Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The World's Dumbest Doctor

A German guest with a stupid mustache approaches me with a map, which he's looking at upside down:

Guest - "Ehhhh... I need to go to Double-U Four Street. Which metro will I take?"

For the uninitiated, he means the West 4th St station, which drops you off in Greenwich Village. I take a pen out of my pocket, click it, and attempt to take the map from him to turn it right-side-up. He pulls away. 

Guest - "No!" 

Ok, weirdo. Fine by me. I un-click the pen and drop it back in my pocket. 

Doorman - "You need to go two blocks to-"

Guest - "This is to Double-U Four Street?" 

The map is still upside-down. 

Doorman - "Yes, so you walk two blocks to 53rd-"

Guest - "I take which metro?" 

Doorman - "I'm trying to tell-" 

Guest - "Double-U Four Street?" 

I point down the block. 

Doorman - "You walk two blocks down to 53rd and take the D or E trains downtown-" 

Guest - "Orange." 

Doorman - "Sure." 

He stares at his upside-down map. 

Guest - "Where is orange?" 

Doorman - "Two blocks down, at the corner of 53rd and 7-"

Guest - "Orange goes to Double-U Four Street?" 

Doorman - "Yes." 

A pause. The map is still upside-down.

Guest - "Where do I get the orange?" 

I consider if reaching over, pinching my fingers on his mustache, and ripping it off in one, fluid motion would be worth losing my job and going to jail over. 

Doorman - "You get the orange at the corner of 53rd and 7th-"

Guest- "And the blue?" 

He places his finger on the map and guides it in the opposite direction of where he's going, because the fucking map is still upside down. 

Doorman - "You can get the blue, yes, but let's focus on the orang-" 

Guest - "Where do I get the blue?"

He looks at me like he's about to teach me something. 

Guest - "The blue goes to Double-U Four street!" 

Doorman - "Yes, I've been trying to tell you that. Now, if you'll just pay attention to me-"

Guest - "Ah, okay! I can take blue and orange?" 

Doorman - "Yes. Yes! The D or the E!!! You got it!" 

A pause.

Guest - "Ehhh... What is 'D or E'?" 

Oh, come on. 

Doorman - "Orange or Blue. It's the line of the subway. Take either one. It doesn't matter, because they go to the same place." 

Another hideously long pause. 

Guest - "Ehhhh... D. Goes which way?" 

I attempt to take the map from him again. He slithers away. 

Guest - "No!" 

Doorman - "You have to take it downtown."

He runs his middle finger upwards on the map, because the motherfucking map is motherfucking upside down. 

Guest - "Ehhh... Uptown." 

Doorman - "No, downtown. Downtown. You have to take it downtown." 

He runs his finger along the orange line. Upwards on the map. AGAIN

Doorman - "NO! The map is upside down! You're supposed to take the D or the E  train, orange or blue line, I don't give a fuck, downtown to West fourth street. You can get the train two blocks down at 53rd street. Please, have mercy, let this be the last thing I say to you!" 

Another eternal pause. 

He looks up from the upside down map and observes the street. He points towards the downtown direction. 

Guest - "Ehhhh... uptown?" 

Doorman - "Sure." 

He walks that way without looking up at the map or saying thank you. To his credit, if he continued on that path with the assumption that he was headed uptown, he would have at least made it to the correct train station.

Note: I'd started writing this post on Monday night with the intention of titling it "A Scene from Behind an Open Map" and ending it there, but I fell asleep about halfway through, then had to work a morning bellman shift the next day. I didn't think I'd interact with him again, but as fate would have it...

At 10:05am, I get a phone call from room 77. 

Doorman - "Good morning, Bell Desk!" 

Huffy mouth-breathing on the other end. 

Guest - "Ehhhh... I make the shuttle bus. 12:20... P! M!" 

My heart sinks. It's him. I see a man waiting patiently with a suitcase, waiting for it to be stored. An American man. A tipper. 

Doorman - "Okay..." 

Guest - "We want to leave the room and eat the breakfast, but we don't know where to leave our four big bags." 

I gesture "one minute, please" to the American man who had tipped me $5 on the way in, who had another five in his hand. 

Doorman - "Yes, I'll come up and get the bags and store them for you till 12:20pm so you can go eat the breakfast."

Before I can hang up the phone and tend to the tipping American, he interrupts:

Guest - "Ehhh... I think maybe getting the bags at 12... P! M!... would be better while we wait for the shuttle bus, no?" 

Doorman - "Sure. I'll be up in about five minutes to get you-"

Guest - "Because the shuttle bus comes at 12:20... P! M!" 

As he's saying that, another bellman emerges from the elevator and approaches my tipping American. 

Bellman - "Good morning, sir? Like to store some bags? Will you need a car service later on?"

American - "Yeah, I need a car to Newark at 2pm."

Aaaaaaand there goes another $7 in car service commissions. Cock sucker

Doorman - "Yes, sir. We can have you retrieve the bags whenever the fu- whenever you need them. I'll be right up to get your suitcases." 

Guest - "Ehhhh... but-" 

Click. 

I open the log book, which tells me that I'm next to do a bags-down. Fantastic. I can't even pass the buck to someone else. 

I grab a luggage cart and head to his room, which, of course, is located in the East Wing of the hotel. If you've read my Bellman Shift Breakdown, you'll know that there's an extra, pain-in-the-ass staircase that I have to deal with, which doubles my workload. 

I get to room 77 and knock. He opens the door, and a wretched stench immediately assaults my nostrils. It smells like the meat section of a supermarket, six months after a zombie apocalypse. He's been farting in here, and judging by the big, dopey smile on his face, he's proud of his own filth. (I'd find it funny if I didn't already hate him so much.)

I observe his four, big suitcases. Enough to fit on the one cart that I brought. 

Doorman - "Ok, sir. So you need these stored till 12:20pm, correct?"

Guest - "I think 12pm is better." 

Doorman - 'That's fine. I'm going to give you a claim ticket, and you can come pick up the bags whenever you want." 

Guest - "But I think 12pm is better." 

Doorman - "Whatever you want. Just bring this claim ticket to the bell desk, and we'll retrieve the bags for you." 

I take out my pen and a luggage claim ticket. 

Guest - "But I think-"

Doorman - "Last name, please?" 

Guest - "Klause! Doctor Klause!" 

Doorman - "Doctor?" 

He suddenly becomes serious. As if I offended him for inquiring that someone so savagely stupid and aloof could have survived so much schooling. I have a brother in medical school, and believe me, I want to believe that every doctor in the world is at least a tiny-bit smart. This man was not a tiny-bit smart. 

Guest - "Yes! Doctor Klause!" 

Doorman - "Ok... so bring down this claim ticket whenever you're ready to go. At 12, 12:02, 12:05, 12:20. Whenever!" 

Guest - "12:20 is not good, because we are making the shuttle bus-" 

Doorman - "Yeah, I got it." 

I begin to collect the luggage before he could utter another asinine redundancy. 

Guest - "What is your name? So I can thank you later?" 

He looks at my name tag.

Guest - "Chris." 

He annunciated the "Ch", like you would when you say "cherry". 

Guest - "Ok, CHris! Thank you!" 

No tip. It's not common that people give you a tip when putting the bags in storage, especially for idiot foreigners like this one, so I didn't think too much of it. Also - I've been living by a motto lately that's kept me from losing my shit at work: "If you assume the stiff, you'll never be disappointed." It's been sort of my "Hakuna Matata" the past few months. If I assume everyone is going to stiff me, I'll always be delighted when someone breaks the trend. It works. 

Fast-forward to 11:50am, when I see him talking to fellow Germans. The 12pm rush is about to happen, so I don't want to get stuck doing this while I could be making money booking cars for people. 

I interrupt him: 

Doorman - "Excuse me, doctor. Would you like your bags now?" 

He looks at his watch. 

Guest - "No, I think 12... P! M!... would be better. Because the shuttle bus-" 

Doorman - "Right, right, right. But it'll take me a few minutes to bring them down, so I was just going to get them so you're not waiting for them later."

He looks at his watch again. 

Guest - "No, I think 12... P! M!... would be better. Because the shuttle bus-" 

I immediately want to pull his head off to see if he's really a defective robot spy. It was like talking to the fucking "two weeks" lady from Total Recall. 

I walk away from him mid-sentence and head right to the storage room to get his bags. If he has to deal with his fucking bags sitting next to him while he yammers away to his friends, then, well... I don't know. Worse things have happened. 

I stomp up the stairs to the storage room, where I left the doctor's bags on a cart to be wheeled right down and out of my life. Grab the cart, wheel it to the elevator, wait five minuted for a car that isn't full, exit elevator, wheel cart across the lobby, nearly plow into an over-caffeinated Brazilian kid, who's swinging from bell cart to bell cart like Tarzan while his oblivious parents plan their Woodberry Common Outlet tours with one of the other bellmen (another commission I could have gotten, had I not been dealing with this schmuck), get to the doctor, and begin unloading his bags. 

The doctor checks his watch. I check mine - 11:57am. 

Guest - "It is not quite 12:00pm." 

I ignore him. 

Guest - "But I guess better early than late!" 

Shut up, stupid. 

I plop the last bag next to him, and prepare to walk away from this empty-handed. I turn with the cart. He calls after me:

Guest - "Excuse me, CHris!" 

I turn back. 

Guest - "For your troubles!" 

He holds a twenty dollar bill out. 

Every bit of color returns to my sweaty, flush face. My frown unfreezes and morphs into a mouth-open smile. My hunched shoulders jolt back up, and my back returns to a confident posture. Mr Klause turns from "World's Dumbest Doctor" to "World's Greatest Guest" in an instant. 

I snatch the 20. 

Doorman - "Thank you, doctor! Ohhhhh thank you!!! Ohhhhh you have a wonderful day! Have a safe trip! We'll see you next time! Thank you thank you thank you!!! Thank you, sir! Thank you, doctor!" 

He unflinchingly goes back to speaking German with his people, forgetting about the grateful little bell boy who retrieved and stored his luggage. 

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