Friday, May 31, 2013

Suzy the Twat: The Ugliest American - Part II

Click here for PART ONE

It was a Saturday afternoon, and I was having a decent enough day. It was extremely busy, and I was trying to valet a car and load another with luggage, simultaneously. "Raul", the morning doorman, was unloading a shuttle bus. Suzy comes waltzing out, and observing that we're both very busy, demands a taxi to Bloomingdales to neither of us in particular. Raul, who has about twenty-five years on me, points to the street and instructs me to get Suzy the fuck out of his site. We have a good working relationship based on the simple fact that I not give him shit when he occasionally passes something off on me. He clearly had enough of her bullshit as well. 

I didn't make eye-contact, because fuck her, so I continued to fill out my valet ticket as I took a couple of steps to my left to the street to get her precious taxi. One pulls up immediately, and I robotically opened the door and refused to look at her. She gets in without saying "thank you", as usual. The taxi driver must have seen someone he knows on the sidewalk, because he startled me by honking the horn and yelling "Yo, papi!!!" Not looking up from my valet ticket and once again questioning the life decisions that have lead me to this job, I couldn't help but giggle at the notion that this little five-second delay has probably given Suzy the Twat all the reason she needs to justify not giving the cabbie a tip. 

Hey, Doorman! Slam the door on her ankle!!!  

My brain had fully entertained the though, but my arm chickened out. I closed the door, ever so gently, and she was gone. Apparently she was leaving the following afternoon. Thank God. 

I turned to Raul. 

Doorman - "I can't fucking stand-" 

Raul - "I know." 

Doorman - "She hasn't fu-"

Raul - "I know." 

Doorman - "Have you-"

Raul - "Dude, are you gonna get bent out of shape every time someone stiffs you?"

I guess not. That's twenty-five years on the job talking. He's learned to accept these things, to let them roll off his back. I don't usually work with the morning guys much. They're the ones that have been there for years, who are there for good and are happy with that. And I'm happy for them. The night guys, the twenty and thirty-somethings, the ones with the Bachelor Degrees who couldn't get a job after they finished school, all roam around the lobby with chips on their shoulders, always talking about getting out and doing these bigger and better things. 

But you get sucked into the quick cash and lack of responsibility - trading in your eight hours for a cool $200 that the government can't touch, while never ever having to take your work home with you. As soul-sucking and disheartening as it can be, it's a great fucking job. Raul has a beautiful family, and he's able to provide for them with no problem. So if he has to deal with a few cunts throughout the day? It's not the end of the world to him. He can go home and play video games with his son and never have to worry about answering an email or taking a phone call for work. 

Raul and I cleared out the busy mess, and the owner of the car I valeted threw me a ten. When I got back to the door, Raul pinched my nipple, and I responded with a yelp and right-cross to his bicep. He called me a pathetic excuse for a man. I called him a vile word that I've already used twice in this post. Much like Shitdick and I, we get through the day by abusing each other. It's all out of love and respect. 

All was fine and dandy for the next half hour or so, as Raul's shift was coming to a close and his replacement was about to arrive. The doorman phone rang. He pointed to the phone, indicating that he has checked out for the day and didn't feel like dealing with anyone else. He has twenty-five years on me, so I complied. I wish I hadn't: 

Doorman - "Good Afternoon, Doorman speaking." 

Suzy - "Yes, I need to speak to the man who gets taxis." 

She didn't have to tell me who she was. 

Doorman - "Do you need to speak to the Doorman?" 

Suzy - "I need. To speak. To the man. Who gets. Taxis." 

The way she presented that sentence made me want to bite the receiver of the phone. I took a deep breath. 

Doorman - "Yes, I get taxis for people. I am the Doorman."   

Suzy - "Well, then you can help me." 

Notice the "you can help me". Like I've been qualified to serve her. As I type this out, I feel my ears getting red just hearing her fucking voice in my head. 

Doorman - "How may I help you?" 

The image of her on fire flashes before my eyes and it makes me really happy. 

Suzy - "Well, I'm not sure if you remember, but I got in a taxi to Bloomingdales about a half an hour ago."

Doorman - "I remember."

Oh, I fucking remember you. 

Suzy - "Oh, you remember?... Interesting." 

I didn't know what to make of the "interesting", but I kept listening:

Suzy - "Well I left my purse in there, and I need it back." 

Doorman - "Did you get a receipt?" 

A loud scoff from the other end. 

Suzy - "Ugh, of course not! Don't be ridiculous!!!"

The Notre Dame fight song played in my head. That was the best fucking thing she could have said. And now, fine readers, for a teachable moment: 

When you visit NYC and take a taxi, always get a receipt. Why? Because the receipt has the medallion number and what time you exited the car. That's the only way you'll be able to track down the one you took, and, save for a good samaritan who finds and returns your items, the only fucking hope you have of getting anything back. 

She fucked herself. And I was having a difficult time curbing my delight. 

Doorman - "Oh, dear. I'm sorry, but without the medallion number on the receipt, there's really no way of us tracking down the-" 

Suzy - "Are you going to let me finish? Are you going to let me finish speaking?" 

Go for it, you fucking miserable turd. 

Doorman - "Of course, my apologies." 

Suzy - "The driver was... a black man. And he was familiar with another... black man... that was in front of your hotel. Do you know this black man?" 

Doorman - "Excuse me?"

Another loud scoff. 

Suzy - "There was a black man loitering in front of your hotel. Do you know him?"

Doorman - "Ma'am I see a lot of people every-" 

Suzy - "No, no, no. You're not listening. The driver of the cab was a black man. And he knew the black man in front of your hotel." 

As angry as this was making me, I had to ferociously fight the urge to ask "I'm sorry, what color was the man?" 

Doorman - "Ma'am, I honestly don't know who you mean. There are a lot of people that pass through here. And there are so many taxis that-" 

Suzy - "Ok, ok. Fine. I get it." 

Click. 

What the fuck? 

Raul looked at me. 

Raul - "What was that about?" 

I told him the dialogue, verbatim, all the way down to her saying "interesting" and  "oh, I get it." I was legitimately confused. However, the twenty-five years of experience in Raul didn't blink. He stood there and listened without flinching, then in one simple sentence, spelled it out for me: 

Raul - "She thinks you're in cahoots with the taxi driver." 

Click here for the final part of Suzy the Twat: The Ugliest American!!!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Suzy the Twat: The Ugliest American

My hand shakes uncontrollably as I attempt to slide my keycard into the locker room door. The white corner edge rattles against the entry, causing the lock to make a clicking noise as the light turned red.

Doorman - "FUCK!!!!"

I fight the urge to punch the door with everything I've got.

No, save it. Save it for when you get inside. A housekeeper may be roaming in the hallway. 

I take a deep breath and hold it as I manage to slip the keycard through the slot, just long enough for the green light to flash and validate my entry. I swing the door open and chug toward the first inanimate object I see.

Chair. 

I take three gallops toward the shitty, old, discarded chair that was, many years ago, designated for a guest room and eventually passed down to us for our lunch breaks, pick it up, and heave it across the room. It sails through the thankfully empty locker room and explodes against the wall.

More. 

I turn to my left and quickly scan the lockers for a fresh spot, one that hasn't been dented by an angry bell staff worker yet. I spot one, sitting pretty above a faded Obama/Biden '08 bumper sticker. I throw a haymaker and make an impressive dent without damaging my hand.

More breaking noises. 


My eyes scan the room like a berserk terminator, looking for more property to damage. I spot an old radio, one that no one uses anymore since we upgraded a few months ago. Five lightening quick, giant leaps forward, and the radio is held over my head. I scream a violent scream from the bowels of my stomach, and smash it onto the pile of the broken chair debris. Tiny black pieces of plastic and metal shoot from the floor like a $40 firework.

Scream. 

I scream with everything I've got. My voice goes cracks midway through, like Leonardo DiCaprio's always seems to do when he has that obligatory screaming fit he does in every film. My right foot involuntarily goes into motion, making another cavernous dent into the Obama/Biden locker.

Satisfied. 

A couple of steps backward and my back hits another locker. I let it catch me, slide to the floor, and clutch at my hair as my ass hits the filthy carpet.

Breathe. Don't cry. Don't be a cunt. 


I've had meltdowns at work, but this is the worst. Now exhausted, I muster the strength to look up and survey the damage: Broken chair, broken radio, two fresh dents in the locker, and a bleeding hand that I initially thought was okay.

Then I hear the toilet flush from the locker room bathroom.

Fuck. 


I pray that it's not one of the morning guys, or, even worse, the bell captain. The door opens, and thankfully, it's Marty. He has a Polish newspaper tucked between his elbow and hip as he adjusts his belt. Always the goofball and ball buster, I've never seen him this genuinely concerned.

He just listened to me destroy the room, and now I was panting on the disgusting floor with a bloody fist and a red face.

Marty - "Dude…"

That's all he really had to say. He's one of my best friends at work, my solid drinking buddy, and we've gotten to know each other pretty well over the past year and a half. So I told him what happened:

A woman checked in about two weeks ago. She traveled alone, and used the term "I'm baaack!!!" as I helped her out of the taxi. I didn't recognize her, nor did I really give a fuck, but I was having a decent enough day where I could act the part and humor her. Most people don't realize that if you don't shower the hotel staff with generous globs of cash during your stay, they will forget you the second you walk out the door.

There really isn't any way for me to describe her that would make her stand out from any other middle-aged white woman from the Midwest.  "Suzy" essentially looked like everyone's mom, only with an icy demeanor in her eyes that you only see in Russian hitmen and James Spader characters. She was here for two weeks, as she made it abundantly clear with her 82 lb. bag (those are marked with a label and an orange man lifting correctly with his legs.)

I brought her to the front, where there were a few people already waiting. After carefully placing her monster suitcase next to the purple velvet rope that leads to the front desk, I made the obligatory pause and eye contact that suggests I be paid for my services. Being that there were people ahead of her, she couldn't escape this by scurrying to the front desk agents, as most assholes will do.

She locked eyes with me. Now, there are usually two causes for people to not thank me when I bring them inside: One is that they're so frantic about getting their papers in order, new to the city, and completely overwhelmed that they simply forget. The other is that they don't deem the luggage mule worthy of their gratitude. She was a gray, wrinkly embodiment of the latter. She stared at me and said nothing, efficiently communicating "that'll do, pig" by batting her eyes twice. I muttered a disingenuous "enjoy your stay" and slumped off.

She was an absolute nightmare for the next two weeks.

And she wasn't a nightmare in the sense where she was just not tipping, that's easy to deal with. No, no, Suzy was a nightmare in the sense that she made all of our lives a living hell, and seemed to take joy in doing so. Most people go on vacation to escape whatever reality or stress they live in, to see some sights, relax a bit, get drunk, go out to restaurants, see a show, etc. Though there's a rare breed of people, that come once in a blue, who go on vacation to simply raise hell amongst everyone they come into contact with. Maybe it's because they spend their days getting stepped on at home and want to pass that frustration onto the help. Maybe it's some sexual fetish that I know nothing about.  Maybe it's because it just makes them happy.

Whatever the case, she strutted around the lobby with her chest puffed, nose in the air, with her eyes locked forward, as if she were visualizing adonis-like, shirtless men throwing rose pedals at her feet. It was sickening. She complained about everything. She had something to say about everything. 


"I'm not crazy about the floral design on my pillows. I'd like to have them changed by the time I come back." 

"What do you mean you don't know what year the East Wing of the hotel was built? Isn't that something you learn on day one?!?!" 

"What do you mean you don't know of a good vegetarian Indonesian restaurant in the immediate area?!?! Isn't it your job to know these things?!?!" 

She would call the doorman phone from the room and demand a taxi be waiting there to take her 3 blocks. When I told her that a cabbie wouldn't wait to go anywhere but the airport, and that I'd be happy to hail her one when she comes down, she called me incompetent and hung up. 

By day four, her mere presence in the lobby would create pigeon-like a scatter amongst the bellmen and front desk agents. Since I'm the schmuck that can't leave his post, almost all of this bullshit would come down on me. 


At one point, she came downstairs with a large bag of bottles and cans, asking why there aren't separate bins for recycling in the rooms. I explained that housekeeping does the separating themselves and that she had nothing to worry about. 

Suzy - "That's not going to be good enough for me."

She drops the bag at my feet. And turns to leave. 

Suzy - "Make sure housekeeping gets this." 

This is what we were dealing with.

I left it there, determined to have it waiting there for her when she gets back. Though just a few minutes later, a homeless can-collector walked by and asked for it. As much as I wanted to find out what room Suzy occupied and decorate it with this fucking recycling bag, I couldn't deny this man the couple of bucks worth of empty Canada Dry seltzer cans. 


You're probably thinking "But, Doorman- what happened to the guy who likes to exact revenge and doesn't let people get away with bullshit like that? What happened to your balls?" I'll tell you what- 

Trip Advisor. 

Working in hotels for a few years has trained me to spot the type of personality that relishes writing lengthy, name-specific reviews on the internet. While I do and say a lot of bad things, I pick my battles, and I know who I can and can't fuck with. Is my hotel going to translate a Brazilian travel company's website from Portuguese to English to find a review saying "the doorman berated me for not giving him a tip and then I found gum on my $500 Louis Vuitton bag?" No. She looked at everyone's name tag that she came into contact with. She asked the right follow-up questions when she complained. She "travels frequently." All it takes is one little slip of the attitude and I become the subject of her wrath in her little online review. And while I hate my job, I'm not making any money writing at the moment, so I can't afford to get suspended because this cunt didn't care for the way I facetiously said "you're welcome" as I slammed a taxi door in her face. 

So I was stuck. I was going to have to eat whatever shit she threw my way. And like it. 

All of that was surprisingly okay. A person like that gets off on breaking you, and seeing that whatever they're doing has affected you in a negative way. I refused to give her the satisfaction, and I was (barely) winning the battle. 

It wasn't till the following afternoon that she would break me. 

Click here for Part Two of Suzy the Twat: The Ugliest American!!!!


Monday, May 27, 2013

Doorman Reads "Heads in Beds", Recommends You Do the Same

Now that the film is almost finished and trailer is up (and can be found here if you haven't watched yet), I've been able to once again do some leisurely things, like devour season one of House of Cards (brilliant) and binge-watch the new season of Arrested Development (eh). It's been nice. 

In addition, I was finally able to sit down and read Heads in Beds, a terrific hotel memoir written by Jacob Tomsky. I strongly recommend this to anyone who travels frequently, infrequently, or has ever worked a service-indusrty job. Whereas I'm able to drop a few hints on this blog about how to not piss off a doorman with a chip on his shoulder, Tomsky's book will introduce you to a whole new world of what to do and what the fuck not to do when visiting a hotel (along with some hilarious celebrity interactions, stories of fucked-up managers, hustles, etc.). 

Do yourself a favor and pick it up. It's a quick, fun read, and you'll be a better guest and enjoy an infinitely better stay because of it. Trust me. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Doorman Official Trailer

Hello Fine People,

The trailer for my pilot can be found here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpaG_77Ih6U&feature=youtu.be

I've spent the day at my editor's house in Red Bank, NJ. To see everything laid out right there and coming to life has made this entire exhausting process completely worthwhile. A rough cut has just been assembled, and we should be close to a locked picture in a week or two.

Please share, tweet, post on your Facebook walls- whatever you can. I'll be announcing a screening later in the month.

(Oh, and remember that "panty-dropping" view that I always talk about? Well...)

Thanks so much,

#Doorman

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Shitdick Redemption: A Bromance Story

It's Springtime. The rates have gone up, the weather is nicer, and it's a good time to be a doorman. People have become a little more liberal with their singles and fives, and my daily numbers have been increasing every week. Though even with the "high-rate" crowd, you have to ween through the cheap fucks, like our friend "Dr. I'll Get You Later", or, to make things easier for me, Dr. IGYL ( pronounced eye-Jill).

Dr. Igyl made the mistake in life of never warming up to the idea of gratuity, all the while unable to resist the urge to advertise that he's a doctor, as per his fucking license plate. When he arrived, he used the line that all of us hospitality folk dread: "I'll get you later." We're lucky if we get one out of five people to come back and actually follow through.

It wasn't my turn to valet a car, so Other Doorman, who I will rename "Shitdick", had the honor. I spend the majority of my days working with Shitdick, and I feel bad that I've never given him a name. While I understand that that name is vile and grotesque (and a borderline homophobic slur), just remember that it's a term of endearment, and I use it with the upmost love and respect. Us men who work blue collar jobs in environments where we get little respect tend to call each other horrific things out of affection. If I've known you for more than a few months and haven't given you a clever nickname or routinely called you things like "rimjobby" or "assholeface", it means that I either don't like you, or you're my boss.

Shitdick - "Hi, sir. It's $35 per twenty-four hours."

The good doctor does the "bull shit pat down" dance, where he pretends to feel his pockets and chest for some stray bundle of singles that he may have duct taped to his nipple before he left the house.

Dr. Igyl - "I'll have to get you later."

Shitdick - "No problem, sir."

Shitdick played it well. He noticed the customized "DR ____ " on the license plate of his brand-new BMW, and gave the guy the benefit of the doubt. I would have done the same.

He retreated back to the door, where we spent the remainder of his shift talking about the disappointing end to the Knicks' season, and theories about how Breaking Bad will end. (In between incessant personal insults and threats to sucker punch each other, of course.)

The next day, it was business as usual, and I got stuck trying to get Dr. Igyl a taxi to the Beacon Theater. It was prime rush hour, and first balls-stuck-to-your-legs-hot day of the year, so it was fucking impossible to catch a taxi. Thinking that this doctor understands the art of compensating a man for providing a service, I went hard at taxi drivers to try and get him where he needed to go. This, of course, resulted in several altercations.

Despite my efforts, Dr Igyl was unimpressed, and spent the entire time huffing and trying to wave down unavailable taxis behind my back. Some people legitimately get annoyed when I don't step in front of a truck to try and grab the taxi in the next lane over. I'm serious, people become disgruntled when I'm not willing to die for them. That's not a joke.

I glanced back to see Shitdick laughing at me, as I would do to him in that situation, no doubt.

After twenty grueling minutes of slapping the trunks of assholes who wouldn't stop and near-blows screaming matches, I finally landed the good doctor his precious taxi. And, just like he did to Shitdick the day before, he patted his chest and ass and pockets for money that he had twenty minutes to prepare, and broke the news to me:

Dr. Igyl - "I'll have to get you later."

A trend had been noticed. Readers, I can't emphasize this enough- hotel employees talk to each other and remember faces. When you fuck someone over, the next guy will be informed. Every time.

Shitdick - "He nailed you, too?!?"

Doorman - "Yep."

Shitdick - "Did he say 'he'll get you later?'"

Doorman - "Yep."

Shitdick - "What a lowlife."

Doorman - "Yep."

A pause.

Shitdick - "What would you do if I kicked you in the knee right now?"

Day three.

Rush hour and Shitdick gets doctor duty. One good thing about our work relationship is that we're good about taking turns and balancing the shitty guests without having to argue about it. Once Dr. Igyl came out, he knew he was up at bat.

Same old bullshit. Shitdick stands in the middle of the street, risking his safety, while Dr. Fucko does the pee pee dance behind him and gets annoyed with every off-duty cab that passes him by. Of course, he has no fucking money prepared in his hands.

If you've been reading my stuff for awhile, you know that I cannot let this go on, and revenge must be had.

My brother is in medical school, so I'll refrain from blaspheming doctors as a whole, but I will not let this elitist motherfucker keep us down. I will once again claim a victory, for me, for Shitdick, and for doormen everywhere!!!

The wheels started turning, and I devised a plan. I was going to plant the seed for this asshole to pay up for our services. So I got in between them, and as loudly as possible, went to work:

Doorman - "Shitdick, can I borrow a dollar? I want to buy a water. I'LL GET YOU LATER."

Always the perfect straight man to my fucking with people, Shitdick was confused. He takes a dollar out of his money roll.

Shitdick - "Huh? Do you seriously not have a dollar on you?"

My eyes widened, then I winked and nodded my head back toward the doctor. Like an idiot, Shitdick's eye gaze went from me, directly to my target. The jig was up before the operation started. I tried to salvage it:

Doorman - "I'm broke. I have no singles and I'm thirsty. Give me a dollar AND I'LL GET YOU LATER!"

I winked again then mouthed "just give me the fucking dollar, you asshole!"

Shitdick - "Dude, what are you talking about? Is this a joke?"

He was completely blowing it and making me look stupid. This was a first. Dr. Cheap Fuck caught on immediately, and was offended.

Dr. Igyl - "Oh, that's real nice!!!"

He stormed off. Fuck. We were busted.

Shitdick hands me a dollar. Out of spite, I snatched it out of his hand.

Doorman - "Dude, what the fuck?!? I was fucking with him and you threw me under the bus!"

Shitdick - "Doorman, I have no idea what you're talking about!!!

Doorman - "Did you not hear the emphasis on 'I'll get you later'? Are you deaf?!?"

It immediately occurred to me that in the year and a half that we've been working together, this is the first disagreement, about anything, that we've ever had. Seriously, we have to stand next to each other in the same spot, every day, and we've never had an argument till now.

He remained calm.

Shitdick - "I'm confused. What just happened?"

Doorman - "Why do I have to explain this to you? I was using his line against him to make him feel like an asshole so he would give you a tip. I was trying to help you!"

Shitdick - "What the fuck are you talking about?!? I can't always be privy to your little revenge schemes. I have enough shit on my mind."

Doorman - "Well now he's going to complain about me because you were too slow to realize that I was trying to get him to tip YOU!"

We were getting loud in the street, and people passing by we're starting to stop and notice.

Shitdick - "Oh, you were doing that to help me, huh? Are you sure it was to help me and not just for some fucking material for your little blog? Don't bullshit me, cuz."

I couldn't say anything. He was right. My putting him in an awkward situation was completely self-serving. I was wrong. Though, like any stubborn asshole, I couldn't possibly let him know that.

So I did the sensible thing: stuffed the dollar in his hand and told him to fuck off.

We spent the last hour of his shift in complete silence, refusing to address each other. At 7pm, he looked at his watch and left without saying goodbye.

About ten minutes later, a taxi pulls up, and some fucking young, douchey European guy gets out. His luggage tags indicated that he was from Italy. He wore a Lacoste polo-shirt, short Lacoste shorts, and white slip-on Lacoste shoes over his nude-beach infused tan. A guaranteed stiffing. No question. Of course, he had enough luggage for a family of four.

As I struggled up the steps with his fucking suitcases, Shitdick emerged from the staircase in his civilian clothes. I didn't want to make eye contact with him. Fuck him. And fuck this asshole who was about to give my wallet a deep-dicking.

I got to the top of the steps and pulled the luggage handles up, ready to drag them across the lobby and meet my fate. Shitdick stopped me dead in my tracks and, right in front of the young man from Italy, hands me the same crumpled-up dollar that started our whole confrontation.

Shitdick - "Here, sir."

He put on an awful, weird accent. It was a bad blend of deep Mississippi and Eastern European. I may have forgotten to mention that Shitdick is an athlete, not an actor.

Still stubborn and pissed, not ready to apologize, I reluctantly made eye-contact with him.

Doorman - "What's this?"

Shitdick - "You help with my luggage before. I did not GET CHANCE TO GIVE YOU TIP."

He winked.

Doorman - "Oh! Thank you, sir! I really appreciate that!"

The young man from Italy looked on and I immediately saw a spark in his memory that, when in America, you tip when a man brings your bags up the steps, or valets your car, or stands in aggressive rush hour traffic to get you a taxi. He immediately went for his wallet.

Shitdick walked out the door. I took the young man from Italy to the front desk, where he planted a crispy five spot into my palm.

I immediately jumped into the storage closet and took out my phone, unsure of how to address the situation. Should I apologize? Should I leave it alone? Should I wait two days?

I opted to text him right away:

Doorman - "Hey."

Shitdick - "Hey whats up."

Doorman - "Nothing much. So that was really cool, what you did. He gave me five bucks."

Shitdick - "No problem."

I stared at the phone for a few min, sporadically typing something then deleting it, no doubt creating that stop-and-start typing image that only iPhone texters would understand (that little three-dot bubble). I eventually landed on this:

Doorman - "See you maƱana, cuntface."

After a minute, and a couple of "three-dot bubble" stop-and-starts, he responded:

Shitdick - "lol alright buddy."

I came to work the next day, and we resumed our usual banter of talking about TV shows, how pathetic the Mets have become, and how our respective college educations have led us to working this fucking job.

And Dr. Igyl, as expected, left in a huff without tipping anyone.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Ugly Canadians

It's a Tuesday night. Tuesday nights are usually pretty fucking miserable, but the short-handed night crew scored a jackpot in group departures. Our hotel, like many others, pays out the bellmen and doormen a certain number of dollars per person as a group enters or exits. We have to split the cash amongst ourselves, and the less guys there are on staff, the larger the payout. 

That particular night, I had $170 in "group money" alone. That's before my tips and car service commissions. I was well-over $250 in cash for the evening, not including my hourly wage. Needless to say, I was a very happy fucking doorman. So happy, in fact, that I actually spent the last two hours of my shift at my post, instead of roaming around the lobby, taking prolonged shits, and flirting with front desk girls. 

Then along comes a silver Infiniti. I don't know much about cars, but I know that one who drives an Infiniti is no slouch, though doesn't exactly scream "big shot". 

Out come these two fucking clowns. I really am trying my best to paint an accurate description of these two idiots: The younger one was dressed relatively normal. He was the driver. The passenger, however, wore a dark blue FILA jumpsuit with no undershirt. His zipper was open to about down his chest. He couldn't have been any younger than forty, clearly sported an artificial tan and waxed chest, and was wearing a fucking velour jumpsuit with no undershirt. It was like looking at a Paulie Walnuts mid-life crisis flashback. 

So Paulie blows past me as the driver stuck by the car. I expected New Jersey or, at the very furthest, Connecticut license plates. They weren't. Not even close. Before I could greet the driver, I see Ontario plates. Interesting. 

I greeted the driver with a smile. He was a little younger than Paulie - maybe in his mid-thirties. His black leather jacket matched his immaculate shoes and slicked-back hair that would put Pat Riley's to shame. He smelled like he was embalmed with Old Spice.  

Doorman- "Haya doin?" 

Now, I can't begin to tell you the fucking anomaly that was the sound of this man speaking. Imagine having zero knowledge of Mike Tyson, then watching him eat someone alive in the ring during his prime. Then, after witnessing one of the most dangerously ferocious men on the planet beat someone's face to a bloody pulp, hear him speak for the first time in a post-fight interview. 

I grew up on Staten Island. I've spent summer after summer partying at the Jersey Shore. I know my fucking guidos. To see a guido body stand before me, and to hear him open his mouth and speak with the most utterly cartoonish Canadian accent nearly made me faint. It was like watching Sean Connery as James Bond with Pee Wee Herman's voice dubbed in. 

Guido Driver - "What's up there, eh?" 

Doorman - "Not too bad."

He hands me set of keyless entry keys. 

Guido Driver - "You know how to drive one of these?" 

I check to see it it's a stick shift. It isn't. He was either being facetious, or it was the most poorly-delivered joke ever.

Doorman - "I think I can handle it." 

Guido Driver- "Well, hey! I'm just breaking your shit there, eh!" 

Doorman - "Okay." 

I immediately go from great mood to sourpuss "this guy thinks he's better than me." I hate dealing with "successful" business guys. While they almost always tip, you'll occasionally get ones that make sure they let you know where you stand with them. This was one of those assholes. 

He pulls out his money-wad and peels a five from the top. 

Guido Driver - "That's for you." 

And, with that, I am bought. 

Guido Driver - "You got a trolley or something to take my stuff in?"

Doorman - "Sure." 

As I unload the familiar business-traveler vehicle of suit bags and carry-on luggage, Paulie Walnuts comes strutting back out. He has room keys in hand, and makes an immediate dash toward the backseat, where I happen to be situated and removing his suits. I'm helping him, as per the nickel that's already been given to me. Though he looks at his friend, puzzled, as if he didn't sign up for the peasant touching his belongings. 

He parts his hands in front of his face, like he's opening up a pair of curtains. 

Paulie Walnuts- "Uh, you're in my zone, there." 

You're in my zone. I turn, ready to giggle along with his little joke. He's not joking. He whisks his hands again, shooing me and making it clear that he doesn't want my dirty little doorman fingers touching his shitty suit. 

I look at his buddy, who just paid me to carry his shit, confused. Paulie Walnuts snaps his fingers:

Paulie Walnuts - "Come on, I'm exhausted."

I say nothing and get out of his way. And it fucking eats at me. It's amazing how my attitude goes from "guy who doesn't take any shit" to "guy who will let you say whatever the fuck you want for a measly five dollars". Five dollars. That's all it takes to allow you to treat me like I'm beneath you. 

His friend is reasonably cool throughout the exchange, but this cocksucker spends the entire time blaspheming his buddy for allowing me to go through their belongings. A task, in which, I would have gladly turned down, though couldn't because I had already been bought. Paulie Walnuts grabs all of his garbage and they disappear into the hotel, leaving me five dollars richer and completely humiliated.

I spend the rest of the night pissed off for not standing up for myself. Many scenarios run through my head, most of which ending with me stuffing the five back in his friend's pocket, then connecting a right hook to Paulie Walnuts' chin, laying him out cold. I've come such a long way when it comes to standing up for myself, not letting people talk down to me and refusing service when a guest is condescending. Though, at that moment, I let my guard down and allowed this fucking clown to put me right back in my place. 

If this same thing had happened at this time last year, the story would have ended here and I would have drank myself into a coma that evening. Though if you've been reading this blog for awhile, you know that I'm going to get my fucking revenge, and, oh, did I ever: 

I worked the 11-7 shift the following day. From 9am-12pm is where the majority of the cars from the valet come out, so I was going to have one last interaction with Paulie Walnuts. 

Out he comes. I stand at the corner, staring at him and planning my attack like an animal in the wild scouting his dinner. He's talking to the morning doorman, who apparently built a relationship with him while he was calling for the car. Morning Doorman is about twenty years older than me, and is sort of famous for being on a prominent reality show in the early 2000's. Once in awhile, he'll get recognized, and guests will then kiss his ass (and, much to everyone else's dismay, get the biggest tips.) I could tell that Paulie Walnuts was a fan of the show, and was taking the opportunity to starfuck Morning Doorman as he waited for the car to come back from the garage. 

I notice that he, like many idiots do, is standing right in front of the door, blocking people from entering and exiting. I decide that the best plan of action is to give him a little taste of his own medicine. I tip-toe over like a cartoon character gunning for a tree to hide behind. Once I get to the door, I part my hands, just as he did, and throw his own line back at him. 

Doorman- "Uh, you're in my zone there, eh!" 

Emphasis on the "eh". Morning Doorman looks at me like I'm retarded. Paulie Walnuts stares at me for a second, takes one small step to the side, and give me an exaggerated "pst", like a horse. The continue their conversation, and I stand there, offering up the biggest douche chills I've ever had. 

FAIL. 

Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck. I sheepishly walk inside and contemplate drowning myself in the toilet. I have no idea what to do. I feel like I'm in the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl, driving my team down the field to win the game, only to panic and throw an interception at the five-yard line. I'm so much better than this. I need a win. I need a fucking win here. 

I stand back outside at my post, and Morning Doorman is looking through Paulie's camera. He calls me over to come take a look, and Paulie looks at him like an older brother does when his mother makes him take his younger sibling out to play with him. I reluctantly walk over with my pride in shambles. 

Morning Doorman - "Doorman, get a load of this! It's the opening bell of New York Stock Exchange! This guy was there!!!" 

Apparently, Paulie and his buddy were there to open the stock market that morning. Morning Doorman is an expert bullshit artist, and can make any one feel as important as Martin Scorcese making a surprise entrance in a freshman film school class. Paulie soaks it up, and takes the opportunity to rub more shit in my face:

Paulie Walnuts - "Yeah, now we're heading down to the 9/11 to go to the top of the new building in one of those glass elevators there." 

Him calling it "the 9/11" makes me want to grab him by the ears and bite his nose off. For a second, I consider walking away to avoid doing so. Then I remember that I am the fucking doorman. I am a revenge genius. I am Eli Manning in the 4th quarter. I will not lose to this goofy, ignorant motherfucker. And at that moment, as I've trained myself to do so well, I got my revenge:

Doorman - "To the top of the Freedom Tower?" 

Paulie - "Yah, we're auditors and they're giving us a tour of the building." 

Oh, so important. Oh, so stupid for handing over that information. 

Doorman - "And you're going up on one of those elevators? Those glass ones that sit outside the building that the construction workers use?"

He doesn't want to answer my questions. He wants to continue to give Morning Doorman his egotistical hand job and keep bragging about what an important auditor he is. 

Paulie - "Yah. We're going down there now." 

Doorman - "Oh, that's cool." 

He goes show Morning Doorman some more pictures, turning his back on me. 

Doorman - "Because I live down there, and it got stuck the other day." 

This gets his attention. 

Paulie - "Oh, yah?"

Doorman - "Yeah, I was on my roof deck, on about 52 stories up, and I saw it." 

Paulie - "Stuck up in the elevator?" 

Doorman - "Yeah, one of those glass ones, where you can look down and see everything. They got stuck on the 100 and something floor for about three hours. I couldn't imagine just being up there, dangling in the wind, stuck in a glass elevator where you can see how far you can drop." 

His face turns white. He takes a large gulp. 

Paulie - "Oh, so, they were just up there, stuck, eh?"

Doorman - "Yeah, it happens a few times a month, I pay attention to it because I live around the corner, but you should be fine. I'm assuming a guy like you isn't afraid of heights." 

He makes the "pst" horse sound again. Though this time, it's completely disingenuous. 

Paulie - "Me? No. Not at all."

Doorman - "That's good. Because, I mean, I have a panic attack when I'm in one of these elevators in the hotel and it gets stuck on the 2nd or 3rd floor. I couldn't imagine being all the way up there, in a glass elevator, with high winds, just dangling and waiting for an elevator mechanic to walk up 100 stories to come help you. I would make me crazy. But then again, I'm a coward. You look like the type of guy who wouldn't be rattled by that at all." 

He looks like he's just been raped by a ghost. Beads of sweat begin forming at his receding hairline. 

Paulie - "Yah, not even a little. No way. Pst." 

The valet pulls up with his car. His buddy, who was waiting inside, comes out of the hotel and gives him a five. 

Doorman - "Bye, guys! Have fun!!!!" 

Paulie Walnuts scampers to the car like he's running around looking for a bathroom to relieve an emergency shit. They leave. Morning Doorman turns to me. 

Morning Doorman - "I didn't hear about that elevator getting stuck." 

Doorman - "It didn't. I made it up." 

I tell him what the guy did to me the night before. All he could do was laugh and shake his head. In my little world of liars and bullshit artists, I was able to fool even the biggest one. 

Morning Doorman - "You need to write a book, bro." 

For the next hour, all I could do was giggle at the image of Paulie Walnuts getting in that elevator, sweating and panicking as it makes his rise to the top. Then I imagine him asking the elevator operators about the fictitious time where it got stuck for three hours, to which the operators will have no idea what he's talking about.

I may have gotten in his zone, but now I'm in his fucking head. 

Doorman - 1 

Canadian Guido - 0





Wednesday, May 8, 2013

It's Four-Something AM and I'm Taking a Break

My editor is coming tomorrow to pick up the raw footage. I've been sitting in front of this screen all night, painstakingly going over each take and making notes on every frame. "Doorman is out of focus at the 0:13 mark." "There is a Bud Light logo in frame at the 0:22 mark." "Passer-by looks into camera at 0:40 mark." This is tedious, and completely necessary work. It's how I'm going to communicate which take I want to be in the film to my editor, and also letting him know what he could glaze over to save himself some time.

I plan on pushing through and finishing it before the sun comes up, which is in about an hour. This is, by far, the worst part of the process for me. But it's all worth it, isn't it? Fuck yes. Once the editor picks it up, he'll get to work on the trailer, which should be up in a week or so. And in case you didn't see, here's my first production photo:


#Doorman

Sunday, May 5, 2013

We're Wrapped!!!!

After months of writing and rewriting, weeks of raising money and pre-production, and three days of dynamite filming, I have wrapped my #Doorman pilot. As I stare at this screen, I can't think of much to say other than how proud I am of everyone involved. Maybe it's due to sheer exhaustion, or it could be that I'm just at a loss for words.

When I started this blog, it was just an outlet to vent my frustrations. I never thought it would have evolved into this. I moved to Manhattan to make a serious run at acting, and if this is where that serious run has taken me, well, fuck, I'll take it. I had planned on blogging about every night of shooting, along with the ins an out of post and pre-production, but I think I'll just keep it simple and let the pilot speak for itself. The footage looks amazing, and every actor in the film made a mountain out of every note and idea given.

So I'd just like to thank everyone. Everyone who donated their money, time, and faith in me. Thank you to my incredible cast and crew, who worked long overnights fueled by cold Dunkin Donuts coffee and never complained once, who picked me up when I found myself making mistakes while trying to act and direct simultaneously (something I've never done before). Thank you to my friends and family, who keep me inspired (and in check.) And, lastly, thank you to my readers, who were the ones who made this happen by sharing, retweeting, and giving the Doorman a sense of purpose.

Lately, I've come to realize that this blog is not just some all-out assault on the unsuspecting public, or some vicious and hateful attack on tourists. Because when you go back to the beginning and read it all the way through, it's the story about a guy who was kind of a pussy, who was taking endless abuse in a harsh environment, growing a pair of balls and taking the initiative to make a life that he could be proud of for himself. I've adapted the begins of that journey into a TV pilot, and hope I get the chance to share the rest of that arc on the screen.

What happens next?

I hand it over to the editors, then take a nap for about a week. While I'm flying with excitement and adrenaline, I know that I've completely run my body into the ground. I'm going to rest up, then have a trailer cut together within the next couple of weeks.

I aim to have a locked film by June 1st, with a screening a couple of weeks after. From there, I'll pitch the series to networks and submit it to every film festival I can. I'm at the halfway point of the battle, and I'm in damn good shape thus far. So thanks again, and I need a fucking beer.

#Doorman