Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Ugly Americans: Part III


This is not a trilogy. This will go on and on and on. And I've noticed that my first post and the most recent one both featured stories where women were the antagonists, so here's one about a wormy little man that I will call Fatso: 

I can't emphasize how unlikable this fucking guy was. He was a fat, obnoxious, redneck asshole. He had one of those accents that you only hear in Mississippi courtroom dramas. Like those movies where every character simultaneously delivers dialogue and pats their upper lip with a handkerchief while the shadow of a ceiling fan quickly wipes the frame.

He was in his sixties, and wore a tie that probably last fit him when he was seven. It widened somewhere around his man boobs and came to a screeching halt about three inches above his belly button. He had a massive gut that hung over his belt to go with an even more ample double-chin that made him look like he was trying to swallow a softball. The rest of his body was disproportionately thin, which was probably a result of years of gluttonous eating and drinking. At first glance, he could have passed for a pre-surgery Roger Ebert. 

It's 6:50am, and I'm nearing the end of my second straight overnight bellman shift. At 7am, the doorman and two morning bellmen come in and the floor becomes theirs, leaving me to wander around the lobby till I go home at 8. I had managed to earn $9 through my first seven hours, so I was desperate for one last guest interaction to at least cover the money I spent on food and coffee during my shift. I was already in the red because of the two books I downloaded onto my Kindle at 3am. This is what I'm currently dealing with. It has, indeed, gotten that bad. 

Enter Fatso: 

He comes morphing over with a briefcase and carry-on bag. I'm as friendly as ever, and my training as an actor is the only thing that masks how little I care for whatever his fuckhead is going to tell me. 

Fatso - "Son, can you watch these here bags for me? I got a SuperShuttle comin' but imma run inta that there coffee shop and get me some steeeeaaaaak and eeeeeggggssss." 

Steeeeeeeak and eeeeeeeegggssss. That's "Steak and eggs", in case you couldn't decipher his abundant enthusiasm. The melody in his voice as he announced that he's going to further increase his chances of dropping dead of a heart attack leads me to believe that he likes to throw his money around freely. Don't ask me why. At this point, I'm going to the bullpen to dig up some charm to get this guy to toss me a couple of bones. 

Doorman - "You got it, sir! Make sure you emphasize how you want it cooked. The morning chef can get a little liberal with the fire." 

I don't know what the fuck that means, either.  

Fatso - "Well thanks for the advice, son! I'll be sure to do that!" 

I detest that fact that he's calling me "son", but I let it go. I put stickers on the bags and hand him his claim ticket.

Doorman - "Come see me when you get back. I'll put keep them in the front of the closet for ya." 

He looks at my name tag. 

Fatso - "Why, thank you... Doorman! I'll see you in a few!" 

Boom. 

He doesn't give me anything on the way in, which I'm okay with. Most of the time when you store luggage, the tip comes when you get the bags back. 

I spend the next forty minutes dodging any stupid question or task that would keep me from the bell desk. I didn't need to load up two carts full of Brazilian luggage and bring it up to the 2nd floor storage room, only to get stiffed and miss the guy coming back. In the meantime, I find out that the morning doorman has called out. 

At 7:35am, Fatso comes strolling back into the lobby: 

Fatso - "Well, if that wadn't the best damn steeeeeaaaak and eeeeggggs I ever ate in New York." 

Doorman - "Glad you liked it, did you tell them to go easy on the fire?" 

Fatso - "Sure did!" 

He starts looking through his wallet to find the claim ticket. 

Doorman - "Awesome, let me get your stuff."   

Fatso - "Well, I know I put the dang ticket in here somewhere!" 

Doorman - "It's all good, I remember ya!" 

I run to the closet and grab his shit. I'm expecting a five. Usually the custom is one dollar per bag, but I put on a show and gave him advice that worked for him, albeit it was advice that came via my ass. Good customer service can go a long way. A five is fair in this situation. I'd be happy with two, but a five would end this shift on a positive note. 

I bring his shit back to him. He's still looking through his wallet, which is falling apart and drenched in ass sweat. 

Doorman - "Don't worry sir! I remember ya, it's all good." 

He finds it. 

Fatso - "Ah! Here we go!" 

I rip off the stickers.

Doorman - "It's okay, I don't need it." 

Fatso - "That's for you!" 

He holds the ticket at the very tip of his fingers and slowly hands it to me, as if he's a doctor handing a child a lollypop after giving him a needle. 

I take it and wait there. He collects his shit and heads toward the couch closest to the front door. 

Nothing. 

This guy is obviously here on business, has likely been traveling for a very long time, and just brazenly stiffed me. Not even a "thank you." He bragged about getting a $22 item for breakfast, then handed me the ticket as if I were grateful to throw away his garbage. I expect this from naive first-time travelers and shitty European tourists, or some fuckhead college students, but not from a fellow working American. It's the cuntiest of cunt moves. 

As I watch him walk away, I fantasize about getting a Charlie Brown-esque running start and kicking him in the asshole with everything I've got. The thought of him flailing on the ground and clutching at his asshole while screaming nearly gives me an erection. I decide that it's a bad idea and return to the bell desk instead. I go into my jacket pocket, take the $9 that I made for the shift, put it into my wallet, and concede the end of my earnings for the day. 

I wish the story ended there. 

With 15 min to go in my shift, all I want to do is go into the locker room and destroy furniture. Instead, the bell captian comes down and gives me shit. 

Bell Captain - "Doorman, why are you standing up here?" 

Doorman - "Because it's where I've been standing for the past seven hours." 

Bell Captain - "Man, don't you know that the morning doorman banged out? You gotta cover the door till the 8 o'clock guy gets here!" 

God damnit. I work this shift to get a break from being a doorman, and now I have to spend my last fifteen minutes covering the very post that I wanted to get away from, while staring at this fucking slob that just let me down. I put on my overcoat and hat. 

At my post, I stare at Fatso as he thumbs through his iPad. I think about how he probably has children, and grandchildren, and they probably love him. They probably have a pet-name for him, like "Poppy" or something. Then I wonder what his children would think of his little antics. They probably do the same shit. It's people like this that produce more cheap, inconsiderate cunts. I think about my Old Man and Mom, and how they would never do something like that to some friendly schmuck trying to make a living. I think about how they taught me better. All of this makes me grateful for begin raised right. 

The SuperShuttle pulls up, and Fatso spots it immediately. There's a small staircase just before the door, and he makes his way towards it. He has no money in his hands, but hesitates before going down the steps, as if he wants me to come fetch them and walk him to his shuttle. I don't. This pisses him off. 

He takes his shit down the steps, and I reluctantly open the door for him. He takes a few steps past me, stops and turns, and without getting a good look at my face, utters this remark: 

Fatso - "Well, I guess that cuts out your tip!" 

Are you fucking kidding me? 

Doorman - "Really, guy? You weren't going to tip me, anyway!" 

He looks up at my face and see that it's me. He never saw me change into my doorman uniform and post at the door. The blood drains from his face. I take my hat off to drive it home. 

Doorman - "Yeah, I'm the guy you stiffed ten minutes ago." 

He says nothing. He can't say anything. 

Doorman - "Have a good one!" 

The SuperShuttle driver laughs the "good for you, bro" laugh. I wink at him. Fatso takes his shit and gets the fuck out of my sight. 

I take out my notepad and frantically write it all down, which causes me to punch out two minutes after my shift ends. It looks something like this: 






1 comment:

  1. Encountered far to many people like that as a server. No problem dropping a huge chunk of cash on a meal and drinks but leave nothing as a tip.

    ReplyDelete