New York and has to get the devil involved. I leaned over to Robyn, who was busy with a guest of her own. 

Doorman- "Hell tours?"

Robyn- "Give her a helicopter tour brochure." 

Oh ok, that makes sense. See? It never hurts to ask the veteran. 

I show her a pamphlet for the helicopter tour, and she's ecstatic.

Fur Coat Woman- "Ah, obrigado!" 

As she opens up the pamphlet, I prepare to take on the next guest. Just as I make eye contact with the man behind her, Fur Coat Woman jolts back as if she has forgotten something. She runs back and nearly tramples the man that was waiting patiently for help. 

Fur Coat Woman- "Excuse me, one more small information!" 

I looked to the man waiting, who gave the "it's okay, I'll wait" nod. I indulged her. 

Doorman- "Yes, ma'am?" 

Fur Coat Woman- "Do you have tickets for the nigger game?" 

You know when someone says something so boldly and outlandishly racist, that you feel like  you're going to get punched in the face simply because it landed in your ears? That's what I felt. The guy behind her looked at me, looked at her, and looked at Robyn. I saw the excitement in his eyes. He was about to witness his first big New York moment. 

I looked in the corner of my eye. Robyn hadn't heard.

Doorman- "Excuse me?"

She spoke up.

Fur Coat Woman- "EHHHH Do you have tickets for the nigger show tonight?" 

Doorman- "SHHHH!!! Are you crazy?!?"

She was offended, as if I were being rude for "shushing" her mid-sentence. Just past her, I could see the blurry image of the man behind her giggling. I looked to Robyn. She was making a big theatre ticket sale and hadn't heard anything.

Doorman- "I don't know what you want, ma'am, but you need to stop using that word." 

Fur Coat Woman- "I am sorry. Do you know the nigger boxer show?" 


That was loud enough for Robyn to hear. 

Robyn- "What's the matter, Doorman?" 

Doorman- "Nothing!"

Fur Coat woman turned to Robyn. She was done with my incompetence and seeking out the senior staff member. 

Doorman- "NO!" 

Robyn- "Where do you want to go, ma'am?" 

Oh, shit. The man behind her looks like his head is about to explode with excitement. 

Fur Coat Woman- "Ehhh... Madison Garden." 

Robyn- "And what would you like to see?" 

All I could muster was a faint "wait...". 

Fur Coat Woman- "The nigger boxers." 

Time stopped. I fully anticipated having to prevent a violent rumble between an old black woman and an equally old Brazilian lady in a fur coat. Not what I expected on my first day. Robyn turned to me. The man behind the Fur Coat Woman has his teeth clamped down on his index finger. 

Robyn- "She wants to go to the Knick game." 

Wait... what? 

Doorman- "Huh?" 

Robyn- "The Knickerbockers. I thought you grew up here.

Fur Coat Woman- "Ah, yes! The niggerboxers! Obrigado!" 

The full name for the New York Knicks is the Knickerbockers. 

Robyn- "Just call up the broker and see if he has any tickets. The number is taped to the desk next to the mousepad." 

She just went about her work, completely unfazed. The man behind the woman disappeared. I guess he was disappointed. 

Doorman- "Oh, ok. Thanks, Robyn."

Robyn- "Anytime." 

I got her two sweet tickets to the game, but the Knicks sucked at the time, so it wasn't difficult. 

But what the fuck? Was I just hearing things? Were my white guilt ears just sensitive to anything that remotely sounded like a slur because I was standing next to a black woman? Maybe Robyn had heard that mistake before, and was used to it? But the other guy heard it, right?!? 

I obviously didn't ask. What was I going to say? "Hey, Robyn, did you think she was saying 'nigger'? Cause I totally did!!!" 

No, I left it alone. The Knicks lost to Boston 107-105 in OT that evening despite 30 points from Al Harrington. (Remember THAT era, Knick fans?)

Eventually, I was moved from the hotel after my training, but would visit Robyn whenever I passed by.