Have you ever wondered if your doormen talk about you behind your back? Do they notice when you come home every night with a different guy? Do they have any idea that the kid who stopped off at your apartment the other night was there to make a "special delivery"? Oh, yes. They notice everything. Although keep in mind that if you do engage in something you shouldn't—like order in an escort while your wife is away on business—rest assured a generous tip goes a long way. [Brick Underground]
If your doorman or hair stylist look a little grumpy today, it may because they just found out that in lieu of the cash they normally receive from you for Christmas, they're going to be getting a jar of homemade jam instead. According to a new poll, 26 percent of Americans say they planned to spend less on tips than they did last year, although some said they planned to make up the difference (or try to, at least!) by distributing homemade gifts and foodstuffs. [Consumer Reports, Reuters]
Here's a question you've undoubtedly wrestled with for ages now: If you sleep with your doorman or super and the rest of the building finds out about it, will he end up losing his job? "I've had several instances where building staff were involved with residents and in each instance the building employee was terminated," says a real estate lawyer. The good news is that he stands to make a decent amount of money if—and when—he threatens to slap the co-op with an embarrassing wrongful termination lawsuit, especially "if it's a Park Avenue building and the super has had sex with the wife of the board president." [BrickUnderground via Curbed]
If you come home one evening to find your doorman's disappeared and he's been replaced with a camera overhead, congrats: Your cheapo landlord has decided to outsource your doorman. It seems some cash-strapped developers are looking to reduce costs and lure in buyers with lower common charges by installing virtual doormen—"staffers sitting in command centers as far away as Florida who can buzz guests and deliveries into buildings at a fraction of the cost of a regular doorman." They can't protect you in the event a homicidal maniac tries to follow you into your building, of course. And they can't open the door for you when you arrive home in a taxi on a cold winter night. Then again, when's the last time you saw a real live doorman do that? [NYP]
The Plaza's developers have been having a hard time keeping residents as of late, and now it looks like they're having a tough time keeping the doormen around, too. Ed Trinka, the building's longest-serving doorman, is leaving his post today after 46 years on the job. Trinka just turned 65, which was why he said he was now bidding goodbye to the hotel. But it's also possible the overpriced $43 Dover sole at the "stagy, oppressive" Oak Room was a factor.
Have you started handing out Christmas gratuities yet? Were you tempted to give less than last year on account of the economy? The Times reports today on the effect the recession is having on the people who depend on cash-stuffed envelopes this time of year, like doormen, building supers, housekeepers, and nannies. Many New Yorkers, not surprisingly, report that they plan to be less generous than in previous years, although they also fret about the consequences of giving less. ("Will their packages be signed for when they are not home? Will their guests be dropped off at the right floor? Will they have to wait while someone else's toilet is unclogged before theirs is?")
You can finally exhale: West Side Spirit has handed out its "Building Service Workers of the Year" awards! (We know you've been waiting in suspense since last year.) Our hearty congratulations to James Gibbons, who was named East Side Doorman of the Year for his work at 1120 Park Avenue. And props to Pat Burns of 2 Fifth Avenue, who walked away with the trophy for Downtown Doorman of the Year. (Strangely, Richie Randazzo didn't get a single nomination in the doorman category.) Finally, if you work at the Lincoln Building on East 42nd Street and you see Ursula Szewc come through with a mop and bucket later, don't be a rude jerk to her like usual. You're getting the best office cleaner in Midtown!
Park Avenue doormen usually hit mini-jackpots come Christmas time, but now 1021 Park doorman Richie Randazzo has gone and won the real thing—the "Set for Life" scratch ticket he picked up last month landed him a $5 million payday. So what does he want to do with the money? He says he now wants to move into the tony building where he's been hailing cabs, holding packages, and, yes, opening the door for residents for years. Now "I'll have the doorman open the door for me."
John Seeman, a 61-year-old doorman who lives in Brooklyn and "supports his 81-year-old mother," got fired from the Upper East Side apartment building where he works as a doorman. The cause? Having bad breath. He had been working there since 1967. The man who fired him, Joe Scholes of Cooper Square Realty, recently won the New York Building Managers Association's Special Appreciation Award, and wrote the article "Five Steps to Building Better Staff Performance." In it, he asks: "Who doesn't like to get a pat on the back? An old fashioned compliment for a job well done can have an enormous impact, especially since it is so seldom done." In his defense, Seeman said, "I'm not using garlic anymore... I use mouthwash and I sue breath mints on the job." Oh! Did I write sue? I meant sue. I mean! I mean, use. But he is so gonna sue.
The Daily News is gracing us today with the story of the Upper East Side's best doorman, voted as such by the residents he watches over at 460 E. 79th Street. "There isn't another doorman like Steve, and we're keeping him," says one. "He's part of the family here," another tells the News. Yeah, we totally make our 81-year-old relatives carry our bags and deliver our packages too!
The other week, I found myself in a fancy building on lower Fifth Ave., where an ex-boyfriend's parents live. We broke up I guess it was six years ago now? And I haven't, for obvious reasons, been back to the building. Why would I? But he and his brother were having a party in their parents' apartment, and I was invited. So I went. When I got there, one of the doormen greeted me. "How are you!" he exclaimed. "Haven't seen you in awhile." He grasped my hand. "Good to see you." I said likewise. Then I thought: It's been six years! Why does—how could—he remember me?