September marks the run-up to the greatest month of all in the doorman calendar. (If you don’t know what month I’m talking about, you haven’t been paying attention.)
But it’s also got its share of annoyances, such as:
Back to school
Weighted down by their oversized bookbags and bursting lunch boxes, the little ones--many in uniform, others wearing an assortment of colorful and expensive clothing right out of the Abercrombie & Fitch catalogue--march through the lobby and back into the halls of academia.
Lobby traffic is heaviest in the morning and late afternoon. If you’re unlucky, yours becomes a central meeting area, the “school pool” if you will, where parents or nannies meet up and then walk to the school together.
The soundtrack is louder than a recycling truck at 2 in the morning. It ranges from the Caribbean accents of the babysitters, to the shrieks of teenagers, to the screaming of the new schoolers jittery at the thought of being left alone for the first time in some class.
If that weren’t enough, I’ve personally served as a kind of study hall monitor to various children on occasion, by having them start their homework in the lobby while their parents make their way back from work: “No, Timothy. You may not go to the bathroom!”
Then there are those residents who seem to pack everything they own from their apartment in May or June and head out to some summer house in Too-Pricey-For-Me, USA. Come September, they show up in their ZipCars or monstrosity of an SUV, loaded with all their belongings and then some.
Single men and women simply overdo it, while the family types over-over-overdo it.
Oftentimes we get done with heavy lifting and unloading, then hear: “The rest of it is coming this weekend.”
It makes for a good work-out, that’s for sure.
Towards the latter part of September and heading into October, building guys are inundated with the extra workload of trying to keep sidewalks semi-cleaned from falling tree leaves, dead flower petals, and the usual mix of styrofoam cups, chewing gum wrappers, store circulars, newspapers and parking tickets that happen to blow around and up and down a city block.
We may sweep the entire front of a building several times through a day and night.
Leaf blowers help, but also make for some loud, annoying noises, throat itching, coughing, and eye irritations. Those are just the complaints from residents.
And then there is the “static cling”. For some odd reason, the material used in doormen uniforms seems ultra magnetized, attracting dirt, dust, dog hairs and everything else on the ground. You start to feel like one of those gluey pest strips catching everything in sight.
Of course, September isn’t all bad. Football season brings game pools enjoyed by staff and residents. A doorman may be in luck and given an extra ticket or two by a resident not able to go to a game.
And some cooler weather means we can keep the doors open for a few, let some nice refreshing air into a lobby....and take a break from opening and closing the door every time someone walks by.