Note: We’re starting a new series of “confessions” where we ask certain professionals a quick set of questions and keep their responses anonymous so that they can tell the complete truth. If you’d like to participate, please email email@example.com. We promise to keep you anonymous.
“You’re a doorman, doorman.” As you can imagine, this Knocked Up line has been in my head since starting this article. But Leslie Mann was wrong. Doormen are not just doormen (or women). In fact, they are the one person who knows everything that goes on in the building. They’ve seen people at their best, and at their worst. And they’ve even helped sneak out a mistress or two in the freight elevator.
Here are the confessions of one Uptown doorman about naked people trapped in the stairwell, garbage throwing and marital affairs:
What’s the most annoying thing your tenants do?
We have an issue with tenants throwing garbage off their balconies. No one has been hurt yet but there’s nothing worse than having someone come in angry off the street because they were just hit in the head with a bag of trash.
What’s the most salacious thing you’ve witnessed?
We have a resident who enjoys showing pictures of himself naked to our staff. We all know to keep our small talk brief and our eyes away from his phone.
What’s the best part about being a doorman? The worst?
The best part is the relationships you build. The other side is the disrespect that some people have which can wear you down when you have to see that person every day. Manners can go a long way.
Do you ever do anything to mess with rude tenants?
I would never do anything to jeopardize my job, but I have made a habit of stepping into the leasing office if I see particularly annoying tenant.
Have you ever hooked up with a tenant?
No, but I have had private, anonymous social media accounts message me and I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s a tenant.
Any good drunk people stories?
Our stairwells are for emergencies only, so we have gotten drunk, naked people who have had to walk down more than a dozen flights of stairs because they can’t get back into any hallways.
Also, every now and then our overnight people will get free meals because tenants order food online but then pass out before it arrives. It’s great.
Oh yeah, I’ve done that. Domino’s hates me. Do you have any famous tenants?
We have a few local celebrities and athletes. No one that would attract paparazzi really, but some turn a lot of heads.
It’s funny to hear people bragging about who their neighbor is. Most of them are down to earth and just want privacy.
Do you have to check on tenants when family hasn’t heard from them in a while? Have you ever heard of a doorman discovering, you know, a dead body?
We get calls every now and then from family asking if we can make sure someone is ok. We can’t check on them for privacy reasons, but we can call the cops.
Thank goodness a death hasn’t happened during my employment, but it has happened here before, especially with older residents.
Do you have favorite tenants?
Absolutely! Some tenants spend years with us and have become close friends. I particularly love seeing the progression of some relationships from dating to moving in together and beyond.
Retired residents are great too because they spend a lot of time at home, so talking with them usually becomes part of their routine.
I’ve bumped into tenants while out at bars before and they always offer to buy drinks. I’ve taken a few of them up on it.
If you see a tenant come home with someone who isn’t their husband/wife do you tell on them?
As much as it hurts to see, we have to keep it to ourselves.
The staff usually tells one another in passing but that’s because most residents have guest lists so it’s important to stay in the loop. On occasion, we have had to use the freight elevator to sneak “the other woman” or man out.
Any other confessions?
All of our elevators have cameras, and from what I’ve seen, y’all don’t know that.