Concierge Corner: Bah to your humbug.

As many people know, I’m a pretty tough broad.  I always have a lot going on in my life and I deal, for better or worse. Whether it’s a good or a bad day for me, I always do a great job at work. Smile it up, give as much info as I can, try to make sales and help people. That’s the perfect generalization of my job. I’m good at it and I rarely, if ever, struggle with it; it is what it is.  That being said, sometimes during the holidays my patience is pushed to the very edge of the cliff to where I think I will fall off into a giant cartoon poof of smoke.  My name is Cari, happy holidays and I will NOT be your biatch during your stay here in the Big Apple. Welcome.

First off, let’s clarify that traditionally a bitch means a spiteful and unpleasant woman. I think in this day and age that term now extends to men. Secondly, a biatch is the slang of bitch. The role of your concierge being your personal biatch is a common misconception among many tourists.  We all see the movies where the concierge does all these weird things and it ain’t like that.  By definition a concierge is “a hotel employee whose job is to assist guests by arranging tours, making theatre and restaurants reservations, etc.” A concierge is not your personal assistant.  We can help you arrange and pick tours and attractions, we give directions, we sell Broadway show tickets, we make restaurant reservations, and we set up transportation. Those are the main things in a nutshell. I work in everyday hotels where many tourists stay but many business people come too.

Now at a five-star hotel, the concierge pretty much is your biatch.    They will run your errands, buy gifts for your clients, walk your dog, and fall all over you for a hefty price.  They will be your personal Google when your little fingers can’t type the words into your bedazzled Iphone 6 Plus BUT it’ll cost ya. My services come with the hotel.  I can’t charge you when you ask me to see where you can get Levis for the cheapest price; I just do it because I’m a nice person and well because KARMA. I’d like it to come back to me in forms of good thoughts, cash and cast albums. I draw the line at luggage. No, niente, no way, no how.  In European countries, I’m told that concierges also hold luggage. NOT the case here and I’m always sure to give guests that head’s up. There are awesome bellman standing two feet away from me and that is the majority of their job. Check your locale, folks.  I bet there are a lot of things that are different here in the U.S.  As a concierge, I help with things that fall out of my realm: info about the hotel, printing documents in the biz center, calling about tours and flights that I didn’t book, and finding out if certain stores have certain products (sometimes all over town). I am not here to lend you an umbrella or sell you snacks— hotel employees cannot do every job!! Let’s say you work at a car wash and run the register.  Do you know what kind of soap or wax they use to clean the cars or what kind of lease the owner has on the property? Of course not. Let’s say you work in the corporate world. If you are in tech support, can you do everything the marketing department can do? MAYBE, but it doesn’t mean you should or truly know how. Concierges are helpful individuals and not slaves. Period.

So why this post?  What the hell am I bitching about? Honestly, because I’m always surprised by people’s behavior around the holidays.  They bitch and moan about coming to NYC at the best time of year. What is better than a holiday in NYC? But here they all come to flap their gums and complain about things I cannot change for them. Even a biatch couldn’t fix it for you. Everyone hates traffic, the weather, the walking, other tourists, the noise, the long lines and the list goes on.  You get the mean guests, the crotchety guests, the I hate New York guests, the dissatisfied guests, the lazy guests, the bored guests, and then the diamond in the rough guest who remembers that you can help them with their trip and they appreciate you.  They are the reason you come in over the holidays. They come back year after year in hopes that you are still working there.  They tip you wishing it could be more. They want to go explore and believe you when you advise them about the city you talk about 40 hours a week. They are the reason you don’t get seriously depressed when all people do is complain about your beautiful and crazy city during the holiday season. People all have similar dreams when they come to NYC from Toronto to Timbuktu but these special, amazing guests make everything they wish come true despite the traffic and lines and hassles. They want to skate at Rockefeller Center, see The Rockettes, see the famous tree, shop at Winter Village, see the holiday windows on 5th Avenue, and go to a restaurant you love too. New York has plenty to go around and these people enjoy it all.

My job is not easy to deal with on a daily basis BUT this is what I know. Leave your bah humbugs at home.  You’re blowing a pretty penny to stay anywhere in NYC. Shut your pie hole and look around.  Smile at someone and get into the holiday spirit.  Look at the lights on that tree, take a whiff of snow on its’ way, and listen to the words of holidays songs bringing us all together. It’s not all rosy here but hell, it’s magical.  You can come and enjoy everything here too! You’re here on a holiday for the holiday season.  Come with an open mind to a new place. Breath in those roasting chesnuts and fresh ice and pine needles and hot chocolate and just…. enjoy it.

Keep your bah humbugs to yourself, Scrooges, and bring some joy and good cheer to our beautiful city. This biatch ain’t got time for dat- I’m gonna celebrate the holiday season.


Happy Holidays, everybody! 🙂


One response

  1. Pingback: Concierge Corner: Prison Break | Keep Calm and Cari ON

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