A bellman, "Dave", who has been working in the industry for almost forty years, told me a great story the other day. Upon receiving a fifty dollar bill for watching someone's car for an hour, I went to the guest to see if they made a mistake. He insisted that it wasn't, and that he wanted to express his gratitude for my being wonderful when he was in a jam. (It was similar to what happened in this story. Contrary to what I write on here, I can be very compassionate at times.) Dave caught me in my honest act, and immediately dragged me into the locker room by my arm. In addition to being one of the oldest guys on the staff, he's also the union delegate, so I thought I was in trouble.
Dave - "I don't ever wanna fucking see you do that again."
Doorman - "What did I do?"
Dave - "When a guest gives you money, you shut the fuck up and take the money."
Doorman - "But I thought he made a mistake! He gave me fifty bucks and I only watched his car for an hour."
He pressed his thumb and index finger against his eyes and shook his head. I was wildly confused. He took a breath, then shared this memory:
Dave - "Let me tell you a story - About thirty years ago, the bell rings and there's this business guy standing there. He's Korean or Chinese or whatever-the-fuck. He's got one carry-on. So I say 'haya doin' and grab his carry-on for him. He don't say nothin'. We take the elevator up and no one says a word.
"We get to his room, and I check the bathroom for towels and all the normal 'stalling for a tip' bullshit. So when I'm done, I say 'alright, sir, anything else I can do?' He shakes his head and goes into his wallet. The guy pulls out a one hundred dollar bill and hands it to me. I'm thinking it's a mistake, like he doesn't recognize our currency or somethin', so I say 'no, no, no!' That's a mistake, sir! That's too much!
"He keeps insisting without saying anything, and at one point he tries to put it in my pocket! Now remember, this is thirty years ago! A hundred dollars was a lot of fucking money! So after fighting him for a minute or two, he gets frustrated and puts the bill in his wallet, then takes out a single.
"Then, in perfect English, no accent or nothin', says, 'you fucking asshole, I wanted to make your day. Now take the dollar and get the fuck out of here."
Doorman - "Whoa."
Dave - "Yeah, so when a guest gives you money, you shut the fuck up and take the money."