Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Life of a Doorman (2)

By popular demand, we return to the topic of New York doormen. The July 30th blog referred to an anonymous interviewee who was the source of that entry’s information. Today we reveal the identity of this doorman, with his permission, and offer an up close and personal profile of his professional experiences. His name is Alan Bearman and he has been the doorman at 85 John Street, a luxury rental building in Manhattan’s Financial District, for the past eight years. Alan loves his work and that love comes through in everything he does. He has a way of relating to the tenants at 85 John which makes life when he is around that much more enjoyable for everyone.

I spoke to a few of the residents at 85 John and, without exception, they praised Alan for the services he provides. Some observed how efficient and responsible he is when it comes to ensuring that they receive the items that he is holding for them, such as packages or dry cleaning. Others noted that they feel especially secure when he is on duty, because he takes the security part of his responsibilities so seriously. Still others commented that he maintains an upbeat, smiling presence at all times, and that a cheerful hello from him in the morning helps to get their day off to a good start. A few added that the pleasant comments he makes which arise from his continuing effort to get to know people in the building personally are also a nice touch and always welcome.

There are a few residents whom he loves to tease and who enjoy teasing back in kind. These are the people that bring a huge smile to his face and that he especially looks forward to seeing every day. Alan didn’t quite say this, but those people who are willing to trade jokes with him add something special to his sense of satisfaction on the job. At least one resident, whom I know quite well, exits each day laughing heartily, all because Alan has found still another creative way to taunt her.

No one at 85 John, by the way, has accused Alan of being “excessively happy,” though a few have complained that he is “unnecessarily tall.” Well, actually I’m the only one who has complained about this. Still, can you blame me? Every morning as I leave the building Alan not only concocts a new insult about my ill-advised color combinations, he insists on towering over me with his 6 foot 4 inches of height to my 5 feet 10 inches (if I stand up really straight). It’s enough to give a guy a complex.

As I said, though, all of it for Alan is a labor of love. Sure, occasionally the air conditioning stops working on the hottest day of the year or someone’s dog has an accident in the lobby or the April Fool’s joke about the water in the building being turned off for the day rubs some tenant the wrong way. But these minor setbacks are nothing compared to the pleasure he gets everyday by gently brightening the lives of the hard working residents at 85 John Street.

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