The building where Enrique Calo, Jr. works, he says, has one of the rare big lobbies on the Upper West Side.
“It’s a fast-paced building,” he explains, with kids and pets, many people in entertainment, so the place needs to have two people at the front desk.
Calo says he is considered a concierge.
The job at the building, which is full-service for the residents, involves assisting with a myriad of facets of the residents’ lives. Calo serves on a front line, taking in dry cleaning, storing baby chairs and strollers or things that people don’t want to take to work. The concierges take in all kinds of packages coming in through UPS, FedEx, DHL or handle packages for returns. A large industrial-size refrigerator stores groceries and prepared foods that are delivered to residents from Fresh Direct and other food companies.
“What I like is going to work and knowing I’m going to help somebody,” Calo says. “I don’t know what shape or form it turns out to be, but besides doing my job, I have a nice word for someone, or a nice hello.”
His personal time, says Calo, is about his church, service and community and also spending time with his family.
“I have a wife, my son who just got married, and I’m part of a church,” he says. “I do a lot of work in the Lower East Side community.”
Born and raised in that area, he says, “I love it down there.”
Calo overcame drug and alcohol addiction 20 years ago. Since then, he says, life revolves around his sobriety and helping others become clean and sober. After a few years in the Narcotics Anonymous program, he experienced a spiritual awakening and lives by Christian doctrine and study.
“Some people call it born again,” he says, “some people call it Pentecostal.”
Calo leads a men’s ministry group one day a week.
“The men get together and play dominos and cards and we minister to them,” he says. “We pray for them if they need prayer, we support them if they need support, we feed them if they need feeding.”
On Sundays, Calo teaches Bible study. “I read a lot, I study a lot,” says Calo, who speaks at church on Wednesdays about life issues. He went to seminary for about three years to become a pastor. He discontinued the formal studies, he says. But in his life he wound up doing some of the work of a pastor each day.