Well, I’d like you to pay attention for a few minutes… longer if you’re a slow reader.
But after that, feel free to return to your search for the greatest pet shaming pic/video of all time.
I was recently reminded of a conversation I had with a mentor who remarked, “I think people will really love your work. It takes them behind-the-scenes, to a world they never get to see.” This is true, of course. Some of my adventures literally take place behind closed doors – though they’re not all worth sharing.
Like the hours I spend reading books (mostly comics, naturally) in the bellmen’s storage room/HQ. That YouTube live-feed wouldn’t exactly set the world on fire…
But I’d like to show you exactly what I do all day – when I’m actually doing something, that is.
1) Joe Average drives onto the hotel’s valet deck. He’s braved traffic (including all those nasty Canadian potholes), threatened to turn the car around eighteen times and scrapped with his spouse over directions ten times. Now Joe’s ready to enter the next phase of Family Vacation Hell.
2) The Doorman asks him if he wants assistance with his luggage. If he’s like most husbands, Joe will bitch and moan about wanting to do it himself (because he’s a cheap bastard), but ultimately, his spouse will win out.
Shocking, isn’t it?
3) The Doorman fetches a Bellman. And so I put down my Walking Dead trade paperback and moan as I get up from my office chair (yes, Ive reached that age), and head out to spread some hospitality cheer.
4) I arrive at Joe’s mini-van. Joe pops the back door. We’re both amazed/dismayed by all the
crap bags his family packed. Like most husbands, Joe remarks:
“Hey, where did we get all this shit from? Do we even own this much shit? Seriously!”
Yes, Joe, you really own that much… stuff. My response is the same every single time.
“You won’t see me complaining, sir. Without all this shit, I wouldn’t have a job!”
It’s perfectly acceptable for a bellman to curse if the guest has already opened that foul door, kids.
5) I make all Joe’s stuff fit on one cart – somehow. After almost twenty years, my packing skills are vast, friends.
6) As he continues to scrap with his family, I hand Joe a luggage tag. He remarks, “What the hell is this?”, and I give the same response every single time:
“I’m not accompanying you to the Front Desk, sir, so just take this tag (which you’ll most likely shove somewhere and lose), call the blue number on it, give us the black number on the side and we’ll deliver your bags. It’s so simple, a Kardashian could do it!”
Granted, the Kardashian thing is new. But Joe’s response isn’t.
“How the hell are you going to know which room I’m in?”
My response usually gives guests pause.
“I’m psychic. That’s why they hired me.”
Seriously, guests often simply stand there staring at me until I let them off the hook.
7) I park Joe’s cart in the storage room and return to my desk/back room to await his call. In-between, I’ll do more calls (hopefully), scribble future posts in a weathered notebook, read some more and hear myself age. Sometimes the wait is unbelievably-tedious; January 5, I sat down at the Bell Desk at seven in the morning. My first call was at ten thirty.
8) The call will come in! Then the real fun begins, as I grab my luggage cart, head out into the lobby, bypass the hordes of travelers and wait for the service elevator in one of the hotel’s three towers.
And I wait…
And I wait…
And I wait…
We have one thousand guest rooms, over a thousand employees at peak seasonal periods, and five service elevators for three towers. The math makes my head throb.
9) I arrive at Joe Average’s room. As you are no doubt aware by now, this is the moment where literally anything can happen.
- He could pull out a gun and wave it around. (This has happened once and luckily, the moron in question was just bragging about the size of his barrel.)
- The kids could be hopped-up on Red Bull and literally bouncing off the walls.
- Mrs. Average could be incredibly-flirtatious – or a total mega-bitch. It could go either way.
When you’re a bellman you just don’t know what’s going to happen when the guest answers the door.
And that’s what makes the job so appealing.
That, and the chicks, money and fame.
10) I survive the experience and live to return to the lobby and do it all again. Yes, there is a great deal of monotony in this business, but at the end of the day, no two days are identical.
There you have it. A snapshot of my day in all its mind-numbing tedium and potential glory.
See you in the lobby, kids…