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The End of the World

According to New Yorker Mary Ann Rothman, her vision for the end of the world involves not having a doorman to let her cleaning staff in, accept her packages, or sort her mail. The union representing doormen is demanding raises – raises in a time of rising foreclosures, rising unemployment, and in a city where many in the well-to-do class have lost jobs or seen salaries cut. Because the co-op boards and other realty leaders don’t exactly have money bursting from their wallets right now, they are hoping to cut down on expenses – or at least keep their growth in check. This means a strike is looming.

Many buildings would then adopt a more restrictive policy, with residents being required to use building keys, display identification to the security guards and pick up visitors or deliveries themselves. Some buildings are planning to take service elevators, storage rooms and garages out of operation if there is a strike. …

“If there is a positive thing to be pulled out of this, it’s that it is an opportunity to get to know your neighbors,” she said, “and to come together to combat a little bit of adversity, because this is not the end of the world, though it may appear that way if the strike goes on.”

Only in New York could things like using a key, opening the door for your own visitors, and having to pick up your packages from your front step for more than a few days be compared to the end of the world.

According to the story, while the pay only averages about $40,500, benefits raise that to about $70,000. Also, that’s not just the average for the doorman, that includes other jobs like elevator operators and porters.

4 Responses to “The End of the World”

  1. Pete says:

    They still have elevator operators? Is pushing a button really that hard?

  2. AughtSix says:

    I’m curious how (other than being in NYC, perhaps) the doormen in NYC manage to maintain a union. What barriers to entry exist to keep someone else from getting a job as a doorman without the union? I’m going to see what google turns up…

  3. AughtSix says:

    Hmmm… 10 minutes of Google-fu didn’t turn up much more than news articles on the current negotiations.

  4. slick says:

    Just for context, making $70k in NYC is poor, either living in a hell hole or having a 2 hour commute each way. It’s about the same as making $12k in ‘the rest of America’.

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