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As recently as a year and a half ago, I used to get a lot of complaints about hallways that smelled like ashtrays, or cigarette butts tossed onto another resident’s window sill below.
Maybe because a lot fewer people smoke cigarettes nowadays (or they're just not doing it inside their apartments), most smoke complaints now are about weed.
For instance, a handful of residents constantly ask me to ask whomever it is on whatever floor to put a towel at the bottom of their door in order to keep the smell inside their apartment.
Odds are the person being complained about is pretty cool with the request and they’ll oblige. Problem is, after a few days or weeks they forget— aided by the weed probably--and it’s back to square one.
Then there’s the late night food deliveries taking place after ten o’clock or so—a lot more than there used to be, which I relate to smokers’ “munchies”. It ranges from Italian and Chinese, to wine if there’s a store open, to junk food like ice cream and chips from the local deli.
Some residents don’t appreciate this late-night commerce. Maybe it just has to do with their paranoia and the fact that there are all kinds of different deliverymen roaming about the building at late hours.
But it’s hard for me to maintain a strict authoritative nature when dealing with the subject of weed or its trickle-down effects.
I mean, I was there once, smoking it and--back when I was a part-time doorman and needed extra cash—selling it.
Back then, I hooked up with a gentleman residing in my building and started selling weed to my residents here, an operation that reached a pound a week at one point.
They would walk over or call down asking if they had any quote-unquote “drycleaning”.
A simple nod of their head or a grin was enough for to me know they were inquiring about buying some weed. Directing them towards a back area away from the front doors and camera, I sold to them either twenty or fifty dollar pieces, nicely presentable in different sized glass vials.
I had some great weed, or what was considered great before the likes of the designer stuff and crazier strains with crazy names like “Sour Diesel," “Incredible Hulk," and “Bubblegum."
I was accessible all week long, service was prompt and reliable, and I still called my customers by their last names starting with Mr. or Mrs./Ms. I was making upwards of $150 to $200 hundred on just the vialed stuff alone.
It was a win-win for everyone.
Unfortunately, it all came crashing down to an end after several months because my supplier got knocked. Even at that, he remained a stand-up fellow, not divulging any information about who was doing business with him.
It was back to being a normal doorman again.
I can still spot the sellers though. Many of them look like rebellious building teenagers: A wannabe looking thug with his pants hanging off his rear, or maybe the grungy skater type with ripped up jeans, leather wrist bands and an artillery of earrings punched into his earlobes, eyebrow, nose and lip.
But their oversized, stuffed bookbags still give them away. They visit their loyal customers, going up to an apartment and coming right back down. I’m familiar with their faces, and though I’m sometimes tempted to ask what kind of stuff they’re selling, it’s one delivery I can’t log into our book, and I let them go up without a hassle.
After all, I still must cater to my residents, making sure they get what they need: Fresh Direct, FedEx or weed – it’s all the same to me.
Read all A Doorman Speaks columns here.