Beginner’s Guide to Doormen


You’re living in a building with a doorman, something you’ve never done before.    It may be a little intimidating, after all, you see them every day, and they know who you hang out with, where you shop online and your favorite takeout.  A doorman can be a great asset to a building.  Most doormen are extroverts; they like being in contact with people.

Here are a few tips to smooth the nerves:

  • Introduce yourself with a nice smile. 
  • Doormen are a great resource for who on the building staff does what. 
  • Be polite, the Doorman is there to help you.
  • Know the limits.  The Doorman may be able to help you hail a taxi or carry your bags from the curb to the elevator, but they probably won’t be able to fix a leaking faucet or vacuum for you, but he will offer the name of the person who does those things for the building.
  • When you request assistance, frame it as a question “could you direct me…” rather than a demand.  As grandma used to say “You catch more flies with Honey”.

A doorman is generally part of the building’s security.  Knowing who belongs – and who doesn’t – is part of his job.  Don’t be offended if a new doorman introduces himself and asks you to state your business in the building.   Just smile, tell him who you are and your apartment number and you’ll be fine.


From New York Times article.

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