Doormen: Apartment house lifelines

Jun 06 2019 | 03:40 AM

Heartfelt thanks to Michael Kearney, who was a veritable lifeline for this apartment house for 22 years. As a doorman, he not only did the myriad required doorman duties, but became an invaluable friend, especially, but not only, for those who became disabled or home bound. Thankfully, Michael is not unique, but it takes time for such bonding to occur and yes, a certain kind of character that this social media age may not so likely produce. And that’s a concern to address.

Incidentally, Michael retired for a very good reason — to become a more involved grandfather to his grandchild, and how we need involved grandparents. Also so needed was his “being there” for his widowed mother, aided by his wife Rose, a nurse by profession.

The Blessing of In-House HelpBut we are talking about apartment house staff creating community in the place where they work, and where they are often surrogate family members to the building youngsters and everyone else who may be in need. And that works both ways, especially for single staff members.

A heartfelt thanks to all the doormen, I mean door-people, because there’s now a very agreeable doorwoman on deck. And let’s not forget supers and maintenance personnel. And how inordinately blessed are tenants who have this in-house help, with a capital H. Far more must be said and done about “the great neighborliness need” in buildings without it. And indeed, in the buildings that have it, not being intrusive or nosy, but never being a building of strangers.

Michael and other staff members couldn’t be better role models. They also tactfully deal with neighborly conflict — often a noise problem due to inadequate floor covering. “The rug thing,” anti-noise pollution expert Dr. Arline L. Bronzaft calls it.

Special thanks to a former doorman, Michael Galvin, who, despite a full time job elsewhere, always fills in when he’s needed.

Respect, Concern and ThanksThere’s just so much our building staff does, like mail carefully sorted, not to mention the blizzard of boxes delivered. Ever wish on-line shopping had not been invented?

And don’t forget how doormen and doorwomen at the building entrance also make the street safer, as well as their building. We wish their homes and neighborhoods were as safe, and their commutes much shorter.

So many things to consider that staff members need — above all respect, concern and thanks. Oh, and a compatible work place. We are also losing our lobby decor, and I have a dream that the people who spend the most time there should determine the design. But that’s another column or volume — the lobby thing! Help!

Again, heartfelt thanks Michael, and every good wish for what you need most.

dewingbetter@aol.com.