Thursday, November 20, 2014

A "Good" Day

It just occurred to me that, after several straight evenings of nearly losing my mind on pedestrians and guests alike, I found myself able to control my temper at work last night. I had what most people would call a "good" night. I'd like to talk about that for a moment.

I say it was a "good" night, not because I made a lot of money and was showered in tips and respect, but because I didn't snap at anyone. I didn't catch an attitude, I didn't punch a taxi, I didn't facetiously yell "enjoy your stay" or "have a safe trip" after getting stiffed.

And I got stiffed. A lot. One guy gave me 40 cents. It's the worst tip I've ever gotten. I delivered bags to his room, and he had a dime, nickel, and quarter waiting for me on the table.

You know what I did? I smiled and said "thanks".

I got stiffed more than I had all week. Cartload after cartload of heavy luggages, getting taxis in the freezing cold, busting my ass for nothing. Maybe I was out of it, seeing that I went to a funeral right before work. Maybe I was just grateful that it was my Friday and I have the next three days off. Whatever the case, I handled all of the stiffing and the disrespect with class and warmth. I did my job the way I was supposed to. I had a "good" day.

So, after three years, it's dawned on me- having a "good" day at work means that I took people's shit better than I would on any other day. That's really fucked up.

Think about that - at my job, in my position, having a "good" day behavior-wise translates to "people treated me horribly and I was able to suppress it and smile while slowly dying inside".

Is anyone hiring?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Beggar and the White Motherf***er

I had something of a humbling experience today. It came off a rough weekend (more on that later), and it was raining. If you've read this blog a bit, or are a newcomer and have a wee bit of imagination to exercise, you can understand that rainy days are hell for me. I won't explain the fuck that is a rainy evening on the old door for fear of redundancy, but allow me to provide a highlight reel leading up to said humbling event. Because who doesn't love a good #Doorman montage

3:01pm  - I step outside to start my shift. An African man, escaping the rain, runs under the marquis and discovers our heat lamps that hang from above. All winter long, I have to entertain every schmuck who feels these fucking lamps, praising me for a job of keeping them warm well done. It got old my first week there. Though this man has a different reaction. He turns to me, menacing smile, then gets in my face.

African Man - "This is a nice heat lamp." 

Doorman - "Thank you." 

He looks up, the orange rays washing over his face as beads of rainwater drip from his hair. His smile never falters. The gap in his front teeth is large enough to roll up a newspaper and shove through to the back of his throat. 

I put my hands in my pockets and give a toothless smile, riding out the seemingly nirvana-like experience this man is having. 

African Man - "This is a nice job, you have." 

Doorman - "Yeah, it's fantastic." 

I was being facetious, in case that wasn't clear. He sizes me up, sensing the disdain that I have for my job. His smile grows larger, more menacing. I've been at work for ninety seconds and I'm already fearing a confrontation. 

African Man - "This is a nice job. Stand here. Do nothing. Make lots of money." 

What the fuck, man?! I just got here

Doorman - "Yeah." 

I grind my teeth. I can feel the little wick inside my gut begin to flicker. This guy's looking for an unprovoked confrontation. I don't want to give it to him. Not yet. 

I look into his yellow eyes. My weak chin and warm eyes don't inspire much fear. I'm an easy target for him. I'm a snack. 

African Man - "This is a nice job. You do nothing. Sit under warm lamps. Make lots of money." 

I don't bite. He puts the exclamation point on his disposition: 

African Man - "Perfect job. For a white man!" 

Now, that statement is loaded. It could mean many things for many different intentions. Right off the bat, he was trying to goad me into a confrontation. I wasn't about to take the bait. This was, however, the last thing he was going to say to me. 

Doorman - "You done?"

He just keeps smiling. I notice the little clitoris-like thingy dangling from the gums between the gap in his teeth. You know what I'm talking about. 

Doorman - "Get the fuck out of here." 

He laughs a big old "muuuhahahahaa" and goes about his day. 

I'm sure any service industry worker an attest to this: When your very first interaction of the day is as negative and deflating as that one, you know a precedent has been set. On we go… 

3:45pm - Out in the rain getting taxis for people. Gypsy driver pulls up. He looks past me and starts screaming to my guests: 

Gypsy Driver - "Taxi? Taxi?" 

Doorman - "No, thanks." 

Gypsy Driver - "Taxi! Taxi! Where you going?" 

Doorman - "I said no!"

Gypsy Driver - "Fuck you! You're doorman! Your job is to open door!" 

Doorman - "They're not getting in the car with you." 

Gypsy Driver - "FUCK YOUR MOTHER! FUCKING FAGGOT!!!" 

He peels off. Got a taxi five minutes later. No tip, but I got a "cheers, brilliant, fank you" as a consolation prize. 

4:15pm - Still raining. New guests, going local. 

Taxi driver with lights on pulls up. I try to open the door. 

Taxi Diver - "Where?" 

Fuck it. Not gonna do this bullshit again. I take my hand off the door and look ahead into the street for the next available taxi.

Taxi Driver - "Where?! Where?! WHERE?!?" 

I ignore him. 

Taxi Driver - "Airport?!?" 

Nope. 

A long pause. 

Taxi Driver - "Fuck you, motherfucker!" 

Not going to fight. 

Taxi Driver - "Fuck you, piece of shit motherfucker!" 

Does everyone get spoken to like this at work? 

My hand shakes. All I want to do is poke his eyes out with my umbrella. But I don't. Not going to fight. Not going to engage this bullshit. 

He peels off.

5:01pm - My 97-year-old co-worker is wheeled out and needs a taxi. Just in the knick of time - raining, during rush hour, in midtown Manhattan. Can't wait. 

Over the course of the next 45 minutes, I stand in the street, watching shuttles and limos pull up, picking up and dropping off passengers, potential tips being flushed down the toilet so I could get my geriatric co-worker a taxi home. 

Aren't I such a swell guy?!? 

5:50pm - After finally putting my co-worker into a taxi, I see several people smoking in front of the door, blowing smoke in people's faces as they try to enter the hotel. It's my responsibility to keep people from smoking near the front entrance. Sounds like a job for security, but no, it's mine. It's my job, as a tipped employee, a yes-man, to alienate the only people whom I have a chance at getting to know during their stay. 

I ask at the smokers to kindly use the side entrance to smoke. They all do, except one man. He's wearing a fanny-pack. I hate fanny-packs. He takes one step to the side and scoffs. Fucking asshole. Whatever, not going to fight. 

6:00pm - Getting a taxi for guests. Another gypsy pulls up. Yells past me to the guests, just like the last one. 

Gypsy - "Black car, folks?" 

Doorman - "No, thanks."

Gypsy - "I'm not talking to you!" 

Doorman - "No, thanks." 

Gypsy - "Shut up!" 

Doorman - "No, thanks." 

Gypsy - "Fuck you! Fucking cocksucker!" 

He pulls away. 

6:10pm - Another gypsy. 

Gypsy - "Taxi! Taxi!" 

Doorman - "No." 

Gypsy - "Fuck you!' 

He pulls away. 

6:12pm - Another gypsy. 

Gypsy - "Taxi?" 

Doorman - "No, thanks." 

Gypsy - "Okay, sir." 

Wait… what? 

Well, that's a nice change of pace. 

I take a step forward and scan the street for an available yellow cab. 

I hear talking behind me. 

I turn around, and my guests are showing the gypsy driver where they're going. 

Doorman - "Yo! NO!" 

Guest - "I'm sorry, you're just taking too long." 

Doorman - "No! I'll get you a cab. Don't take this car. These guys will rip you off!" 

The Gypsy pops his head out of the car. 

Gypsy - "Mind your business, motherfucker!" 

Doorman (to the guest) - "I'm just trying to help you. I live here. Don't get in that car." 

Guest - "I have somewhere to be." 

He gets in. No tip, no "thanks for your troubles". 

The Gypsy smirks, then flips me the bird. 

Whatever. Fuck 'em. They deserve each other. Not gonna fight. 

Shuttle-bus pulls up. He gives me the names of two guests. I go in the lobby, soaked and dripping with rain water. My boss emerges from the elevator. 

Boss - "What are you doing inside?" 

Apparently, the wet dog isn't allowed in the house. 

Doorman - "I'm looking for a guest." 

He doesn't believe me. I keep doing my job. 

I find the people and bring them out. No tip, no thank you. 

I turn around, and there's the fanny-pack wearing smoker, lighting up in front of the door again. I give him a moment to walk away. He doesn't. 

Doorman - "Sir, I've told you this twice, the smoking area-"

He swings around quickly and gets in my face. I didn't think he spoke English, which would have made this understandable. But he did. He can read the "non smoking area" sign. He was British, and spoke in that fucking soccer-hooligan accent that was barely decipherable. 

Fanny - "Now, I've been smoking here all fucking day. All fucking day. And now you're telling me I can't? What's your problem, huh? What's your problem, you fucking bloke?" 

Every man has his breaking point. 

This wasn't mine. 

Doorman (pointing to the sign) - "Sir, this is a non-smoking area. I'm just doing my job-"

Fanny - "FOCK AWF!!!"

He spikes the cigarette on the ground in front of me and walks away. He gets a few steps, and I feel a burning in my stomach, bubbling like an overfilled pot of water. The tip of my tongue wants to spew out "fuck you, you fucking limey cunt", then tackle him and engage in a fistfight with the rain down pouring. Like Lethal Weapon! Yeah!!! 

Before I could do that and lose my job, he turns around for the last word: 

Fanny - "I wouldn't stay here again if you paid me 600 dollars!" 

Those are his words, verbatim. Not sure where he came up with that figure. Didn't care enough to ask. 

It was at that point that I needed a break. I needed to find a bellman to cover the door. I needed for nothing to happen, nor anyone to engage me, till I've had fifteen minute to myself to have a coffee, or watch TV in the break room, or sit on the toilet. Anywhere but here. 

I grab the first bellman I see. He tells me that he's not the guy with the least seniority, so he doesn't have to. The difference between working as a bellman and doorman is staggering. If you're a bellman and you get stiffed, or a guest yells at you, you can sit in the locker room and thumb through Facebook and Instagram till whenever the fuck you feel like it. When you're a doorman, no matter how bad things get, you can't leave your post till you find the lowest guy on the totem pole to cover you. 

After a few more minutes of desperately staring into the lobby from the door (because the wet dog isn't allowed inside the house), the low man comes down from a front. I jump and flail my arms like a maniac, which pisses him off because he knows he's going to be stuck on the door for the next 10-15 minutes. If there's any indication to how shitty my job is compared to my coworker's, it's how they react for having to do it for a ridiculously brief window of time. 

The bellman comes to the door. I decide to vent a little bit, because I don't want to spend my 15 minute break completely pissed off. I want to let off a little steam. I give him a brief rundown of the past couple of hours, putting on a frantic show. He's mostly amused, as most of my co-workers have grown accustomed to my sporadic tantrums when I let a bunch of shit build up. I end it with this: 

Doorman - "I'm telling you, bro. One of these days, you're just gonna hear a scream from out here. And you'll turn around and see me standing over an unconscious body. I'm gonna knock someone the fuck-"

Then I was interrupted: 

I'll call him "Donald", because he looked like the comedian Donald Glover, if you aged him 20 years and fed him a quart of whiskey every day. Donald man had on decent enough clothing, didn't smell, and was wearing trendy, thick-rimmed glasses. He held an old, ragged coffee to-go cup in his hand. It's common for panhandlers to use these for people to drop change into, though his had a lid on it, meaning it was probably filled with booze. Donald was clearly troubled, but certainly not homeless: 

Donald - "Hello, gentlemen! Can you spare a dollar of two for the homeless! I'm just trying to get something to eat!" 

I never give money to people who ask for it on the street. And I especially don't give it to anyone while on the door. For one, I know all-too-well about the various panhandling hustles that go on. I know of several people who hang around the hotel and make a decent living pretending to be homeless. Call me a jaded New Yorker, but I just don't fucking trust anyone's story. Secondly, I don't donate at work because if I give one guy a dollar, every unfortunate soul in the neighborhood will hit me up for cash. I work too hard and deal with too much bullshit to share my earnings. Sorry, not sorry. 

Doorman - "No, sorry. I have nothing." 

(Now, if I were honest, I would have finished that sentence with "to give you…")

That should have been the end of it. I don't get many panhandlers asking me for money because they know better. But when they do, they just walk away. Or they try and guilt me with an, "Okay, bless you, sir!" 

Donald - "Yeah, right! That's what I always hear! 'I have nothing'!" 

Doorman - "I don't." 

Donald - "Yeah, cause you don't care! You don't care about the homeless!" 

On some level, he's right. I literally just explained how I refuse to give money to people who ask. Though this is coming from a street-smart guy who grew up here, who's been ripped off before and doesn't want to see his hard-earned dollars leeched away by one of these hustlers. I dismiss him.

Doorman - "Are you kidding me? Get the fuck out of here." 

Donald - "Man, fuck you! White motherfucker!" 

If the past 3 hours of my life were a hockey game, I'd be the guy who's been getting checked and clipped and slashed all night (forgive my lack of knowledge for hockey terms, I'm still learning), who, at some point, when the time is right, will drop his gloves and deliver hell onto the unfortunate chud who crosses his path at the wrong time. This guy was that chud, and his use of "white motherfucker" was that very-last stick to the face (or whatever pisses off hockey players and causes them to fight, I dunno). 

I dropped my gloves and got right in his face. I screamed at him, threw him off. Asked where he got the balls to question my morals. Challenged him to what the fuck he knows about me.

I'm really not certain of what was said in detail, because it's all a blur. I definitely kicked it into high gear, screaming in his face about how I'd beat him within an inch of his life, right here on the sidewalk. He called me a "Manhattan pussy" and that "he's from Harlem", which makes perfect sense.  I also remember him repeatedly telling me to "suck a dick", to which he'd top it off with "you white motherfucker". And that "he wish I'd step to him", to which I retorted "you don't scare me, bitch", even though I was fucking terrified.  At some point security came out and separated us. 

Lots of screaming. Lots of threatening. Lot's of measuring dicks. Just a couple of frustrated souls, unloading their baggage onto each other for the amusement of every mouth-breathing passer-by with a smart phone on this busy Manhattan avenue. 

I'd like to pause for a moment and remind you that this has all happened before my lunch break. 

I eventually walked into the hotel. Not because I backed down, but because the manager had gotten wind and come outside (and boy, I tell ya, he's lucky the manager came out! Fart.) Donald screamed at me from down the block for a pretty extended period of time, threatening me and suggesting I take up fellatio. 


I sat down in the break room, leaning back and trying to figure out how the fuck my life had gotten to this point. I graduated college seven years ago. I didn't expect the rule the world, though I never thought that my every day life would be reduced to arguing with people about where they can't smoke and which taxi they can take to the theater. And I never thought, for a second, that I would need to vomit out a day's worth of frustrations by getting into near fisticuffs with some panhandler who questioned my morals. 

After cooling off, I return to my post. I'm not even at the halfway point of my shift yet, and I've been called more names than I can count. This wasn't what I was put on this earth to do. 

The next thirty minutes were fairly uneventful, considering I spent most of them hiding inside the foyer, using the handicap button to prop open the door. I'm not supposed to do that by any means, but I wasn't about to get into it with anyone again. I'd take getting written up or, if I'm lucky, being sent home for not standing outside where I belong. 

Taxi pulls up, and the trunk pops open. I step out to retrieve the bags. Just as I hit the heat lamps, Donald walks by with a Subway sandwich in a bag. 

He stares me down, though not in a threatening way. He squints his eyes through his designer glasses, almost as if he's trying to figure out where he knows me. 

Fuck it, let's get this over with. 

Doorman - "What?" 

He takes the bag with his sandwich in it, and feeds it onto the pinky finger of his other hand, which is holding his coffee cup full of booze. Then he puts his free hand in his pocket. He holds it there. 

Donald - "You the dude that was talking all that shit before?"

Well, I guess this is it. Of all the questionable people that I've cursed out, threatened, and called out to come back and fight me after work, this is going to be the one who actually comes back and shoots me. At least I made it out of my twenties.

Might as well take it like a man. Though I turned to see if security was near the door. They weren't. 

Doorman - "Yeah."

He looks me up and down. We make eye contact. There's a certain menacing in his eyes that I'd noticed in the first altercation. A menacing that was completely gone now. There's an emptiness this time. He looked lost, like he was asking for directions. 

Donald - "Why'd you yell at me, man?" 

When you're expecting to be shot or stabbed, you tend to give very vague answers.

Doorman - "Because..." 

Donald - "I'm not a beggar." 

He takes his hand out of his pocket. Nothing. Just a few fresh cuts on his knuckles. Looks like he'd just gotten done punching a brick wall. 

Donald - "When you went off on my like that, it reminded me of my dad. He used to get drunk and beat my ass, man!" 

I still don't know if this is building up to him assaulting me, so I tread lightly. 

Doorman - "Well... you DID call me a 'white motherfucker'."

He looks down at the floor. 

Donald - "I'm sorry, man. It's just when you yelled at me, it got me so mad. I'm bi-polar. You know what that is?" 

Doorman - "Yes, I do." 

Donald - "Let me explain it to you-"

Doorman - "Seriously, you don't have to-"

Donald - "It means I'm cool one minute, and the next, I'm fucked up."

Doorman - "Okay." 

For the next few minutes, he told me a little bit about himself. He opened up his coffee cup, which was filled with beer. It was his 9th that day, and certainly not his last. He told me that he starts drinking when he wakes up and doesn't stop till he blacks out. He'll end up in a different, random place, the following day. Since he's unemployed and spends all his panhandling money on beer, he can't afford medication to regulate his severe mood swings. He's a ticking time bomb, aimlessly walking around the city and picking fights with people every day. 

A part of me wondered how often this happens - him getting into an explosive confrontation, only to come back a short while later and apologize. Hell, he didn't even recognize me when he came back. And, back to that whole jaded, street-smart New Yorker thing - I wondered if this was part of his game to squeeze me for some money. Because, after hearing his battle with mental illness (a soft spot for me), I started to feel some sympathy for him. 

I offered to buy him a cup of coffee, to which he accepted. We stood in front of the hotel diner for a few more minutes. That's where he really opened up, to the point where I wasn't sure if he were talking to me, or just aloud and I happened to be standing there: 

Donald - "I'm a good dude, man. I got a heart of gold. I just can't put down the drink. And every time I get something to eat, but I can't take it back to the shelter cause they don't want none of us to bring food back there. But I want to get a job working as a dishwasher or something. My brother got me a job in Memphis, Tennessee a couple of years ago. He lent me a suit. Then he died about a year ago. He was the last of my family, man. But I got that job, man. I got that job cause of that suit that my brother gave me. And I worked there for a year. Making sandwiches, man. Doing whatever the customer needs. I was good at it. I did it for a year, man. Then my brother died and I got all fucked up. Started drinking again. They buried my brother in that suit, man. Then I'm up here in New York and I can't get a dishwasher job. I just wanna work in the restaurants, man. But I can't put down the drink. Then the other night, I was in the shelter and it was so cold. I had to go into a McDonald's and a nice man like you bought me a coffee, and it kept me warm at 3am. I just gotta get a dishwasher job, man..." 

This went on for several more minutes. He kept bringing up his past, then would eventually loop it back to not being able to get a dishwasher job in the city. I couldn't get a word in edgewise. I wanted to listen, though I didn't know if there were an endgame to this. Eventually, a shuttle-buss pulled up, bailing me out. 

I'm really not sure how much of what he was saying was true. If all of it were, then I feel for him. If it weren't, and he was just walking around, fighting and drinking all day and telling this story to garner some sympathy, then I feel for him more. The alcoholism and mental illness hits close to home for me. 

We shook hands. I wished him the best of luck. Told him that the road back starts with putting down the bottle. He nodded quickly and dismissed the notion, as most alcoholics will do. Then, as I was about to leave, he mischievously smiled and asked:  

Donald - "Yo! You got a dollar?"

I went back to my post, riding out the rest of the evening without confrontation. 

                                 ____________________________________________

Dearest Readers, 

This past weekend, I lost an old college friend to cancer. She was a frequent collaborator, confidant, and loyal supporter of anything and everything I've ever done. We grew together as artists while in school and while we'd drifted apart over the past few years, as most college friends usually do, she would always be there for any play, or stand-up set, or screening to show her love and support. I just wish I'd reciprocated that support a little more. She was truly a gem who was beloved by her friends and family, as well as the Staten Island theatre community. 

If you can take a moment to read her story, please click here. If you can donate anything to help her family pay for her expenses, that would be amazing. No donation is too small. 

Thank you,

Chris 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Smile! An Excerpt from the Employee Handbook

Smile. Smile. Smile. Remember to smile!  Guest yells. Keep smiling. Your upbeat and positive energy is contagious! Have them catch you at your best! Greet the guest, with a smile. Greet every guest as they pass by! Don't say too-familiar, uneducated phrases like, "hello", or "haya doin?" Greet them with the time of day, so they know you've put some thought and effort into it! "Good morning, good afternoon, good evening!" "Good evening, folks! Welcome back!" Don't say, "you're welcome" or "no problem!" Let them know that it's "my pleasure", and "all the best!" And smile! Smile! Smile! Smile! 

Depression issues? Just keep smiling! Smile through the pain and inferiority complex! Smile, even though this person in front of you is calling you an imbecile! Smile, even when a bus driver embarrasses you in front of 50 people! Smile, even when you carry twenty 100 lb+ bags in without a tip or thank you! Smile, greet the guest as they walk by texting, not thanking you for holding the door open! Smile, because they aren't obligated to thank a fellow human being for doing something they can easily do themselves, but shouldn't have to because they're on vacation! Smile, even when you blink and three years have gone by and you're still doing what you've sworn to not do by every previous year's end!

The guest experience is important. Staff efficiency and kindness will make or break any property, regardless of star-status or make-up. A three star property can be elevated to a four star with top-notch service and excellence. Treat every interaction as an opportunity to learn how you can better serve the guests! If the bellmen and doormen in a hotel are making $1200 a week, they're doing something wrong! You can make up to $350 a day in tips, with a sound work ethic and hunger to provide the guest with an outstanding experience! This is a six-figure job! Just remember to keep smiling!!! 

Had a death in the family? Just keep smiling! Woke up this morning so depressed that you can't get out of bed, only to realize that you have no more sick days left and need to make the rent this month? Leave it at the door. Your personal issues should be left in your locker with the street clothes you changed out of before you put that uniform on. Remember, that uniform is a representation of the hotel, not whatever baggage you have swirling around in your head. The only baggage you need to worry about, is the one you're carrying into the hotel (LOL)!

Down time? Walk around the lobby, introduce yourselves to guests. Offer them a map. Let them know you're there to help with anything they need. And SMILE! Don't see a non-busy time as an opportunity to check your email or social media pages. See it as a time to ingratiate yourselves and build forever-lasting relationships! 

Some cabbie called you a "cunt faggot motherfucker"? You mustn't become angry in front of the guests. Continue to smile, even when civilians treat you like you're a public servant whipping post. Remember, your uniform is a representation of the hotel, so you must be kind and gracious to every pedestrian who rudely pumps you for information and berates you when you aren't as helpful as they would like. When a non-guest dupes you into thinking that they're staying with us so you can fetch them a taxi in the rain, then doesn't tip or say thank you, you must maintain your smile and be kind and gracious. You never know - maybe one day, when they're planning their next trip to NYC, they'll remember the friendly doorman who helped them get a taxi and it'll prompt them to book with us! Always remind them to book through our website for the best possible rate and free access to wifi codes (a $19.99 per-day value!)

Guests come in after along day of walking around Times Square and taking pictures with ex-convicts dressed like Disney characters? Don't just say "hello!". Offer them a foot massage! Give them literature on the hotel spa, where if they book an appointment directly through the concierge, can receive a discount of up to 10% on all facials and pedicures!!! 

Have a guest call you a "piece of shit doorman, who will just open the door and carry bags until he dies" because he got charged for an extra day on the valet service? Refer them to the manager (with a smile) and we'll explain ways we can improve our customer service. There's nothing that can't be solved with a little quality damage control (with a smile), to compensate for the inadequacies of our still-learning staff members. Remember, every instance where a guest leaves unhappy is a learning experience. Also - you mustn't allow a mistake on such a large scale deter you from smiling and providing the following guest with an immaculate stay. (And always make sure to remind them to tell us what they think on Trip Advisor, so we could further enhance the guest experience!)

See a one of our business-traveler guests come in, having struck out at the bar? Don't just ask "how was your evening, sir?" Offer them a hand-job! Provide them with VIP cards to the gentleman's club on 52nd street. That's a comped entry, which is a twenty dollar value! We cannot have our white-collar clientele going home with any pent-up aggression. If they leave aroused and frustrated, why would they ever return?

Also - with the emergence of apps like Lyft and Uber, it's easy to overlook the value of putting a guest in a taxi quickly and efficiently. If this means having a specific type of taxi waiting for a guest, during rush hour in in-climate weather, with every pedestrian in the city fighting for a taxi, so be it! Nothing is impossible, as you are aware of our slogan: "Here at the (redacted) Hotel, we make the impossible a reality!" If you have to jump in front of traffic to nab a taxi across the street, it is in the best interest of the hotel and those of the guest that you do so. Getting eviscerated by an oncoming vehicle (with a smile) is only a small sacrifice for an immaculate guest experience. Our union doctors will have you back to work in no time, with several hours of physical therapy covered by our various insurance plan packages! 

In conclusion, please remember that any bouts of clinical depression, anxiety attacks, intermittent lapses of psychosis, emotional turmoil, or any other contagious moods which may sour the guest experience are not to be demonstrated on the property under any circumstances. Employees found exhibiting these behaviors are subject to immediate dismissal. 

And, remember - SMILE!!!!! 



Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Online Dating Has Ruined Me - Part I

On the C train, headed uptown. 

Online dating has ruined me. Serial dating. The constant stimuli of opening up an app on my iPhone, swiping and judging and sending these fleeting messages that bails me out of feeling any sort of rejection, because once I press "send", I'm onto the next candidate. 

There's a woman sitting across from me on the subway. Gorgeous. She's playing sudoku, or maybe a crossword puzzle - the old-fashioned way, with a pen and newspaper. Not this app bullshit. I see her tapping her pen with her left hand. No ring on her finger. She looks up at me. Human interaction. My eyes immediately dart to my phone. After 30 years of life, I still can't shake the instinct to immediately avert my eyes when they lock with those of a beautiful woman. 

She takes a break from her crossword, or sudoku and looks at her phone. Maybe puts on some music. She looks straight ahead, then back at me. 

Do I say hi? Do I smile? Do people strike up conversations on the subway-

A tap on my shoulder. 

Another woman. Even more gorgeous than the one in front of me. She's been sitting next to me the whole time and I hadn't noticed. She asks:  

Her - "Excuse me, what was the last station?" 

I know this, because as I exchanged glances with the woman in front of me, we passed by W4th Street. 

Me - "West 4th."

I look down at her left hand. No ring. 

I glance at the girl in front of me. She's eating pistachios now. Sloppily. Greedily. Licking her fingers after breaking each shell.

I turn back to the girl next to me. 

Her - "Oh no! I missed it!" 

Her English is good, but she's not from around here. South America, maybe. 

Me - "Where are you trying to go?" 

Her - "59th st. East Side." 

She can get off at the next 3 stops and transfer to the train she needs. I try to tell her this, but she panics. Her energy makes me more nervous, and I stumble in my speech as the train pulls into 14th Street. 

Is this some serendipitous moment that I should seize? 

I look to the woman across from me. She's thumb-deep in pistachio salt residue. 

The lost woman stands up and walks out the door. Wandering. Looking for a sign to let her know that she's going the right way. 

I sit there, trying to wave and get her attention, but she panics and doesn't get back on. The sliding doors close. We lock eyes for a brief moment, and I stupidly give her a thumbs-up to let her know that she's in the right place. 

I beat myself up, knowing that I could have lied and said she could only transfer at 50th, where I was getting off. I could have had another five minutes. I could have asked her to have coffee with me. Could have been something meaningful. Or would it have been? Maybe I misinterpreted the intentions of a woman who was simply lost and looking for directions? She could have asked anyone on the train, anyone at all, but she chose to tap my shoulder, have me take out my earbuds to ask me. Or maybe she asked me because, oh I don't know, I was sitting right the fuck next to her?! 

I glance at old pistachio-fingers in front of me, packing up her newspaper and bag of nuts, getting ready to exit at 34th St Penn Station. 


She locks eyes with me again. This time she smiles. I maintain. 

Do I say hi? How do people do this shit? Do people actually do this? Do people meet people on the subway? Am I a creep if I say hi? Am I a creep if I ask for her number? What's the worst-case scenario? She maces me? That would suck. I've never been maced. That's a good thing. I've never taken a picture of my penis. Also a good thing. 

Train rolls into 34th St Penn Station. She gets up and leaves right away. Quickly. She's in a hurry. She disappears into the sea of mass-transit commuters and lost tourists. I am bailed out. 

I click to the next song on my Spotify playlist.  Sometime Around Midnight by The Airborne Toxic Event. One of my favorite songs. Fitting. 

I was kidding myself. I'll never, in a million years, get the nerve to ask a woman for her number on the subway. I'll create scenarios in my brian, artificial futures and different lives flashing by and vanishing just as quickly. None of which will ever some to fruition. 

The Washington Heights-bound C train stops at 50th. I exit and climb up the steps, staring at my phone and eagerly awaiting the top bar to go from "No Service" to "Verizon LTE". I open tinder, swipe a few times. Two new matches. Katie and Amber. Amber is cute. Katie looks like a close friend's identical twin. Block Katie. Enter TD Bank, fill out deposit slip, wait on line. Open Hinge. New batch of matches. Click the "hearts" on ever picture. Three new matches. Doreen, Ashley, Madison. Peruse their profiles. Message Ashley, ask her how her hump day is going. Open OkCupid. Two new visitors. Meg2213 visited me. She's cute. I click "like." 

The bank teller calls me over. She's attractive and sweet. I see her three or four times per week. Her claddagh ring points outward on her right hand. I notice this every day, yet never act upon it. She hands me my receipt, I thank her and leave. 

Open OkCupid again to see if Meg2213 "likes" me back. Nothing. I walk to work. Change into my uniform. Ten minutes to kill. I swipe on Tinder some more. No matches. I stare at my phone, waiting for a response. Nothing. Open Facebook, no new notifications. Open Twitter, no new notifications. Open OkCupid again, no new notifications. Open Hinge, no new notifications. 

It's 2:59pm, time to punch into work.


Doorman Season One Screening

Greetings! 

I haven't posted much in the past couple of weeks because I've been busy with other stuff, but look out for a few new stories in the next few days. 

We're deep into post-production on the four new episodes of Doorman that we've made, they're awesome, and we can't wait for you to see them! So, as a thank you to those who donated their hard-earned cash and provided an overwhelming amount support, we're doing a binge-watching session of the entire first season before we air it! Then afterwards, we'll drink and be merry! 

If you were at the pilot screening last year, you know a great time was had. This year will be no different. 

All are welcome. And we ask that, if you intend on coming out, you bring at least one friend who is completely unfamiliar with the project. We'll be showing the pilot before the new episodes and would like to get some fresh perspective on the show. 

Below is a link to the Facebook event. It's an open invite, so if you'd like to attend, please RSVP. Remember, only dicks RSVP yes and don't show. Don't be a dick.

Hope to see you all there!

Chris

https://www.facebook.com/events/1504337956516778/?ref_notif_type=plan_user_joined&source=1