With the war came gasoline rationing and a shortage of employable men. Somehow the draft board hadn't gotten around to me as yet. A hotel maintenance lad with a very low IQ, continually hounded me for a position of bellhop. (Lewey) was definitely not my number one choice to fill a vacancy, but the only available bodies were not impressive. They were either alcoholics or 4F's that even the army didn't want as advance guards (military sacrifices). I finally gave in and had Lewey fitted as a poor excuse for "Johnny" of Philip Morris. I tried to get all the rules across, but Lewey was difficult. "Lewey", I would repeat time and again, "Don't ask the guests for a tip. You just have to take your chances." Somehow I failed to reach him. He was Mark Twain's version of Icabod Crain wearing the pumpkin that was thrown.
I have a facetious and mean personality that I don't often reveal. It is a Dracular-like spell that engulfs a werewolf at full moon. One night after Lewey came on duty, I arranged with the desk clerk to send Lewey out on the cement patio to arrange all the tables for breakfast next morning. In the meantime another bellhop and I took a bucket and a heavy paper laundry bag to the seventh floor over looking the patio. The other bellhop filled the bucket with water and poured it into the laundry bag as I held it over the metal table that Lewey was arranging. With a ghoulish grin I released the bag. The resounding blast caused lights to appear in the next door apartments. Lewey was a drowned rat. Not only drowned, but mad.
I took the elevator to the basement, but somehow Lewey beat me to the bottom and now he was about to beat me. He didn't care if I was bell captain. I don't know how I talked my way out. I talked too fast to remember. I probably promised him the moon and my job when I left, but I did get home in one piece. Gerry was waiting for me in the car and asked what took so long. Not tonight I told her. I'll tell you some other time.
Bell hops are, for the most, crude, grotesque, perverted, unfeeling, invasive of other's privacy. Most of these characteristics are bred through boredom on the night shifts.
Generally perverseness is prevalent. How can a bellhop utilize the idle hours of non-activity. It takes thought, but perseverance does prevail.
Set up two types of rooms, one with and one without a bath; knowing one will be occupied by a newly wedded couple.
Steps to be taken:
1. Remove the screws from the ventilator on the door except the top row.
2. Push the ventilator into the room about two inches.
3. Be sure the bed is between the ventilator and the table lamp which is left on.
4. Depending on their financial resources, they will request one of the rooms.
5. Lead the newly weds to their room.
6. Arrange everything for them so nothing will be changed when you leave.
7. Accept your tip. Wish them a pleasant evening and depart leaving a telephone book near the door of their room.
8. Allow them a half hour at the most.
9. Place the telephone book on the floor near their door.
10. Stand on the telephone book which will put you on eye level with the ventilator and observe the happenings.
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