Whether it is the bottom of the ninth with two outs of a tied baseball game, the two minute warning in the fourth quarter of a highly competitive football bout, or “the last two minutes of any professional basketball game” according to Wanda of the Fairly OddParents, that is where the greats separate themselves from the good.
There are millions watching, clinging to one’s every move to see if they will go down in history as a G.O.A.T or end up brushed aside like all the other failures. In a much less dramatic sense, the afternoon/evening shift for a doorman can be considered our “bottom of the ninth” and if you are not good enough to hack it, then you might just get caught lookin’.
Our attire is not anything out of the ordinary when it comes to that for a doorman. Egg-shell white, slim fit button-down shirt, jet black slim dress pants with blazer to match, a dark gray solid tie, which is optional, and black leather polished loafers that shine brighter than my future. When it comes to grooming, my building is a little more lenient than others, that is unless you work the afternoon/evening shift.
The thick curls from my dark brown hair flow freely like a messy lion’s mane on any given day or work shift, but not during the afternoon/evening shift. That’s when I become strictly ponytail. And the part about the tie being optional? Forget about it and that tie dimple better be strong too. Now that I have dressed the part, I am ready to take on the main event. My buttocks having barely grazed our comfortable padded office chair before the first of many “characters” walk through the front door.
“Hi, I am with Wiggly Pups and I am here for Charlie on the second floor,” as a chubby-faced blue hair dude no older than myself greets me.
“… I am sorry you want to wiggle what where?!” I rebut flabbergasted.
No, he begins laughing. “We are the new dog walking company and we started today,”
“Oh,” I remark like R. Kelly in the fourth chapter of Trapped in the Closet.
I let him up to the apartment after the confusion settled and the only thing I can think about as I make my way back to the front desk… “why the f*** was his hair blue?”
Usually, within the first couple of hours into the afternoon/evening shift, the UPS delivery man comes to drop off my tenants “presents” like an everyday Santa and boy is this man jolly too. We exchange pleasantries before he leaves the lobby looking like a stock room.
“You never get tired of it bro?” I ask.
“What?” he responds.
“Seeing and carrying the same brown boxes every day?” as I take a sip of my water.
“It’s funny had you never said boxes at that end there I would have thought you were talking about my wife,” as that sip of water transferred from my mouth to his UPS uniform and the floor.
After mopping the floor the tenants begin to trickle home and hey look Greg is about to come through the door.
“Good evening Greg, hope you had a pleasant work day?” holding the elevator door open for him.
“It’s freakin’ work, when is work supposed to be pleasant?” as he enters the elevator.
“Well, gladly your home,” I say gleefully.
“Yeah, just to go back to the same sh*t tomorrow.” As the cold stainless-steel elevator doors closed just like his heart.
The last half hour of this exhausting shift is mainly reserved for cleaning. Now we have a porter and a super, (a whole other column coming out about him just you guys wait) so cleaning is not one of our main responsibilities, however, we are responsible to keep our area tidy.
The main locations being the front desk and lobby area. As a mixture of Febreze, Windex, and Lysol begin encapsulating the lobby, the last tenant finally arrives home not as put together as he always seems to be walking through that door. His shirt is half untucked, he’s waddling through the lobby like Mumble from Happy Feet, and reeking of last call from the nearest local bar I ask if everything is okay and that was my first mistake.
“Yeah I am fine thanks for asking Bri…” he could not even finish saying my name before the projectile vomit started flying all over the lobby. I called up to his wife and sent him on his way up. Usually, I am okay with cleaning up a mess as it comes with the job… but I had just finished cleaning.