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.
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