It’s NOT his bell cart, arguably the most important component of the entire luggage delivery operation. I’ve delivered bags with an appliance dolly, a golf cart, a maid’s cart and at one archaic operation, by hand!
It’s not his roguish charm or encyclopedic knowledge of his environment. I have colleagues who spend twenty minutes with certain guests (while the rest of us pick up the slack!) and yet, they don’t make anywhere near as much as others when the tip is finally tendered. I’ve gotten fifty dollars from someone I barely speak to, and two dollars from some jackass I spend a half-hour with! It’s all about the guest’s mood, not what you do to sway them.
No, my friends, a bellman’s greatest asset is a simple, yet invaluable component of his uniform: his shoes.
I spend most of my day on my feet and in motion, on a seemingly endless cycle of departures and arrivals. Without a good, comfortable pair of shoes I’d be easily fatigued, my fortunes would plummet, my attitude would become even more surly (hey, it could happen trust me!) and eventually I’d lose my job, be unable to support Vampire Lover and Little Vamp, and wind up on the street!
Dramatic enough for you?
At this point you’re probably wondering two things..
- When is The Hook’s medication going to kick in?
- Why in the world is The Hook ranting and raving about shoes?
Well, I’ll tell you answer to #2. I need a new pair of shoes, but the problem is this: my current pair has a strong sentimental hold on me. Here’s why.
It was a midnight shift several years ago and this middle-aged couple approached me with an unusual request.
MALE GUEST: Hey, buddy, you know where I can get some dress shoes?
THE HOOK: It’s 1am, sir. Unfortunately this isn’t Vegas, where you can score anything at any time!
MG: But my girl wants to go dancing, and the club across the street turned us away! My Nikes aren’t fancy enough for ’em.
THE HOOK: I’d like to help you out sir, but…
MG: What size shoes do you wear, man?
THE HOOK: I’m a twelve, but..
MG: I’ll give you a $100 for your shoes!
And with that, he slapped the money down and after two seconds of contemplation on my part, we exchanged footwear. I wore my runners for the rest of the evening, fortunately without having to face disciplinary action. The happy couple returned a few hours later and since they weren’t my size, I returned the gentlemen’s shoes to him.
A week or so later, the housekeeping department sent a package to my desk: the guest had returned my shoes, clean as a whistle! Even though I had a new pair by then, I threw them in my locker. You never know, right?
Sure enough, my new pair gave out a few months later and my “lucky shoes” were called back to active duty. I’ve logged a lot of miles in these babies, all of them interesting and blogworthy in some way. But my beloved shoes have reached their expiration date and it’s time to move on. Still, I can’t complain about a pair of shoes that literally made me money, right?
I hope you’ve enjoyed this nostalgic (and just plain weird!) post. Time to take my meds.