I must admit, I’m not a real sophisticated kind of guy. I mean, I’m not trashy or completely unsophisticated….is that a word? I just know that when people talk about the finer things in life, I’m probably not all that personally familiar with them. Expensive wine, exotic foods and cars, VIP tickets, and fancy parties are not a regular part of my routine. So when I bought a condo in a building that was coming equipped with a…..wait for it…..doorman, I was rather intrigued. I mean, only people of stature have, on staff, someone who is there to simply hold open a door for you. How regal.
Honestly, I was less than thrilled by this prospect. Mainly because the building I am in is a new condo building that is equipped with video intercoms. So, though the idea of my guests being greeted by a doorman is, in theory….cool, it’s not economical. Why have these intercoms? But I knew my opinion was probably a minority opinion, and though I wanted to bring this to the attention of the builder (it is a new building) I left it alone. I certainly didn’t raise this opinion with my neighbors for fear of ostracizing myself early on.
Now, after some time, I’ve decided that my original opinion was correct. I mean, let me be clear, I gave it a fair shot. I had visions of….well, my only experience with a doorman was the one I used to see on the reruns of the Jefferson’s. Or the one’s who hail taxis for you in the city (NYC) So I expected an attentive, albeit money hungry, well dressed gentleman to be greeting me on my way in and out of the building. Someone who not only open doors, but offer to help me or my guests with bags, even if I would decline the invitation. Someone who would hold packages for me and ensure the safety of everyone in the building. Someone who would hold witty conversations with me and know things about my routine that would even surprise me.
Sure, that’s TV, and the sentiment is going to be a bit over the top. But the reality couldn’t be that far from scripted television, could it? Well, I don’t know how it’s done in other buildings but the so-called “doormen” in my building are nothing like what I expected. The good: They are nice. One of them has even hung out with me and a few of the other neighbors. Good kid…but that’s where the good stops. There’s no uniform, which I could deal with. That’s more of me wanting to feel like I’m taking advantage of one of the finer things in life, and to show it off for company. What really bothers me is that the very word that is in the name….door….implies that they would actually, well…hold open a door. That’s not a safe assumption. Even if both hands are full, the effort to come to and open the door seems to be more of a bother than their job, and there is never a sense of urgency, as if what’s in my hands is not heavy. Hold open the freaking door!!! Your title implores that you do so, why is that such a hard concept?
Well if holding the door open is a chore, you can imagine that not much else gets done. Sure, they hold my packages until I get home from work. They greet me, and some will even greet me by name. None has ever offered to help carry bags upstairs. They don’t tell me anything about what’s going on in the building, or what’s going on in the neighborhood. I called down once and asked them if they had a number to a local taxi, and they had nothing…not an offer to call one, and not an offer to even look one up. I was left to my own devices. They just sit at the desk as if they are just another building ornament. I don’t know what I should’ve expected, but I must say that I’m disappointed. The reality is that my HOA fees would probably have to go up if we had a “real” doorman, and back to my original point, I wouldn’t really be too happy to have to pay for that. But if I’m being told I should have one, I think I should be able to enjoy the luxury of having one 100%. People who enjoy the finer things in life come to expect to be pampered…I just wanted a small glimpse of that. Ah well….