Working as a part-timer, I once entered the porter's room to change into my uniform and get ready for my shift. I removed my wallet, along with other miscellaneous items from my pocket, and put them on a table next to a radio.
That's when I noticed a neatly folded, rectangular piece of aluminum foil.
I guessed it was the remnants of garbage left by the doorman while he was on his break. It wasn't. Being downright nosy, I had unfolded the aluminum foil and found enough cocaine for a line or two.
I refolded it, trying to make it look as if the foil had never been opened, let alone touched, and put it back where I had found it.
In that instant, I was privy to a little secret about this full-time doorman: He occasionally used this stuff. Later, I learned he would sometimes sell it for extra cash.
No one is perfect. That goes for us doormen, supers and the rest of the building staff. We drink, smoke, snort and maybe even inject things into our systems just like other users of stimulants.
Sadly, this post has to do with the fact that drugs are being used on the job.
The image of a neatly uniformed doorman, smiling and fraternizing with the residents of a building, is violently stripped away by a cloudy smoke of cannabis or white powder as these workers post up with a little something in their bloodstreams.
I remember working with a handyman years ago. He sweated profusely – the result, I figured, of how hard he was working or of outside temperatures reaching a sultry 90+ degrees.
Little did I know he took breaks during the morning to hit up some lines of coke. No wonder he would accomplish all he did in a day, running around the building like the Energizer bunny.
The doorman I spoke about earlier was always moody, erratic, and consistently came to work late. Another doorman once spoke to me about the hallucinogenic effects of salvia, and how he tried it finishing his shift.
He later told me about another drug called DMT and how it supposedly stimulates the pineal gland. Did he try that one on building premises? I was afraid to ask.
There are supers who drink, the smell of alcohol practically oozing from their pores in the morning as residents walk by. There was a time when even I occasionally rolled a joint and took a few drags.
The reddened appearance of my eyes? The result of working a double shift that day and night. That's what I told people walking into the building. Nothing a little Visine couldn't fix.
Am I mocking the fact that I've gotten away with being high at the door? Definitely not.
It's actually scary to think that a building worker would handle machinery or tools, or deal with people and their issues face to face while high or inebriated. The fact is, however, that it happens.
So think about it. The next time you smell marijuana in the lobby or hallway, ask yourself, "Is it my neighbors, or is my building being run by people not fully in control?"
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