Thursday, October 29, 2015

World Series Blog: Part 2 - Stop Sulking, it Ain't Over Yet

Royals - 2
Mets - 0

Oh, shit...

This Royals team is no joke. I knew they were good going in, but I had no idea just how fucking good they were!

No lead is safe. No pitcher of ours is unhittable. No batter of theirs is soft. They're just a down and dirty, scrappy baseball team. It's really tough to hate them, too. They don't showboat. They don't have a prima donna superstar. They just put the ball in play, wreak havoc on the bases, and manufacture runs.

Hats off to them.

You know who they remind me of? And damnit, it sickens me to say this -- the Yankees of the late 90's. Before they got into the habit of filling their lineup with aging, overpaid sluggers, the Dynasty Yankees were built on getting on base and timely hitting. No matter how late in the game or how many runs they were down, there was always this impending doom of, "oh Christ, here they come" whenever the leadoff hitter got on with a walk or slapped a single to the opposite field.

This is going to be a tough road back. Game One should have been ours. My buddies and I spent the duration of that game curled up in balls on the couch, nervously sucking down Miller Lites at a rate that would put Wade Boggs to shame. Juerys Familia, old reliable closer, threw one bad pitch. One. Bad. Pitch. And these sons of bitches capitalized.

What do we have working for us? Home field advantage. While the Kansas City fans were loud and boisterous, I don't know if these Royals understand the zoo they'll be walking into tomorrow night. The Citifield faithful will be as fired up as ever. It's been twenty-nine years since we've been able to witness a World Series where we don't have to worry about the arrogant, shit-talking Yankee fans sitting next to us. This is a Mets town now. The 7-Line Army, the greatest fans in baseball, will be in full-force (I'll be joining them Saturday night for Game Four). Thor and his hammer will be taking the mound for Game Three. We know this team is capable of going on a scorching run, especially at home.

The last time the Mets won it all, they lost the first two at home. And they lost with Doc Gooden on the mound in Game 1 to boot. Think you're stressed out now? Imagine what it would have been like to drop the first two at Citi! It could be much, much worse.

Game One proved they can fight with this team. There's still plenty of baseball left, and the next three games will be played in front of 45,000 rabid, orange and blue animals. This team had been fighting adversity all season. Hell, they were a paltry two games above .500 at the trade deadline. Asking them to go 4-1 over the next five games is a tall order, but they've done it. They've done it a bunch.

So let's stop sulking and welcome our boys home. I know I've been waiting 15 years for this shit, and I'll be damned if I'll let a couple of tough losses ruin my good time. "The Mets are in the fucking World Series" is something I've only been able to scream twice in my 31 years on earth, and I'm going to believe in Mets magic all the way to the final out.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

World Series Blog: Part 1 - What it Means to Root for the Mets

It was Thursday evening, October the 15th.

I carefully pick up a neon-orange shirt, purchased and worn for a proposed "Orange Citi" rally that went bust in my trip to Game 3 of the NLDS against the Dodgers. It was the night Matt Harvey was shaky, and the CitiField faithful rained a symphony of "boos" and "fuck yous" down on Chase Utley during the pregame introductions. Utley's cheap slide-tackle on home-grown Ruben Tejada in Game 2, along with his Philadelphia Phillies roots, made him public enemy number one on that warm night in Flushing. As the Mets went on to slaughter the Dodgers 13-7, the boos evolved into an eerie "We-Want-Utley" chant. Ya gotta love creative New York fan heckling.

It was an evening I'll never forget. I went to the first postseason game in what I hope will be many in the history of CitiField, and I got to share it with one of my closest friends from the neighborhood. Matty Boy doesn't get out much anymore. He has a beautiful family of his own, along with a mortgage, and the days of partying with me till 4am are long behind him. While I'm still doing the bachelor thing at 31, he chose a different path. Yet on that night, with Mets playoff baseball before us, just like every Opening Day we've attended since 2010, Matty and I picked up right where we left off. He hung up his barfly cleats years ago, but was let off the hook on the eve of his 31st birthday to catch a ballgame with his old pal Chris. We talked about family, life, and adulthood, while our beloved New York Metropolitans took a 2-1 series lead.

So back to this shirt -- this bright-ass orange shirt. Game 5 of the NLDS was just a couple of hours away. The Dodgers had taken one back from New York in Game 4, anchored by an uncharacteristically clutch performance by Clayton Kershaw. Elimination game. Tensions were high. I couldn't focus on anything all day.

Is this what Yankee fans deal with every year? I can't handle this fucking stress! THIS ISN'T FUN!!!

I figured since I purchased this shirt for Game 3 and they won in such dominating fashion, coupled with the fact that I had an amazing night with close friend to boot, I had to wear it. No one will notice that it wreaks of stray beer and phantom smoke from the sausage and peppers stand, right?

I pop the shirt on. This is my game shirt. They can't lose if I wear this shirt.

I head over to my old roommate's new apartment in Hoboken. I spent the previous year living with a couple, Mango and Jaime, sharing a many of nights watching Mets baseball, along with Giants football, Rangers hockey, and putrid Knicks basketball. We dispersed after the lease was up in August, and I haven't seen them much since. Life has been hectic, for all parties.

I arrive, wearing my stinky bright-ass Orange shirt. I give my round of hugs, load the fridge with beers, and plop down on the couch I used to call my own. A couch that served as the replacement for the bed I didn't make it to on countless nights. A couch where we watched the Rangers crushingly lose game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals a year ago. A couch were we spent Sunday after Sunday eating bagels from Leo's in the Financial District while dissecting the previous night's episode of Saturday Night Live. A couch where we watched the Mad Men era come to an end, and Kimmy Schmidt emerge from her bunker. A couch where we bonded, ate together, and grew together.

Six weeks removed from seeing each other every day, the former roommates and I picked up right where we left off, just as Matty Boy and I did. They broke my balls about poor decisions made, past and present. We quoted Ray Donovan (actually, Ray Donovan's wife). We laughed and busted balls. It was we did for a whole year, and it's what we did that night.

In the swell of catching up, the subject of Dad's came up. Oh, shit. When was the last time I called my Dad?!? I got on the horn right away. After a ring and a half, as if he were waiting all day for the call, the Old Man picked up. We gushed about the thrill of the postseason. We commiserated about the stress of it all -- whether is was freakin' worth all these gray hairs I've been growing. He passed the phone around to the family, each of us exchanging a "Let's Go Mets" in lieu of "I Love You" for just this night. I hung up just in time for Zack Greinke's first pitch.

The Mets won that night, thanks to a bulldog performance by Jacob deGrom and the modern day Lou Gerhig that's become of Daniel Murphy. We screamed for joy. Joyous and loud enough for his neighbor to come a knockin', informing us that "this isn't a fraternity house".

It would have been just any other Thursday for me. Maybe I would have set up a Tinder date that went mediocre at best. Maybe I would have caught a flick, or grabbed a six-pack and found a new TV show to binge. That Monday night I spent at the NLDS with Matty Boy would have been just another night on the door, fighting with cabbies, spitting my frustration of just how fucking useless this degree I worked so hard for has been.

But they weren't just any other nights. The Mets are in the playoffs, and I'm sharing and loving every second of it with the people closest to me. I'm headed to Game 4 of the World Series with my brother on Saturday. The last time him and I were in attendance during a World Series game, we had to watch the hated cross-town rival Yankees celebrate on the Shea Stadium infield after Mike Piazza's sure-thing home run died in the autumn air. Fifteen years later, we're back, back in the New York Groove.

Tonight is Game 1. The shirt I picked out? It's blue, with the outline of New York state, and a Mets logo inside. I, along with every fan in attendance, received it during a free-shirt Friday promotion at CitiField on July 31st of this year -- hours after the Mets traded for Yoenis Cespedes and turned their season around. Wilmer Flores was the hero that night, smashing a walk-off home run into the left field bleachers in the bottom of the 12th. This came just two days after tearfully leaving his heart on the field after learning he'd been a piece in a trade that eventually would never happen. Since then it's been tears of joy for Wilmer and the Mets.

That night was my 31st birthday celebration, and again, I shared the turnaround game of the season with the people closest to me. It's a night I'll never forget.

So they can't lose if I wear this shirt, right?!?




Friday, October 9, 2015

Trip Advisor Review Readalong

Greetings!

Here are the reviews I'll be destroying in Episode 20 of the Just the Tips Podcast! Enjoy! LISTEN HERE.

AND HERE:



“Not worth the visit!”

Reviewed October 24, 2008

Just last week when a couple of business travelers from the Northwest walked through the doors of The Grand Del Mar. Little did they know, they soon would become famous for having a terrible hotel experience, and creating one of the most entertaining Power point decks ever made to share with all our clients.

This classic Power point deck will take you through the duos late night discovery that guest just don't matter. From there these two detail what exactly a reservation agent "described" is (maybe not as rock solid as we all think), night clerk Mike's career path, and their forced to accept par service.

The hotel appears to have lost all of what was the good staff. No one knew what was going on and things were a disaster. We arrived late and with very few bags. The pushy doorman insisted on taking our small bag to the room. ( We let him because we understand that everyone could use a buck today) All was good but it was late and after two phone calls to the desk and 40 minutes later the little bag arrived. When we asked what appeared to be a housekeeper bringing it up, we were told that the bellman had gone home for the night.

The next day we just wanted to share the story with the manager and were told he would contact us shortly. “Surprise” we never heard from him. 

We had our meeting and it was fine. They had problems with the AC but often in monster hotels this can happen.

When we went to check out they said that they could not find our car keys, after about 30 minutes they found that they had been tossed to the bottom of their storage area. 

So the rule is don’t bother with this one. It is very grand in structure but poor in service.




 “New Year's eve at TGI Friday's 2015...” 

Reviewed January 12, 2015

First of all, I must tell you that before purchasing the tickets I had read some reviews about this event here at tripadvisor. Still, I decided to spend new years eve at tgi since it was my girlfriend s dream...
Having said that, in first place the food was not terrible:because there was no food!!! Just a few chicken fingers for 200 people. Drinks: yeah, that s trhe only positive comment I have about this event. 
Secondly, since we have bought the general admission tickets, we only gain access to a basement (a basement? really??) with no windows, almost no chairs, nothing. I STRONGLY RECOMMEND NOT TO SPEND NEW YEARS EVE AT TGI, SPECIALLY IF YOU WANT TO SEE THE BALLDROP, WHICH AS YOU CAN IMAGINE WE DIDN'T SEE AT ALL...
But the worst aspect I have to tell you (and it surprised me) is the organization. We arrived there 2 hours before the opening. After having made a line for an hour or so, I guy (no ID, no nothing, just a guy from the street) told us (and the rest of the line) we were making the wrong line....ahhhhrrrrggggg!!!!
To sum up: the worst new year s eve EVER.



Reviewed August 16, 2015



I have never left a very negative review before but the meal this evening was both very poor and very expensive. Given this was our first meal out on our family holiday, and that everyone had been looking forward to "eating at TGIs" it was also very disappointing.

First things first, alongside a general feeling of tiredness, with a hint of needing a good clean too, the place did not seem very organised. It took two people to go upstairs and check if they had room for the 6 of us followed by one shouting over the bannister to tell us to come up.

We then ordered our drinks and food. The drinks arrived after 5-10 minutes but that was he last we saw or heard of our waitress until, about 45 minutes later, we chased for the food. At no time did anyone ask if wanted any refills. The hand wipes they had provided were then not cleared for the entire meal either. I had thought waiting staff were trained to keep an eye on all their tables all the time but clearly not this time.

Clearly the staff were under pressure for some reason but there were too few and they weredisorganised and poorly trained. Sure they had time for what looked like some pretty heated discussions, and to disappear off for lengthy periods, but there was no sign of anyone, senior or junior, going the extra mile to help out if there was a shortfall. In fact one poor family thought they had been called up only to be told, halfway up the stairs including a buggy, that they were the wrong family and to get back downstairs.

Once we chased, the food eventually arrived by which time the jet lagged kids were almost asleep anyway. Were we offered more drinks when the food arrived? Nope. Did the meals arrive together? Nope too.

The best for last though. I had been minded to leave a small tip as I know it is important to staff and clearly something was badly awry. I then received the bill though to which the waitress had circled the gratuity recommendations and that service was not included. Certainly a first for everything I guess...

When I commented that the service had been bad the waitress said "you had service, I served your food...". So $0 it was, again I think for the first time.

I have eaten in many TGIs and until now regarded them as pretty decent food in a fun and family-friendly setting. This was anything back. And the punchline....a $166 bill for 6 drinks and 6 mains and I can't even recheck the bill as I never got it back.

Dreadful, so bad in fact that I can only assume something was awry somewhere behind the scenes. Not so bad that they can't charge full prices mind.

 “Jerked me around”

Reviewed September 17, 2010

I attended a large wedding at the hotel and used valet to park my car. When I got home that night I noticed my car (an S550 mercedes) was damaged.

I contacted the hotel the next day and they told me to drive there (about 45 minute drive each way) and they would handle it. I went, waited about an hour for them to check it out. Was told their insurance company would take care of it. I drove my 45 minutes home. 

They did not get back to me. After a follow up they had their insurance company call me and tell me that that regardless of anything, the fact that I didnt notice or report the damage before leading the hotel they would not cover it under and conditions. 

Why did they jerk me around and have me spend 3 hours of my time on a fruitless trip up there???

So I called the hotel general manager who proceeded to continue to not take responsibility. 'What did you think? We would just write you a check?'

Unfortunately for them, this is the attitude of the boss and this is the attitude at this hotel. 

Better to stay away.




Friday, October 2, 2015

For Your Weekly Dose of Doorman Stories...

Hello, beautiful person.

I haven't been consistent with posting stories here on the blog. It's mostly because I've moved on to writing about other stuff, but I still like to vent every now and then. So to keep with telling stories and ranting about guests, cabbies, and other assholes, check out the weekly podcast. It's called Doorman: Just the Tips and it's available on iTunes and your podcast smart phone app. I'm no longer interviewing people. It's just me venting and telling stories about my work week, sprinkling in a little Mets stuff every now and then. If you're a fan of my writing, you'll fucking love the podcast. Trust me. Get into it!

Subscribe on iTunes

Also -- If you're interested in FREE advertising for your business, email me at doormanshow@gmail.com. I'll write you a 30-60 second commercial script and read it on the air. First one is on me. Nothing to lose. Do it.


Friday, September 18, 2015

Just the Tips Podcast: Doorman Does Dallas

The podcast is back!

After a summer-long hiatus, Doorman recaps his trip to Dallas to see his beloved New York Football Giants lose in imbecilic and heartbreaking fashion, his move to Jersey City, and vomiting on an airplane.

Today we're sponsored by Help Yourself TV! (Facebook.com/HelpYourselfTV)

Subscribe here! 


Thursday, September 3, 2015

Doorman Tries to Show Off, Nearly Kills a Pretty Girl in a Wheelchair

I realize the title of this story is, in fact, a spoiler. Said pretty girl in wheelchair survives in the end. I tell you this, not because I wish to suppress the suspense, but because if in the event that I really did accidentally take the life of another human being, I wouldn't be blogging about it the next day. Sorry to disappoint, you sick fuck.

I don't know what's happened to me in the women department. There was a time in my life (through the majority of my twenties, mostly), where I never doubted myself when I had a thing for someone. I'd meet them, decide I wanted them, and find a way in. I'm 31 now, and that confidence I rode high in my coming (and cumming, heh heh) of age has dwindled some. I blame a few things -- holding a door open for people who don't so much as look in my direction for 40 hours a week doesn't do a whole helluva-lot for my self-esteem.
I also think it's tougher to sell what I'm doing with my life to women my age. Whereas it might have been endearing, say, five years ago to proclaim, "well, I'm just schlepping bags for people till I get my career going", the novelty wears off when you see the same guy, older in the face, body, and mind, using the same line.

But before you click away and find something less violin-inducing, I'd like to share an amusing story with you. Before you read this, I highly recommend you watch Season 1, Episode 4 of my web series, if you haven't already (and if you're a fan of this blog and you haven't seen it, what are you waiting for? Dick.)

 In the first two minutes, I handle a large, heavy, clunky manual wheelchair ramp. Yes, that's the ramp I use on a daily basis and yes, we shot the series at my hotel. To get a better idea of the story I'm about to tell you, please take a look at the opening sequence of this episode (if you have seen it already, thank you and please share it with your friends):



Here's a bit of trivia about that scene -- I never have to do that by myself in real-life. Why? Because it's physically impossible. There's no way for a man of my height and arm-span to collapse it on my own. If I were Scottie Pippen, maybe. But 5'10, stumpy-armed, sausage-fingered Doorman has no shot. 

During pre-production, I initially wanted to film the entire sequence in one take, but after a few rehearsals, I found that physics were not on my side. So, when we shot the scene, I had carried the ramp as far out as I could, we'd cut, and the bellman on duty would come help me extend the ramp the rest of the way.

Having said all of that, here's what happened yesterday:

At the start of my shift, a taxi pulls up. It's not a handicap-accessible one, so I don't expect anything other than luggage. The cabbie starts pointing to the trunk, which, if you've been reading blog this for a long time, drives me fucking insane.

Ready to start calling the cabbie out for not finishing his job and earning his tip, I notice the door swing open. A young woman, "Friend", gets out and jogs to the trunk before I could get to it. She pulls open the hatchback of the yellow Ford Escape to reveal two small carry-on suitcases and a collapsible wheelchair.

Doorman - "Hi, do you need me to put down the ramp?"

I pull the suitcases out. With a smile, she answers:

Friend - "Yes, please!"

Doorman - "Sure, let me drop the cases off at the front desk and I'll grab one of the guys to put down the ramp."

Friend - "Cheers!"

I quickly bring the luggage to the front desk, then grab a Bellman on the way back outside to put down the monster of a metal ramp.

When I return outside, I find the recipient of the wheelchair adjusting in her seat. The "Girl" wore shorts, revealing many scars and indentations, leading me to believe this was the result of an accident (clearly the observations of a learned doctor). 

My gaze panned up to her face, where her ocean-blue eyes met mine -- her perfect smile a genuine, grateful one. I see beautiful women every day, most of which won't so much as look up from their phones when I greet them. The rarity of the situation is almost off-putting.

Girl - "Hi!!!"

Doorman - "Hi, welcome!"

We get to the ramp, where she tries to figure out how to take the uphill climb. It's a bit steep, so the usual process for me when someone in a wheelchair first arrives is to give them a second to let them decide whether or not they want my help. 

I've learned over the years to not interfere with their independence and that, if they need my assistance, they'll ask. After a moment of her trying to get up with to no avail, I give her my usual line:

Doorman - "Need a boost?"

Girl - "Yes, please..."

I get behind her and push up, a seamless ride to the top. She hands me a five.

Girl - "Thank you so much!"

Aaaaand I'm in love.

After they check in, I go about my business. And by business I mean farting into the hot wind whilst delving into an old-reliable daydream about pitching a perfect game in the World Series.

As Joe Buck's appropriately mundane call bestows upon a national audience, who watch me blissfully dive into the arms of Travis d'Arnaud with an army of blue and orange uniforms creating a dancing fort around us, I see the pretty Girl in the Wheelchair and Her Friend approach the stairs, with the Bellman already following to help with the ramp.

The Bellman had brought them up to the room on a front, and they yucked it up on the way down. The Girl is charmed, laughing. He's better looking than me. I get jealous, quickly attempting to gulp in my double-chin, like a frog asphyxiating itself.

We unfold the ramp while she waits at the top of the steps, smiling, hanging on the Bellman's every word. As the iron monster comes crashing on the concrete steps, echoing through the lobby and startling a family waiting for their bags from storage, the Bellman makes the first advance up the stairs to guide her down, beating me to it. 

Wait! Fucker! 

Any other scenario -- if it's an elderly person or what-have-you, the Bellman let's me go up and get the person to guide them down. Yet this time, he sees a pretty girl and pounces.

Fuckface! Dickhead! Jerk-off!!!

She looks up at him, flirting as they glide down, whizzing past me as if I were a third-wheel at some carnival. 

Her Friend thanks me. Whatever.

Cut to later that evening, where I'm brain-stem-deep in yet another one of my recurring daydreams about hosting Saturday Night Live. As we come back from commercial, the camera operator counts down from five (mouthing, "two, one"). He points to me, where I look nice and slim in a fitted suit jacket. I read my line from the cue-card:

"Ladies and Gentleman, Bruce Sprinsteen and the E Street Band!" As the camera dollys away from me and onto Bruce, I spot my parents, beaming with pride in the audience. I blow them a kiss before being whisked backstage by one of the producers.

I spot The Girl and Her Friend down the block. The Girl holds one of those caricature posters from Times Square. Knowing she'll need the ramp, I look inside the lobby to see the Bellman, looking bored at the desk. Anticipating another round of them flirting in front of me while feel sorry for myself, I drag my feet to go in and retrieve him.

But in a stroke of luck, a guest comes with a luggage ticket, bouncing him up to the storage rooms.

Terrific! This will buy me a few minutes! 

He disappears into the elevator, leaving me with the two girls.

Doorman - "Hey, ladies! How was your night?!"

They tell me about their first foray into Times Square, which they both hated and will avoid for the rest of their stay. My kinda tourists.

The Girl looks up at me, smiling, her eyes as big and bright as the embellished cartoon drawing she held in her hand. I can't make her wait. I look in the lobby: no one else to help me put down the ramp. Panic sets in. 

Do I sit there and get all hot-in-the-neck, stalling and apologizing for no one being there to promptly get her back to her room? Do I wait for the Bellman to come back, so she can see that I can't finish the task of putting down the ramp without a real man?

Fuck that. Time to man up. Time to show her that this unassuming, weak-chinned doorman has some brute-force in his blood.

I puff out my chest and lower the bass in my voice.

Doorman - "No one around right now-"

Girl - "Oh, that's alright! I can wai-"

Doorman "Gonna have to put this down myself."

I march over to the ramp and get face to face with it.

Gravity chimes in:

Gravity - "Hi. What are you doing?"

I grab both sides of the ramp and do a test-lift. It's not too bad.

Pssshhhh, I could bench-press this thing with one hand.

Gravity - "Yes, condensed and uncollapsed, it's well-within your strength. Congratulations. Being a doorman has made you strong. But please, let's not move any further."

My plan of action was to duck-walk it backwards, bear-hug the front-end, and slowly open the ramp by taking teeny-tiny baby steps. Reading this might not make much sense. Friends, I assure you -- it makes even less fucking sense in person.

I lift it up and take a few steps back with no issue. Brava!

Gravity - "You don't have the fucking wingspan to pull this off, dummy. Please abort."

I step to the side of the contraption, and use my left arm to get a grip on the other side.

Gravity - "I'm warning you..."

I take two small steps forward, and immediately feel my left arm about to give out. I, indeed, do not have the wingspan to pull this off.

Now I have three options:

A - Keep moving forward and likely tear every tendon in my arm to shreds.

B - Stand there in pain and wait for the Bellman to come back into the lobby, so he could bail me out and make me look like a wussy.

C - Take a step back and hope I don't drop it, then adjust my grip.

Gravity - "DO NOT take another step or I will pull this fucker down."

I go with option C.

I take a step back and attempt to corral the ramp back to the upright position.

Gravity - "Okay... Fuck you."

I feel the ramp slip from my hand.

The Bellman yells from a distance:

Bellman - "DUDE!!! What are you doing?!?"

The ramp falls backwards, like a movie character doing an exaggerated faint. It timbers down onto Girl in the Wheelchair -- a massive shadow quickly running up her face. Her friend screams.

Her Friend - "OH MY GOD!!!"

I spin my body around as quickly as possible. Before I could reach my arms out to catch it, I hear a thunderous, echoing crash.

Oh, fuck! I killed her!!!

I close my eyes for a beat, hoping this will somehow teleport me into some alternate reality, where I could live out my lavish daydreams without any responsibility.

I peak out and see the Girl siting there, horrified, having narrowly escaped the giant metal ramp of death.

Doorman - "HOLY SHIT! Are you okay?!?"

Shaken, she answers.

Girl - "Yes. I'm fine. I'm fine."

The Bellman comes running down the steps.

Bellman - "What's that matter with you, man? Don't ever try and do that!"

I could feel everyone in the lobby's stare burn through me. I could have seriously injured, or killed, this poor girl. All to appease some foolish pride.

A bead of sweat races down my armpit. I'm so lightheaded I could faint. The Bellman and I pick up the ramp and properly collapse it down onto the steps. Not to have him step in on me again, I advance to help the Girl. In an attempt to break the ice, I make a joke:

Doorman - "Do you trust me?"

Had I not been so unnerved, it may have landed the way I intended. But it doesn't. I end up sounding like some bad 90's Keanu Reeves action-movie character. She's not impressed.

I give her a boost up. She completely avoids all eye-contact with me. We get to the top, and she locks eyes with the Bellman, thanking him for saving the day. 

The Friend tip-toes up the side of the ramp. 

Friend - "Thank you, anyway..." 

The Bellman and I fold the ramp back up. I never saw The Girl or Her Friend again.

I continue on with my evening, jumping into another daydream, one where I remember how to act like a desirable man.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Aren't You Tired of All These Hypothetical Questions?

It was late, maybe 11:30pm or so. I'd been summoned by that fucking bell. That little "bing-bong" that's somehow less humiliating than a snap of the fingers or condescending whistle.

Here lies a common problem -- a grown man, in his sixties, perfectly capable of wheeling his own bags to the elevator, perfectly literate and competent to scan the rooms and count the numbers till he finds his domicile, having to come face-to-face with some schmuck who wants to squeeze a few dollars from him.

I've seen said Grown Man hundreds of times, and the reaction is always the game: peak out of corner of their eye, continue signing check-in paperwork, firmly say, "I don't need help", bounce the eager little bellboy back to his desk, where bellboy could murmur to the other bellboys about what a lowlife said grown man is, to which Grown Man has zero fucks to give.

He was my dad's age, traveling with who appeared to be his teenage son. Teenage son couldn't be bothered to engage with the world, as made evident by the large Beats headphones and refusal to look up from his iPad. Actually, I take that back -- he took 5 seconds to jolt his head up and demand a wifi code.

The Night Auditor slid the key card packet over to me, as I stood stupidly with a complimentary Time Out magazine and folded map of the city, nearly cracking my grinding teeth through an obviously forced smile.

Night Auditor - "Ok, so this is Doorman. He's going to take you up to the room."

Without looking, Grown Man snatches the key card packet out of my hands.

Grown Man - "We'll be taking ourselves up, fank you!"

Shoo, bellboy. 

I couldn't help but fantasize about a freeze-frame of his stunned face, the nano-second after it being cold-cocked by a shovel. This image, which I would imagine is eerily similar to what he would look like upon realizing he left his phone charger at home whilst biting down on a lemon, makes me unconscionably happy.  

Now, when this happens, I never direct them to their elevator bank. We have three separate wings,  and the only mini-victory I could salvage in that moment is them getting in the wrong elevator, only to come down ten minutes later, furiously and frantically asking me where to find their room. My response is always a shit-eating, "But... I thought you didn't need help finding it?" Most people don't like the feeling of someone looking at them like they want to punch them in the mouth. I've grown to relish it. It's the little things, man.

However, when Grown Man had to uproot Teenage Son from the now wifi-rich spot that he'd been planted in, they turned, and guessed correctly.

God damnit.

Oh well... I'll just go back to Tinder swiping while I kill time the end of my shift at 2am.

Yes, yes, yes, yes, no, no, yes, yes, match! Oops, unmatch, yes, yes, no, yes, no, no, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, match! Hey, how's it going, no response, yes, yes, no, no, etc....

The elevator dings. Grown Man comes rumbling down.

Oh, sweet baby Jesus!!!

Apparently his keys don't work. The Night Auditor summons me over.

Doorman - "But, he wanted to go up by himself!"

Night Auditor knows the deal. He saw how the guy treated me, but now I'm just being spiteful.

Night Auditor - "Please... they keys aren't working."

I walked over to this dickhead, noticing the stupid t-shirt he's wearing that says, "Aren't you tired of all the hypothetical questions?" I immediately fantasized about removing that shirt from his body... with hydrochloric acid.

I grabbed the keys from the Night Auditor and hastily walk to the elevators, with Grown Man lagging behind. Good. I hope he's exhausted from an 8 hour flight and a five hour time difference, and this bumpy start to his vacation is just a sign for what's yet to come. If he had just treated me with a little respect and let me show him up to the room, I would have let him in with my master key, ran downstairs, and gotten him a new set of functioning keys.

After wordless 22-story jump to his floor, the elevator door opened, and the first sight I saw was Teenage Son sitting on the floor, face still buried in his iPad, music still coursing through his eardrums through those massive fucking headphones. I'm convinced that if no one moved him, he's stay planted in that spot for the next 36 hours. If there's any one alarming thing I've noticed while working this job, it's that the youth of this planet are all becoming mindless, screen-staring drones.

(This is coming from the guy whose first impulse when he gets into the elevator and out of sight from the guests will be to take out his smartphone and resume Tinder-swiping.)

I tested the first key - nothing. Second key - same.  So, I went into my pocket, opened the door with my master key, and turned to leave.

Grown Man - "Wait a minute."

He handed me a dollar, you know, for my troubles. 

I didn't want his fucking dollar, so I declined. Now, most people, when giving them back a shitty and insulting tip, will cause a scene, completely incensed that this little beggar wouldn't take this money they were so generously giving him. As if we should be grateful that they understand how the tipping system works, yet don't deem my labor or time valuable enough for a fair wage.

Nope, Grown Man was relieved. He didn't have to part with this dollar that the little bellboy wasn't supposed to have in the first place. He went into his room, never to think about me again. I got back to the lobby and killed time till 2am.

I think maybe it's time to move on.

Monday, August 31, 2015

How to (NOT) Be a Doorman

Hi beautiful person reading this ---

Doorman's own Nicole Starrett and her fantastic team over at Help Yourself TV have let me be a part of their hilarious web series in this special cross-over promo! Will this be a sign of what lies in store for me in the coming months?!? Hmmm....

Enjoy!!!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Just the Tips Podcast (Ep 17) - The Greatest Guest of All Time

Today's show is a reading of one of my all-time favorite stories, "Meet Howie, He's 92", about a friendship I forged with a 92-year-old doctor, who had a profound impact on my life and career path. Don't miss it!


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Just the Tips Podcast (Ep 16) - Jeremy Levy

Greetings!

Today I open the show with a fan question about parking in New York City, followed by yet another story about people being dicks. Cheers. Brilliant. Fank you. My guest writer, director, voice-over actor, and former hotel concierge Jeremy Levy. We talk about his unsuccessful attempts to get fired from the hotel we worked in, his bizarre Atlantic City game show host gig, and share a ton of laughs. Don't miss it!

Today's episode is sponsored by NYTourMonkey.com. It's not a tour, it's a memory!

Web Series - Doormanshow.com

Twitter & Instagram - @ChrisRussellNYC & @Doormanshow

Facebook.com/doormanshow

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes! New episodes air every Wednesday!



Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Just the Tips Podcast (Ep 15) - The Ultimate Guide to Tipping on Your Vacation

Confused about where and when to tip? Don't know what's customary or fair? Visiting the States for the first time and find all of this overwhelming? Have no fear! I've broken down every scenario where someone would be expecting a tip while on your vacation.

Subscribe to the Doorman: Just the Tips Podcast. New episodes air every Wednesday!

Web Series: doormanshow.com

Twitter & Instagram: @ChrisRussellNYC & @DoormanShow

Facebook.com/DoormanShow




Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Vacation = Winning (Sucking) at Life

Found this gem in my drafts. It looks like I gave up on it about halfway through. Typical for the the way things were going at the time. 

I'm on vacation this week. 

It's 5:15pm and I'm running out of ways to stop the procrastination. Maybe my first blog post in months will help. It probably won't. I'm at a stage-five level of self-aware laziness and piece-of-shitery. Even the phrase I just coined, "piece-of-shitery", is dreadfully uninspired. Allow me to recap what I've done today:

11:14am- I wake up from a dream. I'm the bowl-haired, plump, and round-glasses wearing zero I was in high school again. A girl I once made out with from the neighborhood's mom was the primary antagonist. She was upset with me because I made a makeshift bowling alley on the sidewalk and used my dog as the bowling ball. Her main gripe was that I pushed my dog, Cookie, too hard and she almost went into the street, as if to say "go easy on the dog while you're using it as a fucking bowling ball."

To make matters worse, she stuffed a hundred dollar bill and four singles into my dog's mouth because "I need it more than she does." After digging the $104 out of poor Cookie's pie-hole, I told my Old Man what had happened. He grabbed his Carhardt hoodie and bolted out the door to confront her, much to my chagrin (I didn't want this lady to think I was a rat.)

I wake up before the showdown.

11:15am - I realize it was all a dream and immediately try to go back to sleep to see the showdown.

11:17am - My phone starts ringing, interrupting my quest to delve back into my subconscious.

11:20am - I concede this to be a futile endeavor and attempt a start at my day. The puddle of drool on my pillow could fill a baby bottle. I flip the pillow over so it's clean for tonight. I notice that in my tossing and turning, half of my bedsheets have fallen off and my mattress is fully exposed. I don't care.

I'm going to do some writing today, I tell myself. I'm going to bang out at least 30 pages of my screenplay. No fucking around. No procrastinating.

11:22am- I check my phone to see who's called. Voice mail from a focus group that pays me large sums of money to sit around and give my opinions on things (as spoken about on the Doorman: Just the Tips Podcast). It's the easiest money in the world. I call back and they tell me that there's a 45 minute group about laundry that pays $100 at 1pm, but they've filled the spot already. Fuck. My laziness has already cost me 100 bucks and it's not even fucking noon yet.

11:23am- Take a whiz.

11:25am- Sit down on my couch with my laptop and open it, with the full-intention of getting started on my writing. I open Facebook first. My friend has left this hilarious video of hack German filmmaker Uwe Boll on my wall:

 
Uwe Boll is the gift that keeps on giving.
11:29am- I re-watch the video. 

11:33am- I click on another video on Uwe Boll's page. Down the rabbit hole I go!!!

12:16pm- I've grown tired of Uwe Boll. I realize that I've been up for almost an hour and haven't done any writing yet. 

12:17pm- I open my screenwriting program and realize that it's after noon and I haven't eaten. Well, I can't be under-nourished and expect to be creatively inspired.  

12:18pm- I pull out eggs, sausage, bread, and butter. Literally the only things I have to cook in my refrigerator. 

12:27pm- I've whipped up a meal that I eat at least 6 times per week: Over-easy eggs on buttered toast with two pieces of maple sausage. Breakfast/Lunch of champions (I won't call it brunch because it implies I'm meeting people and being active and social). 

12:29pm- I need some ambient noise while I eat, so I turn on Jerry Springer.

12:30pm- I stuff my face.

1:00pm- 31 minutes of a white-trash couple renewing their vows and a subsequent wedding-cake fight once it's revealed that the bride has been cheating, I'm ready to start writing. 

1:01pm- I get a text from a friend I'm supposed to have drinks with later, who can no longer make it out. We exchange our schedules for the next week (which is exclusively her telling me her conflicts and available time slots, and my replying with, "Sure, that works. I have nothing going on.")

1:06pm- Screenwriting program still open. I decide that I should take a trip while I'm off from work. 

1:16pm- I debate going to Baltimore to visit Camden Yards, or Fenway to see the Red Sox. I've already seen the Sox once, so I lean towards taking a day trip to Baltimore tomorrow.

1:23- My mind drifts into this chain of useless thoughts. Baltimore and Red Sox are both in the AL East. The Yankees are in the AL East as well. The Yankees hate the Red Sox. The Orioles, Yankees, and Red Sox are all teams the Mets played in the World Series. I love the Mets. They're my favorite. They break my heart. Why do they do that? Oh, to be a Mets fan in the 80's...

2:33pm- I'm an hour into watching Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. Some asshole put the whole game up on YouTube and now I can't stop watching, even though I've seen how it ends thousands of times. I'm streaming it from my laptop to my television. Isn't technology AMAZIN'?!?! (See what I did there?)

4:11pm- I scratch my testicles and perineum as Keith Hernandez flies out to center in the bottom of the 10th to bring the Mets to their final out.

4:23pm- "Little roller up along first.... BEHIND THE BAG!!! IT GETS THROUGH BUCKNER!!! HERE COMES KNIGHT AND THE METS WIN IT!!!!"

And that's as far as I got in writing this. If memory serves, I believe I jerked off and took a two-hour nap, then closed out the evening with Chipotle, Ben & Jerry's, and Orange is the New Black. I remember this because of the look of pity and disgust on the cashier's face when I lazily slid my pint of "Stephen Colbert's AmeriCONE Dream" across the counter, all disheveled, scruffy, and smelling like the back of a fat guy's knee. Whatever. She's punching keys on a cash register and I'm just here living the dream. 

(I never made it to Baltimore, but I DID finish season 3 of Orange is the New Black in under 48 hours, so... yeah. )







Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Just the Tips Podcast (Ep 14) - Alexis Lambright

Greetings!

Took a week off and am back in the New York groove. My guest is writer, improvisor, and old college pal Alexis Lambright. We talk about the NYC improv scene, losing our virginity, and LeBron's wardrobe malfunction. #Slappinmybeave Enjoy!

Web Series: Doormanshow.com

Twitter & Instagram: @ChrisRussellNYC @DoormanShow

Facebook.com/Doormanshow 

Adversitse your business for FREE. Inquire at doormanshow@gmail.com


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Oh, Tinder... How I've Missed You So

I caved and reactivated my Tinder account. Enjoy.




Still single, ladies.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Just the Tips Podcast (ep 13) - #MetsTalk with Kevin Russell

Yesterday afternoon, my brother texted asking if I wanted to catch the Met game. I accepted, of course. Little did we know, we'd be witnessing history. (The wrong end of it.) It's #MetsTalk with Kevin Russell and a surprise special guest!

Today's episode is sponsored by Help Yourself TV, a hilarious brand-new web-series! Binge-watch it at Facebook.com/HelpYourselfTV!

Web Series: Doormanshow.com

Facebook & Instagram: @ChrisRussellNYC & @Doormanshow

Facebook.com/doormanshow

Subscribe to the show on iTunes and your smartphone app!

New episodes air every Wednesday!


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Just the Tips Podcast (Ep 12) - Casey Jost/ Aribnb

Greetings! Today I open the show with my caving into (and being completely happy with) using Uber and Airbnb this past week.

My guest is Casey Jost (Impractical Jokers, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Upright Citizens Brigade), fellow Staten Island guy and regular on the Doorman Web Series. We talk about the SI counter-culture that opened doors for many talented comedians currently working in the industry, as well as the various jobs/scams we used to run while growing up in the Forgotten Borough! 

Today's show is sponsored by AwkwardArtParty.com


Web Series: Doormanshow.com

Twitter & Instagram: @ChrisRussellNYC & @DoormanShow



New episodes air every Wednesday!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Just The Tips Podcast (Ep 11) - Doorman's Psycho Craigslist Roommate

The story that put the Doorman blog on the map! Here's my reading of the Psycho Craiglist Roommate story, with a brand-new ending!




Subscribe to the show on iTunes and your podcast app!!!

Web Series: Doormanshow.com

Twitter & Instagram: @ChrisRussellNYC & @DoormanShow

Facebook.com/Doormanshow

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Just the Tips Podcast (Ep 10) - Vanessa Morales/Uber

It's our 10th episode! Still going strong this week with how Uber is affecting me financially and changing the landscape of my job, and also some tips on how to not get screwed during surge pricing.

My guest today is Vanessa Morales, who plays "Ramona" in two episodes of the Doorman Web series, titled... Ramona. We talk about her working in a yoga studio while she auditions, which lead to her finding a passion in her day job as an instructor. We also go talk about the guerrilla-style of shooting that went into filming our episode of Doorman.

Today's episode is sponsored by Dominiquephotographysite.com.... Click it up a notch!

Subscribe to the show on iTunes and the podcast app on your smartphone! New episodes every Wednesday!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Just the Tips Podcast (Ep 9) - Matt McAllister/Doorman vs Meter Maid

Today I open the show with some observations about the bellmen on Mad Men, as well as story about my explosive encounter with a local traffic cop, or "meter maid", as I (formerly) hate to call them.

My interview is with character actor Matt McAllister, who plays the cabbie in the opening montage of the Doorman pilot, as well as the "I just did your job, mate" British Man in Ramona: Part 1. Matt and I talk about tipping in restaurants, our disastrous experiences working as waiters, and much more! 

Today's episode is sponsored by NYTourMonkey.com. It's not a tour, it's a memory! 

If you like what you're hearing, subscribe to the show on iTunes or your podcast smartphone app! New Episodes air every Wednesday! 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Just the Tips Podcast (Episode 8) - Greg Caiafa/Brokeback Doorman

Today on the show- a reading of one of my earliest and most personal blog posts, Brokeback Doorman

My interview is with my producing partner and close friend, Greg Caiafa. We talk about his mundane survival job out of the Knights of Columbus, which took a turn for the potentially terrifying in 2012, when a serial killer, unbeknownst to Greg, partied at his establishment just hours after murdering one of his victims. We also talk about the making of the Doorman web series and what the future has in store for our production company. Don't miss it! 

This episode is sponsored by the indie film Imagine I'm Beautiful, available on Amazon, iTunes, GooglePlay and Vimeo on Demand! 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Just the Tips Podcast (Ep 7) - Todd Dakotah Briscoe/The Concierge Stories: Hangover Reading

Today's show opens with a reading of one of my very first (and favorite) blog posts, The Concierge Stories: Hangover

My guest is Todd Dakotah Briscoe, co-creator of the wildly popular How May We Hate You? blog. Todd and I share our stories about the perks of being a hotel concierge, our failed attempts at getting free meals at restaurants, the pratfalls of publicizing relationships on Facebook, and much, much more! 

If you like what you're hearing, please rate and subscribe to the show on iTunes and your podcast smartphone app! New episodes air every Wednesday!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Just the Tips Podcast (Episode 6) - Naomi McDougall Jones

Greetings! Today's show features my interview writer, actor, and indie film producer Naomi McDougall Jones. We talk about her wide array of past survival jobs, which include working as a grave finder, head lice remover, and poor soul who hands out flyers on the street. We also delve into her acclaimed film, Imagine I'm Beautiful, and the impact it had on me. Imagine I'm Beautiful is available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and Vimeo.

Don't miss a single episode! Download past and future episodes on iTunes and subscribe to the show on your podcast smartphone app! New episodes air every Wednesday! 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/doorman-just-the-tips/id987513995 

Doorman: Just The Tips Podcast on iTunes

Hey guys! The podcast is now available for subscription on iTunes and your podcast app! Link below!

Up next- Episode 6 with filmmaker Naomi McDougall Jones!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/doorman-just-the-tips/id987513995

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Just the Tips Podcast (Episode 5) - Lee Papa

Hello friends, 

Episode 5 of my podcast is live! My guest today is my former college professor, Lee Papa, otherwise known in the blogosphere as The Rude Pundit. I open the show with the story of a monumental blunder I made at work last week, followed by Lee's survival job stories which include being a mall santa, dancing like John Travolta in a bear costume (no shit), and more! Lee also elaborated on a rule he began to enforce based on my shenanigans at the college, and a nude scene I did in front of my unsuspecting parents in a play he directed. Check it out! 


Monday, April 6, 2015

Just the Tips Podcast (Episode 4) - #MetsTalk with Chris Mangan

Happy Opening Day! We're changing gears on the podcast today. I sat down with my roommate, Chris Mangan, and we shared our collective misery of rooting for the New York Mets from 1990-present. Everything from the worst team money could buy, the Piazza trade, both our experiences in attending Game 5 of the 2000 World Series, Endy's catch and Carlos Beltran's deepest regret, Johan's no-hitter, our bold predictions for this coming season, and more!

Back to survival jobs later this week, with guest Lee Papa, otherwise known as political blogger The Rude Pundit.

Enjoy!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Just the Tips (Episode 3) - Sylvana Joyce

Here's episode 3! I think it's safe to say that this podcast is now a thing. I have no intention of stopping, so please, have a listen to past episodes and get into it. 

My guest today is Sylvana Joyce, lead singer and founder of the kick-ass NYC indie rock band Sylvana Joyce + the Moment. If you've watched the Doorman web series and heard that very catchy song in the opening credits, that's them! Sylvana and I talked about her past survival jobs, which include working as an art model and substitute teacher. I also dug up a painful high school memory or two. It was a lovely and heartfelt conversation, and I can't wait to see what else this working-class hero has in store for us in the future! 

Stay tuned for a new episode this coming Monday, where I commiserate with my roommate about enduring the lifelong struggle that is rooting for the New York Metropolitans. Just in time for MLB Opening Day!

Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Just the Tips Podcast (Episode 2) - Jacob Tomsky

Hi - I had Jacob Tomsky on the show today. Jacob penned the New York Times best-selling "Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality." Him and I garnered our hotel writing material from the same neck of the woods. We had a terrific conversation about his ten-day shipping container boat voyage from Liverpool to Philadelphia, why bellmen and doormen are the best lobby employees to ask about restaurants and bars, and our collective success rate in executing the front desk greasing tricks from his book. 

Enjoy!!!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Doorman: Just the Tips Podcast (Episode 1) - Anna Drezen

It's here! Enjoy my conversation with Anna Drezen, co-creator of the wildly popular How May We Hate You? blog. Anna and I go way back. We exchanged war stories about the January/February crowd, how the idiot with the smartphone has made our jobs increasingly difficult, and much, much more!

Stay tuned for the next episode, where I interview Jacob Tomsky, author of the New York Times best-selling Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality.

The show will be available for subscription via the podcast app on your smartphone soon!

Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Doorman's Guide to Tipping the Valet Guy

How much do you give a guy who parks your car? Do you tip on the way in, or after he returns the vehicle with no damage? If I'm paying so much money to park my car, why should I be tipping people on top of that? 

I hear questions like this all the time. No matter what I say is going to be from a biased point-of-view (and my biased point-of-view is a money-hungry, spiteful one). But you googled this for answers, and I'm the guy with the answers. 

Disclaimer: I'm writing this in reference to big hotels and garages in majors cities. Garages and hotels with high-volume. If you're asking about parking your car at an Econo Lodge in rural North Carolina, then I'm sorry, this might not be helpful to you. (They also probably have a complimentary parking lot. Boom. Problem solved.) However, if you're driving your car up to NYC from rural North Carolina and wanted to know what to expect to do with your vehicle, you've come to the right place. 

Valet workers, like any other service industry employee, are there for one reason - to make as much money as possible and get the fuck out. They rely on tips, and the majority of them are smart enough to cling onto the customers who are loose with their wallets. I know you're not going to want to hear this, but tipping on the way IN is important. 

Here's the thing - the guys who work in parking garages have a very, very small space in which they could put all these cars. The greedy assholes who own said parking garages want them to jam in as many vehicles as possible before they can deem the lot full. Meaning there's seldom "premium" parking spots. 

What's a "premium" parking spot, you ask? It's a term I just made up! I'll walk you through how to get a "premium" spot: 

Say I pull up in my modest 2008 Honda Civic. And let's say I picked up a date I'm really excited about. Let's also say that I'm going to dinner and a play, and that when the play is over, I want to get in my car as quickly as possible so I can take my date home and, you know, do stuff. 

Here's what I do:

I take a five dollar bill and fold it up in my palm. When the valet guy comes over, I nod and I extend my hand. Not all the way, like a handshake. I go halfway there and make sure my palm is facing the ground. It's the international "handshake tip". When the valet guy accepts, I say this:

Doorman - "Hey, pal. That's for you. What time are you here till?" 

Valet Guy - "Midnight." 

Doorman - "Ok. Keep it close and there's another for you when I come back."  

Valet Guy - "Ok, boss." 

And done. When the play is over and I come back to the garage, my light blue Honda Civic is sitting pretty on the ground level. No cars to be moved out of it's way, just a clear path to the exit. Even if there are ten people there waiting for their cars, huffing and puffing with their tickets in hand, the valet guy will see me and nod, throw me my keys, and I'll make good on my promise and pass along another five. Then I get the fuck out of there to go home with my date and, you know, do stuff. 

Is ten bucks a lot of money to spend when I'm already paying $30 to park my car? Yep. Absolutely. 100%. But guess what? I just saved myself a half hour. I just avoided having my car get whacked around in the "general population" where they park the rest of them. What's the "general population"? It's another term I just made up! It's the three or four levels of cars, jam-packed on top of each other, bumpers and doors within centimeters of other cars and concrete walls. It's where your car goes to get scratched, dented and knocked around. 

Why do you spend the extra money to sit in first class on a plane? Or to sit in front row seats at a concert? For a better experience, right? If tipping a working man a few extra dollars helps you skip the line and beat the traffic, why not do it? 

But hey, if you don't want to give the guy a few bucks on the way in as a sign of good faith, then give a bare-minimum tip when he returns the car, don't be surprised if he uses his "premium" spots on someone else. 

What happens if you tip the guy on the way in, and he's not there when you come back? 

That's a good question, my friend. I'm glad you asked. I'll explain. 

So say I tipped the guy five and his shift ends twenty minutes after that. That's fine. Here's what'll happen on his end: 

The shift will turn over, and the guy I tipped will put the car in a premium spot. When his relief shows up, he'll point to my car, and tell his co-worker "this guy is good." His co-worker will say "cool, thanks." Then, when I come back later, I'll see the new guy, point to my car, and he'll nod and attend to me right away, blowing off the rest of the "general population" car people. I'll put a five in his hand and be on my merry way. That's it. 

How does this translate to hotels? 

In my hotel and most in New York, we don't have a parking lot for guests. There's no self-parking. Why? Because it's New York and we want to plow you for every last dollar. Ha! No… it's because there's no fucking space. And barely any street parking. 

We work with a garage, who provides a discounted 24-hour rate for guests of the hotel. At my spot, it's $35 per day. No ins and outs. People always complain about not being able to take the car in and out. Mark my words- there's not a garage in any of the five fucking boroughs that will allow you to take the car in and out as you please for one daily rate. 

$35 per day is, believe it or not, a very fair deal considering your options. Some people will scoff when I tell them the price, inform me they'll find their own parking, then come back an hour later with their tails between their legs, telling me I was right. (That's the stuff of pure bliss for me.) 

I accept the car on the garages behalf. Then, I shuffle it around the loading zone till a valet attendant from the garage comes to pick it up. I help unload the car, if need be, and I prevent you from getting a ticket should the loading zone be full when you arrive and you need to briefly double park. I'll let you know that it takes anywhere from 15-45 minutes to retrieve the car, depending on how busy the garage is at that given time. And, while it's in my possession, I'll be sure that no one leans on it, puts coffee on your trunk, or breaks into it. That's my job. 

Does that sound like enough responsibility to earn a tip? To some people it is. To others, I can fuck myself. 

When I give them the ticket, I let them know that they have to come to the front desk, in person, and pay their balance before they can come to me with a voucher to call for the car. Technically, I'm not allowed to have the car brought around till the balance has been paid in full. Technically. 

Though exceptions can always be made... for the right people. You see, we keep a log book of every car we valet. And (I'm speaking strictly for myself), I make a note of people who tip on the way in - whether it's a dot, or a star, or an exclamation point. I always keep track of people who tip me, and, more importantly, stiff me on the way in. If someone calls me from the room and says "I'd like to have my car brought around", I'll ask for their ticket number.

Allow me to paint two scenarios: 

1 - I look in the log book and see a little star, indicating the guest tipped me five on the way in. 

Doorman - "Absolutely. I'll call and have the car brought around. When you're all packed up and ready to go swing by the front desk and pay the balance, and I'll have the car waiting for you when you get here." 

2 - I look in the log book and see nothing, possibly a note that indicates that I helped with luggage and they stiffed me. 

Doorman - "I'm sorry, you'll have to come down to the front desk and pay the balance first, then present me with the voucher and I'll call for the vehicle." 

They'll have to pack their shit, exit the room, come downstairs and wait on line, pay the balance, then come to the door and see me. From there, I'll tell them it's going to be another 15-45 minutes to have the car brought around.

In the latter, I'm simply going by the book. I'm actually doing the right thing, in the scope of the hotel's rules. But I won't bend them for you. Now you've added another 45 minutes to your commute home. That's the importance of tipping on the way in. 

Before I wrap this up, I'd just like to share a quick story that inspired my writing this post. 

Guy pulls up in a brand-new BMW. In my three and a half years of doing this, I've been tipped once by a BMW driver. Once. One time. Seriously, it must be in their contract to never tip people. Like, they have to sign a written agreement, promising to be a belligerent, cheap asshole to any and everyone who handles their cars before they drive off the lot. Also- BMW's handle like fucking garbage. The steering wheel is stiff and clunky. There's nothing special about the inside features and I can't tell the difference between them and a Hyundai Sonata on the outside. Fuck BMW's and the people who drive them. They STINK. Oh, do you drive a BMW and have read this far? Good. Fuck you, twice. 

Anyway - this cocksucker pulls up in his BMW. I'm friendly and polite, smiling and explaining the valet rules. He's rude and aloof, as most of them are. 

I offer to help with the bags. He's a strapping guy about my age with one carry-on. He responds with a cold "no". 

Doorman - "Ok, sir. Have a good night." 

Without a thank you, or a smile, or a fucking tip, this is his response: 

BMW - "Take care of my baby." 

And he walks away. 

He didn't have to say anything, and I just would have written it off as another cheap fuck in a BMW. But he had to go and say that shit, in the most condescending manner. 

Dude, it's my fucking job to take care of your car. You don't go to a restaurant, order a steak medium-rare with the waiter, then barge into the kitchen and tell the chef, "make sure it's medium rare", do you? 

If you really want me to take extra care of your car, and you feel compelled to reiterate it to me, fine. Totally acceptable. But only with $5+ dollars in your hand, shaking it into mine. 

So, you can imagine what happened next… 

The guy from the garage comes to pick up the car, and I get my revenge in one, simple sentence:

Doorman - "Bury this motherfucker." 

Valet Guy - "Ok, boss."  

And there his car goes, into the "general population", further and further into the bowels of the garage to reserve room for the "premium" vehicles. 

When this BMW fuckhead comes to get his car in the morning, that 15-45 minute wait time just became 60-90. All because you big-leagued the doorman without giving him a tip. You silly, silly man. You could have been home an hour earlier to see your beautiful wife and, you know, do stuff. 

You might think we're greedy. But that's the way our world works. You take care of us, we go out of our way to take care of you. You don't? Well, you get what you paid for... Nothing. 


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Sorry, I Haven't Been Posting...

Hi Readers,

It's been awhile. I'm not dead. Still quite alive, in fact. I've been writing my balls off, though, fortunately and unfortunately, not on here. The next several months are going to see some big changes in my life, and I just haven't had the time to post any doorman stories. Or, more truthfully, I haven't had too many doorman stories to post.

Yesterday, a young girl, no more than 8 or 9 from a spanish-speaking country, arrived on a shuttle bus with her mom and sister. She wore a winter hat that said, in big, bold letters, "FUCK". I laughed heartily, then pointed her out to everyone I passed by when bringing their luggage inside. Her mom shot me the evil-eye, wondering why I was making fun of her daughter. I felt kind of guilty about it, but the more I think about it, I shouldn't. Either one of two things happened: someone pulled a hilarious prank on them, and they should have a sense of humor about it, or she thinks it's a good idea for her daughter to walk around wearing a hat that says, "FUCK".

That's really the most interesting thing I've seen on the door in the past couple of months.

I hate redundancy. I feel that, after three years of writing about this shit, any story I post is some variation of something I've already written. I don't feel challenged anymore.

I love this blog. I loved what it's spawned. I love the web series (which you should watch, god damnit),  and I love how this as all helped me grow as an artist and a man. It's been a godsend.

I'm working on a ton of stuff, and the Doorman show has been getting auspicious attention from the right people. Apart from Doorman-related material, I've been developing several scripts - some pilots for shows, and a couple of feature-length screenplays. There's also a podcast in the works.

As far as posting doorman stories here, I can't promise much in the immediate future. I don't want to say I've outgrown it, because I've done it once before and came back, but it's become a bit of a chore to keep consistency here lately. But, hell, you never know what the future holds in store.

All updates come through here first, obviously. And, if this is your first peruse onto this blog, feel free to scroll to the right and indulge in the 170 posts that I lived through. You're in for quite the ride.

Till next time,

Chris

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Smart Phones and the Idiots That Use Them: Part II

Yes, there is a part one. One of the first posts, actually. Though it's not at all related to this story or particularly well-written. If you feel like digging for it and sharing the douche-chills I got while re-reading it, it's in the June 2012 archive. 

A man walks outside. He's an older, American dude wearing a UCB comedy hat. He wasn't a celebrity or anything, so it led me to believe that he's from the midwest and has an early-20-something kid, who lives here and he supports financially. The kid does improv three times a week, calling it his "pursuit of acting". A pursuit of acting that doesn't involve waiting tables or carrying people's bags to support himself. The hat was likely a gift from the little non-working, gentrified-neighborhood-living puke, to go along with the NYU sweatshirt he bought Daddy two Christmases ago.

(That's the mean-spirited, judgmental backstory I'm making up for this guy. I'm in that kind of mood today. Maybe it's because I worked 24 out of the last 32 hours and only have $52 to show for it and I'm really fucking bitter. See? You can just make up stuff! Isn't story-telling fun?)

So, Daddy comes out side with his hat and NYU sweater (he's wearing a jacket and I can't see it, but I know it's there), holding an iPhone, which has a subway-direction app open.

Without a "hello" or "excuse me", he vomits his inquiry:

Daddy - "Where's the 1 train?!?"

I take the 1 train to work every day. I grew up on Staten Island, and the SI Ferry is the last stop on the 1. I've ridden this line more than any other. I can commute on it blindfolded.

Doorman - "Five blocks down, make a right. It'll be at the corner of Broadway."

Of course, Daddy looks down at his fucking phone for verification. The computer tells him otherwise.

Daddy - "But...  it says here to go four blocks up and take a left at Columbus Circle."

And here's where I have to suppress the urge to take him by the ears and shake his head violently, screaming "IF YOU FUCKING KNEW THE ANSWER THEN WHY THE FUCK DID YOU FUCKING ASK ME?!?" before slamming his pasty-white head against the concrete wall.

I didn't do that. Because I am a trained hospitality professional, of course.

Doorman - "Are you going uptown or downtown?"

Daddy - "Downtown."

Doorman - "Ok, so you want to use that station. Five blocks down, make a right. It'll be at the corner of Broadway."

Daddy stares at his phone.

Daddy - "But... it says here I have to go the opposite way."

Doorman - "Trust me. I live here. Five blocks down, make a right. Corner of Broadway."

Daddy - "But... it says here it's the 7th ave line. You're telling me to go to Broadway?"

Doorman - "Broadway intersects with 7th on that street. Trust me."

Daddy - "But... it says here I have to go to Columbus Circle."

Doorman - "You'll be walking in the opposite direction of where you're going, and Columbus Circle is a massive station and the 1 train is buried all the way in the back. You'll spend more time walking through the terminal when you get there than you would just walking... five blocks down, make at right, it'll be at the corner of Broadway."

Daddy - "But..."

Doorman - "Five blocks down, make a right, it'll be at the corner of Broadway."

Daddy - "But..." 

He squints his eyes and stares at the phone like he's trying to crack the screen with his mind. 

Daddy - "it says here..." 

He turns to where I'm leading him, then back toward where the phone is telling him. The man is at a crossroads.

Daddy - "But I count four blocks if I go to Columbus Circle, and five blocks if I go to where you're telling me." 

At this point, the only direction I want to see him walk is his immediate left, which would result in him getting plowed by a bus. I didn't care if he got to his destination, but I felt an obligation to win this argument because I'm stubborn.

Doorman - "It's four blocks and one avenue. Avenues are much, much longer."

He scrolls his index finger up and down the glass screen. Without saying anything else, he turns towards the direction I sent him, and leaves without saying "thank you".

I watch him walk down the block because I have nothing better to do. He crosses the first street, makes a right, stops for a beat, then does an about-face and starts walking towards the direction where his fucking smart phone sent him.

Daddy briskly walks towards the hotel across the street from ours, never looking up from his phone. He gets there and, I shit you not, stops and asks their doorman for directions.

I watch what appears to be the same line of questioning that Daddy used on me, incessantly referring to the smartphone while the doorman across the street points to the same place I directed him. After a while, Daddy gives up and reluctantly accepts the second opinion from another guy in a funny hat, slumping through the beginnings of the faux snowstorm of this past Monday.

Let's all hope Daddy's son is better at improv than his father is at listening to the locals.




Since the run of Doorman: Season One is over, I'd like to say that the feedback we've gotten has been wonderful and we're overjoyed with the way it turned out. We want to make more episodes this year, and the more hits we get on the channel, the easier it will be for us to raise the money to make that happen. So please, if you love the show, share the fuck out of it. 

Here's the playlist of season one: 


And the official Doorman Show Website


And the official Twitter:


And the Facebook Page: 



Be nice to others.